In early 2010, KUHF-88.7 FM and the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business began a venture exploring the Houston business universe in a radio program called Bauer Business Focus.
Thirty installments later, the weekly interview showing featuring KUHF’s business reporter Ed Mayberry has shown it’s full of possibilities, with an ever expanding number of places to explore in segments airing at 6:35 and 8:35 a.m. on Fridays.
Bauer Business Focus began with UH Bauer Dean Arthur Warga, examining the economic outlook for the city and how future growth could be changed by the enormous natural gas discoveries in unconventional places.
Airing this Friday, the 30th installment of the show will feature a conversation with Dan Currie, assistant dean for graduate and professional programs and director of the college’s Global Energy Management MBA, who discusses how the strong demand for energy management skills has lead to the creation of a UH program for executives in China, and next spring, in India.
Other Bauer Business Focus guests have considered Houston’s role as an energy capital and many other aspects of business in the city.
Topics ranged from the personal — writing a resume and finding tax deductions — to the entrepreneurial — nurturing promising small companies, and preparing a business for a hurricane.
Shows marked the annual milestones on the calendar. In February, Bauer Business Focus highlighted two major events — the Super Bowl, with Bauer executive professor Steven Koch talking about the payoff for ads during the big game, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, with John Bowen, Dean of the Conrad Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at UH, describing its economic power.
Listeners also heard about what makes a business go.
Janet Gurwitch, the founder of Gurwitch Products, the company behind the luxe line of Laura Mercier Cosmetics, explained how she saw an opening in what seemed like a crowded market and gave the brand a personality.
The CEO of Blue Bell ice cream, Paul Kruse, talked about how his family has turned a little Brenham company into a power in the ice cream business by focusing on the basics needed to dependably deliver what its loyal customers have come to expect.
The expectations of consumers are evolving. Bauer marketing professor Betsy Gelb told how companies are “greening” the bottom line by finding new ways to build business with environmental initiatives.
And like the city of Houston, the Bauer Business Focus has had international stories to tell.
Atour Eyvazian shared how he immigrated to the United States from Iran in 1984 at age 18 and built a company that now owns 49 Jack in the Box locations in Texas and California.
The Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett, was there to tell the region’s energy story – with growth in natural gas production fostering a business to turn the gas into liquid for export to power fast growing Asian markets.
And on this week’s Bauer Business Focus airing Friday, Aug. 20, at 6:35 and 8:35 a.m., Currie spoke about UH Bauer’s role in providing training for the top executives in the China’s largest nationally owned energy companies. They’ve come to Bauer, Currie says, because the teachers included former executives from the companies they wished to learn from as they expended globally.
It is just another reminder from Bauer Business Focus on how central — and compelling —business is in Houston.
Click here for the full interview.