UNT means business with spring 2017 events

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - 18:42
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers CEO and founder Todd Graves will speak at UNT as part of business-related events and lectures. Photo credit: Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers.
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers CEO and founder Todd Graves will speak at UNT as part of business-related events and lectures. Photo credit: Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers.

DENTON (UNT), Texas — The University of North Texas spring calendar includes several business-related events. Programs and workshops are free, will take place on the UNT campus in Denton and are open to media and the public, unless otherwise noted. Visitors can find parking information at http://transportation.unt.edu/visitor-information. To reserve media passes for any event, contact Monique.Bird@unt.edu or 940-369-7782.


Wren Baker, UNT’s athletic director and vice president for intercollegiate athletics, kicks off the College of Business Eagle Business Network Breakfast Feb. 2 (Thursday) with UNT’s IBM Master the Mainframe contest winner, Brian Powers, as an added spotlight speaker. The guest speakers for March 2, April 6 and May 4 will be announced later. The events allow UNT friends and alumni to engage with dynamic speakers and to share resources, business strategies and tips for career development.

  • When:  7 – 9 a.m. on Thursdays Feb. 2, March 2, April 6 and May 4.
    • Registration and networking begin at 7 a.m., followed by the breakfast buffet at 7:30 a.m. and the program at 8 a.m.
    • Where: Lawry’s The Prime Rib Restaurant and Steakhouse at 14655 Dallas Parkway in Dallas.
    • Register: Tickets cost $18. Registration, sponsorship opportunities and details are at https://www.cob.unt.edu/eaglebusiness/.


J.C. Penney executive Diane Lettelleir, senior managing council, joins the UNT for the JCP Lectureship, a talk on legal issues frequently facing today’s biggest retailers. The event is hosted by the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism.

  • When: 10 – 10:50 a.m. Feb. 6 (Monday).
  • Where: Room 333 of the University Union, at 1155 Union Circle in Denton. 
  • Note: The event is only open to media and UNT students, faculty and staff.


Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers CEO, chairman and founder Todd Graves comes to UNT for the 40th Executive-in-Residence Lecture, hosted by the Department of Hospitality and Tourism. Graves, who also identifies as a fry cook and cashier for the company, created the idea for Raising Cane’s for a college assignment. His business plan for a restaurant that solely sold chicken fingers earned the lowest grade. Similarly, Graves found banks would not provide loan money for the concept, but, undeterred, he worked in oil refineries and commercial fishing to raise capital to later start the company – which now operates 300 restaurants globally.

  • When: Feb. 7 (Tuesday). The talk takes place from 10 – 11 a.m., with networking with Graves from 11 – 11:20 a.m.
  • Where: The ballroom of the UNT Gateway Center at 801 North Texas Blvd. in Denton. 
  • Note: The event is only open to media and UNT hospitality students, faculty and staff.


The UNT College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series launches its spring semester programs with prominent, outside executives who’ll share their views about successful management styles, possible career paths and critical industry issues. The first event in February will feature Brad Campbell, the senior vice president of commercial banking for Regions Bank, who oversees the North and Central Texas region. The March and April speakers will be announced later.

  • When/Where: 10 – 11:30 a.m. on Fridays:
    • February 10 in Room 333C of theUniversity Union at 1155 Union Circle in Denton.
    • March 24 in Room 385 of the University Union.
    • April 14 in Room 70 of the Business Leadership Building at 1307 W. Highland in Denton.
    • Note: The event is only open to media and UNT College of Business students, faculty and staff.


The spring dining season starts Feb. 20 (Monday) for UNT’s student-run restaurant, the Club at Gateway, which is housed inthe UNT Department of Hospitality and Tourism. The venue serves three-course gourmet luncheons to the community and opens twice a year for a limited time, giving students hands-on experience running a hospitality business.

  • Seating: 11 a.m. to noon. Monday – Friday, Feb. 20 – April 28. Closed March 13 – 17 for Spring Break, as well as March 3 for special events. 
  • Where: The Club at Gateway in the Gateway Center at 801 North Texas Blvd.
  • Cost: $8 per person, except for Guest Chef Day on April 4, when tickets will cost $11 per person. Season tickets are discounted to $63 for a book of nine meals, which season ticket holders may use throughout the spring semester except on Guest Chef Day. Cash, check and inter-departmental transfers are accepted forms of payment.
  • Reservations: or call 940-565-4144 for reservations, which are encouraged.
  • Details: Menu and more at https://htm.unt.edu/content/club.


UNT Logistics Annual Transportation Breakfast and Byron Nelson Open House will feature talks from top logistics and supply chain experts. Following the program, attendees are invited to a luncheon at the home of longtime UNT supporter and entrepreneur William “Bill” LaMothe, chairman of the board for PGL. The home event provides attendees with an afternoon of networking, as well as access to the annual AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament in Irving.

  • When: The morning of May 19 (Friday).
  • Where: The Big Brothers Big Sisters headquarters at 450 E. John Carpenter Freeway in Irving.
  • Register: Registration opens in the spring. Ticket and table sponsorship information will be available at that time. 


UNT News Service
(940) 565-2108