Comet Calendar

Pathways to Employment - EPPS Entrepreneurs

The Pathways to Employment Series brings EPPS and the University Career Center together with current UT Dallas students for advice on how to find your ideal role. Undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni are invited to attend this session. 

Upcoming Event:
EPPS Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Michelle Coyle, BA Political Science
President of BGSD Strategies

Brandon Friedman, MPA
CEO of Rakkasan Tea Company

Dan Healy, BA Government & Politics 
CEO of Civitas Capital Group

Hosted by Satin Blair
UT Dallas University Career Center Career Consultant


Michelle Coyle, BA Political Science

Michelle Coyle is an expert in the business of politics and is known throughout the industry as the go-to coach for progressive political entrepreneurs. Michelle and her team at BGSD Strategies, a boutique management consulting firm, specialize in rapidly scaling small businesses and advocacy organizations, and have been instrumental in launching and growing dozens of political businesses over the past 2 years.

In addition to being a management consultant, Michelle is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. She owns GSD Workclub, a chain of coworking spaces, and holds equity several other ventures including Campaign Greenhouse, Grow Progress, Dagne Dover, and Sugar Shack.

Brandon Friedman, MPA

Brandon Friedman is the co-founder and CEO of two companies, most recently Dallas-based Rakkasan Tea Company, a startup that promotes peace and development by importing and selling premium loose-leaf tea grown solely in post-conflict countries.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Brandon served in the Obama administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. There, he played a key role leading communications for Secretary Julián Castro and the department’s 8,000 employees. Brandon was previously a vice president with global PR firm FleishmanHillard, an aide to now-Senator Tammy Duckworth at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and a spokesperson for He began his career as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, serving in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

A frequent media contributor since 2007, Brandon is a regular columnist for the New York Daily News. He has appeared on CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Al Jazeera and C-SPAN. His memoir, The War I Always Wanted, was recognized in 2010 by The Military Times as one of “The Best Military Books of the Decade.” Brandon graduated from UTD in 2006 with an MPA. 

Dan Healy, BA Government & Politics

Mr. Healy is founder and CEO of Civitas Capital Group, an investment management firm based in Dallas, Texas. Under his leadership since 2009, the firm has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in Dallas with assets under management of over $1.7 billion, invested primarily in real estate, lodging and related asset classes. Mr. Healy continues to be responsible for all facets of the firm’s strategic growth, identifying talent, delivering expertise, and ensuring the firm’s two operating divisions, Alternative Investments and EB-5 Capital, have an unrelenting focus on customer service.

The growing Alternative Investments group focuses on managing global capital for insurance companies, pension funds, family offices and other clients, while the EB-5 Capital division has become an industry leader, frequently cited for its innovative public-private partnership with the City of Dallas Office of Economic Development. Today, Civitas has an unparalleled reputation for quality and analytical rigor and serves more than 1,400 individual and institutional investors from over 40 countries.

Prior to founding Civitas, Mr. Healy held senior executive roles with a boutique real estate investment fund and with Highland Capital Management, LP. Mr. Healy holds an MBA from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Texas at Dallas. He serves on the Board of Directors of Invest in the USA (IIUSA), the nonprofit trade association representing regional center operators. An active member of the Dallas business and civic community, Mr. Healy is a member of the Dallas Citizens Council and the Dallas Assembly.

Dial-In Information

This will be a Microsoft Teams meeting. Please register for this event.  Please ensure your speakers are on or use a headset connected to your device. Closed captioning is available, and there will be a moderated Q-and-A forum. This event is open to all current students and alumni.

Wednesday, October 7 at 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Virtual Event

Persons with disabilities may submit a request for accommodations to participate in this event at UT Dallas' ADA website. You may also call (972) 883-5331 for assistance or send an email to All requests should be received no later than 2 business days prior to the event.


Career and Professional Development, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Diversity & Inclusion, Campus Life

Contact Information
Satin Blair
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