2017 – 2018 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
El Paso Texas
Anne Sewell Johnson, Chairman
Tania Schwartz, Chair-Elect
El Paso, TX
Catherine Lea Weeks, Treasurer
Cecilia Hager, Secretary
El Paso, TX
El Paso, TX
Barbara Hunt Crow
David B. Dunham
Stephen “Steve” Feinberg
Santa Fe, NM
El Paso, TX
El Paso, TX
Joe Lea, Jr.
William “Bill” H. Robertson
El Paso, TX
El Paso, TX
Pamela Pitzer Willeford
Maria Morton Woody
J.P. Bryan, Honorary
James D. Lea, Honorary
Micki Vonnegut Costello, Honorary
Adair Margo (Founder) owned Adair Margo Gallery in El Paso from 1985-2010, exhibiting over 400 artists from a dozen countries. She became devoted to preserving the legacy of Tom Lea and founded the Tom Lea Institute in 2009. During the two-term Presidency of George W. Bush, Adair chaired the President’s Committee on the Arts and joined First Lady Laura Bush for the United States reentry into UNESCO. She was appointed by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the US National Commission for UNESCO; and received the Aguila Azteca, the highest recognition given by the Mexican Government to a non-Mexican citizen, from President Felipe Calderon and the Presidential Citizens Medal from PresidentGeorge W. Bush.
Adair Margo earned her B.A.in Art History from Vanderbilt University; studied Renaissance art and Italian in Florence, Italy with Syracuse University; and completed her M.A. in Art History at New Mexico State University. She lives in El Paso and is married to Dee Margo. They have two grown sons.
Anne Sewell Johnson (Chair) is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Spanish and is a past executive with Neiman-Marcus. She was a community volunteer in Dallas for both educational and art organizations, a member of the Dallas Junior League and the Crystal Charity Ball. From 2001-2009 she was the Director of the ART in Embassies program at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., which curated temporary art exhibitions in the residences of the 180 American ambassadors worldwide. Anne also served on the Executive Committee of the Kennedy Center from 2000-2008. She lives in Austin with her husband Clay Johnson III and they are parents of identical twin sons. Her hobbies include gardening and golf.
Tania Schwartz (Chair-Elect) is Vice President of The Mesa Group and a Trustee of the Schwartz Foundation. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Texas Cultural Trust and president of Texas Women for the Arts. She has a B.A. in English and American Literature, a M.A. in Education and she completed her Ph.D. studies in Educational Leadership and Foundations. She was inducted into the El Paso Women’s Hall of Fame in 2006. Tania lives in El Paso with her husband Scott Schwartz and their two children.
Catherine Lea Weeks (Treasurer) is the granddaughter of Tom and Sarah Lea. She is a native Houstonian with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Houston. She worked for 17 years for Shell Oil Products US and Shell Trading in various positions within the Downstream Stock Accounting, Supply, Controllers and Operations Support groups.
Cecilia Hager, Secretary is a native of San Antonio and spent her formative years on South Texas ranches in Brooks and Zavala counties. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Trinity University and has served on the boards of the Uvalde Arts Council, Hill Country CASA, Kerrville Public School Foundation, Texas Public Radio and as President of the South Texas Cattle Women.
Yolanda Arriola is the owner/CEO Chief Executive Officer of one of the largest grossing, privately-owned universities in the state of Texas. Southwest University at El Paso is an institution whose origins began as an ‘English as a Second Language’ (ESL) tutoring center. Yolanda’s focus toward direction and growth has gained her recognition for being a community leader, innovator, and entrepreneur. Yolanda sits on the board of the ‘Make a Wish Foundation’.
Since March of 2017, Yolanda was awarded the ‘Minority Business Enterprise of The Year’ and nominated for the ‘Texas Person of the Year,’ for the Small Business Association in 2016. In 2015, she was awarded the LISTA award representing Latina Women in Business (New York City).
Laura Bush is one of the most beloved and admired American First Ladies. For decades, she has championed key issues in the fields of education, health care, and human rights. She has traveled to more than seventy-six countries, including two historic solo trips to Afghanistan, and has launched groundbreaking education and healthcare programs in the U.S. and abroad. Today, as the Chair of the Woman’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, Mrs. Bush continues her work on global healthcare innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform, and supporting the men and women who have served in America’s military.
Laura Bush holds a degree in education from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Texas. President and Mrs. Bush are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, son-in-law, Henry Hager, and proud grandparents of granddaughters Margaret Laura “Mila” and Poppy Louise Hager.
Claudia Chiu holds a B.A. in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing from New Mexico State University. She is the co-founder for Purses for Acosta and is a SEISA Travel planner who coordinates multi-country educational trips for third-party executives. She lives in El Paso with her husband Isaac and their three children.
