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Beserra, Stafford, Barrera join UTPA Foundation Board
Contact: Scott Maier, Senior Editor 381-3639
Posted: 01/31/2002
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The University of Texas-Pan American Foundation Board of Trustees added three new members during its quarterly board meeting recently at the International Trade and Technology Building.

Ray M. Stafford, publisher of The Monitor newspaper in McAllen; Rudy Beserra, vice president of Corporate Latin Affairs for the Coca-Cola Co.; and Theresa Barrera, vice president, divisional merchandise manager for Wal-Mart Stores Seasonal Division, were unanimously approved to join the 22-member board.

"For the past several years, the Foundation Board has been evolving toward a more proactive role in fund raising and promoting The University of Texas-Pan American," said Roy Martinez, UTPA Foundation Board chair. "The combined talent, vision and experience of the new appointments will be an excellent addition to the Board."

Stafford, 52, is a 30-year newspaper veteran with experience editing and publishing daily newspapers in Texas and California. A graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington, he is publisher of The Monitor, a 50,000-circulation daily, which he joined after transferring from the Odessa American, both owned by Freedom Communications Inc.

Ray Stafford

The Pecos, Texas, native is involved in a variety of community and civic organizations, including as Easter Seals board past president and McAllen Chamber of Commerce past chair. Stafford serves on the boards of the Club at Cimarron, Tech Prep, McAllen Economic Development Corporation and Rio Grande Valley Partnership. He has been on the United Way Board of South Texas and Hidalgo County Historical Museum.

Beserra started at Coca-Cola in 1989 after serving as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan on Latino and Small Business Affairs. His current responsibilities include working with Hispanic America to interpret and convey company policies, issues and programs.

Rudy Beserra

Beserra, who lives in Atlanta, is an active board member of a number of prominent Latino-focused organizations, including the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). He is vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and board chairman for the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

A New Mexico native, Beserra addressed graduates of the College of Business Administration and College of Science and Engineering during the recent University winter commencement. He also received the UTPA Foundation Hispanic Pioneer Award for dedicated service and commitment to strengthening relationships with the Hispanic community.

Theresa Barrera

New board member Barrera began working for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in 1985 and has held several positions. She was named as one of the 1998 "Top 25 Housewares Buyers" by Home Furnishing News.

Barrera received her bachelor's degree in business from Corpus Christi State University. She also obtained an associate's degree from Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kan.

The UTPA Foundation is an independent nonprofit fund-raising organization assisting the institution and enabling people to donate to the University or a particular college or department. It was chartered in 1982 to raise, manage and invest funds for charitable, educational and scientific purposes to benefit UTPA.

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