Texas Tech to Honor Six at Mass Communications Outstanding Alumni Breakfast

Written by:  Morgan Grubbs Texas Tech University’s College of Mass Communications will host the Outstanding Alumni Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 16 in the Merket Alumni Center. Jerry C. Hudson, dean of the College of Mass Communications, said recognition of the outstanding alumni reflects pride in their accomplishments as well as pride in the faculty of the college. “We recognize our alumni for their outstanding careers in mass communications,” Hudson said. “The education our alumni received at Texas Tech prepares them to compete in a global environment.” Clay Wright graduated in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is the owner and executive producer of Desert Gem Productions Inc., a production company with diverse projects covering news, film, broadcast and corporate accounts. Wright was previously a freelance reporter and producer for NBC News, and covered Hurricane Katrina, Enron, United States-Mexico border issues, the shuttle disaster, Elizabeth Smart, the Iraq War, American POWs and fires in California and New Mexico. He has also completed production projects for companies such as the Discovery Channel, Warner Brothers, CNN, National Geographic and the Travel Channel. Kelly Overley earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations in 1992 and is currently the vice chancellor for institutional advancement and the chief operating officer of the Texas Tech Foundation. She is responsible for all fundraising initiatives of the Texas Tech University System, which has an endowment of $750 million. Under her leadership, the Texas Tech University System improved its 2008 ranking in the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s program, Philanthropy 400, from No. 303 to No. 137. At Texas Tech, she has started an ambitious $1 billion capital campaign. She manages a staff of 110 employees, the largest Texas Tech University System department. Telea Johnson Stafford is an executive member of the Texas Tech Alumni Board of Directors and the chair of the membership/marketing/diversity committee. She earned her bachelor’s degree in advertising in 1994 and has since had more than 15 years of experience in brand marketing, media and consumer licensing. Stafford is the director of brand marketing and business development for Phenixx Marketing LLC. From 2003 to 2007, she worked as a manager for Cadbury Schweppes in Plano, where she positioned Cadbury Schweppes as a leader within the licensing community by launching a consumer-licensing program and climbing to the top 100 in 12 months. Previously she worked as account director for Nokia Entertainment/TracyLocke in Dallas. Linda Francis Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising in 1981. She is an author and has written 19 novels published in 16 countries around the world. Her books have been nominated for the RITA award and have named Best Book of the Year by readers and booksellers. Two of her most recent novels are in development for feature films, including “The Devil in the Junior League,” which has been optioned by Universal Studios with Jennifer Garner signed on to produce and star. Lee is in the process of developing a television series set in Texas with producer Jonathan Prince. When not writing, Lee is involved in volunteer work with organizations such as St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in New York City and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Holly Williams received a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications in 1984 and a master’s degree in mass communications in 1985, both from Texas Tech. She is a sales and marketing professional with experience and accomplishments in sales and marketing management, direct selling, high-level corporate consulting and new product development. From 2005 to 2007, Williams was vice president for media services for Experian Research Services in New York. From 2003 to 2005, Williams was vice president of marketing solutions for Comscore Media Metrix, also in New York, where she was responsible for designing products and marketing custom solutions and consumer surveys to the cable and telecommunications industries. From 1998 to 2003, Williams was director of local research and marketing services for America Online Inc., of Time Warner Inc., in New York. Williams was senior vice president for strategic media from 1996 to 1998 for International Demographics/The Media Audit, of New York. Rick Walker earned his bachelor’s degree in public relations. He is the director of strategic alliances for Microsoft in its telecommunications and media-focused partner team based in Redmond, Wash. He is responsible for Microsoft’s go-to-market sales and business development efforts with United States and global partners. For the past decade, Walker has been engaged in international partner development in the telecommunications industry in similar roles with AT&T Mobility (Cingular) and Nortel Networks. For reservations, call (806) 742-3385 ext. 221. CONTACT: Morgan Grubbs, public relations intern, College of Mass Communications, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3385, or morgan.grubbs@ttu.edu.