Business Savvy Opposites Attract Student Interest

Published: April 01, 2013

Business Savvy Opposites Attract Student Interest

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. Ben  Blanco introduced two guest speakers to his Retail Management class on Wednesday, March 27, in the O’Connor building, as part of his lineup of successful and prominent business men and women in the working world.

Students attentively listened to Jeff Henry, Owner of the new Corpus Christi Schlitterbahn, as he shared his experiences of working in the waterpark industry.

“We’re trying to take the waterpark industry worldwide,” said Henry. “We really do bring families together.”

Henry’s parents opened the original Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas, in 1979, and the company has been thriving in providing family-friendly fun ever since.  Henry and his siblings helped run the company as children, inspiring him to open his own waterpark. The 58-year-old entrepreneur has been responsible for more than 60 patents, including the uphill Master Blaster, and interconnecting conveyer belt systems, representing his raw innovation.

Schlitterbahn currently has parks and resorts in Galveston Island, New Braunfels, South Padre Island, and Kansas City, Kan. The Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi Waterpark and Resort will open May 1, 2014.

“We never knew when we started, where this was going,” said Henry. “Take all the risks you can. The back burner is on!”

Blanco’s second guest, Liza Mucheru-Wisner, a native of Nairobi, Kenya, enveloped the class with her positive spirit and determination.

“I like to think forward,” said Wisner. “You always have to be thinking ahead.”

Wisner graduated from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2004 and has been climbing the ladder of success ever since. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science followed by a Master of Science in Educational Technology, Wisner started her own technology company that teaches under privileged children and adults how to operate computers and software. Wisner was also a 2010 contestant on season 10 of the ABC hit show “The Apprentice,” being fired by Donald Trump from the show only three participants shy of a victory.

“She’s got the right attitude,” said Blanco. “The word ‘can’t’ isn’t in her vocabulary!”

Wisner is also a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) partner, Jamba Juice Ambassador, and the Ambassador for Justin Bieber’s new perfume, Girlfriend, in which all proceeds are donated to Pencils of Promise, an organization that helps build educational programs in high need communities.

“Liza was pretty inspirational,” said Desiree Pena, a business management senior. “Her personality made me want to do better things for my community here in Corpus Christi.”