Mark Banks is one of the founders and Education Director of Amy’s EDU, a branch of Amy’s Ice Creams dedicated to igniting bright minds, promoting clear and confident communication between the front line and executives, and developing a leadership mentality.
Mark Banks is Operations Manager of Amy’s Ice Creams and has been a member of the Executive Leadership team for nine years. Mark designed and created MBAmy's, an internal education program that teaches the value of entrepreneurship and financial literacy, making the once elite terms and practices of “Business” accessible to everyone. This curriculum offers classes in open book management, customer service, product knowledge, and leadership development. He serves as a coach and mentor for 15 units overseeing 200 employees. With annual sales approaching $10 million it takes a lot of ice cream to keep the lights on. As such, Mark teaches employees that finance is sweet and essential. His favorite ice cream flavor is Butter Brick.
Mark is also a professional speech and debate coach with extensive teaching experience at George Mason University and The University of Texas at Austin to name a few, and has been awarded many accolades for his public speaking experience of over 20 years.
Aaron M. Clay
Aaron M. Clay, Marketing and Communications Director at Amy’s Ice Creams, has been a member of the Executive Leadership team for six years. He has taken a pivotal role in the advancement of open book management at Amy’s Ice Creams. In addition to leading the company game as a coach, he has developed core curriculum for MBAmy's, an internal and education programs and created an internship program that encourages continuous engagement and a fresh perspective from college students.
Aaron is also a co-founder and coach for Amy's EDU, dedicated to educating businesses on culture, open book management, and customer service among other courses. Aaron specializes in adapting the methods taught into best practices in a client's organization or company.
Aaron also serves on the Board of Directors for WeViva, a non-profit providing accessible (free) fitness and nutrition programs to Austin's low income communities.
As a gadget nerd Aaron utilizes his passion for communications to connect the story behind the numbers to meaning and the meaning to action. His favorite ice cream flavor is Cocoa Pudding!
Amy Simmons founded the super-premium retail ice cream company Amy’s Ice Creams in 1984 with a winning concept focused on employee education, exemplary service, and award-winning product quality. Amy’s currently has 15 stores in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio with annual sales of 10 million dollars. The Amy’s team has been profiled for their unique creativity, product, culture, and zest by such prestigious sources as: Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, People Magazine, Forbes Magazine, Food & Wine Magazine, Fast Company Magazine, “The View,” “The Today Show,” “The Al Roker Show,” “ Giada” and many others.
Amy Simmons also founded Phil’s Ice House, a family burger concept, in 2007 with her husband Steve Simmons, and Honey’s Pizza in 2016 located in Smithville Texas. Battling the rapid growth of Austin and the entree of national developers and chains, Amy and Steve created a real-estate concept called “Austinville.” Austinvilles are ‘human scale’ developments which either renovate existing small community-focused centers or build them according to the same principles of small-scale gathering places with trees and outdoor areas. Austinvilles lease solely to local tenants, creating a synergy which enhances the opportunity for the success of local small businesses.
Michael Hartman chose a circuitous route to his current role as CEO of Amy’s Ice Creams. One of the earliest Amy’s ‘scoops’ from 1985 to 1988 while a student at UT-Austin, he made good use of his BFA in Acting while navigating the magical/maniacal world of Broadway and celebrity PR in New York from 1993 to 2014. Hartman was Founder and CEO of Barlow-Hartman Public Relations from 1999 to 2009 and then Founder and CEO of The Hartman Group from 2009 to 2014, with offices in the heart of Times Square.
In those 23 years he represented over 200 Broadway shows, including Tony Award winners Hamilton, Fun Home, Wicked, War Horse, The Producers, Billy Elliot, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and In The Heights, and represented and worked with actors and producers such as Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kevin Spacey, Billy Crystal, Billy Joel, Elton John, Sting, Daniel Radcliffe, John Lithgow and Dolly Parton. Named Amy's CEO in 2014, he’s happy to protect and promote Amy’s entrepreneurial mission, unique company culture, customer service, and the world’s best ice cream.
Katy Louise Thompson, the Client Consultant for Amy’s EDU, can best be described as charismatic and driven. Katy was raised in Austin, Texas with a culinary background. She has worked exclusively with local companies and has seen the tiny town grow into the city it is today. Since her mentorship began at MBAmy's in 2013 she has worked on all classes, from curriculum development and feedback to class structure and student relations. She is the creator of "The Lost Art of Interviewing," a seminar centered around finding the perfect job to give you a leg up on the competition in an interview, and is the company job fair host. As Client Consultant for she introduces companies to the trusted and effective tools and methods used to empower and transform the companies of Amy's EDU clients. Katy’s passion for education and business inspires and guides her on the path to personal and professional success.