Two successful businessmen and philanthropists – one from Cuero and the other from Madrid, Spain – recently were elected members of the University of Houston-Victoria President’s Regional Advisory Board.
Richard Weber, finance manager at Weber Motor Co. in Cuero, and Alfonso Rubio, founder and president of information, publishing and education conglomerate Grupo Sense with offices throughout Europe, will serve three-year terms beginning in September.
“I look forward to working with these two leaders during this exciting time at UHV as we get ready to accept freshmen and sophomores,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “They both will provide welcome advice as we enter this new era at the university.”
PRAB is UHV’s principal external advisory board. Its mission is to strengthen and advance UHV and its programs, and to provide counsel for its strategic direction.
Weber will add expertise to the board in the areas of healthcare, marketing, communications and philanthropy. A native of Cuero, Weber is a 1987 graduate of the University of Texas, where he received a bachelor’s degree in communications.
He then spent 13 years in healthcare sales and marketing management positions in Victoria, McAllen and Houston before returning to Cuero in 2002 to work at Weber Motor Co. His time in the healthcare industry included stints as the marketing director for the former Victoria Regional Medical Center and the regional marketing director in McAllen for Universal Health Services.
Weber currently serves as president of the Cuero Community Hospital Board of Directors and immediate past president of the Cuero Rotary Club. He also is a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church and the Cuero-Victoria Connection, a group of business leaders from both towns who meet to discuss issues in the Crossroads area.
“This is an exciting time for UHV, and I’m looking forward to bringing my leadership skills in the healthcare industry and community organizations to the board,” Weber said. “I can’t wait to have a four-year university in the Crossroads area that will allow students the opportunity to get a high-quality bachelor’s degree at a lower cost. It will be a huge asset to this part of the state.”
Hudson said that Rubio, who visited Victoria in 2005 and spoke at UHV’s commencement, will bring an international perspective to PRAB. He hopes to participate in some board meetings.
“With study abroad opportunities incorporated into our new Degree in Three program, which will allow incoming freshmen to receive a bachelor’s degree in three years, it made sense to add a PRAB member who could provide us with some additional insight,” Hudson said. “From my own work in Spain, I know that Señor Rubio is held in the highest regard by the business and academic community there. His knowledge and that of his contacts will be quite helpful.”
Rubio’s company, Grupo Sense, has its primary offices in Barcelona, Madrid and Marbella, Spain; and in Paris. Rubio is in the process of selling off Grupo Sense’s various business lines to focus his efforts on development projects in Africa that started when he was president of the Rotary Club of Madrid.
In 2005, UHV signed a Master of Business Administration certificate agreement with Grupo Sense that allows Spanish-based students to study a curriculum developed collaboratively by faculty in Victoria and Spain.
Rubio holds a doctorate in information science from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
There will be 17 voting members on the 2009-2010 advisory board. Hernan Jaso of Goliad will serve his second year as chairman. The board meets about four times a year.