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Hall of Fame Awardees Commended for Business Excellence
The University of Dallas Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business celebrated and honored its 2021 Hall of Fame inductees during the annual award ceremony virtually on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.
University to celebrate 2021 Gupta Hall of Fame inductees on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.
Inductees include Ramesh Bhatia, MBA ’82, former president and CEO of Atco Rubber Products in Fort Worth, Texas, and founder of The Ramesh and Kalpana Bhatia Family Foundation; Sonia Kirkpatrick, MBA ’11, founder and CEO of PediaPlex; and Bruce Evans, professor emeritus of management.

Established in 2015, the Gupta Business Hall of Fame recognizes, honors and celebrates outstanding business leaders who have achieved significant success in their chosen fields and embody the spirit of the college of business. 

In 1978, Ramesh Bhatia served as the Manager of Special Projects at ATCO Rubber Products. In this leadership role, he led the company's headquarters move from Michigan to a more central location in Fort Worth, Texas. The years proved the wisdom of this calculated risk. The company significantly expanded its workforce and built fourteen manufacturing plants in the United States and additional plants throughout Europe, India, and the Middle East. While pursuing his UD MBA, Bhatia learned strategies to develop ATCO's supply chain management system and rapid response with an overnight delivery network, leading the company to become the world's largest flexible duct manufacturer. When he retired as CEO 40 years later, Bhatia was proud of the company's success. 

Bhatia immigrated to New York from India with a mechanical engineering degree and little money. Surviving on $1 per day, he ultimately found a job in an engineering consulting firm that valued his potential and loyalty, providing him with project management opportunities around the globe. Shortly after, ATCO recruited him. Today, he and his wife dedicate their time to The Ramesh and Kalpana Bhatia Family Foundation, which they founded in 2006 to make an impactful change, funding innovative solutions and programs that enrich communities and serve the common good.

Recently retired professor Bruce Evans came to the University of Dallas in 1969, when the Graduate School of Management was only newly formed. Serving UD longer than any other business faculty, Evans is creator of the Gupta College of Business Capstone Experience, which provides MBA students with real-life opportunities and strategic challenges posed by chief executives of major and mid-sized companies. Evans has instructed nearly 200 Capstones and impacted hundreds of UD students.

A beloved champion of the UD community, Evans took part in life on campus, engaging students in tennis competitions and table tennis or entertaining with his clarinet. His band, Sound Judgment, has played at the President’s Reception, Cotillion Ball, staff Christmas lunch, and Alumni and Family Weekend. Prior to his UD career, Evans worked as a reinsurance underwriter at CIGNA, followed by a position as vice president of reinsurance at Transport Insurance. He earned his MBA from the University of Michigan and his undergraduate degree from Kent State University.

Sonia Kirkpatrick is the founder and CEO of PediaPlex LLC, “an all-inclusive diagnostic and therapeutic clinic offering speech therapy, occupational therapy, feeding therapy and ABA therapy.” With centers around Dallas/Fort Worth, Kirkpatrick has created “a supportive community for children on the autism spectrum and their families.” She is also the CEO of VanDMC LLC, a full-service digital marketing agency. Endorsed by her colleagues and members of her network, her skills include strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and accounting. 

The university awarded Kirkpatrick with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013. She serves on the Gupta College of Business Advisory Board and is a former alumna commencement speaker and panelist of the annual Women in Business Leadership Panel discussions. In the wider community, Kirkpatrick serves on the board for the Hill School of Fort Worth, the advisory committee for Parker University’s American Occupational Therapy Association program, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History Advisory ASD Board. In 2017, she was the keynote commencement speaker for Parker University Health Sciences.

For all media inquiries and further information contact: Rebecca Almanza, Director of Corporate & Community Partnerships, at 972-721-4139 or ralmanza@udallas.edu.

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