Alumni Advisory Board

Meet the 2016-2017 Advisory Board


President Ransom "Duce" Jones '88 is a Justice Court Judge for Precinct 6 in Jefferson County, Texas since 2008. Prior to becoming J.P, he was a Fire Investigator with Beaumont Fire Department for 25 years. Judge Jones and his wife enjoy supporting LU sporting events and implements Go Red Day at his office.

Tony Landry

President-Elect 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 a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and is currently serving as President of their Alumni Association. Tony currently lives in Nederland with his wife Tammy Novak Landry '98 and their daughter Macy. You can see him each fall tailgating with his brothers and supporting LU football.

Carol Patteson Hebert

Past President Carol Patteson Hebert '89, '90 is the community and government affairs manager at BASF in Port Arthur. Carol and her husband, Mike, '95, '06, live in Nederland with their two daughters. Carol has mentored many Lamar undergraduate students pursuing degrees in Communication Disorders and volunteers at a number of local non-profit organizations.

Christopher Bates

Director 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.

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.

Lauren Gunter Brooks

Director Lauren Gunter Brooks '85 is a CPA and owner of Lauren G. Brooks & Associates, P.C.

Brad Brown

Director 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.

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.

Debi Derrick

Director Debi Derrick '81 is the Texas Contributions Coordinator-Public Affairs for Entergy Texas, Inc.

Phillip Dillow

Director Phillip Dillow '08, '11 is a Nederland High School graduate, and proud Eagle Scout. He and his wife Amy (Pumphrey) '10 reside in Port Arthur. He is the Sales Manager at Patriot Security, with over 13 years of experience in the security industry. Phillip has worked with various charities in our community, and enjoys being back on the Lamar University campus.

Mike Eaves

Director Mike Eaves '89 is managing partner at Calvert Eaves Clarke & Stelly, L.L.P., where he practices insurance defense and admiralty/maritime law. He and his wife, Sandy (Simmons) '00, live in Beaumont with their daughter Lauren. Mike enjoys reading, hunting, cycling, running and traveling with his family. He credits much of his professional and personal success to the education he received at Lamar University.

Kristin Mattingly

Director Kristin (Mattingly) Ferguson '05 is the Senior Accountant for the City of Beaumont. As past president of the Southeast Texas Chapter of TSCPA, Kristin has mentored many Lamar University Accounting students interested in becoming a CPA. She enjoys traveling and attending Lamar football games with her family. She and her husband Jason reside in Lumberton with their son.

Joel Foxworth

Director Joel Foxworth '01, '03 is the Market President of Third Coast Bank in Beaumont and the Owner/Managing Member of Port Arthur RV Resort. He and his wife Michelle (Wolfe) '04, live in Sour Lake with their two children. He serves on multiple boards and is currently the President of the Coastal Conservation Association Golden Triangle Chapter. Both Joel and Michelle played tennis for Lamar and love Lamar Athletics. Joel has been a board member of Cardinal Club for a decade helping to raise funds for LU sports. Also, he is a frequent speaker at the LU College of Business, where he attributes much of his career success.

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.

Catherine Gilby

Director Catherine Strait Gilby '03 is co-owner and operator of Southeast Texas Water Conditioning. She and her husband Matt live in Beaumont with their two children. She enjoys attending Lamar football and baseball games with her family.

Rachel Gilford

Director Rachel Gilford '03, '10 is a former Pre-Kindergarten teacher of Bingman Head Start where she served for seven years. She was the Pre-Kindergarten Early Start Grant Mentor for the Beaumont Independent School District for one year and taught for two years at Dishman Elementary School as a kindergarten and first grade teacher. Since 2009, she served as a Mentor Teacher under the Lamar University Leadership Program. She is currently an entrepreneur of Remember When. Rachel resides in Bulverde, TX with family who loves to travel together and participate in 5k events. She volunteers her talent and time at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church for her Women's Sunday School Class. Rachel attributes part of her success as a teacher from attending graduate classes taught by Dr. Dorothy Sisk. She enjoys attending LU Jazz Nights and Homecoming Tailgates with her family and friends.

Tim Gregory

Director Timothy Gregory '89 is a Process Operator with Invista Srl in Laporte, TX. He and his wife, Ireese' (Battles) '00, live in Beaumont with their four children. Tim enjoys refurbishing old homes and spending time with his family.

Lloyd Hebert

Director Lloyd J. Hebert, Jr. '77 is the Jefferson County Extension Agent for Community & Economic Development for Prairie View A&M University/Texas A&M University System and has mentored and financed hundreds of area businesses since 1994. He and his wife Adrienne (Smith)'81 (BISD School Counselor) volunteer at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church. In addition to being LU graduates, they also have degrees from Prairie View A&M University and their two children are also graduates of Lamar.

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 is presently Executive Director of the ARC of Greater Beaumont, a non-profit serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as 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.

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Director Ronald Jackson '95 is Principal of Central Medical Magnet High School in the Beaumont Independent School District. While attending Lamar, Ronald played on the men's basketball team. He and his wife Stefanie (Bellinger) '94 reside in Beaumont.

