SMU Cox Honors Alumni Business Success

by Anna Martinez|

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Anna Martinez

2023 Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards

Dallas, TX (SMU) Friday, May 12, 2023—The SMU Cox School of Business honored three 2023 Distinguished Alumni and two Outstanding Young Alumni during its Alumni Awards luncheon. The event is held every May at the start of commencement weekend on the SMU campus. Award nominations are submitted to the SMU Cox Alumni Association for consideration by a selection committee.  

In alphabetical order, this year’s SMU Cox Distinguished Alumni Award honorees are Mark Griege, BBA’81; Malcolm Holland, BBA ’82; and Bill Vanderstraaten, BBA’82. The Cox School’s 2023 Outstanding Young Alumni honorees, also alphabetically, are Christina Goodman, BBA ‘06, and Indu Sanka, MBA ’16.  

SMU Cox Distinguished Alumni 2023

Mark Griege, BBA’81, is the CEO of RGT Wealth Advisors, which he co-founded in 1985— the same year he completed his Doctor of Jurisprudence from UT Austin School of Law. In 2020, Griege led the sale of RGT to CI Private Wealth to build a national independent wealth management firm. Today, it has 16 offices across the country. D Magazine and Worth Magazine have both named Griege one of the area’s “Best Financial Advisors.” Griege and his wife Peggy are the benefactors of the new lobby—to be known as the Griege Lobby—in the newly renovated Maguire Building, which is currently under construction as part of the Cox School renovation and expansion project. They are also the proud parents of three grown sons, three lovely daughters-in-law, and one grandson.

Malcolm Holland, BBA ’82, is the chairman and CEO of Veritex Holdings and Veritex Community Bank. He’s been a banker his entire professional life, and started his first bank at age 25 in 1985, just three years after he completed his BBA at SMU Cox. Holland has been part of six banks until founding Veritex in 2010. Today, it is the ninth largest headquartered bank in Texas. Holland comes from a long line of SMU alumni. Both of his parents were SMU graduates, as was his wife Ann—who graduated the same year he did. Holland, his family and his company are dedicated SMU supporters. Active in numerous charitable and community activities, Holland and his wife have two grown children and four grandchildren.                                                                                                                                

Bill Vanderstraaten, BBA ’82, founded Chief Partners in the summer of 2007 in partnership with Trevor Rees-Jones. Chief Partners is a family office commercial real estate investment firm, focused on teaming with best-in-class operators across the country. Prior to founding Chief, Bill was one of the original Fund I partners of Thackeray Partners, a real estate private equity firm founded in 2005. Vanderstraaten is a past SMU trustee and past chairman of the SMU Alumni Association. Currently, he serves on the Cox Executive Board and chairs the Advisory Board of the Folsom Institute for Real Estate. His passion for real estate and educating young people about it fuels his efforts for the Cox Real Estate Impact Fund, a three-pronged mission to support scholarships for real estate students; show greater social benefit for the communities in Dallas where the fund invests; and give graduate and undergraduate students an intensive experience in researching, underwriting and presenting opportunities to an investment committee that will oversee their work. Vanderstraaten was instrumental in luring Joseph Cahoon away from UT to become the Folsom Institute’s first director. Together with a committee of real estate alumni, they assembled the Institute’s Advisory Board, which continues to grow in its support of real estate education at Cox. Vanderstraaten and his wife Mimi also created an MBA Endowed Scholarship at Cox. They are active in multiple charitable and civic organizations and are the parents of two children. 

SMU Cox Outstanding Young Alumni 2023

Christina Goodman, BBA ’06, is the vice president for development at Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation. She has nearly two decades of experience in the non-profit sector and began her development career at ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Her time at St. Jude ignited her passion for healthcare philanthropy, which led her to Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation in 2014. Her leadership has impacted numerous philanthropic initiatives across Baylor Scott & White, resulting in millions of dollars of life-saving funding. Goodman was honored by the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy with its 40 Under 40 Award in 2020. Goodman and her husband Travis have three young children.

Indu Sanka, MBA ’16, focused on corporate finance and business analytics during her graduate studies. A number of faculty members who had her in their classes predicted that “Indu Sanka is going to do something special when she graduates. She is the smartest student I’ve ever had.”   Today, Sanka is the president and CEO of Red Elephant, a renowned design and architectural signage manufacturing and installation company that caters to diverse commercial facilities.  Under her guidance, the company has grown tenfold over the past five years and is now listed as an INC 5000 company. She is a trailblazer in the women-owned business community and has built many strategic partnerships with and among women-owned companies. Just last year, Sanka was named an up-and-comer on the Dallas Business Journal’s list of 40 Under 40. 

Nomination Requirements

SMU Cox Distinguished Alumni candidates must hold an undergraduate or graduate degree from SMU and a position of distinction in the business community; demonstrate outstanding career success; be active civic leaders and community partners; and be involved with SMU and the Cox School through activities and contributions. Those recognized as SMU Cox Outstanding Young Alumni must meet the same criteria but can be no more than 40 years of age at the time of the awards luncheon. Nominations for either honor may be sent to Kevin Knox, assistant dean of external relations and executive director of the SMU Cox Alumni Association at

About SMU Cox 

The SMU Cox School of Business celebrated 100 years of business education at SMU in 2020. The Cox School is committed to influencing the way the world conducts business via prolific research that provokes innovation, change and global thought leadership. Cox faculty members strive to connect ground-breaking research to the classroom as well as the marketplace. Cox faculty are widely published in the world’s most prestigious management journals. The Cox School of Business offers a full range of business education programs including BBA, Full-Time MBA, Professional MBA (part-time), Executive MBA, Online MBA (OMBA), Direct Admit MBA and Master’s degree programs, as well as Executive Education. Consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools, SMU Cox maintains an active alumni network and is accredited by the AACSB.    

Left to right: Dean Matt Myers; Cox Outstanding Young Alum Indu Sanka, MBA ’16; Cox Distinguished Alum Malcolm Holland, BBA ’82; Cox Distinguished Alum Bill Vanderstraaten, BBA ’82; Cox Distinguished Alum Mark Griege, BBA ’81; Cox Outstanding Young Alum Christina Goodman, BBA '06; and SMU President R. Gerald Turner.