Joe Belden

Joe Belden, early practitioner of survey research and pioneer of statewide polling, has been named the 1988-89 College of Communication Outstanding Alumnus.

Belden was born Jose Belden to Mexican parents in Eagle Pass, a Texas border town. After graduating from high school in Eagle Pass he enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin with $100 borrowed from his English teacher. He became an editor on the school newspaper, The Daily Texan.

Belden corresponded with George Gallup and other pioneers in survey research, drawing upon that advice when he founded and conducted the Texas Poll. At first Belden had to convince dubious editors and publishers of his surveys' worth, but the surveys caught on and over time resulted in the addition of newspaper features like news summaries, enhanced graphics and special weekend sections.

Belden founded Belden Associates before serving as a Navy officer in Washington and Panama during World War II. Once back in Texas he steered Belden Associates into the uncharted waters of market research specifically geared to newspapers, designing surveys intended to help the papers get a better sense of what their readers expected from them. Belden also established a company in Mexico where he used opinion surveys to create a radio and television rating system, the first system of its kind in Mexico.

Among Belden’s many honors was the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. His scrupulous methodology helped opinion surveys evolve from educated guessing into scientific undertakings.

Mark Pannes, director, sport for HSBC Private Bank, has been named the 2008-09 College of Communication Outstanding Alumnus.

An honors graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Pannes earned a bachelor's degree in speech communication. He was also a William Randolph Hearst Fellow.

Pannes began his career at Madison Square Garden with the New York Knicks. At 29 years of age he became the youngest vice president in team history. His time with the team would culminate as the team’s chief marketing officer. Pannes also earned a law degree from the Fordham Law evening program during his tenure at Madison Square Garden. He finished two semesters ahead of his class, all while working 60+ hour weeks in-season.

After his time with the Knicks Pannes founded Skilo Brand, a private consultancy providing strategic and operational capabilities to major sports and entertainment properties. As managing partner he oversaw sales, client servicing, legal, P&L and the firm’s operations. Pannes then served as directeur general exécutif (EVP-managing director) of Paris Basket Racing, a professional basketball club in Paris, France. He also worked closely with the French government and the city of Paris on the country’s 2012 Olympic bid.

In his current role as director, sport for HSBC Private Bank Pannes is responsible for the development and management of HSBC's Global Sports Group, delivering comprehensive banking, tax advisory and wealth management services to sports industry professionals and organizations around the world. In addition to his work at HSBC Pannes serves as one of three trustees of the Global Sports Foundation, the grant providing arm of Beyond Sport, a nonprofit initiative that uses sports to drive social change globally.