New members bring diverse skills, backgrounds to UHV advisory board

Crystal King

Lou Anne Kellman

Gene Moreno

Kathy Oehlke

Ron Hyde


A group of five area professionals with expertise in law, accounting, education and communication will provide guidance to the University of Houston-Victoria as members of the President’s Regional Advisory Board.

The new voting members for the 2013-2014 advisory board are Crystal King of Victoria, Lou Anne Kellman of El Campo, Gene Moreno of Goliad, Kathy Oehlke of Kenedy and Ron Hyde of Van Vleck.

Phil Castille

“I’m delighted to welcome this distinguish group of new members to the board,” UHV President Phil Castille said. “I’m looking forward to conferring with them about UHV and its initiatives, listening to their feedback about how UHV can continue to serve our wide service area, and encouraging them to be ambassadors and fundraisers in UHV’s many communities.”

PRAB is UHV’s external advisory board. Its mission is to strengthen and advance UHV and its academic programs, to provide counsel on strategic directions and to stimulate external giving to the university. There are 17 voting members on the 2013-2014 advisory board. The board meets four times a year.

Omar Rachid

Omar Rachid, a PRAB member since 2008, will serve as chair for 2013-2014. Margery Loeb will continue to serve as vice chair.

“I appreciate the confidence the board has bestowed upon me by choosing me as chair,” Rachid said. “I will serve with the upmost enthusiasm in assisting the university and its president with the future growth of enrollment, faculty and infrastructure.”

Originally from Lebanon, Rachid has been a community leader in Victoria since 1994. The owner of Rachid Consulting, he has worked as a physician recruiter at Citizens Medical Center and held management and executive positions with 7-Eleven, Circle K, Walmart and C.L. Thomas Inc., the former parent company of Speedy Stop. Rachid has served on numerous community organizations, including the Victoria Independent School District Education Foundation.

Rachid said the five new members will bring different experiences and knowledge that will be helpful to the board and university president.

“Ultimately, the beneficiaries will be the students,” Rachid said. “The new members are going to bring good ideas that will be helpful to the direction of UHV.”

King is the site director for the Union Carbide Corp. Seadrift Operations, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical. She is responsible for the second largest Dow facility in Texas, occupying about 4,700 acres and employing more than 1,200 people. She has worked for Dow since 1988 and has experience in operations, supply chain management, engineering and human resources.

Kellman is a retired attorney who worked as an assistant public defender for Cook County in Chicago. She is president and chief executive officer of LAK Operations, and she is the past president of the Joseph Kellman Family Foundation. She also serves as a director emeritus of the Better Boys Foundation, a Chicago youth development agency created by Kellman’s husband in the 1960s.

Kellman is an honoree board member of Hospice Support Inc. in El Campo. She served on the boards of numerous Chicago social service and cultural organizations.

Moreno is a retired telecommunications executive. He started working for Southwestern Bell in 1971. In his most recent position as executive director of regulatory and external affairs with AT&T, Moreno maintained close contact with state and federal legislators and administrators.

Moreno served on the Goliad Independent School Board for nine years and was chairman of the Victoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for two years. He currently serves on the Presidio La Bahia Board of Directors and the Goliad County Appraisal Board of Directors.

Oehlke is a retired educator and owner of OK Ranch Beefmasters in Kenedy. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UHV in 1977 and went back to the university to obtain her teaching certificate in 1992. Oehlke taught math and business classes for the Kenedy and Karnes City school districts from 1992 until her retirement in 2010.

Hyde is a CPA who has experience in the oil and chemical industries. He retired as manager of financial services for South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co. yet still continues to work with the company as a part-time financial consultant.

He has served on the Baycel Federal Credit Union board of directors for the past 22 years, including roles as treasurer and board president. Hyde previously served on the boards of Matagorda County Museum Association and Harvest Field Community Development Corp.

Continuing voting members of the 2013-2014 PRAB are Susan Armstrong Cain, Jean Herman, Jan Jacob, Dakshesh “Kumar” Parikh, Viola Saenz, Janis Scott and Keith Williams, all of Victoria; Janet Leatherwood of Sugar Land; John Shutt of Edna; and Richard Weber of Cuero.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro