ORGANIZATION: Our board comprises the following members.
Dr. Eli Jones
Registered Agent and Chairman of the Board
Dr. Eli Jones is a Professor of Marketing, former Dean of Mays Business School, and Lowry and Peggy Mays Eminent Scholar at his alma mater, Texas A&M University. From July 1, 2012 until June 30, 2015, he was Dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and the holder of the Sam M. Walton Leadership Chair at University of Arkansas. From July 1, 2008 until June 30, 2012, he served as Dean of the E. J. Ourso College of Business and the E. J. Ourso Distinguished Professor of Business at Louisiana State University (LSU). Professor Jones started his academic career at University of Houston, and was on the faculty for 11 years. There he was Assistant Professor, Associate Professor with tenure, Full Professor, Associate Dean for Executive Education Programs and, he is the founding Executive Director of the Sales Excellence Institute at University of Houston.
More About Dr. Eli Jones
He has published in the Journal of Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, Management Science, and Journal of Applied Psychology, among other journals. Also, he is a co-author of Selling ASAP (textbook and professional edition) and Strategic Sales Leadership: Breakthrough Thinking for Breakthrough Results. He has received Excellence in Teaching awards on the university, national, and international levels. He teaches strategic selling, advanced professional selling, key accounts selling, sales leadership, and marketing strategy at the undergraduate and MBA levels, and a Ph.D. seminar on marketing strategy.
A popular speaker, he has designed and taught customized executive education programs in Belgium, China, France, India, Malaysia, the U.K. and U.S. Before becoming a professor, Jones worked in sales and sales management for three Fortune 100 companies. Positions held include key account manager, key account executive (responsible for two of the Top 25 accounts in the U.S.), zone sales planning manager (responsible for sales in three states), sales manager, and zone sales manager designate.
Jones served on the International Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) board and served on the Innovation Committee of AACSB; he also served on the board of Administaff and Insperity, and he chaired the Compensation Committee. He served on the International Academy of Marketing Science Board of Governors, and he is on the funds boards of Invesco. Jones is the founder and Chair of the board for Five Fold Leaders.
Dr. Frank Ashley
Dr. Ashley received his degrees from Louisiana College and The University of Alabama. Before assuming his current position at the Bush School, he served as a Senior VP for the College Board Corporation in New York where he worked on initiatives to increase college participation for underprivileged students. In his 35+ years in education, Ashley has served in a variety of roles, including teacher, coach and administrator. During his tenure at TAMU, Ashley spoke to many K-12 students in the local and surrounding school districts at assemblies, banquets, and in classrooms, about the importance of education. One of his proudest achievements at A&M was bringing the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) to the Brazos Valley. NYSP was a sports and education program for economically underprivileged kids ages 10-16 and from 1989-2004 the project received $1,138,093 and served over 4,000 kids.
More About Dr. Frank Ashley
Ashley also served as a faculty member and administrator at Texas A&M University-Commerce. As the dean of the college of education, he was once again very active in the surrounding school districts speaking to administrators, teachers, and students about the importance of education. Along with his work at the university, he served on the Commerce ISD School Board, and in 2006 he received “The Citizen of the Year Award” given by the Delta XI Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. The following year Ashley received the “Distinguished Service Award” from the Faculty Senate of Texas A&M University-Commerce. After three years in Commerce, Ashley returned to College Station as vice-chancellor of academic affairs for the A&M System. Later as vice chancellor for diversity and recruitment, he advised the Chancellor and Regents on diversity issues within the System and worked on several initiatives to increase the diversity of students, faculty, staff and administrators throughout the A&M system.
Dr. Ashley has numerous publications and presentations and has been invited to present nationally and internationally, however, what he enjoys most is speaking to K-12 students, teachers, and parents. As a first-generation college graduate, he truly understands the importance of education and that is why he is invited to speak at school assemblies, commencements and as a motivation speaker for professional development workshops. Ashley is an Ordained Deacon serving at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and has also served as a Chaplain for the Texas A&M Football team for several years. He and his wife Janice have two children, Frank IV and Elizabeth.
Dr. Al Bell
Dr. Al Bell (born Alvertis Isbell in Brinkley, Arkansas) is the former Chairman and Owner of Stax Records, where he was responsible for the careers of numerous music icons and the overall direction of American soul music and subsequently served as President of Motown Records Group.
Today, Dr. Bell is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Al Bell Presents, LLC., presenting a unique new paradigm of business innovation within the greater music industry.
Something happened inside of him one evening in Little Rock in 1971. Al Bell was sitting on the hood of an old school bus that his father kept in the backyard. He had just been to the funeral of his murdered brother. He didn’t feel comfortable, even in that familiar place.
