Board of Directors


John Kerr, Chair

John Kerr, a native of Houston, has lived in San Antonio since 1981. An active businessman and civic leader, he also has been writing for the past twenty years. His first novel, Cardigan Bay, was published in 2008, and his second novel, A Rose in No Man’s Land, was published in 2011. Two more novels, Fell the Angels and Hurricane Hole, were published in 2012. Kerr’s fifth novel, The Silent Shore of Memory, was published in 2016. He also coauthored, with his late father, Only A Khaki Shirt, a nonfiction memoir of World War II in the Pacific, which was published in 2006. His most recent work, The Argyle of San Antonio published in 2019, chronicles the historic San Antonio building’s storied and fascinating past. Kerr’s business interests are currently focused on Texas Next Capital, where he is a general partner, and Evestra, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on women’s healthcare. Kerr serves on the board of trustees of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, which he chaired from 1998 to 2007, and on the boards of the Environmental Defense Action Fund, the McNay Art Museum, the Admiral Nimitz Foundation, the Menninger Clinic, and the Texas Research and Technology Foundation. Kerr received a BA from Stanford University in history in 1970 and a JD from The University of Texas Law School in 1972.

Debbie Montford, Vice Chair

Debbie Montford is an energetic community volunteer, and effective advocate for the arts and higher education. She currently serves on the board of Humanities Texas and as a member of the homeowners association board of directors in Crested Butte, Colorado. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Plum Foundation and on the Advisory Board of the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio. Previously, she was vice chair of the Board of Regents for Texas Tech University System (2009¬–2017), former chair of the Briscoe Western Art Museum, former chair of the San Antonio Symphony, founding member of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation that developed the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, and former chair of the board of the Texas Cultural Trust Council. She served on the UTHealth Board of Governors for the Cancer Research and Therapy Center and on the executive committee of San Antonio Public Library Foundation. In 2010, she was honored by the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce with the Hope Award for philanthropic fundraising, and in 2013 she was presented with the Texas Champion of the Arts Award presented by Texas Monthly and the Texas Cultural Trust. In 2017, she was honored by the Briscoe Western Art Museum with its Legacy Award. She attended both Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin.

G. Hughes Abell, Treasurer

G. Hughes Abell is founder and general partner of Llano Partners, Ltd., a family partnership with ranching, farming, and cattle feeding operations in Texas, New Mexico, and Florida. He also actively manages private investments in oil and gas, timber, and commercial real estate. Abell currently serves as first vice president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and as a director of the Texas Livestock Marketing Association, National Finance Credit Corporation, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Edward’s University. He is a former board member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, former vice chairman of the Lower Colorado River Authority, past vice chairman of the Texas Water Foundation, and past chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. He is a native of Monroe, Louisiana, and a 1972 graduate of Vanderbilt University. He and his wife Betsy reside in Austin, Texas, and are parents of two grown children.

Michael L. Klein, Secretary

Michael L. Klein is engaged in independent oil and gas exploration and production in Midland. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in petroleum engineering in 1958 and an LLB in 1963. While attending law school, he worked summers as a petroleum engineer with Continental Oil Company and later served as an attorney for the company. He divides his time between Houston, Austin, and Santa Fe. He serves as chair of the University of Texas Press Advisory Council. He is a member of the Longhorn Foundation and is on the development board of The University of Texas at Austin, the board of trustees of The Contemporary Austin, and the Blanton Museum of Art National Leadership Board. He has previously served on the SITE Santa Fe board of directors, as a member on the board of trustees for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC); the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Chinati Foundation (Marfa); the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City); the Cate School (Carpinteria, California); and as the chair of the board at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

Carlos Kevin Blanton

Carlos Kevin Blanton is a professor of history and Chicano/Latino studies and department head of history at Texas A&M University. Prior to moving to College Station in 2001, he taught at Portland State University. He is the author of The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1836–1981 (TAMU, 2004), and George I. Sánchez: The Long Fight for Mexican American Integration (Yale, 2014) and he has recently edited A Promising Problem: The New Chicana/o History (University of Texas Press, 2016). Blanton’s work has been honored with the Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize for Best Book on Texas History (2005), the Bolton Cutter Award for Best Article on Borderlands History (2010), and the National Association of Chicana-Chicano Studies Best Book Award (2016). He has also published in the Journal of Southern History, Pacific Historical Review, Western Historical Quarterly, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Teachers College Record, and in other history and interdisciplinary journals. Blanton received his PhD from Rice University in history under Dr. John Boles.

