UD Announces Annual Gupta College of Business Tower Awards
Date Published: Oct. 17, 2017
The University of Dallas Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business announced the four
recipients of the annual Gupta College of Business Tower Awards. This year’s honorees
include Chris Blue, Felicia Johnson, Kai Axford and Simon Powell.
The Gupta College of Business Tower Awards were founded in 2016 to recognize UD alumni
who, like the University of Dallas’ iconic Braniff Memorial Tower, are beacons within
the university’s business alumni community. They embody the mission of the Gupta College
of Business to prepare competent and responsible managers who are also principled
and moral leaders.
Chris Blue, MBA ’02, currently serves as the vice president of enterprise support at the global computer
security software company McAfee. His team is responsible for delivering security
solutions to some of the most complex clients in the world. Prior to joining McAfee,
Blue held senior roles at Siemens, Lucent and Avaya. He also served in the United
States Air Force. Blue’s leadership is focused on mentoring, communicating clearly
and helping employees grow their careers.
A certified speaker, coach and trainer, Felicia Johnson, MBA ’06, has made her life’s work aiding individuals and organizations in reaching their goals.
She is currently with the John Maxwell Team, which is ranked No. 1 in the world by
Inc. Magazine in leadership and management knowledge. Additionally, Felicia works
at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, where she serves as the global manager of diversity
and inclusion, similar to the roles she held at Nissan North America and Cabela’s
Inc. prior to Goodyear.
Kai Axford, MBA ’09, is an adjunct professor in the University of Dallas Gupta College of Business, a position
he has held since 2012. When he’s not teaching, Axford is the senior manager of risk
and compliance at PepsiCo. Prior to this position, he served as director of the Office
of the CISO at Optiv Inc. (formerly FishNet Security). Axford also spent 10 years
at the Microsoft Corporation, where he assisted chief information security officers
from around the world on reducing cyber threats and served as a speaker on numerous
As chief operating officer for the North Texas Food Bank, Simon Powell, MBA ’97 MTS ’17, manages all operations and information technology functions for the nonprofit. Powell
is aided by his experience working with Fortune 100 companies such as Hewlett Packard
and Samsung Telecommunications.
The honorees received their Gupta College of Business Tower Awards at the Dean’s Reception
on Saturday, Oct. 14, in SB Hall on the University of Dallas campus.
In the photo above (from L to R): Gupta Alumni Committee members Thom Aldredge, Ann
Crossman and Mike White; alumni award recipients Simon Powell, Felicia Johnson and Kai Axford; committee member Richard Schaffner;
Gupta College of Business Dean Brett J. L. Landry.