More About Dr. Al Bell
Thinking about his brother, he began to hear music. Specifically, a bass line. Then words.
I know a place
Ain’t nobody crying
Ain’t nobody worried
Ain’t no smilin’ faces
Lying to the races.
That became “I’ll Take You There.” Recorded by the Staple Singers and released by Stax Records, the single written and produced by Mr. Bell was number one on the Billboard R&B Singles chart for four weeks.
Throughout his career, Dr. Bell has been considered a visionary, a seer, an icon, a music mogul, a communications and entertainment maverick and a legend, which is how most people throughout the industry view him today.
But he is not finished writing new chapters for his legend. He currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Al Bell Presents LLC, a new “rare performing artist” career and business development paradigm.
In 2011, Mr. Bell received the highest honor the music industry bestows, the Grammy Trustees Award, putting him in the company of an elite group that includes Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Ira Gershwin, Frank Sinatra, the Beatles and others who have received the award for making industry-changing contributions in music in their lifetimes.
Dr. Bell has always been ahead of his time. Because of his ability to see things that others cannot and the guts to act on what he sees, he has always been miles ahead of his competitors.
In the 1970s, two of the largest African-American owned businesses in America were Motown Records and Stax Records. Dr. Bell, who owned Stax, introduced marketing and promotional innovations that changed the music industry. It was believed impossible, but Stax produced gold and platinum hits with artists such as Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Johnny Taylor, Sam and Dave, Booker T and the MGs, the Bar Kays, Otis Redding, The Emotions, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Richard Pryor, Billy Eckstine, Albert King, The Dramatics and others.
Stax Records worked with Melvin Van Peebles on the release of his revolutionary film, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, and with MGM Studios on the release of the film Shaft.
In both cases, Dr. Bell employed marketing and promotional techniques that woke the film industry to the potential in the black marketplace and led to the black film renaissance of the 1970s.
He successfully marketed the “Theme from Shaft” performed by Isaac Hayes, which won an Oscar for Best Original Song. As a result, he became the first African American to win that honor – or any other Academy Award – in a non-acting category.
In Soulsville USA: The Stax Records Story, a book by Rob Bowman chronicling the history of Stax Records, the Rev. Jesse Jackson says, “Stax was not just a record company. It was a sound. It was a piece of culture. It was a moment of conscience and experience of mankind.”
“At the right time, it meant a lot to us. People still heavily borrow upon the tradition of Stax and the lineage laid down by the very special genius of Al Bell.”
Dr. Bell added to the roster of box office hits with the landmark 1973 film Wattstax, a documentary based on a Stax Records concert that entertained 112,000 people in the Los Angeles Coliseum.
In the 1980s, Al Bell became President of the Motown Records Group (Motown had relocated to Los Angeles from Detroit) and worked with Berry Gordy in the sale of Motown to the MCA/Boston Ventures Group. After that, Dr. Bell discovered the music group Tag Team and released “Whoomp! (There It Is),” which sold over 5 million copies and remains one of the biggest-selling singles in history.
Then, Prince asked Al Bell to release a single record, after Warner Brothers Records turned Prince down. Bell released “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and gave Prince his biggest-selling single ever.
Dr. Bell has received many honors and awards, including the National Award of Achievement from the U.S. Department of Commerce. He has been listed in Who’s Who in Black America and was honored by Black Enterprise magazine in 1972 and 1973 as No. 2 in the Top 100 Black-Owned Businesses.
Ebony magazine honored him in 1972 as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Black Men and in 1973 as one of the Top 1000 Most Successful Black Men in the World. He received an Achievement Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 1975, the Alex Haley Roots Award from the Greater Washington D.C. Business Center in 1977, and the W.C. Handy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.
Dr. Bell was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2002, received the Arthur A. Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Black Chamber of Commerce in 2008, and received honorary doctorate degrees from Philander Smith College in 1972 and 2011.
He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Blacks in Higher Education in 2012 and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Accountants in 2012. Also in 2012, he was recognized and honored during “An Evening with Al Bell” at the University of Arkansas.
In May, 2014, Arkansas’ Maumelle High School honored Dr. Bell by creating an ‘Al Bell Award of Excellence’, presented annually to a deserving Maumelle High School band student. This joins the school’s John Phillips Sousa, Louis Armstrong, and Semper Fidelis Awards.
