Letter from the Executive Director: More Than a Job


This past May was a major turning point in my career. It was the first time I’ve presented a budget where the revenues equaled the expenses and I didn’t get fired. The transition from the high-stress, for-profit world of financial technology to the mission-driven world of nonprofits has been, in a word, fascinating.  

In fact, during a physical a few months ago, my doctor remarked that my blood pressure had gone down so significantly I may have added 10 years to my life. “I don’t treat you,” he told me, “I treat your job.” 

Now I wake up every morning and head to work at one of my favorite spots on Earth, and give back to the institution that made me who I am. I still approach the Texas Exes like a business (one with a thriving brand and hundreds of thousands of stakeholders all over the world) but the difference is profound.  

And one of the great joys of this job is working alongside staff and volunteers who are here to change the world for the better. July marks the beginning of our leadership year at the Texas Exes, when we welcome new volunteers to the Texas Exes Board of Directors. Our president and chair of the board this year is Todd Maclin, a renowned Texas banker. As a top executive at JPMorgan Chase, he ran the firm’s nationwide banking operation and played a pivotal role in helping it survive the financial crisis of 2008. Needless to say, we are in good hands.  

But along with all the industry accolades and titles he has received, Todd is a proud and devoted Texas Ex, who leads with a servant’s heart and brings tremendous value to the table.  

We’re also pleased to have five new directors this year: Gay Gaddis, the visionary founder and CEO of T3 advertising agency; Frank Erwin III, an energy industry magnate; Jay Bernhardt, dean of UT’s Moody College of Communication; Coley Clark, a successful financial executive; and Bob Estrada, a prominent attorney, businessman, and a Distinguished Alumnus of UT Austin. Along with their colleagues on the board, these Longhorns are stepping up to lend us their expertise, passion, and powerful networks. We couldn’t be more grateful to have them shepherding the association. 

The legacy of the Texas Exes is a big one. It was somewhat intimidating to step into something that was established more than 130 years ago by the most fervent supporters of The University of Texas. But what I quickly came to understand is that doing good and making positive changes for the university, students, and alumni isn’t work at all—it’s a privilege. 

Hook ’em, 

Chuck Harris, BBA ’86, Life Member 


No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment