University of Houston-Victoria President Tim Hudson was featured in the Aug. 2007 edition of Business South Texas Magazine. The article focused on how the best business deals can occur in unusual and unexpected circumstances.
The article uses a major airline to carry the unconventional business deal scenario.
In 1967, the idea of creating a short-haul airline was conceived in St. Anthony’s Club in San Antonio by Herbert D. Kelleher and Rollin W. King—and then scribbled it onto a napkin. Four years later, Airline Southwest, what we know today as Southwest Airlines, booked its first commercial flights.
According to the article, Hudson is also one who recognizes opportunity, even in the most atypical situations.
Hudson, while working as dean of International and Continuing Education at the University of Southern Mississippi, frequently traveled to Japan. One of his primary duties was to market English-training courses to Japanese business people.
On one such visit to Tokyo after a day of formal presentations, Hudson found himself and several of his Japanese associates in a karaoke bar that specialized in country-western music.
Hudson spoke of how informal the occasion was and described conducting business in Japan much like conducting business in Texas, “Business relationships are built on personal trust.”
“That night, we participated heavily in their culture and came to know one another as individuals,” Hudson said.
Hudson and his Japanese colleagues strengthened their working relationship with a relaxed round of slightly discordant singing. Comfortable with each other, Hudson and his Japanese business associates were ready to sign a deal—but there was one thing missing, according to the article: they had no paper.
They improvised and used one of the waiter’s Hachimaki’s, a form of Japanese headband or bandana, to sign their deal.
“We never had a moment’s trouble with the relationship because we shook hands and showed respect for each other’s culture,” Hudson said.
Hudson has been the president of UHV since 2004. Previously, he served as provost and founding dean of the College of International and Continuing Education at the University of Southern Mississippi and as an analyst for the U. S. Department of State. He received his Ph.D. in geography from Clark University in Worcester, Mass.