The Catalyst at SMU

Military Transition Program| From Boots to Boardroom

Program Fast Facts

  • Start date: April 24, 2022
  • Full-time
  • Online
  • One Semester
  • 17,995


Daniel Hance is the Creator/CEO of The Catalyst. He is a former US Army Officer, and Iraq War combat veteran. Daniel initially conceptualized the framework for The Catalyst in 2005, when he returned to college to complete his undergraduate degree after returning from serving in Iraq. He experienced firsthand how frustrating the transition back to the classroom can be for both veterans and their spouses, which inspired him to create a program to help make the change easier for military families. Upon exiting active service, Daniel spent time in leadership development programs at both Walmart and General Electric (GE), When he realized that there is a better way to assess talent and find ‘fit’, Daniel dropped out of business school to create The Catalyst. Daniel is also the recipient of the Evan Williams American Hero (2020) award.

Matthew Rowe has earned several industry certifications as an operations and business process improvement professional and is an award-winning Senior Member of the American Society for Quality. He has held leadership positions at world class corporations like General Electric (GE), Cendant Corporation and Ingersoll Rand. His work and consulting experience include insurance operations and sales, mortgages, manufacturing, distribution, hospitality and travel, power generation and delivery, and operations in not-for-profit organizations.

Matt is a decorated Special Forces “Green Beret” having graduated from the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center & School and serving on active duty in the 7th Special Forces Group. He later graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Government from Campbell University in North Carolina, and earned his M.B.A. at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business on a full corporate scholarship from General Electric.

He is an accomplished speaker and presenter, and the author of various professional papers and articles. He coauthored the feature article "Cover Your Bases: Double Up Your Approach to Guarantee Successful Process Improvement" for American Society for Quality in its monthly peer reviewed magazine, Quality Progress. Matt is also the author of the novel "White Passage: Red Sun," which is loosely based upon his experiences as a Green Beret during the drug war in Latin America.

Liz Homan currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer for The Catalyst. In her role, she is responsible for all marketing and branding strategies to establish The Catalyst as the leading military transition company in the United States. In addition to driving all marketing strategies for the enterprise, she also leads business development efforts with educational institutions and local government officials.

Prior to co-founding The Catalyst, Liz spent over 14 years in marketing and brand management for a range of industries including transportation, financial services, healthcare and consumer goods. Most notably, while working in Brand Management for Procter & Gamble, Liz had the opportunity to grow the brands of Tide and Secret. Liz graduated from Ohio University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on marketing. She earned her M.B.A. from Miami University in 2016.
Currently, Liz shares her marketing expertise as an adjunct professor and looks forward to educating and mentoring veterans as they enter the private sector.

Gary Stratton is associate professor of economics and finance at Kentucky State University (KSU) and Executive Director for the KSU Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy. While Gary teaches KSU students, and K-12 instructors in the economic and financial discipline, his true passion is entrepreneurship and innovation.

Gary grew up on a Mercer County farm in Central Kentucky, and from a very young age was interested in solving problems and creating businesses. The farm experience encouraged an entrepreneurial culture and an innovative way of thinking that Gary has carried into the academic arena.

Gary’s entrepreneurial pursuits have included real estate, marketing, and financial advising. Gary received his Bachelors in Economics/Finance at the University of Kentucky, his Master’s in economics from Murray State University and his Ph.D. in Economics from Clemson University.

Brad B McCormick is Principal at 10 Louder, a modern marketing consultancy base in Dallas, TX. An agency veteran, Brad has nearly 20 years of experience in helping global B2C & B2B companies create engagement in the digital world.

A native Texan, Brad spent the majority of his agency career in New York City where he held such titles as a senior digital producer, senior digital strategist, and Global Digital Director. Brad has worked with a long list of clients with a broad range of industries. He has strategic digital experience in the CPG (Gillette, Kellogg, LEGO), technology (Cisco, HP, XEROX PARC), healthcare (Johnson & Johnson, Novartis), government (US Dept. of Homeland Security, Council on Foreign Relations), and nonprofit (Smokeybear, Girl Scouts) industries. Communication Arts, the Webby Awards, SXSWi and the One Show has recognized his team's work.

