Valecia Harris serves as the President of the Cox Graduate Entrepreneurship Club. She is an Online MBA program candidate class of May 2023 at SMU Cox, concentration in Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Before enrolling at Cox, Valecia served 19 years in the captive lending financial service industry. She held several leadership roles at GM Financial Service, where she advanced to Assistant Vice President, overseeing dealer compliance operations. Valecia’s career pivoted into the entrepreneurship field. She is a new business owner of a faith-based direct-to-consumer retail business focusing on fashion and lifestyle products. Valecia is a senior advisor at the SMU Hunt Institute, implementing, developing, and scaling Social Enterprise Program that helps to address key barriers early-stage social entrepreneurs face, including capacity constraints and a need for strategic guidance, by connecting social entrepreneurs to critical resources.Valecia is excited to support her fellow entrepreneurs with resources, networking, and mentorship opportunities to help them to achieve their goals of starting and launching a viable business venture.
VP of Fundraising and Sponsorship Development
Austin Barett serves as the VP of Fundraising and Sponsorship Development. He is a Professional MBA 89 program candidate concentrating on Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Austin is the Sales Director for a software automation company with many years of experience in technology, software, and startups. Austin is excited most about enabling future entrepreneurs to reach their full potential in the startup community.
Tempest Williams is a graduate student in the Cox School of Business Online MBA program, class of 2023, and he currently serves as the Treasurer for the Cox Graduate Entrepreneurship Club. Tempest the CEO and Founder of the Tempest Financial Group PLLC, specializing in financial planning, insurance, and consulting. Tempest is excited about supporting SMU student entrepreneurs and being around like-minded individuals who can collaborate and help each other to grow.
VP of Community Outreach
Risheek Kosuri is a graduate student in the Cox School of Business MBA Direct program, class of 2023 and serves as the VP of Community Outreach for the Cox Graduate Entrepreneurship Club. Risheek attended the University of Texas at Dallas for his undergraduate studies, majoring in finance. Before starting his MBA at SMU, Risheek worked at IBM for three years as a technical sales specialist. This past summer he interned at PwC as part of their deal’s transformation team. While in the final year of his MBA program, Risheek is passionate about getting involved in the startup community and helping local entrepreneurs access the resources they need to take their business ventures to the next level.
VP of Social Media
Taylore Shaw serves as the VP of Social Media and Marketing for the Cox Graduate Entrepreneurship Club. She is a graduate student in the Cox School of Business Online MBA candidate class of December 2022. Taylore is a product development business system analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She is excited to learn more about the SMU and Dallas entrepreneurship space, curate membership engagement, and increase connection within our membership.
VP of Operations and Events
Jena Rangnow serves as the VP of Operations and Events and is in a Professional MBA 89 Program. She is a Founder / CMO –of Media & Marketing Group, LLC, specializing in strategic communication plans, social media management, and website design. Jena is excited to support the Cox Graduate Entrepreneurship Club and the events that will bring MBA students together in a space to collaborate, learn and support one another in a way that fosters the entrepreneurial spirit.
Executive Board Member
April Kooiman is an Online MBA candidate at the SMU Cox School of Business, where she currently serves as the Executive Board Member for the Cox Graduate Entrepreneurship Club. April has over 28 years of experience in Healthcare and Healthcare SASS companies and has founded and sold two companies Trilogi, Inc (2012) and Praxis Healthcare Solutions (2020). April Kooiman is an Operating Partner with Empactful Capital, a venture capital firm focused on digital health companies that operate in value-based care and behavioral health verticals. In addition to her role with Empactful Capital, April still serves as an executive and SME for Cloudmed, a R1 Company, which acquired her company Praxis Healthcare Solutions in 2020. She enjoys traveling, golfing, hiking, and reading. April is excited about supporting the SMU student entrepreneur community and supporting the Business Accelerator Program that provides resources for next-gen entrepreneurs to launch viable and sustainable ventures.
Tanner LaRocque serves as the VP At- Large for the Cox Graduate Entrepreneurship Club. Born in San Antonio, Tanner attended Texas A&M for my undergraduate studies in Organizational Leadership. Before attending SMU Cox School of Business, he has experience working for a high-tech startup in Dallas in 2018 and has seen significant growth and M&A activity. Tanner is a second-year Professional MBA candidate concentrating in Marketing and Strategy. “My lifetime goal is to create high-value brands and excite customer loyalty.” I love fitness, food, and music.
VP At-Large- BAP Media Supporter
Cresencio Cantu is a graduate student in the Cox School of Business Online MBA program. He currently serves as the VP At-Large supporting role for the Cox Graduate Entrepreneurship Club. Cresencio is a digital marketer with over ten years of experience in website development, email marketing, and content management software. Cresencio was born and raised in Dallas, TX, and lived there until he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After completing his service, he attended and graduated from the University of Texas – Arlington with a BA in Communication Technology. Cresencio is inspired by his wife and three daughters. In his free time, Cresencio is a horticulture enthusiast who enjoys planting vegetables, flowers, and trees.