Milestones have marked Vicky Teherani's professional career. She became the first female officer of Belo Corp. in 1992 and the first chief operating officer for PAJ, Inc. in Dallas in 1998.
At media giant Belo she began as a treasury analyst and, after 14 years and numerous promotions, advanced to general manager of management services. She then spent nine years with PAJ, a global jewelry wholesaler, before starting her own private equity firm in October.
As CEO of Dallas-based VT Capital, Teherani ('79 BBA, '81 MBA) seeks investment opportunities via equity positions or partnership arrangements primarily in the service industry.
"My education at UTA gave me a strong foundation to be competitive in the workplace," she said. "I have come to realize that I am as good as the next person, or better, because of my UTA education."
She wants others to have the same competitive advantage. While helping her daughter, Mehgan, with the college application process in 2005, she thought about ways to aid students who can't afford college.
She co-founded the Asia Scholarship Endowment with Anson Chan in the UT Arlington College of Business Administration. The scholarship supports international diversity efforts and is open to eligible undergraduate and graduate business students.
"I felt that a scholarship would help those Asian students who are motivated but can't afford to obtain a higher education degree," she said. "I had a great educational experience at UTA and want others to experience it as well."
The Hong Kong native vividly recalls a graduate class taught by the late John Stanley, a professor of management.
"During one of my presentations, I told Dr. Stanley to shut up so I could finish," she said. "He told me he gave me an A for my courage to tell him to shut up, which, at the time, I did not know was rude."
Teherani met her husband, Siroos, in graduate school. He was in that same class. "To this day, it bothers him, because he studied harder and received only a B," she said. Vicky and Siroos own an accounting and investment practice in Dallas and have two children.
Teherani, who has served on the College of Business Administration's advisory board, hopes her contribution will encourage others to give back.
"I am challenging the alumni to contribute to the scholarship," she said. "We do not need to do it in a big way, but with everyone's contribution, we can make a big difference. It is our responsibility to ensure that we have filled the pipeline with the next generation of leaders."
— Jim Patterson
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