Brad is President Emeritus of the DFW chapter of the American Marketing Association. He teaches both Digital Marketing Strategy and Management and B2B Digital Marketing Strategy at SMU. Brad has been quoted in the New York Times and Business Week and has written for both PRWeek & Ad AgePR Week named Brad one of the four "Top Digital Creative Minds" in the industry. Brad is also a certified scrum master in agile project management. Brad holds a B.S. in Creative Advertising and a B.A. in American Studies / Liberal Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently earning his M.B.A. from the Smartly Institute.

Originally from Dallas Texas, Dr. Bivin Sadler finished a BS in mathematics magna cum laude from Texas Tech University before beginning his professional career in Scottsdale, Arizona, at Motorola. He worked as a statistician and software engineer for 2.5 years, working primarily on a companywide tool to predict when software projects could be released with optimal statistical properties (Six Sigma). Upon completion of the project, he moved to San Diego, and while playing professional beach volleyball for two years, finished a master’s degree in applied math at San Diego State University. He then moved back to Dallas to earn a PhD in statistics from SMU and finished his degree in 2014 after winning the Walsh Award for the top score on the qualifying exam taken after the third year of coursework.

Dr. Sadler was hired as part of the faculty at SMU after graduation and began a dual appointment teaching both undergraduate and graduate classes in the statistics department and online with the newly formed Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program. Academically, he has presented his work in item response theory at various conferences and is currently working on several domestic and international consulting projects. He became a full-time member of the MSDS faculty in August 2018 and, in addition to consulting projects and teaching, is working on developing new courses in time series and business analytics.

Dr. Klyne Smith has more than 30 years of IT and Telecommunication technical experience in project management, complex solution delivery, requirements, business development, consulting, and operations.  He has managed end-to-end solutions across IT, transportation, sports, retail, utilities, finance, entertainment, and telecommunication.  Dr. Smith has successfully delivered solutions on 5 continents and in over 20 countries.

Dr. Smith has his Doctor of Engineering from Southern Methodist University; BS in Computer Science / Mathematics from Xavier University; MIS from George Washington University MBA from Christian Brothers University; certifications in Project Manager (PMP) and Diversity & Inclusion.

John Carr is the Assistant Vice President of Operational Implementations for Southwest Business Corporation (SWBC) a financial services company. In this role, he is responsible for the end-to-end implementation of new clients in both Collateral Protection Insurance and Mortgage Insurance, as well as product enhancements to existing clients. Prior to this role, John was the Director of U.S. Strategy for Argo Group, a multi-national specialty insurance company, and Director of Real Estate Business Development at USAA, a financial service company. John also served for 5 years in the U.S. Army as a Field Artillery Officer and is an Iraq Combat Veteran.
John holds a B.A. in Political Science from Wake Forest University and an EMBA from Purdue University.

Dan Halverstadt has held many key positions throughout his career. He currently is the Vice President of Operations Excellence for Scope Services, a Utility Service company where he leads deployment of Smart City programs for some of the nation’s largest utility companies. Before joining Scope Services, he served as Vice President of Quality and Training at USIC where he led a team of 64 to train over 5000 new technicians each year.

Dan also served in the United States Air Force (USAF) for 22 years as an Aircraft Loadmaster amassing 4000 flight hours and 1000 combat hours. He held numerous leadership positions, serving as the KC-46 Production Manager, Superintendent of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School and Superintendent Standards and Evaluations. He was integral to the Six Sigma design of the Joint Strike Fighter’s development test hanger – the largest acquisition program in DoD history. He has received several honors including eLearning Magazines High Performer Award, Brandon Hall award for Best Results in a Learning Program, Phi Theta Kapa, Manga cum Laude, Golden Key Honor Society, and the Air Force Young Leader Award.

Dan received an MBA from Purdue University, and earned a MS in quality engineering and management and BS in industrial technology from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.