Alumni Advisory Board

Meet the 2018-2019 LU Alumni Advisory Board

Christopher Bates

President Christopher Bates '08 obtained his Law Enforcement Certification from Lamar Institute of Technology and a bachelors degree from Lamar University. In May 2012, Chris won the Democratic Primary at the age of 26 and was sworn in as Jefferson County Constable Precinct 2 in January 2013. Chris is currently the youngest Constable in the State of Texas; the second youngest Constable in Texas history; the first African American Constable ever elected in his precinct; and the youngest elected official in Jefferson County history. Chris has been the Minister of Music at New Pilgrim Baptist Church in Beaumont since 2005, where he enjoys singing and playing the piano. Bates is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and is the father of two beautiful daughters. He resides in Port Arthur and is recently engaged to Ariana Jones '17.

Brad Brown

President-Elect Brad Brown '81 is Senior Vice President and Trust Manager at First Financial Trust in Beaumont. He is a member of AICPA and Texas Society of CPAs. His community service activities include serving as a member of the Rotary Club of Beaumont, board member of the United Way of Beaumont, and board member of the Christus Health Foundation. He was recognized at the 2008 "Newsmaker of the Year" by the Press Club of Southeast Texas for efforts leading to the passage of the "Ashley and Alicia's Law", a law requiring seat belts on school buses. Brad and his wife Debbie (Williams) '06, continue their commitment in supporting the Lamar University Ashley Brown Memorial Scholarship in Soccer.

Tony Landry

Past President Tony Landry '94 began his professional career as an Admissions Representative at Lamar prior to transitioning to the insurance field for the past 19 years. He is currently the Service Coordinator for Scallon Controls, Inc. Tony is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and is currently serving as President of their Alumni Association. He currently lives in Nederland with his daughter Macy. You can see him each fall tailgating with his brothers and supporting LU football.

Lucas Bell

Director Lucas Bell -03 is the owner of SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton and SERVPRO of Beaumont. He is a Coach for Gulf Coast Youth Soccer and a member of Calvary Baptist Church. He and his wife Melanie reside in Nederland with their two daughters. Lucas is an LU football season ticket holder and enjoys cheering on the Cardinals at football games.

Mellie Bevilacqua

Director Mellie (Proctor) Bevilacqua '06 is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Southeast Texas. She resides in Beaumont with her husband Sam '03 and their two children. Mellie is active in the community serving as treasurer of the Southeast Texas Nonprofit Development Center, a 2016 participant in Leadership Southeast Texas, and was awarded the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce's 40 Under 40 Award in 2015.

Jared Boudreaux

Director Jared Boudreaux '98 is President and Managing Partner of Vector Controls and Automation Group. He and his wife, Malinda (Faulk) Boudreaux '98, '00, live in Bridge City, TX with their two boys, Grant and Luke. When not working, he is cheering on his boys at a baseball field or in a basketball gym, and volunteering his time at St. Michael Greek Orthodox Church in Beaumont, TX.

Meg Baertl Brown

Director Meg Baertl Brown '15 is a registered nurse at Harbor Hospice in Beaumont. She and her husband Jarrod live in Orange with their two cocker spaniels. She is a member of the Junior League of Beaumont, Symphony of Southeast Texas, Southeast Texas YPO, and Sea Rim Striders. She enjoyed her time as a graduate assistant in the School of Nursing while working toward her Master of Science Degree in Nursing. She credits Lamar University for much of her personal and professional success.

John Ceravolo

Director John Ceravolo '98 is an Account Vice President, Portfolio Manager and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM at UBS Financial Services, Inc. He earned a BBA degree in Marketing and while attending LU, joined Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He is active in the community and serves as President of the board of directors of Girls Haven and Ehrhart School Board. He resides in Fannett with his wife Christina (Dixon) and their two children.

Amber Alexander Clark

Director Amber Alexander Clark '11 is the Outreach Coordinator for the City of Beaumont Best Years Center in the Parks and Recreation Department. She resides in Beaumont with her husband Gregory and daughter Abigail. Amber is active in the community serving on the Walk to End Alzheimers and Senior Mardi Gras committees, a Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Volunteer, and co-teaches Youth Sunday School with her husband at The Gospel of Jesus Christ Church. She was awarded the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce's 40 Under 40 Award in 2015. Amber enjoys reading, exercising, and traveling with her family. In addition to being an LU graduate, she has a masters degree from the University of North Texas. While at LU, Amber has fond memories of her days as a Peer Advisor for New Student Orientation and a Community Assistant for the residence halls. She credits much of her professional and personal success to the education she received at Lamar University and is proud and honored to serve on the Lamar University Alumni Advisory Board.