Carolina Castillo Crimm

Carolina Castillo Crimm is a retired professor of history from Sam Houston State University. She was born and brought up in Mexico City, Mexico, and came to the United States in 1963, finishing her BA at the University of Miami and her MA at Texas Tech University before earning her PhD from The University of Texas at Austin in Latin American History with Dr. Nettie Lee Benson. She taught at the high school level before starting at Sam Houston State University in 1992, where she won both local and statewide teaching awards, including the prestigious Piper Award as one of the best teachers in Texas. She has published De León: A Tejano Family History (University of Texas Press, 2004); The Hoffman Collection: San Diego at the Turn of the Century with Sara R. Massey (University of Texas Press, 2003); and Cabin Fever: The Roberts-Farris Cabin, A Campus, A Cabin, A Community, (as editor, Texas Review Press, 2002). She has also published numerous introductions and chapters on Texas women, blacks, and Hispanics. As a retiree she is working on historical novels that deal with Spanish and Mexican Texas during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She recently founded the company Historic Tours of Texas to provide one-day, three-day, and international tours.

Elizabeth Crook

Elizabeth Crook was born in Houston and lived in Nacogdoches and then San Marcos, Texas, with her parents and brother and sister until age seven when the family moved to Washington D.C., where her father was director of VISTA for President Lyndon Johnson. Two years later, her father was appointed ambassador to Australia, and the family moved to Canberra. When they returned to Texas, Elizabeth attended public schools in San Marcos, graduating from San Marcos High School in 1977. She attended Baylor University for two years and graduated from Rice University in 1982. She has written four novels: The Raven’s Bride and Promised Lands, published by Doubleday and reissued by SMU Press as part of the Southwest Life and Letters series; The Night Journal, published by Viking/Penguin in 2006 and reissued in paperback by Penguin; and Monday, Monday, published by Sarah Crichton Books, FSG, in 2014 and reissued by Picador in 2015. Elizabeth has written for periodicals such as Texas Monthly and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and served on the council of the Texas Institute of Letters and the board of the Texas Book Festival. She is a member of Women Writing the West, Western Writers of America, and the Texas Philosophical Society and was selected the honored writer for 2006 Texas Writers’ Month. Her first novel, The Raven’s Bride, was the 2006 Texas Reads: One Book One Texas selection. The Night Journal was awarded the 2007 Spur Award for Best Long Novel of the West and the 2007 Willa Literary Award for Historical Fiction. Monday, Monday was awarded the 2015 Jesse H. Jones Award for Fiction.

Sean P. Cunningham

Sean P. Cunningham is associate professor and chair of the Department of History at Texas Tech University. He teaches broadly in twentieth-century U.S. history while specializing in the history of post-1945 American political culture. His geographic emphasis is on the American Sunbelt, Texas in particular. Cunningham received his BA, MA, and MEd from Texas Tech University and his PhD from the University of Florida. His first book, Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right, was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2010 and won the Texas Tech University President’s Book Award in 2012. His second book American Politics in the Postwar Sunbelt: Conservative Growth in a Battleground Region was published by Cambridge University Press in 2014.

Edwin Dorn

Edwin Dorn teaches defense policy and courses about the relationship between race and immigration policy at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs. He was dean of the LBJ School from 1997 to 2005. Prior to that, he spent twenty years in Washington, DC, working on civil rights and education policy in the Carter administration and serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in the Clinton administration. Dorn was a Fulbright Scholar at the Centre for West African Studies at the University of Birmingham, England. After serving as an officer in the U.S. Army, he completed his PhD in political science at Yale University. Dorn’s major publications include Rules and Racial Equality (1979, Yale University Press) and “What We Have Learned About Race,” which he wrote for the Austin-American Statesman in 2009. He is chairman of the board of the Kettering Foundation and serves on the boards of the Institute for Defense Analyses and the Seton Family of Hospitals.

