Center for Finance Strategy Innovation

In the widest sense, we promote the management of firms and economies for the greater good of society. We aim to build public trust in the management of corporate, government and financial entities. Trust includes increased security and retention of privacy. We connect and inform people through our programs.

In an operational focus, we promote innovation in technologies, markets and operations that results in increased corporate value. We encourage responsible transformation of organizations as they change seeking results of higher value. We want to educate students of finance who will lead such efforts. We provide education and targeted programs to practicing managers and executives.

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  • Connect with the Director
  • Vision & Mission
  • Events
  • Outreach
  • Sponsors
  • CFSI People

Connect with the Director

Welcome to the Center for Finance Strategy Innovation. We use differentiated programs of support for policy makers, applied research, corporate outreach and graduate education to develop thought leadership. We promote professional capability in practitioners, graduate students and recent alumni. We are a bridge between the Jindal School of Management and its wider constituencies.

David Springate, PhD Director and Co-Founder, CFSI
Elizabeth Jones Associate Director and Co-Founder, CFSI


The vision of the Center is to be an active, engaged partner to those developing and pursuing more productive, responsible and innovative uses of capital and financial technology. Our activities are structured to be of value to faculty and students in the Jindal School of Management, to a wider community of investors, finance professionals and corporations, and to the state of Texas.


The Center focuses on education and research programs in areas crucial to today’s economy and today’s financial context. These include:

  • Digitization of finance
  • Security of data and transactions
  • Corporate transformation
  • Restructuring and turnarounds
  • Recapitalizations
  • Fintech
  • Risk management
  • Funding of innovation
  • Private equity
  • Project finance
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Competitive advantage
  • Business strategy
  • Globalization

Uses of Blockchain: Unlocking Value through Business Innovation

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
Presented by Center for Finance Strategy Innovation
Naveen Jindal School of Management

11:30 a.m.


Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Luncheon and Keynote Speaker

  • Opening conference remarks
    Dr. David Springate, Director
    Center for Finance Strategy Innovation
  • Welcome
    Dr. Hasan Pirkul, Dean, Caruth Chair of Management
    Naveen Jindal School of Management
  • Keynote introduction
    Dr. David Springate
  • Keynote Speaker
    Chris Ballinger, CFO and Head of Mobility Services, Toyota Research Institute CFO and Chief Officer, Strategic Innovation, Toyota Financial Services

1:30 – 1:45 p.m.


1:45 – 3:15 p.m.

Panel 1: Blockchain in the Business Mainstream

  • Introductions
    Elizabeth F. Jones, Center for Finance Strategy Innovation
  • Blockchains in government, trade and finance
    Nitin Gaur, IBM Blockchain Labs
  • Blockchain disruptions in banking and financial services
    Dr. Jared Harwayne-Gidansky
  • Corporate uses of blockchain in supply chain management and the energy sector
    Dr. Tyler Smith, ConsenSys
  • Blockchain in corporate securities, corporate finance, private equity and capital markets
    Rick Winnard,

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.


3:30 – 5 p.m.

Panel 2: The Future of Blockchain

  • Introductions
    Craig R. Hall, Caudicum and Center for Finance Strategy Innovation
  • Blockchain and the future of energy markets
    Mark D’Agostino, Grid+/ConsenSys
  • Blockchain and the future of smart digital payment platforms
    James Johnson, MoneyGram and Oaken Innovations
  • Blockchain and the future of AI and supercomputing in healthcare
    Dr. Tom McNeill, Nimbix and Ingentium
  • Blockchain and the future of capital formation and “smart contracts”
    Ron Smith, Norton Rose Fulbright

5 – 6:30 p.m.

Networking and Demonstrations

  • Dr. David Springate/Final remarks
  • Happy Hour
  • Blockchain Showcase
  • Makerspace Marquee Demonstrations

Conference Leaders

Past Events

The Center for Finance Strategy Innovation Center sponsors a number of conference, panel, and workshop programs each year. Recent programs (below) have concentrated on private equity, hedge fund, growth capital, public-private partnerships, and turnaround topics.

  • Second Annual Private Equity Funds Symposium

    Key Speakers:
    Kevin Boardman, Partner, Patton Boggs LLP
    Gregg Buksbaum, Partner, Patton Boggs LLP
    James Cheng, President & COO, NPIC (Natural Polymer International Corp.)
    Harvey Fine, Managing Director U.S. Global Investments and Strategies, Fosun
    Stephen Foote, Director, Northleaf Capital Partners
    Kim Garber, Co-Founder and Principal, CORE-CCO, LLC
    Gus Gatzios, Managing Vice President of Strategic Access Platforms at Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System
    Micah Green, Partner, Patton Boggs LLP
    R. David Kelly, Chairman, Teacher Retirement System of Texas
    Roman Kikta, Managing Partner and Founder Mobility Ventures
    Shoa-Kai Liu, Founding investor of RenRen
    Paul Louie, North American Partner, Long March Capital
    Matt O'Reilly, Chief Investment Officer, San Antonio Fire and Police Pension Fund

