New members bring leadership, wisdom to UHV advisory board

Sally Aman Bret Baldwin Thomas Lane Keller Mike Rivet Terry Robinson Amy Gillis Schwartz

The addition of six new members to the University of Houston-Victoria President’s Regional Advisory Board will provide guidance in shaping the direction of the university during the next three years.

The new voting members for the 2014-2015 advisory board are Sally Aman, Bret Baldwin, Thomas Lane Keller, Mike Rivet, Terry Robinson and Amy Gillis Schwartz. They each will serve until 2017.

Vic Morgan

“I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the six newest members of PRAB,” UHV Interim President Vic Morgan said. “This incoming group together has more than a century of experience in banking, accounting, consulting, health care and manufacturing. I’m delighted the new members have agreed to share their wisdom and provide us valuable advice on shaping UHV into a comprehensive regional university.”

PRAB is UHV’s external advisory board. Its mission is to strengthen and advance UHV and its academic programs, provide counsel on strategic directions and stimulate external giving to the university. They also play an important role as ambassadors for UHV to their communities and the region, Morgan said. There are 19 voting members on the 2014-2015 advisory board. The board meets four times a year.

Omar Rachid, a PRAB member since 2008, will serve as chair for the second year, and Margery Loeb will continue to serve as vice chair.

Omar Rachid

“I was honored to be selected to chair PRAB again, and I look forward to providing my services to Dr. Morgan and UHV,” Rachid said. “I’d like to continue to help UHV become a destination university, raise awareness about UHV, and provide advice about adding programs to help increase student retention.”

Originally from Lebanon, Rachid has been a community leader in Victoria since 1994. The owner of Rachid Consulting, he also has worked as a physician recruiter at Citizens Medical Center and has held management and executive positions with several companies.

Aman is a senior vice president of private banking and wealth management at Prosperity Bank in Victoria. She has been involved in numerous local community organizations, including serving as president of the Victoria Adult Literacy Council, treasurer of the Victoria Business and Education Coaliton and past president of Victoria Preservation Inc. Aman also served on the executive committee of the Victoria County United Way.

Baldwin is a senior consultant with Straet Global Consulting LLC, a Victoria business development consulting firm previously based in Singapore. He has worked for three Global Fortune 500 Corporations. His community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce and the Victoria Business and Education Coalition. He also has worked as an adjunct business faculty member at Yanbian University in northeastern China and at UHV.

Keller is a CPA and owner of KMH Wealth Management. He has worked for more than 30 years in wealth management, public accounting and banking. The Victoria resident specializes in estate, income tax and investment planning.

A member of the Mid-Coast Family Services Board, Keller also helped establish the financial planning program at Texas A&M University and was on the First Victoria National Bank board. He belongs to a number of professional financial organizations.

Rivet has worked for Formosa Plastics Corp. since 1985. He is the director of special projects. A native of Baton Rouge, La., and a Louisiana State University graduate, Rivet moved to Victoria in 1993. He served as the 2012-2013 president of the Port Lavaca Noon Day Rotary Club and was co-chair and a steering committee member of the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center at Texas A&M.

Robinson is the executive director of Hospice of South Texas, a nonprofit agency that serves more than 800 families in a 10-county region of South Texas. He previously was CEO for SCCI Hospital of Victoria.

Robinson has a long history of community involvement. He is on the boards of the Texas Non-Profit Hospice Alliance and Crossroads United Way. He also is past chairman of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce board and past president of the Victoria Rotary Club.

Since 1982, Schwartz has been an accountant for Schwartz & Schwartz law firm in Hallettsville. This is her second term on PRAB, having previously served from 1998 to 2001.

Schwartz has served on the Hallettsville Independent School District Board for the past 25 years. She previously was president of the United Way of Hallettsville and of the Hallettsville Little League.

Besides Rachid and Loeb, the other continuing voting members of the 2014-2015 PRAB are Crystal King, Viola Saenz, Janis Scott and Keith Williams, all of Victoria; Janet Leatherwood of Sugar Land; John Shutt of Edna; Richard Weber of Cuero; Lou Anne Kellman of El Campo; Gene Moreno of Goliad, Kathy Oehlke of Kenedy; and Ron Hyde of Van Vleck.

Nonvoting members are the Honorable Roger Welder, a Victoria resident and member of the UH System Board of Regents, and Victoria residents Dorothy Alcorn, Morgan Dunn O’Connor and Kay Kerr Walker, former members of the UH System Board of Regents.

Ex-officio members are Tom Butler, president of Victoria College; Beatriz Espinoza, president of Coastal Bend College; Betty McCrohan, president of Wharton County Junior College; Robert Jaklich, superintendent of Victoria Independent School District; and Patty Shafer, executive director of Region III Education Service Center.

“The new and existing members of PRAB collectively bring a lot of experience, community service and wisdom to the board,” Rachid said. “It’s going to be a great year.”

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.

Paula Cobler