Gil Heldenfels, Texas State University
Title: Chair of the Patron's Board
Employer: Texas State University
“I believe the blend of technical and management education, combined with quality industry interaction, not only prepares CIM students to become better leaders for our industry but also innovators.”
What is your involvement in the CIM program? Why did you get involved with the program?
I’m currently serving as Chair of the Patron’s Board for the CIM program at Texas State University. I’ve been aware of CIM since its early days at Middle Tennessee State University and was always impressed by the emphasis CIM places on students connecting to the industry. The program had strong university and industry support in Texas so I was confident it would be successful. It has been an honor to work this esteemed group of industry members and faculty to help the program and students however I can.
Why have you and your company made the commitment to the CIM program? What benefits do you think it will bring to your company?
Like many in our industry, we recognized the need for a quality education that prepares future leaders specifically for our industry. One of our core values at Heldenfels Enterprises is innovation. I believe the blend of technical and management education, combined with quality industry interaction, not only prepares CIM students to become better leaders for our industry but also innovators.
What are your thoughts about the industry/academic partnership between CIM and its industry partners and patrons?
I believe the industry/academic partnership is crucial and sets CIM apart from other degree programs. It plays a key role in ensuring CIM students are better prepared to make an impact in whatever role they decide to take in our industry.
How can they get involved?
Companies and individuals that want to become involved in CIM can do so in a number of ways. While financial contributions to patrons groups are always appreciated, there are other ways to be involved that are just as important. They can offer summer jobs and internships, be guest lecturers for CIM classes, sponsor a Capstone class project, host facility or job site tours or assist students with their projects by supplying materials, equipment, or expertise. Also, whenever you see CIM students at industry events like World of Concrete, simply take some time to get to know them and talk to them about your company or job.
What is your vision for the CIM program?
I’d like to see CIM continue to grow at universities with existing CIM programs and at new universities across the country. Ultimately, I’d like CIM to have a common reputation among prospective students as an exciting field of study that is unique in its association with the industry and that provides rewarding career opportunities. I believe this is a true statement but we still have a lot of work to do to create that common awareness.