Sally Dunning

Sally Dunning is a fourth-generation Texan and a native of Dallas. She has been an interior designer for forty-five years. She has served on numerous boards, including the Dallas Auxiliary of the Gladney Center, the Gladney Center for Adoption in Fort Worth, the Dallas Art Museum League, Greenhill School, the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Performing Arts Council, Planned Parenthood of North Texas, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, the Council for Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, SITE Santa Fe Foundation Council, and the Stewpot Alliance. She has also served as chairman of the board of Greenhill School and the Gladney Center for Adoption and has successfully chaired or co-chaired major capital campaigns for Greenhill School, the Gladney Center, and Planned Parenthood of North Texas. Her husband, Tom Dunning, has been recognized for his extensive service to many organizations, projects, and issues in Dallas and the state of Texas. Her son, John Helms, is an attorney who is married to an attorney and is the father of her grandchildren: Jack, age 10, and Grace, age 5. Her daughter, Meredith, is living on a sailboat with plans to charter her boat and continue her writing career.

Julius Glickman

Julius Glickman is a Houston civic leader and attorney. A native of Big Spring, he earned his BA in Plan II and his LLB at The University of Texas at Austin. He was student body president, an Outstanding Student, and a member of the Tejas Club, Silver Spurs, and Friars. An active alumnus, he has chaired the Development Board, the Chancellor’s Council, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Development Board. He has also served on the Commission of 125 and was the chair for the College of Liberal Arts Advisory Council. In 2012, he was a recipient of the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest award given by the Texas Exes. He was also a founding member of the Blanton Museum Council. He has served as chair of the board of Humanities Texas and has chaired the board of Houston Public Radio. He is a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and a recipient of the Pro Bene Meritis Award from the College of Liberal Arts in 2008.

Andrea Holman

Andrea Holman serves as an associate professor of psychology at Huston-Tillotson University. She also serves as the liaison between Huston-Tillotson and Dell Medical School, where she works with the associate dean of the Division of Community Engagement and Health Equity to work to reduce racial health disparities in east Austin. She was recently appointed co-chair of the health and wellness group for Mayor Steve Adler’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities. She earned a bachelor of arts in psychology and a master’s and doctoral degree in educational psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. After completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in community mental health, she began to focus her career in academia. She primarily engages students in the classroom and conducts research understanding the complexities of racial identity and cultural mistrust and their impact on interracial interactions. She also conducts trainings and participates in speaking engagements around the city about race, racism, and privilege and their impact on interpersonal relations. She also uses her expertise to assist foster/adoptive parents pursuing interracial adoption through the local foster agency through which she and her husband are currently licensed foster parents. They have two biological sons, ages 5 and 1.5.

Jenni Hord

Jenni Hord is co-manager of Vanderpool Management, a commercial and residential property development and leasing firm. She is also president of the Hord Foundation, which supports nonprofit organizations. Among other involvements, she is currently serving in leadership positions as the co-chair of the Young Life Texas executive council committee, vice-president of the Midland Memorial Hospital Forum, and board member of the Midland Polo School. She is currently helping start a hippotherapy program in Midland. She earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing and business management from Baylor University.

Sibyl Avery Jackson

Sibyl Avery Jackson is an executive producer, screenwriter, and member of the Writers Guild of America, West. She has vast experience as a writer, editor, researcher, and public and media relations specialist in the corporate and private sectors, as well as in public television and radio. Her background also includes being a researcher and editor at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, and a spokesperson for one of the largest wireless service providers where, in addition to public and media relations, she also developed and managed government relations and corporate giving. The latter experience inspired her to write an award-winning suspense/thriller novel, Degree of Caution. Most recently, she is an executive producer of the award-winning feature film The Retrieval. She has been active for many years in securing funding for various projects and has served on several boards, including the Be An Angel Fund and the Houston Museum of African American Culture. She has a BA in English from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and currently lives in Houston with her husband, Alfred, a University of Texas graduate and managing partner in a private equity firm.

Orenthia Mason

Rev. Orenthia D. Mason is a native of Tyler having retired as a Tyler ISD elementary school principal and Texas College and Jarvis Christian College professor and administrator. She is the presiding elder of the North Tyler District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Mason is an active community volunteer, serving as vice president of the Tyler ISD Board of Trustees for fifteen years, as well as on the Smith County Appraisal District Board, the Texas College Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors for the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Tyler Park Board, the City of Tyler Catalyst 100 Leadership Team, and the Leadership Tyler Class 2 Alumni. Past memberships include the City of Tyler Mayor’s Round Table, chaplain for the Rose City Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., chaplain for the Texas College National Alumni Association, Tyler Area Partnership for Education, City of Tyler Municipal Court Advisory Committee, President of the Tyler Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and regional chaplain for the Southwest Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She has been honored as an Outstanding Leadership Tyler Alumni, Tyler ISD Hall of Fame, Pillar of the Community, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Outstanding Woman in Tyler, Outstanding Woman Clergy, and Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Texas College. She is a proud honor graduate of Texas College, Stephen F. Austin State University, and has completed other work at UT Tyler and the University of St. Thomas. She has a twin brother, Oland, and an older brother, Cleveland.

