A top regional energy executive will kick off a new lecture series for the public and University of Houston-Victoria Master of Business Administration students on Nov. 17.
John Ragan, executive vice president and regional president of NRG Energy, a Fortune 250 company, will be the guest speaker for the inaugural Willis Group-UHV School of Business Administration Distinguished Speaker Series at 6:30 p.m. The talk will be in the auditorium in Brazos Hall of the UH System at Sugar Land, 14000 University Blvd. The series is for graduate students enrolled in UHV’s Strategic and Global MBA programs.
Ragan’s topic will be “Leading the Green Initiatives: The Opportunities and Challenges for Businesses.” NRG’s energy portfolio includes four West Texas wind farms capable of generating more than 450 megawatts, enough to meet the needs of more than 360,000 homes.
“This talk is a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in business to get an insider’s view of the global energy market,” said Farhang Niroomand, dean of the UHV School of Business Administration. “We are grateful that Mr. Ragan can take time to talk about NRG and its retail electric provider, Reliant Energy.”
Ragan manages NRG’s largest regional power generation portfolio, totaling more than 10,500 megawatts of power generation in Texas, as well as Reliant Energy. He will discuss leadership, management, and corporate and business strategies.
He began his career in energy in 1983 with Getty Oil Co. in its upstream exploration and production division. Prior to joining NRG, he was vice president of trading, transmission and operations at FPL Energy. He has served as general manager for containerboard and packaging for Georgia Pacific Corp., and senior vice president and chief executive officer of Mirant’s International Group.
At NRG Energy, he previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer, overseeing companywide plant operations, commercial operations and environmental compliance, as well as engineering, procurement and construction.
He holds an MBA in finance from Tulane University in New Orleans, La., and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from West Virginia University in Morgantown.
The Willis Group includes multiple companies that address a variety of business staffing needs and solutions. Through its agreement with the UHV School of Business Administration, the Willis Group creates opportunities by providing business students with professional development and career placement assistance, supports faculty research and classroom instruction, and actively participates in events to promote the success of the business school and its students.
The Willis Group-UHV School of Business Administration Distinguished Speaker Series brings in executives from around the U.S. to discuss contemporary business issues.
Niroomand anticipates that the School of Business Administration, which recently hosted events on topics including leadership, economic barometers and corporate strategy, will attract a greater number of prestigious speakers to UHV by having the Willis Group as a sponsor.
UHV President Philip Castille said the new lecture series is a value-added event for MBA students.
“It is a great benefit for students to have access to the top executives of the energy business, which is booming in our region of Texas,” Castille said. “Much of the knowledge they will impart can apply to the study of any business, and we are grateful to the Willis Group for partnering with UHV to bring events like these to our campus.”