Gene Camarena Joins Barton School Dean’s Advisory Board

The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University is pleased to announce that Gene Camarena is joining the Dean’s Advisory Board. He currently serves as the president and CEO of La Raza Pizza, Inc. As a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, Camarena will help advance the mission and strategic priorities of the Barton School by strengthening, enriching, and enhancing programming, impact, and the student experience.

“This spring semester, my wife and I had the privilege of serving as Entrepreneurs-in-Residence for the Barton School," stated Camarena. "It was an enriching experience, prompting me to seek further opportunities to contribute to the school's advancement. As a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, I am committed to making a lasting, sustainable impact on its future and shaping the trajectory of its students.”

As president and CEO of La Raza Pizza, Gene’s business interests include Pizza Hut restaurants, Marriott hotels, banking, and real estate development. In the past 10 years, these business holdings have been recognized as being in the top 150 largest Hispanic-owned businesses in the country.

“We are very excited to have Gene join our board,” said Margaret Dechant, chair of the Barton School Dean’s Advisory Board as well as CEO and Partner at 6 Meridian. “His business acumen, upbringing and passion for education will make him a welcomed addition.”

He served three terms as the chair of the International Pizza Hut Franchise Association board and was recently inducted into the Pizza Hut Franchisee Hall of Fame. He also serves as chair of Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters, Empower, the Pizza Hut Foundation and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.  Gene is a board member of Work Torch, Hispanics in Real Estate, United Way of the Plains, and the University of Kansas Endowment Board of Trustees. He received an honorary doctorate degree from Wichita State University, a master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business of Administration from the University of Kansas.

“Gene's vibrant, authentic and genuine nature, coupled with his profound dedication to the Barton School's endeavors, is truly commendable," remarked Dr. Larisa Genin, Dean of the Barton School. "His participation on our advisory board promises to elevate discussions with a wealth of insightful perspectives and invigorating enthusiasm, enriching the collaborative spirit of our esteemed group”.

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