Becky McKinley

Becky McKinley is a professional caterer and owner of Dining by Design, a catering company through which she dedicates a portion of her time serving not-for-profit functions in the Amarillo area and working with culinary arts programs at local high schools. She is also an author and food journalist, and, in addition to her regular contributions to Accent West magazine and other online and print publications, she is currently working on a cookbook about beef. Governor Rick Perry appointed her to the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women, where she is presently serving her fifth term. She was also appointed by First Lady of Texas Anita Perry to the Advisory Council for the Texas Conference for Women. She was honored in 2010 as Silent Samaritan of the Year and is the recipient of the 2010 Amarillo Area Women’s Forum Distinguished Service Award and 7 Who Care Award. She serves as a board member of the Samaritan Counseling Center, Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health Advisory Board, and Women’s Philanthropy Fund. She has previously served as a board member of the Baptist Saint Anthony Hospital Foundation, Polk Street United Methodist Church, KACV Public Television, Junior League of Amarillo, Amarillo Symphony Guild, Harrington Cancer Center, and City of Amarillo Traffic Commission. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Texas Tech University.

Reba Cardenas McNair

Reba Cardenas McNair is a Brownsville businesswoman and civic leader who currently serves as president of two Brownsville land development corporations. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree of journalism. She then went on to receive an MS from Columbia University. She is the 2017–2018 board chair for IDEA Public Schools and is a member of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Business Advisory Board and the UTRGV Development Board. She is a recent recipient of the Preservation Award from the Brownsville Historical Association.

Virginia Mithoff

Virginia “Ginni” Mithoff received her BS in elementary education from The University of Texas at Austin and attended the University of Houston for graduate school. After retiring from her teaching career, she began volunteering and serving on boards for various organizations, including the Houston Ballet Guild, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Harris County Hospital District Foundation, and many others. She currently serves on the School of Education Foundation Advisory Council of The University of Texas Development Board and The University of Texas School of Public Health Advisory Council of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Development Board. She is the 2019–20 chair-elect of UTHealth Houston and will begin serving as chair of that organization in 2021–22. Ginni and her husband Richard have lived in Houston for forty-five years. They have two children—Michael and Caroline—and five grandchildren.

Jay Moore

Jay Moore is a classroom teacher, author, speaker, and public historian from Abilene, Texas. Since 1992, he has taught at Abilene High School, where he serves as chairman of the social studies department. In 2013, Moore was selected as a Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching Award winner. He earned both his BBS in political science and history and his MA in history from Hardin-Simmons University. He is the creator of History In Plain Sight, a DVD series documenting the history of Abilene, and has authored books about the city, including Abilene History In Plain Sight (ACU Press). He is the producer and presenter of Our American Past, a lecture series aimed at reacquainting adult audiences with American history. Jay and his wife Laura have three daughters.

Nancy Painter Paup

Nancy Painter Paup manages and directs business, real estate, and ranching interests in Texas. In 2013, she was appointed to the Board of Regents of Texas Woman’s University (TWU), the largest public university primarily for women in the United States, and elected vice-chair in 2018. A member of The Philosophical Society of Texas, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) and the Executive Advisory Committee of The Handbook of Texas Women. She served on the Board of Trustees at Schreiner University and the Advisory Board of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University. She has both master’s and bachelor’s degrees from TWU, along with post-graduate work in development and leadership. She has raised funds for the arts, higher education, and historical preservation. She spearheaded the membership and corporate development programs at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, was involved with the recent completion of a $50M capital campaign at Schreiner University, and was co-chair of a previous state-wide campaign for TSHA. She and her husband, Ted, have two daughters and five grandchildren.