Joseph Jeter

Director Joseph Jeter '03 a mechanical engineer who works at the ExxonMobil. He is a member of the ExxonMobil Lamar recruiting team. He and his wife, Sarah (Buckner) '06 live in Baytown with their five children. Joseph enjoys gardening, fishing, camping and scouting with his family.

Caitlin Kruger

Director Caitlin Kruger '09 is the Volunteer Coordinator for Goodwill Industries of Dallas. She is an active volunteer in the community with local non-profits such as ARC and Junior League. Caitlin credits her passion for volunteering and helping those in need to her involvement in the Lamar University Honors Program.

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.

Amy Lovoi

Director Amy Lovoi '13, '15 is a second generation Lamar graduate. Amy has over 25 years of experience in supply chain with multiple international enterprises. She obtained numerous certifications and diplomas from various institutions while living in Africa, Asia and the United States. Amy is currently employed as a sourcing manager for TJX Companies in the Boston, MA area.

Rebekah Maxwell

Director Rebekah Maxwell '11 is the Reaud Honors College Coordinator and a marketing consultant with ReStep Marketing. After completing her masters degree in Scotland, Rebekah returned to Southeast Texas to pursue her career in business. She is also heavily involved in service activities through Rotary International, Rotaract, and Southeast Texas Young Professionals Organization.

Diana Davis Miles

Director Diana Davis Miles '09 is employed with Christus Continuing Care as the Regional Director of Quality/Infection Control. She is married to her high school sweetheart Rodney, and they reside in Beaumont with their daughter Morgan. Diana is the 2016-2017 President of the Junior League of Beaumont, co-teaches Sunday School with her husband at Emmanuel Baptist Church and volunteers at All Saints, her daughter's school. She also cares for her 89 year old mother who lives with her. She has three dogs - Rico, Diesel and Misty. She is proud and honored to serve on the Lamar University Alumni Advisory Board.

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. 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.

Srinivas Palanki

Director Dr. Srinivas Palanki is the Dean of the College of Engineering, professor of chemical engineering, and the Charles and Eleanor Garrett Endowed Chair. Prior to joining Lamar University, Dr. Palanki has held faculty and administrative positions at Florida State University and University of South Alabama. He and his wife Subhadra have two children and they enjoy traveling. Dr. Palanki serves as the 2016-2017 faculty representative of the alumni advisory board.

Cindy Dinkins Partin

Director Cindy Dinkins Partin '97, '99 is a Psychotherapist and Supervisor and Program Counselor, specializing in children and adolescents, at Baptist Behavioral Health Center. She is the secretary for the Counseling and Special Populations Advisory Board at Lamar University. Cindy remains involved with the Junior League of Beaumont after completing her term as President in 2014. She has served on the Board for the Beaumont Children's Museum. She and her husband Chris live in Beaumont. She has fond memories of her days at Lamar University serving as the Student Government President and President of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority as well as wonderful recollections of working in the Student Development Office and being involved in campus activities and new student orientation.

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. During her time at Lamar, 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.

Ellen Walker Rienstra

Director Ellen Walker Rienstra '62, '80 is a sixth-generation Southeast Texan and a lifelong resident of Beaumont. She currently works as a contract researcher and writer for the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation in Orange, Texas. She has been a Lamar Cardinal fan for over fifty years, and he has frequently said that she will match her education against anyone’s.


Director Brian “Governor” Roberson '09, '10, an educator and coach, is the Assistant Principal for Administration at Eisenhower Ninth Grade School in Aldine Independent School District. He resides in the Houston area with his wife Jocquelyn and their son Brian. While at Lamar, he was a member of Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity, Student Government Association and a community assistant for the residence halls. Brian currently serves as President of the Zeta Psi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He will never forget the years of great transition on Lamar’s campus while an undergraduate, with the additions of several residence halls, the new dining hall and the revival of the football team.

Jeremy Roebuck

Director Dr. 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.

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. 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 Houston, TX.

Jeff Wheeler

Director Jeff Wheeler '10 is the General Manager of 2-Row Distributing and local craft beer aficionado. Jeff and his wife, Emily (Eisen) '08, live in Beaumont with their two daughters. He currently volunteers with the Art Museum of Southeast Texas as chair of their annual Art of Beer event and enjoyed his time as President of the Lamar University Artist Common Organization.

Brandi Spoonemore Wulf

Director Brandi Spoonemore Wulf '97, '13 is a counselor at Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School. She and her husband Brian live in Beaumont with their two children Cody and Caroline. She credits her professors in communication studies from Lamar as inspiring her to be a lifelong learner and her love of leadership and service through her experience in Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. She continues to serve LU and the community as an officer in the Beaumont Alumnae Association of Alpha Delta Pi, through many ministries at her parish of St. Jude, as a member of the LU Counseling Advisory Board and the South East Texas Counseling Association, and as a Girl Scout Leader.