2023 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Ted Saltzman, Texas Christian University (Neeley)

Ted Saltzman

Texas Christian University, Neeley School of Business

Age: 44

“Competitive; High-Energy; Confident; Determined; Ambitious; Passionate; Emotional; Versatile; Motivated; Reliable; Over-achiever; Driven.”

Hometown: Waxahachie, Texas

Family Members: Kate Saltzman (Wife); Damien Saltzman (Son); Kolton Saltzman (Son); Makayla Rogers (Stepdaughter); Morgan Rogers (Stepdaughter); Charlene Saltzman (Mother)

Fun fact about yourself: I have completed a full Ironman and once pulled a man from a burning vehicle.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor of Science, 2001 @ Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas; Executive MBA, 2023 @ Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas

Where are you currently working? Hubbard-Hall (corporately based in Waterbury, CT) as the Director of Business Development and Sales

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:           Outstanding Classmate Award Executive MBA TCU, Class of 2023

Youth Basketball Coach, YMCA 2018,2020

Founder, Gentlemen of Waxahachie (a non-profit focused on the health, well-being, and mentorship of young men in our community)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am the proudest of the founding of Gentlemen of Waxahachie. I was inspired by our course on Innovation to take an idea that I had for some time and bring it to life. I was amazed at the outpouring of support from local men and people outside of my community to make a positive impact on the young men in my city. In approximately one year of existence, we have aided a homeless veteran in getting a job and an apartment and regaining his dignity and purpose in life. We gifted seven children with completely new wardrobes this past Christmas, and we have provided 100% scholarships for two young men at the Boys & Girls Club Summer Program.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am proudest that I made my father proud of me and that he could see the beginning of my career success before he passed away. My undergrad was not business-focused, but I was driven to succeed and aligned myself with several amazing mentors who saw my competitive nature and invested in my development. I read business books, attended numerous training courses, asked thousands of questions, and spent hours researching topics I didn’t understand. My passion for learning and determination to constantly improve has led me to this place in my career, and I am not satisfied yet.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Dr. David Weltman was my favorite professor because he made statistical modeling, simulations, and analytics come to life. He allowed his personality to shine through in the classroom, making the learning experience fun and memorable.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex has several highly-ranked business schools, but the TCU Neeley School of Business Executive MBA has always been the one I held in the highest regard. With numerous Top 10 Rankings and their focus on Executive Leadership that values Strategic Vision, Innovation, Finance, and Ethical Decision Making, it perfectly aligned with my aspirations and undergraduate experience in Theology.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Having been successful as an individual contributor early in my career, I have struggled to lead with empathy and understanding. Spending 18 months working alongside other highly successful professionals taught me how to show empathy and connect with everyone on my team effectively. The focused teaching of executive leadership was exactly what I was looking for and needed to take the next step in my career development.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? There is no better time to start than right now. Identify a program focusing on the soft and hard skills you are most interested in developing. Get ready to work hard, grow beyond your expectations, and build relationships that will help shape your future success.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? The belief that somehow your current knowledge base or experiences disqualify you. Each member of my cohort brought powerful work experience that, when shared, helped to shape conversations, learning, and the entire program experience. My fear of failure assured me that I would be the least qualified student in my cohort and struggle to pass the courses. That drove me to push myself to my limits, attain a 4.0 in the program, and hopefully inspire others to return to school and springboard their careers to new levels.

What was your biggest regret in business school? This seems cliché, but my biggest regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. I allowed self-doubt to hold me back from embarking on this journey several years ago.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Newy Scruggs and Josh Hill are two classmates who I admire greatly. Newy has spent his career as a sports broadcaster and returned to school to increase his business acumen and be better prepared to face the ever-changing world of broadcasting. Newy brought amazing perspectives to many topics in the program and is an amazing role model to his children to never stop learning and improving themselves. Josh entered the program shortly after retiring from the United States Air Force after almost 20 years of service. Josh’s military service and global experience were an asset to our cohort, and the team mindset that he operates under made him a pleasure to work on projects with. Josh’s current employment takes him around the globe. Even though he would be many time zones off from his team, he made team calls, fulfilled his obligations, and contributed to every assignment. His work ethic was truly inspiring.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? I investigated several different options before deciding on the TCU Executive MBA program. None offered the breadth and depth I desired regarding executive leadership and the strategic approach needed to succeed in today’s business environment. I knew I wanted to expand my professional network in the DFW area, and I believed that spending 18 months in a cohort would create the learning environment and relationships I needed.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I want to become a Chief Commercial Officer, overseeing business development, sales, and marketing. The EMBA journey at TCU Neeley School of Business helped me realize that I possess skills I have taken for granted that would benefit me in a CCO role. Having spent most of my career in small to mid-size organizations, I would like to help a company of this size scale to the next level of revenue and profitability through a strategic approach that maximizes market intelligence and the voice of the customer.

What made Ted such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Ted possesses the virtues celebrated by Poets& Quants as hallmarks of the best and brightest students. He is the standout among incredibly smart and talented individuals: the go-to student leader who is admired — if not adored — by classmates and faculty alike. He is a catalyst who inspires action, an innovator who unleashes talent, and a dreamer who scrapes his vision into reality. With dogged determination, he questions, prods, pushes, probes and challenges not only the unknown, but often the known; never satisfied with taking anything at face value. With his exceptional critical thinking skills, Ted asks thought-provoking questions of his professors and, with a great sense of humor, motivates his peers to engage in strenuous intellectual analysis. He ignites a spark within others, encouraging them to think beyond the ordinary and embrace their own potential. His humility and humanity, however, make it easy for others to respect him, seek out his wisdom and be inspired by him.”

Gregg Lehman
Adjunct Professor for Entrepreneurship


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