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Jay Hartzell gestures while speaking at commencement podium

Commencement Keynote Speakers

Learn more about the 2024 McCombs convocation keynote speakers.

Undergraduate (BBA) Programs

May 10, 2024
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Moody Center

Leon Chen, BBA '01 

A smiling Leon Chen poses in a kitchenLeon Chen is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Tiff's Treats. Tiff's Treats was founded in 1999 when Tiffany Taylor accidentally stood up Leon Chen for a date. As an apology, she baked and delivered a batch of warm cookies, and the concept of warm cookie delivery was born. Tiff and Leon, just 19-year-old sophomores at The University of Texas at Austin at the time, opened Tiff's Treats with $20, a cell phone and a dream. Since then, the business has grown to over 100 retail distribution locations and counting in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma, and California, with more than 1,700 employees. The founders are now married and the business continues to grow, but Tiff's Treats has the same core mission: creating memorable moments with treats baked to order and delivered warm.

Leon has served on several nonprofit boards, including Foster Angels of Central Texas, The Fifty, and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. He is a mentor with SKU, an Austin-based consumer packaged goods incubator, and he sat on the board of directors for Epic, which was acquired by General Mills in 2016. In 2022, Leon and Tiffany co-authored their first book, It’s Not Just Cookies: Stories and Recipes from the Tiff’s Treats Kitchen, published by Harper Horizon. The book tells the story of how they built the business and includes over 25 recipes. Leon has spent the past twenty-five years growing Tiff’s Treats, and the past nine years as dad to the couple’s twins.