Ellen K. Ramsey

Ellen K. Ramsey is a partner of Ramsey Petroleum, LP and civic volunteer. She currently serves as a board member for Midland County Public Library Foundation, Midland Chamber of Commerce, City of Midland Hotel/Motel Tax and Midland County Republican Party. She serves on the Center’s “Center Stage” event committee and is a Junior League of Midland Sustainer. She was the 2018 recipient of the “Ibby” award for service in her community. Previously she served as a board member for the George W. Bush Childhood Home, Pink the Basin, I-20 Wildlife Preserve, and is a former district director for State Senator Kel Seliger. Ramsey attended Baylor University and earned a BA in sociology from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She and her husband, Midland County Commissioner Scott Ramsey, have two children, Rachel and Tucker.

Hector Retta

Hector Retta serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Economy Cash & Carry, a wholesale grocery enterprise based in El Paso. He previously served as president, chief executive officer, and vice chairman of Capital Bank in El Paso from July 2010 until June 2017. He was executive vice president and regional president of Wells Fargo in Orange County, California, from 2009 until 2010 and senior vice president and regional president of Wells Fargo Border Banking from 2005 until 2009. Prior to his association with Wells Fargo, he was a managing director of Private Client Services with JPMorgan. He currently serves on the board of the El Paso Museum of Art Foundation and as chairman of the Paso del Norte Community Foundation Board. He is a native of Dallas and earned a BBA and an MS in economics from Baylor University. He is married to the former Lorez Curlin of El Paso.

Todd Romero

Todd Romero received his BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his MA and PhD from Boston College. He is an associate professor of history and associate dean of undergraduate studies at the University of Houston, where he teaches classes on colonial, Native American, public, and U.S. history. Devoted to public education and educators, he served as the faculty director for five Humanities Texas summer teacher institutes at UH. For his work in the classroom, Romero won the 2012 UH Provost Core Teaching Excellence Award. In addition to a number of articles, Romero is the author of Making War and Minting Christians: Masculinity, Religion, and Colonialism in Early New England (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011). His research has been supported by fellowships or grants from the Newberry Library, the John Nicholas Brown Center for American Civilization at Brown University, the Huntington Library, the American Philosophical Society, and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Reflecting his commitment to public history and budding interest in food studies, Romero co-directs the Gulf Coast Food Project at UH. He is the project director of a $100,000 three-year National Endowment for the Humanities grant—“The History of Food Production and Consumption in the U.S. Gulf Coast Region”—that will develop food studies curriculum, public programming, and scholarship at UH.

Ricardo Romo

Ricardo Romo earned a BS degree from the The University of Texas Austin; a MA degree in American history from Loyola University Los Angeles; and a PhD in American history from the University of California Los Angeles. A recognized urban historian, he has taught and published in the field of civil rights, Mexican American history, and urban history. His book, East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio, is in its 9th edition. He served as the fifth president of The University of Texas at San Antonio from 1999 to 2017. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for Southwest Research Institute, Brackenridge Park Conservancy, and Humanities Texas. He is a member and past vice president for The Philosophical Society of Texas. He is also active as the cultural and political writer and editorial board member for La Prensa Texas, a bilingual newspaper in San Antonio. Among the awards and recognition that he has received are Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at Stanford; the Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education from the University of California-Berkeley; the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal from the United States Army North; the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Texas Exes Alumni Association; and the Isabel la Catolica award, the highest award given to non-Spanish subjects and bestowed by King Juan Carlos of Spain. His national appointments include the White House Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, U.S. representative to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization; vice chair for the San Antonio Branch of Federal Reserve Bank; chair for Southwest Research Institute Board of Directors; and vice chair for Air University. He earned All American Honors in Track in 1966 at UT Austin and was the first Texan to run the mile under four minutes. He and his wife Harriett have been active in Latino art philanthropy for over twenty years.

John Phillip Santos

San Antonio native John Phillip Santos is a freelance filmmaker, producer, author, and journalist. His articles on Latino culture have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, and the San Antonio Express-News. He is writer and producer of more than forty television documentaries for CBS-TV and PBS-TV, two of which received Emmy nominations. He has authored three books, including Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation: A Memoir, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. After receiving his BA degree in philosophy and literature at Notre Dame, Santos became the first Mexican American Rhodes Scholar and thus had an opportunity to earn his MA in English literature and language from St. Catherine’s College at Oxford University. In 1997, he joined the Ford Foundation as an officer in the Media, Arts, and Culture Program. After living in New York City for twenty years, he returned to his hometown in 2005. Santos has served on the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. He is presently a University Distinguished Scholar in Mestizo Cultural Studies in The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Honors College and was the recipient of the 2017 Texas Medal of Arts for Literary Arts.