Barbara Hunt Crow is a native of Dallas and a member of the Advisory Board of Petro-Hunt, L.L.C., a privately held oil and gas company headquartered there. She has served on numerous boards including the Executive Board of Dedman College at SMU and on the Advisory Board of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts. Barbara attended Hollins College, and earned her B.A. degree in Art History from UT Austin.
David Dunham is V.P. Development for TEXAS MONTHLY, having joined it in 1979 after graduating from UT Austin with a B.A. in English and having previously worked for Rives, Dyke, Young and Rubicam Advertising in his hometown of Houston. He is past president of the board of directors of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and of the Texas Travel Industry Association. David was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the City of Austin in 1991 and the Tall in Texas Award from the Texas Travel Industry Association in 2005.
Stephen Feinberg is the Chairman and CEO of Dorsar Investment Co. a diversified investment company with interests in real estate, agriculture, and private equity. Steve is also on the boards of the Continental Transmission Corporation and Security Capital Preferred Growth. Selected board service includes presidency of the Feinberg Foundation; American Jewish Committee; University of Texas at Austin, College of Education Advisory Board; and several other institutions. He was born in Chicago and has homes in Santa Fe, New Mexico and El Paso.
Will Harvey is a native El Pasoan. Will has a B.A. in Latin American Studies and a B.S. in Finance. He has worked in real estate management, brokerage, and development for the past 16 years for privately held companies as well as REIT’s and is currently president of EP Riverbend Development in El Paso. His passion is for projects that incorporate a sense of place through high quality design and the use of public art. He is happily married to his wife of fifteen years and together they raise their three children.
Martita “Tita” Sealy Hunt was born in San Antonio, a 7th-generation Texan. She earned her B.A. in Advertising from SMU. Tita headed the largest fund-raising event in El Paso/Juarez for the FEMAP Foundation, a regional non-profit dedicated to the health and well-being of mothers and children on both sides of the border. She also responded to a personal invitation by George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner, to serve on the Alamo Endowment Committee.
Joe Lea, Jr. is an Austin trial lawyer where he has been practicing for over 48 years. He is an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. El Paso was his home growing up and in his earlier years as a lawyer. He treasured the times he spent with his uncle Tom Lea.
Bill Robertson is currently serving as the Interim Dean of the College of Education, an appointment he began on July 1, 2017. He joined UTEP in 2004 and is also a professor in the Teacher Education Department. He has served in administrative roles including Associate Dean, Associate Provost, co-Chair of the Teacher Education Department and Director of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Division. His academic areas of expertise are in science education, curriculum development and technology integration in the K-12 levels. Additionally, he develops research and teaching materials related to problem-based learning and action science. Dr. Robertson has received a number of prestigious awards including the UT Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award, as a Fulbright Scholar in Santiago, Chile and the 2016 President’s Meritorious Service Award. Prior to coming to UTEP, Dr. Robertson was an employee at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and was a middle school and high school teacher as well.
Laura Rodriguez is a principal at The Raben Group. She heads the firm’s Texas office in El Paso, Texas. Laura’s practice merges her substantial public policy and communications experience with her deep roots in the Hispanic community. She co-founded The Raben Group’s LATINStrategies division more than a decade ago to assist those who need to effectively engage fast-growing Hispanic communities. Laura helps the firm’s nonprofit and corporate clients develop strategic partnerships at the national, state, and local level.
In 2005, Laura moved to Los Angeles to open The Raben Group’s West Coast office. In 2015, Laura moved back home to her hometown of El Paso to open the Raben Group’s Texas office. Laura’s clients have been featured in national platforms such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, USA Today, and CNN. Prior to joining The Raben Group, Laura worked on Capitol Hill for more than 10 years in leadership positions in the offices of Representatives Hilda L. Solis (D-CA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), and Ronald Coleman (D-TX). Laura graduated from George Washington University and is a co-founder of the Hispanic Lobbyists Association in Washington, D.C.
Pamela Pitzer Willeford served as US Ambassador to Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein from 2003 until 2006, enjoying a Tom Lea painting titled A Quiet Place in her Bern residence, courtesy of Ann and Bill Kiely with Anne Johnson facilitating. Before being an ambassador, she devoted her career to developing education policy and promoting community service. She chaired the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and was Vice-Chair of the Texas Governor’s Mansion Restoration Fund.
Maria was born in New York City and raised in El Paso, TX. She graduated from University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Accounting. She started her career in public accounting with KPMG Peat Marwick. She has been married to Darren Woody for 34 years. Maria has been very active in the El Paso community as a member of the Junior League, Chairman of the American Heart Association Ball, appointed by Mayor Jon Rogers to the Lay Midwifery commission, completed her Master Gardener designation with the Texas A&M Extension service and volunteered 100s of hours in that capacity. She is currently an active member of the Pan American Round Table.
Micki Vonnegut Costello, Honorary