By: Kim Clary, Director Of Client Success

It’s a rare and unique blessing in this life to not only enjoy your craft but to also enjoy your colleagues—and even your clients!

Joe Stephens, Assistant Dean & Director, The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business, is not just a client but a dear friend. Building a relationship with Joe and his family has been full of joy. Over dinners, country two-stepping, and the Mister Rogers movie, my colleagues and I have had the privilege of forging wonderful relationships with Joe, his family, and his tremendous colleagues (Rebecca Gutierrez, Robert Alanis, Ariel Brown, Andrea Kehoe, Misael Mendoza-Valdez, Teresa Phillips, and Stephen Limberg).

Odyssey Teams has partnered with Joe over the past decade at University of Missouri and UT Austin to bring powerful philanthropic team building programs for his MBA students. Joe has been a part of the Odyssey Teams family well before I joined the gang. His belief in our work has led to dozens of transformational corporate team building programs for his MBA students.

This August, we partnered with Joe to provide three Helping Hands programs and one Life Cycles program – we were in Austin a lot!  Joe eagerly shares the Odyssey Teams goodness with his students and at our insistence, he invited wife and two daughters to attend a Helping Hands session right alongside the students.

I was not surprised to discover that his family is just as amazing as he is. I had the privilege of partnering with his eldest daughter Caroline on an exercise about why it was important to the students to finish strong.  Joe asked me to change Caroline’s question to, “Why does she want to learn Chinese?” I was so impressed by her answers. She wants to learn Chinese so that she can become an international business consultant, command a healthy salary, enjoy going to work every day, raise an amazing family, and impact the world.

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t spoken to very many eighth graders with this kind of global mindset. Caroline is growing up in a powerful culture of learning. Watching Associate Dean at Texas McCombs, Steve Limberg, interact with Joe and his family during The Helping Hands program made me a little bit jealous of the immersion into the pool of brilliant minds that Caroline and her sister Cate are receiving at such a young age.  

Every single colleague of Joe’s absolutely loves him and his family. We are so grateful for “frients” (friend/clients – I just made up a word : ) ) like Joe.

If you’d like more information on team building programs for MBA students or other student groups, please email me at