Gina M. Spagnola

Gina M. Spagnola is President and CEO of The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce. In that capacity, she has helped develop and lead a strategic planning process that transformed the Chamber, played a critical role in the rebuilding of the City of Galveston’s business community following Hurricane Ike, and created an education committee within the Chamber to discuss educational priorities in the community. This committee is the one venue representing every school and education-based organization in the Galveston area, from the University of Texas Medical Branch to East End Preschool. Gina serves as the County Director of Lemonade Day Galveston County, in addition to her service on the national board of directors. She helped create Galveston’s Celebrating Women: Mind Body Spirit Conference to celebrate, inspire, and motivate women to strive for the best in both their personal and professional lives. Gina serves on Galveston ISD’s Educational Foundation Board as chair, The Grand 1894 Opera House Board, and the Port of Galveston’s Port of Call Committee. She’s a recipient of the Christie Mitchell Beachcomber Award, recognizing individuals and entities who promote Galveston Island, the Grand Opera House’s Community Enrichment Award, and the Paul Harris Fellow, Distinguished Award from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

Stephanie Tucker

Stephanie Tucker graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in speech communications. Stephanie is a community volunteer in Houston. As a mother of a special needs son, she has spent the past fifteen years raising awareness and fundraising for the Brookwood Community in Brookshire, Texas. Brookwood is an educational and residential community for adults with disabilities. She is also a strong advocate for Special Olympics Texas. Stephanie is an active supporter of the Rienzi Society, Texas Children’s Hospital, Chi Omega Alumni, and the United Way of Houston Women’s Initiative. Stephanie is a former member of the Zoo Friends of Houston and a sustaining member of the Junior League of Houston. She and her husband Brad have three sons and reside in Houston.

Alan Tully

Alan Tully is Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor of American History at The University of Texas at Austin and was chair of the history department at UT Austin from 2002 until 2014. He received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University. A scholar of early American history, he has authored and co-edited several books including William Penn’s Legacy: Politics and Social Structure in Provincial Pennsylvania 1726–1755 (Johns Hopkins University Press), Forming American Politics: Ideals, Interests, and Institutions in Colonial New York and Pennsylvania (Johns Hopkins University Press), and, with Professor Bob Olwell, Cultures and Identities in Colonial British North America. He is currently working on a book on the politics of declamation in early America. Alan and his wife, Deborah Bennett, have two grown daughters.

Chase Untermeyer

Chase Untermeyer is chairman of the Qatar-America Institute, which aims to increase understanding of the important Qatari-American relationship in security, education, and energy. He was born in New Jersey but came to Houston at the age of two. He is a 1968 graduate of Harvard College with honors in government. During the Vietnam War, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy aboard a Pacific Fleet destroyer and as aide to the commander of U.S. naval forces in the Philippines. Returning to Houston, Untermeyer was a political reporter for the Houston Chronicle and executive assistant to the county judge (chief executive) of Harris County, Texas. In 1976, he was elected as a Republican to the first of two terms as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from a district on the west side of Houston.

He resigned his seat to go to Washington in 1981 as executive assistant to then-Vice President Bush. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. During the first Bush Administration, he was assistant to the President for presidential personnel and director of the Voice of America. From 2004 to 2007, he served as United States ambassador to the State of Qatar, on appointment of President George W. Bush. He is currently chairman of the Houston Committee on Foreign Relations and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Untermeyer is the author of three volumes of diary-based memoirs of the Reagan-Bush era, When Things Went Right, Inside Reagan’s Navy, and Zenith: In the White House with George H. W. Bush. He has also published How Important People Act: Behaving Yourself in Public.

Amy M. Warren

Amy Warren is a devoted philanthropist. She was among the first employees of Energy Transfer Company, where she worked as an executive assistant for over twelve years. Prior to that, Warren worked as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines for over a decade. She currently serves on the board of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center. Warren co-founded Cherokee Crossroads, an organization whose proceeds support various children’s charities and public service organizations across Texas. She has been involved with Amica Rockwall, a non-profit organization that raises funds for scholarships and other local needs. She has also been involved with and supportive of the Ronald McDonald House and the Roatan Hospital. She currently serves on the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Advisory Board and the board of Family Gateway of Dallas. Warren studied business management at Texas Tech University.