Tea Nguyen Do

Director Tea Nguyen Do '08 is an insurance agent specializing in personal lines and life insurance with Farmers Insurance. She was born and raised in Beaumont. She serves on the Alumni Board of the Gamma Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and is a member of the Junior League of Beaumont. She and her husband Huy '02 reside in Beaumont with their son, Lucas.

Alex Edgerly

Director Alex Edgerly '13 is a dentist at Smiles By Design in Port Arthur. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Biology. During his time at LU, Alex was a member of the Lamar University Ambassadors, SGA, Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, as well as many other student organizations. Upon graduating from LU, Alex spent four additional years in Houston where he attained his DDS degree from UT Houston. He is excited to be back home treating patients in the community where he was raised. Alex currently resides in Bridge City with his wife Mallory.

Surya Gade

Director Surya Gade '01, '04 is the Manager of Geographic Information Systems at Gulf Interstate Engineering in Houston. Surya graduated with a Master of Engineering degree in 2001 and a Doctor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2004 from Lamar University. While attending LU, Surya was a member of ASME, and Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma honor societies and serves as President of the Friends of India Association. Upon graduation, Surya served as Executive Director of International Student Services at Lamar University. Surya served Lamar University as a student, employee, and is excited now to serve as an alumnus. Surya is a registered professional engineer and resides in Sugar Land, TX with his wife Sudhaa (Subramanian) '04 and their three children.

Christy Cowart Hart

Director Christy Cowart Hart '95 and her husband Mitch '95 live in Littleton, CO with their youngest daughter Cameron. Their oldest daughter Mackenzie attends the University of Colorado. Christy enjoys getting involved in the community and enjoyed her involvement with LU students assisting with New Student Move In and enjoying tailgating with her co-workers at home football games. Christy is currently serving as the Volunteer Coordinator with Suncrest Home Health and Hospice.

Alan Hefty

Director Alan Hefty '69, CPA is the owner of Alan Hefty & Co., P.C. CPAs in Beaumont. He and his wife, Cherrie (McVey) '70 live in Beaumont, have two sons and five grandchildren. In addition to his professional duties, Alan serves as a director and officer of several professional and community organizations.

Gary Hidalgo

Director Gary Hidalgo '71, '73 is a graduate of Lamar University with a BA and MA and also attended Texas Tech University to continue post graduate work in Urban Studies. Gary has 42 years of administrative experience providing services to individuals with mental illness and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He has held several positions, including Executive Director of Beaumont State Center and Chief Operating Officer of Spindletop Center. He retired as the Executive Director of the ARC of Greater Beaumont, a non-profit serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He currently is president of Diversified Training and Consulting Services. Gary is an instructor of Applied Ethics and provides training that focuses on ethical and moral behavior, especially in the public sector. He is married to his wife Pam for 41 years and has two grown sons and two grandsons.

Alan Kondo

Director Alan Kondo '11 graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lamar University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. Alan is employed with ExxonMobil in Baytown as an engineer and is a member of the ExxonMobil Lamar University Recruiting Team. While attending LU, Alan served as president of Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity, member of AICHE, Order of Omega National Greek Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi, and Alpha Lambda Delta-Phi Eta Sigma Honor Societies. He and his wife Ashley (Austin) '12 reside in Mont Belvieu with their son Hudson. Alan enjoys volunteering with Junior Achievement, supporting Lamar Cardinal Athletics, and spending time with friends and family.

Rene Latiolais

Director Rene' (Slott) Latiolais '04 was born and raised in Southeast Texas. She was employed during her years at Lamar University on campus at the Educational Technology Center. In addition to her studies and working, she participated in the Student Government Association, Professional Communications Association, and other campus activities. In 2003, she applied for an internship with the Texas Wildcatters Hockey Team. Soon after, she was hired as the Community Relations Coordinator. That is where her career began. Her love for LU came when she was a recruiter for the University Southeast Texas region. This allowed her to travel to local high school spreading the good news of what LU had to offer right here in Southeast Texas. Rene' is currently serving as the Communication Director for Nederland ISD, and is President-Elect for the Spindletop Rotary Club where she also manages the public relations committee and grant committee.

Rene' loves to spend time with friends and family, watch sporting events, event planning, and giving back to the community that has given so much to her. She resides in Port Neches with her husband, Toby '10, daughters Ella and Macy, and a Boston terrier named Layla.

Aaron Lavergne

Director Aaron Lavergne '17 is a Sales Engineer at Johnson Controls, Inc. covering the commercial HVAC industry.  He currently resides in his hometown of Houston, TX. As a student, Aaron served as Student Body President, a Lamar Ambassador, member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  Aaron enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and most importantly, empowering others to reach their goals and to help them succeed.