  • First Annual Private Equity Funds Symposium

    Key Speaker: Ronnie Jung, Texas Teachers Retirement System

    Representative Speakers:
    Don Moorehead, Patton Boggs
    Kim Garber, US Securities and Exchange Commission
    Carl Kopfinger, TD Bank
    Joy Brawner, McGladrey
    Suzanne Kriscunas, Riverside Company
    Brett Palmer, National Association of SBIC’s
    Tony Schell, Escalate Capital
    Roman Kikta, Mobility Ventures
    Conner Searcy, Insight Equity

  • “Buying Neiman Marcus: The Winning Combination of a Global Investor and a Strong Brand” With Canadian Consulate of Dallas

    Opening Remarks: Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas

    Keynote Speaker: André Bourbonnais, Senior Vice President of Private Investments, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

    Sponsor: USI Southwestern

  • Conference in partnership with Texas Hedge Fund Management Association

    Peruvemba Satish, Allstate Investments
    Todd Centurino, Teachers Retirement System
    Philip Durst, TollesonWealth Management

  • The Governance and Financial Tools of Public-Private Partnerships

    David Leininger, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
    Paul Wageman, North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA)
    Sasha N. Page, IMG
    Paul N. Wageman, North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA)
    Robert M. (Bob) Brown, P.E., TXDOT
    Michael Morris, P.E., Transportation Department of the North
    Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)
    Col. Dennis Beal, USMC (Ret.), Texas A & M University System
    Hon. Cynthia Figueroa, Attorney
    Paris Rutherford, Catalyst Urban Development, LLC
    John N. Crew, Public Werks, Inc.
    Stephen W. McCullough, Public Werks, Inc.

  • Turnarounds, Restructurings, and Distressed Investing

    Conner Searcy, Insight Equity
    Michael Bruder, Macquarie Group
    Jay Lucas, Lucas Group
    Don Bibeault, Verto Partners
    Harry Gray, Verto Partners

  • Succeeding With Financing in a Time of Economic Uncertainty

    Rick Pelini, Vice President and Treasurer of Lennox International
    Henry Schopfer who has served as CFO of four public mid-sized companies
    Mahesh Shetty, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Encore Enterprises
    David Whiting, Senior Vice President and head of Comerica Bank’s Technology and Life Services Division
    Suzanne Lovett, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo Capital Finance

  • Where Will Growth Capital Come From?”

    Trey Vincent, Riverside Company
    Mary Jo Hoch, Capital One Bank
    David Oden, Haynes and Boone
    Ron Stacey, Legacy Advisors
    Jorge Joramillo, ORIX Leveraged Finance

Economic Updates

The Center supports a website with information and a number of indexes tracking the financial health of all publicly held corporations in North Texas which have reported data, as required, to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The website is updated quarterly with information on profitability, sales increases, return on assets, return on sales and inventory used. The series starts in 2009 when XBRL became the required reporting language for submissions to the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Development and Delivery of MBA/MS Courses

Graduate courses have been developed and are delivered in the areas of corporate renewal, private equity finance, entrepreneurial finance, turnarounds and restructurings, enterprise transformation and international financial management.

Case Research

The Center has produced in the past a series of contemporary case studies on innovative companies. The first work of a new series of case studies will be released later in 2017. The work will be useful to both professionals in the field and graduate students.

Support for Decision Makers

Public Policy Makers

Through impartial analysis in its area of expertise the Center actively supports improvements in public policy especially through public-private partnerships of different kinds and involving different levels of governments. In the areas of finance, economic development and innovation the Center is able to help frame issues and analyze needs for consideration by policy makers. The Center does not position itself as an active advocate or active promoter of specific courses of action in the public sphere. In recent years, we have partnered with the Texas Legislature, the City of Cedar Hill, and Dallas Arts District.

Enterprise and Corporate Transformation

The Center supports corporations in their transformation endeavors when the opportunity is appropriate. Such support may include diagnosis of needs, design of an integrated business plan for transformation and/or the implementation of the plan. The recent economy continues to produce many such opportunities. Recognizable names with whom we have partnered include Toyota, JC Penney, Target, Fujitsu, and Tektronix.

Financial Management

For several years, the Center has provided faculty speakers for the Professional Development Program of the Financial Executives International Dallas Chapter.


The company below has served as a major conference sponsor in the academic year 2017-18.

Enaxis Consulting

CFSI People


  • Dr. David Springate
  • Ms. Elizabeth F. Jones

Advisory Board

  • Mr. Charlie Bahr
  • Ms. Marion Flores
  • Mr. Warren Strickland
  • Mr. Scott Mairs

Executive Fellows

  • Mr. David Epperson
  • Mr. Harry Gray
  • Mr. Craig Hall
  • Mr. Stephan Mehrholz

Data Scientist

  • Dr. Jay Scott