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Houston Business Journal selects 3 Jones members for top ‘40 under 40’

Meet the three Jones School members who are winners of the Houston Business Journal’s ‘40 under 40,’ a premier awards program that identifies the next 40 leaders who excel in their industry, are respected business leaders, and show dynamic leadership in their community. Click here to view the full Houston Business Journal article.

Bo Bothe, President of BrandExtract
Rice MBA for Executives ’05 alumnus

Bo Bothe - Houston Business Journal Photo“My MBA experience at Rice has provided me with the tools and opportunities I needed to successfully build my business. Our firm has grown exponentially since I completed my graduate education at Rice. Beyond the personal benefit, I have been able to share what I experienced with my partners, clients and employees.”

Bo Bothe ’05 is president of BrandExtract, LLC, an integrated branding and communications firm that has been recognized as one of Houston's top 25 Design Firms for over a decade by the Houston Business Journal and among Houston’s Fastest Growing Companies. Prior to BrandExtract, Bothe was a creative partner at Savage Design Group, another top branding and design firm.

Bothe is an active Jones School alumnus including participating as a member of Jones Partners, and volunteers for the Jones School admissions, and is an alumni mentor to current students. Most recently, he was a returning judge at the 2009 Rice Business Plan Competition. In addition to earning his Rice MBA, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design Communications at Texas Tech University.

“The most amazing thing is that my education continues today as I collaborate with my fellow classmates, continue to share ideas with my professors and continue to be involved with the Jones School growth to ensure the continued success of the school and its students. Beyond the book learning, the Rice MBA has provided me with options I may not have had otherwise. I am proud to represent the school as a valued business leader.”

Holli C. Nichols, CFO of Dynegy
Rice MBA for Executives ’10 student

Holli C. Nichols - Houston Business Journal Photo"The Rice MBA program has proven beneficial by complementing my on-the-job knowledge and experience with fresh perspectives on business and management. The Jones School, its faculty, and the overall education experience have enriched my professional career, while helping prepare me to meet today's challenges."

Holli C. Nichols has served as vice president and chief financial officer of Dynegy since November 2005. Nichols is responsible for oversight activities involving strategic planning and corporate business development, financial affairs, including finance and accounting, tax, treasury, risk management, internal audit and investor and credit agency relationships. After joining Dynegy in 2000, Nichols held various positions in the company's financial area, including senior vice president and controller and, most recently, senior vice president and treasurer. Prior to joining the company, she was a senior manager-audit with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

She serves on the boards of Price Gregory Services, Inc., an energy infrastructure services provider, and His Grace Foundation, which supports children who undergo bone marrow transplants. A Certified Public Accountant, Nichols received a bachelor's of science from Baylor University.

“The Houston Business Journal's 'Top 40 Under 40' Award recognizes some of our city's top business people, and I am proud to be included in this year's winners.”

Blair Garrou, Co-founder of DFJ Mercury
Adjunct Professor of Management

Blair Garrou - Houston Business Journal Photo“Ten years ago, I began my career in economic development, leading to my current career in venture capital. During that time, I was fortunate to work and interact with dozens of Rice MBAs in the entrepreneurial, business, and finance communities. These relationships have enriched many facets of my life — both personal and professional.”

Blair Garrou, an adjunct professor of Management at the Jones School where he teaches a course on venture capital, has significant experience in operating, investing and advisory roles with start-up companies, particularly in the software industry. Prior to co-founding DFJ Mercury, Garrou was the CEO of Intermat, Inc., where he led the sale of the company to IHS, Inc., and he was a principal of Genesis Park LP, a Houston-based venture capital and private equity firm. During his assistance in the launch of, and as the director of operations for the Houston Technology Center, he led the formation of Houston's first angel investment organization, Houston Angel Network. Garrou was also an investment banker with BMO Nesbitt Burns, and provided audit and assurance services with Deloitte & Touche as a licensed CPA in the state of Texas.

Garrou currently serves on the Board of Directors of Alert Logic, Fluensee, Performix, Phurnace Software, Podcast Ready, and UnWired Nation; and on the advisory and/or development boards for the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship, and the Houston Technology Center’s Information Technology Steering Committee. Garrou received a B.S. in Management with Special Attainments in Commerce from Washington and Lee University.

“I was honored to be offered a position at the Jones School a few years ago. This role allows me to continue giving back to the Rice community that has given so much to me.”