Stephen Lee

Director Stephen Lee '89 graduated from Lamar University with a BBA in Finance and is currently CEO and President of First Financial Bank, NA-Southeast Texas Region. Stephen has spent more than 20 years in the banking industry in SE Texas. He and his wife Jami (Archer) '95, live in Orange and have two boys, Mitchell and Michael. Stephen is actively involved in the community serving as Director of Lamar State College-Orange Foundation, the Orange Chamber of Commerce, the Lutcher Theatre, Baptist Hospital Foundation, the Salvation Army and the United Way of Orange County.

Chip Majors

Director Chip Majors '93 is a CPA and the Managing Partner of Wathen, DeShong & Juncker, LLP. Chip is also a proud LU ambassador who mentors high school and college students. He is active in his community and church serving on various committees and volunteer boards including the Lamar University Accounting Advisory Board and the Wesley Foundation. He is a Cardinal Club Member and LU Football Season Ticket Holder. He and his bride Vivianne reside in Lumberton and have three children ages 12, 20, and 30. Chip enjoys traveling with his family, camping, collecting vintage toys, picking guitar, shooting home videos and firearms.

Scott McCauley

Director Scott McCauley '81 graduated from Lamar University with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. He retired as a project manager with ExxonMobil after 36 years of service and is currently working as a Project Manager with Coastal Automation Services. He serves a member of the Board of Directors of MobilOil Federal Credit Union since 1989 and the LIT Foundation Board since 2017. Scott and his wife Jamie (Kunetka) ’84 reside in Beaumont and the couple have two children and two grandchildren. Scott enjoys supporting the LU Cardinals, especially football and tailgating.

Jennifer Nichols

Director Jennifer Turner Nichols '03 graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lamar University with a BBA in Accounting. Jennifer is a CPA and attorney and a partner at Orgain Bell & Tucker, LLP, where she practices business, estate planning and guardianship law. She and her husband, Luke Nichols, live in Beaumont with their sons and daughter. Jennifer also serves on a variety of local boards including the Lamar University Planned Giving Advisory Board. Jennifer values the education she received from Lamar University and credits Lamar for much of her personal and professional success.

Manisha Patel

Director Manisha Patel ’17 is a Process Engineer in the Oil and Gas Industry in Houston, Texas. While at Lamar University, she was a student of the Honors College, president of the Multicultural Greek Council, an ambassador for the College of Engineering, employee at the STARS Tutoring Center, and a researcher in the Chemical Engineering Department. As an undergraduate research student, Manisha gained experience leading projects related to water treatment. As her new found passion for working on projects combating the global water insecurity issue grew, she pursued a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering at Rice University which she completed in 2019. At Rice University, she served as an officer for the Graduate Student Association and completed a thesis focused on studying advanced disinfection processes for the inactivation of microbiological life in our wastewaters. Aside from working as a newly professional engineer, Manisha is passionate about promoting STEM education and mentorship programs. She credits both her personal and professional accomplishments to the quality of education and opportunities she received during her time at Lamar University.

Ashley Pippins

Director Ashley Reed Pippins '15 is a Human Resource Business Partner at Christus Southeast Texas Health System in Beaumont, TX. She is also a member of Beaumont Rotaract Club and SETHRA. Ashley and her husband Jarvis reside in Beaumont with their son and daughter. During her time at Lamar University, Ashley was granted the Steinhagen Global Fellow Scholarship which provided her the opportunity to study abroad in China. While in China, Ashley was able to explore diverse and innovative ideas in one of the world's leading economies. Ashley believes the Lamar University MBA Program, through its dedication, provided her with knowledge and skills that enabled her to become the highest truest expression of herself beyond graduation- personally and professionally- and hopes to give back to the program.

Kim Pruitt

Director Kim Pruitt '14 is a school counselor for Waller ISD and lives in Navasota. Kim is a graduate of LU's online M.Ed. in School Counseling program and also serves as a member of the Counseling and Special Populations Advisory Board at Lamar University. She is a frequent speaker at the LU College of Education & Human Development while being accompanied by one of her "co-counselors", her registered therapy dogs. Kim volunteers as a member of Intermountain Therapy Animals and affiliate group Montgomery Pet Partners.

John Ramsey

Director John Ramsey '98 is the President/Owner of Kinsmen Homes LLC which builds homes in the Southeast Texas, Houston, and Bryan/College Station areas. John is from Port Arthur and is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School. While at LU, he was part of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, a Peer Advisor, SGA, IFC, and was the C. Robert Kemble Leadership Award winner. He currently serves on 4 boards in the Golden Triangle area. He lives in Fannett with his wife, Celeste and three kids.

Kim Redmon

Director Kim Redmon '93 has worked as a licensed Social Worker in the Mental Health field for the past 25 years, with the last 5 years having a focus on serving individuals in the area who are homeless or in danger of experiencing homelessness. She has a passion for personal and professional growth and is a self-proclaimed lifelong learner. Kim has served in areas of leadership in her church, having served for more than 15 years as one of two Children’s ministers, as well as in leadership roles in other parts of the community.