On February 13, 2015, Mr. Bell was inducted into the prestigious Arkansas Business Hall of Fame, an award also bestowed on Sam M. Walton (founder of Walmart), Don J. Tyson, (Tyson Foods, Inc.), J.B. Hunt & his wife Johnelle, (J.B. Hunt Transport Services), Jackson T. Stephens (Chairman of Stephens, Inc.), and ‘Jerry’ Jones (president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys Football Club, Inc.). Through this honor, Dr. Bell joins an exceptional list of inductees who have been recognized to be among the best in Arkansas business for their outstanding achievements and their impact on the future business leaders in Arkansas and around the world.
Also in 2015, on June 6th, Dr. Bell was inducted into the Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame in Clarksdale, MS, with a subsequent induction ceremony held on October 4th in Detroit, MI.
On September 29, 2015, Dr. Bell was honored with an induction into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame which showcases the careers of The Natural State’s sons and daughters who have made their marks on the entertainment world. Mr. Bell is again in the company of greats. Here are a few of those that were honored in the first induction ceremony held in 1996 – Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Al Green, Art Porter, Sr.
October, 2018, University of Arkansas names Al Bell as its 2018-2019 McIlroy Family Visiting Professor in the Visual and Performing Arts. The professorship supports the teaching and work of a professional artist who imparts highly specialized knowledge essential to students’ artistic, educational, and career enrichment and of value to the community at large. Recipients also hold a joint appointment as a visiting professor of the Fulbright College and the Walton Arts Center. “To be elected to partner in a ‘working together’ leadership position – to inform and work with our students, members of the business community and art sectors, Northwest Arkansas citizens, America, and the world – that is an honor!” – Dr. Bell said when he was appointed. The visiting professorship was created in thanks to, and made possible through, the philanthropy of Hayden & Mary Joe McIlroy and the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.
On February 1, 2019, the University of Memphis honored Al Bell with the “Authur S. Holmon Lifetime Achievement Award.” The recipient of this award is elected by the University of Memphis Black Student Association and is awarded annually, at the beginning of Black History Month. Mr. Bell was recognized as the former chairman and owner of Stax Records, and was vital to the careers of Stax stars such as The Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, The Emotions, The Dramatics, Mel and Tim, etc., and an emphasis on his promotional efforts, which drove the “Memphis Sound” internationally and made Stax the second-largest African-American–owned business in the 1970s. In 2009, the BBC profiled Bell as “one of the icons of soul music” and “the driving force behind Stax Records.”
On May 11, 2019, at the University of Arkansas’ All-University commencement ceremony, Al Bell was recognized by the University of Arkansas as an individual who has distinguished himself in areas related to the humanities, by presenting him with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree.
In January 2020, the University of Arkansas Department of Music teamed up with Dr. Bell to offer an in-depth online music course focused on the inner workings (‘the fundamentals’) and trends of the music industry, “The 21st Century Music Industry – Learn from music legend, Al Bell.”
Courtesy of Bespoke Media Group, below is the link to a ‘4 minute + 59 second’ video/bio on Dr. Bell. This was prepared as his ‘Presentation Video’ which was shown prior to Dr. Bell’s acceptance speech at the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Feb. 13, 2015. We feel it captures the essence of Alvertis Isbell, p/k/a Al Bell. ENJOY –
Dr. Kenneth Taylor
Dr. Kenneth Anderson Taylor is an Assistant Professor of the Practice at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. He also serves as the Director of Outreach and Professional Development at their Center for Nonprofits & Philanthropy. Dr. Taylor possesses more than 12 years of executive leader experience within the nonprofit sector, is a State of Texas credentialed mediator, and holds a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies.
Mr. Jose Quintana
Mr. Jose Quintana is the President of AdventGX, an international community and economic development company that provides strategy development and technology augmented solutions for underserved urban and rural communities. As a lifelong entrepreneur, Mr. Quintana has started several successful companies and has acted as consultant to many of the world’s top corporations including Nokia, Sprint, Qualcomm, Frito-Lay, Schering-Plough, Disney, Lockheed, Sun Microsystems, Verizon, and Novartis International.
Mr. Quintana has a computer science degree from Texas A&M University with a minor in Mathematics and Statistics. He was the recipient of the of the 2018 Texas A&M University Department of Computer Science and Engineering’s Distinguished Former Student Award.
More About Mr. Jose Quintana
Jose Quintana is an active Advisory Board Member for the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy, and serves on the Advisory Council Member at Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), a Texas A&M University System Agency. He is also a Texas Lyceum former director and active alumnus.
AdventGX’s flagship initiative, The Innovation Underground business and technology incubator, is the result of more than ten years of research and development in support of technology startups. Since its inception, the Innovation Underground has supported more than 70 local and international small and medium businesses, providing entrepreneurs with both technical expertise and business resources and guidance to bring ideas and innovation to the market.