Commencement Keynote Speakers
Learn more about the 2023 McCombs convocation keynote speakers.
Undergraduate (BBA) Programs
May 5, 2023
8 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Kelly Steckelberg, BBA & MPA ’91
Kelly Steckelberg brings passion and integrity to everything she does. She has extensive leadership and finance experience, notably in many technology companies.
Kelly has been the CFO of Zoom Video Communications since November 2017, where she led the company through its successful IPO in 2019 and explosive growth in recent years during the pandemic. She loves her role at Zoom which includes responsibility for Accounting and External Reporting, Planning and Forecasting, Investor Relations, Corporate Development and M&A, Tax, Internal Audit, Systems Optimization, Workplace and Real Estate, along with business partnering to support both internal and external customers and to drive business decisions. Previously, she held various roles at technology companies, including the CEO of Zoosk, and various roles in finance at Cisco, Webex, Epiphany, PeopleSoft, and KPMG.
Kelly is a Board Member and Audit Committee Chair for Qualtrics. She has an MPA in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. She loves to travel, having been to over 60 countries, as well as spend time with her family.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) Programs
May 5, 2023
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
John Paul DeJoria
Born in Los Angeles, California, and residing in Austin, Texas, Mr. John Paul DeJoria is best known for co-founding two iconic global multi-billion-dollar-valued brands: Paul Mitchell and Patron.
In 1980, Mr. DeJoria and hairstylist Mr. Paul Mitchell used a partially borrowed US$700.00 to co-found California-based John Paul Mitchell Systems (JPMS), now the world’s largest privately-owned professional haircare company. Mr. DeJoria remains chairman of the company.
JPMS brands are available in more than 100,000 hair salons in 115 countries. There are over 100 Paul Mitchell schools throughout the United States, with more planned, and two in Europe.
JPMS produces salon-quality hair care, hair color and styling tools through a family of brands and was the first professional haircare company to take a stand against animal testing since its inception in 1980.
In 1989, Mr. DeJoria co-founded (eventually having a 70% shareholding) Patron Spirits International. In 2018, Bermuda-based Bacardi Limited purchased the company for the highest valuation ever for a spirits company. Mr. DeJoria is chairman emeritus of the company.
Mr. DeJoria’s current commercial interests include investments in real estate, ROKiT Group communications and ebikes, John Paul Pet, Daily Body Restore, Nano Cure, environmentally-friendly hydrocarbon, and the medical and broadcasting industries, among others.
In 2011, Mr. DeJoria signed the “Giving Pledge” created in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet. John Paul's main philanthropic investments through JP's Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation are focused on homelessness, food insecurity and entrepreneurship.
Mr. DeJoria endowed a chair at the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School to improve the health of people experiencing homelessness. In addition, he has made investments in housing through Mobile Loves & Fishes and the Salvation Army. He funded and created Grow Appalachia, the largest organization of its kind that helps people grow their own food and contribute to resilient food systems.
John Paul was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 2021 for his transformational impact on the state’s economy and communities, and received the Texas Medal of Arts in 2017 from the Texas Cultural Trust as Corporate Arts Patron.
Mr. DeJoria has been profiled globally for his corporate and philanthropic initiatives across a multitude of media outlets including ABC’s 20/20, CNN, Forbes magazine, Fortune magazine, Fox, Fox Business, Bloomberg, CNBC, MSNBC, and NBC, among others. He has also appeared as a mentor for budding entrepreneurs via a guest shark appearance on CNBC’s Shark Tank television program.
Master in Professional Accounting (MPA) Program
May 6, 2023
12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Kim Voss, BBA, MPA ’98
Kim Voss currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at American Campus Communities - the largest developer, owner, and manager of student housing communities in the United States. She graduated from McCombs in 1998 with Bachelor of Business Administration and Master in Professional Accounting degrees. Kim joined ACC in 2004, shortly before its Initial Public Offering, as its very first SEC Reporting Manager and over the next 18 years served in increasing management positions including Assistant Controller, Controller, and most recently as Chief Accounting Officer prior to her promotion last year to Chief Financial Officer. During this time, she was honored to oversee the growth of the Company’s financial operations team to support ACC’s growth into the national leader in the student housing industry. Kim started her career in Arthur Andersen’s audit practice, where she had the opportunity to work at real estate clients and developed her passion for the real estate industry early in her career.
Kim has served on the Board of Directors of Kerbey Lane Cafe, Inc. and is currently a proud member of the McCombs Department of Accounting Advisory Council. Giving back to the community is also important to Kim, and her charitable activities include serving on the Board of the Central Texas Chapter of Folds of Honor, which provides educational scholarships to children and spouses of fallen and disabled service members. She also serves as a Board member of Eanes Education Foundation, and as a sustaining member of the Junior League of Austin. Kim lives here in Austin with her husband Mark and their teenage daughter and son.
Master of Science Programs in Business Analytics, Finance, IT & Management, Marketing
May 5, 2023
12 – 1:30 p.m.
Thomas Christian Cooper, MBA '95
Thomas Christian Cooper is Founder and Managing Partner of Owl Investments and Managing Principal of Nest Sustainable Waste, LLC, overseeing investments in energy, energy transition and carbon offset opportunities. Mr. Cooper is a Director on the Board of PetroVictory Energy Corporation, a publicly-traded Brazilian onshore oil & gas exploration and production company, and a Board Member and CEO of Oilfield Water Logistics, LLC (“OWL”), an early pioneer in the water midstream space, providing critical infrastructure to the energy industry. In October 2019, OWL’s water midstream business was sold to an affiliate of Instar Asset Management, a North American infrastructure fund, and subsequently to Pilot Water Solutions, a Berkshire Hathaway company. Mr. Cooper originally founded OWL in 2014 with an investment from NGP Energy Capital, NGP Energy Technology Partners, the Mark Cuban Companies, and other private investors. Prior to OWL, Mr. Cooper was founder and CEO of Oilfield Water Lines, which sold to NGL Energy Partners in 2013, and co-founded real estate investment firm Eastern Partners. Mr. Cooper began his investment career at private equity firm Olympus Real Estate Partners, an affiliate of Dallas-based Hicks Muse, and as a consultant at Ernst & Young. Mr. Cooper received a BBA in Finance and BA in Political Science from Southern Methodist University in 1992, and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin in 1995. Mr. Cooper is a member of the Advisory Council for the McCombs School of Business Master of Science in Finance Program and the McCombs Energy Initiative, and served prior terms on the North Texas Advisory Board for the Trust for Public Land and the board of the Town North YMCA.