Brenna Rodriguez

Director Brenna (Gordon) Rodriguez '04 is a Regional Director for Harbor Hospice covering East Texas and Louisiana sites. She graduated with a BBA in Marketing from Lamar University. She resides in Port Neches with her husband James ’07, ’17 and their two children.  Brenna is active in the community serving on the Harbor Foundation Board, Ambassador for the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, member of the Junior League of Beaumont, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation volunteer team.

Jeremy Roebuck

Director Jeremy Roebuck '96 is an otolaryngologist at Southeast Texas Ear, Nose and Throat. Jeremy graduated Cum Laude from Lamar University with a B.S. in Biology. While attending LU, he joined Kappa Sigma Fraternity and was selected for Order of Omega National Greek Honor Society and Who's Who Among American Universities and Colleges. He also graduated with his M.D. from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston McGovern Medical School and completed his residency training in General Surgery and Otolaryngology. He performed the first Cochlear Implant surgery in Beaumont as well as the first Baha implanted hearing device. Jeremy is active in the Southeast Texas community and serves as a member of the Jefferson County Medical Society. He and his wife Jennifer (Samaha) live in Lumberton with their three children.

Aleiya Samad

Director Aleiya Samad '13 graduated Magna Cum Laude from Lamar University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. Aleiya is a Process Safety Engineer at Chevron Phillips Chemical Company in Baytown, TX. During her time at Lamar University, Aleiya was a member of AIChE, Lamar University Ambassadors, College of Engineering Ambassadors, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and LU Toastmasters. Aleiya served Lamar University as a student, employee, and is excited to serve as an alumna. She credits much of her professional and personal success to the education she received at Lamar University.

William Glenn Smith

Director Glenn Smith '67, '70 retired as the Port Arthur ISD Superintendent of Schools in 2001 after 35 years of service in education leadership in Texas, Kentucky, Washington, DC and Nicaragua. Dr. Smith and his wife, Dr. Karen (Brownlee) Smith ’67, live in The Woodlands, Texas. The Smiths have two grown sons and four grandchildren. Dr. Smith is a volunteer at his church, Christ Church United Methodist in The Woodlands and is a volunteer lay chaplain at the Hightower Prison Unit in Dayton since 2007. Dr. Smith was awarded the 2018 Texas Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He credits his academic, personal and professional successes to the excellent education he received at Lamar University. His family has a long history of LU Cardinal graduates or faculty members including his wife, father, sister, niece, two uncles, aunt, mother-in-law, five cousins, grandson and granddaughter. The Smith family support five teacher education related scholarships for Lamar University.

Bob Spina

Director Bob Spina - Dean of the College of Education and Human Development is a Professor and Dean at Lamar University. He has over 28 years of combined teaching, research and service in education. He holds a Ph.D. in health, physical and recreation education from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to joining Lamar University, Dr. Spina served as the associate dean of undergraduate education and college assessment at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. He and his wife Elizabeth reside in Beaumont with their daughter Andrea. Dr. Spina serves at the 2018-2019 faculty representative of the Lamar University Alumni Advisory Board.

Amy Babineaux Tarver

Director Amy Babineaux Tarver '99 and her husband Mike '99, '10 live in Lumberton and enjoy sharing the Cardinal experience with their five children. Amy is passionate about personal and professional development and is very involved with the women's ministry at their church. She currently serves as the Human Resources/Office Manager of Bill Clark Pest Control.

Phyllis McAfee Thibodeaux

Director Phyllis McAfee Thibodeaux '00 '06 is an educational diagnostician for Beaumont ISD. She and her husband Mister Thibodeaux live in Beaumont with their two children. She volunteers as a soccer coach, holds an office on the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at her daughter's school, and is co-leader of the Girl Scout Troop 130463. She enjoys cheering at Cardinal football, basketball and baseball games.

Fred Vernon

Director Lauren Van Gerven ’13, ’15 is a labor market analyst and business representative at Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas. A native of Belgium, Lauren moved to Beaumont to continue her education and be a part of the LU women’s golf team. During her time at LU, Lauren also served as the editor of the University Press student newspaper. When not at work, Lauren can usually be found playing golf at Beaumont Country Club or supporting Lamar University Athletics.

Fred Vernon

Director Fred Vernon '12, '13 is CEO/Founder of KLV Ventures. Fred graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BBA in Accounting, and an MBA and MSA from Lamar University and is a native of Port Arthur. While attending LU, Fred was a member of the Lamar Ambassadors, SGA, Honors Student Association, and National Society of Black Accountants. He was also chosen as a Steinhagen Global Fellow and recipient of the Aaron Rose Award. Upon graduation, Fred worked as a valuation analyst at PricewaterhouseCoopers until he left to manage his transportation company, KLV Ventures, full-time. Fred resides in Katy, TX.