City: Houston, Term: 2021–2025
Donna M. Bahorich served as Chair of the State Board of Education (SBOE) from 2015–19. She was elected to represent District 6 in the Houston area in 2012 and reelected in 2016. She was recognized for her commitment to stronger policies and supports that prepare all children to be productive, engaged citizens. Her leadership in expanding public transparency and participation, increasing parent and educator voices, and incorporating broad collaborative processes was impactful. Having served on all three SBOE committees, she completed her service as a member of the committee overseeing investments of and distributions from the nation’s largest educational endowment.
After graduating from Virginia Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in financial management, Bahorich began a career in the telecommunications industry. She worked for Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone under the AT&T umbrella and later with Mountain Bell. During her time at Bell, she secured multimillion-dollar contracts. Bahorich left Mountain Bell in 1985 to raise a family with her husband Mike. She later earned her Master of Arts degree in counseling from Liberty University.
Bahorich became the campaign manager for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick during his first run for state senate. After his election, she worked as district director, communications director, and campaign treasurer for Sen. Patrick. She was named the Senate District 7 Volunteer of the Year in 2007. She served as the 2010 Harris County Republican Party Primary Director, responsible for polling locations and personnel for 885 precincts.
Bahorich served as a member of the West Houston P-16 Council, president of the Daughters of Liberty Republican Women, and as a member of the pastor’s council at the Vineyard Church of Houston. She is a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum Houston. She has been recognized with numerous awards, including the League of United Latin American Citizens’ State Director's Leadership Medal, Leadership Award, and Consensus Builder Award. In 2020, Gov. Abbott commissioned her with the Yellow Rose of Texas Award. In 2021, the City of Houston recognized her for exceptional community service.
City: Austin, Term: 2021-2025
Dr. Jim Bruseth of Austin is a professional archaeologist and has been active in the field of archaeology for 45 years. He is a member and former treasurer of the Society for American Archaeology, member and former national Grievance Coordinator for the Register of Professional Archaeologists, and member of the Society for Historical Archaeology, the Texas Archeological Society, and the Texas State Historical Association.. In addition, he is a board member of the Summerlee Foundation. Bruseth received a Bachelor of Science in business management from the University of New Orleans and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in anthropology from Southern Methodist University. While serving as the Archaeology Division Director at the Texas Historical Commission, he directed the excavation of La Belle, a shipwreck belonging to the French explorer La Salle that wrecked in 1684 along the Texas coast. The excavation gained international attention and was highlighted in publications such as National Geographic, the New York Times, and Smithsonian Magazine. He has written several books and papers on archaeology. His 2005 book From a Watery Grave (coauthored with his wife Toni Turner) recounts the discovery and excavation of La Belle; the book won two national awards. His newest book, titled La Belle: The Archaeology of a Seventeenth-Century Ship of New World Colonization (co-edited with Amy Borgens, Brad Jones, and Penelope Ray), won the 2017 Keith Muckelroy Memorial Award from the international Nautical Archaeology Society.
Monica Zárate Burdette
City: Rockport, Term: 2021-2027
Monica Zárate Burdette is from Rockport, Texas—the location of Fulton Mansion, one of the Texas Historical Commission’s State Historic Sites. Burdette recently retired to Rockport with her husband Ray after 26 years of managing her family-owned El Canelo Ranch and The Inn at El Canelo located in Kenedy County, just south of the King Ranch. She is a descendent of Francisco Yturria of Brownsville and a fifth-generation landowner of part of his holdings.
Burdette served several terms on the Board of Directors of The Museum of South Texas History (MoSTH—previously known as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum) in Edinburg, where she served as Board Secretary. She chaired a MoSTH committee which produced a cookbook: “Mesquite Country: Tastes and Traditions from the Tip of Texas,” which won the McIlhenny Award—an annual award for best community cookbook in America.
Other activities include Burdette’s conservation efforts and nature tourism promotion. She has allowed important nature-related projects and research on El Canelo Ranch. One project involved research on the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl and another project with the Texas Nature Conservancy identified a previously unknown plant species. She has served on several committees promoting nature tourism to the Rio Grande Valley. She also personally participated by hosting guests and field trips for nature-related endeavors to the ranch.
Burdette’s other contributions include serving as chairman of the committee that founded “Wild in Willacy,” a nature festival in Willacy County (Raymondville, Texas). She is also an active member of P.E.O., an organization which raises funds for educational opportunities for women. She is a member of the Rockport Center for the Arts and the Art Center of Corpus Christi.
John W. Crain
City: Dallas, Term: 2021-2025
John W. Crain serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Summerlee Foundation and is a director of the Bryan Museum. He is past president of the Texas State Historical Association and is one of three life members of the executive committee. Crain is also a former chair of the Dallas County Historical Commission, an advisory director of the Texas State History Museum Foundation, and a director of the Southern Methodist University Clements Center. He also serves as a emeritus member of the Friends of the Governor's Mansion. Crain received a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree from Texas State University. He also has a certificate in arts management from Harvard University and a certificate in museum management from the University of California at Berkeley.
City: Midland, Term: 2018–2023
Garrett Donnelly was appointed to the Texas Historical Commission in 2018. Donnelly is the Vice-President of The Eastland Oil Company, the 5th generation of his family to join the family business. Born and raised in Midland, he attended the University of Colorado and graduated from Texas Tech University with a BBA in both Management of Information Systems and Management.
Prior to Eastland Oil, Donnelly was the Director of Information Technology for Reef Chemicals, which later became Rockwater Energy Solutions. In his time at Reef/Rockwater, his department oversaw 300 users spanning 9 states. Rockwater was formed in the rollup of 5 other companies, creating a $2.1 billion dollar energy services powerhouse. Donnelly was involved in multiple integrations of acquisitions to Reef and was a primary team member for the rollout of the Rockwater financial information system. Before Reef, Donnelly was an Application Development Director for Midland County.
Donnelly also continues to serve the Community in a variety of volunteer roles. He currently serves as a Board member and Chairman of the Construction Committee for Safe Place of the Permian Basin. He is also a member of the Permian Basin Landman’s Association, American Association of Petroleum Landmen, and the Permian Basin Producers Association. He is past chairman of the Texas Tech University Health Science Center- Permian Basin Advisory Board and member of the Parish Council of St. Ann’s Catholic church. Donnelly loves soccer and has coached both of his children in the sport for many years. Now he enjoys being a spectator for his 13-year-old daughter and his 10-year-old son.
Fritz L. Duda
City: Dallas, Term: 2023-2029
Fritz Duda is President of the Fritz Duda Company, a Dallas-based investment builder. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and has served as the chair of numerous Urban Land Advisory panels. He is a Hesburgh Trustee at the University of Notre Dame where he chaired the Campus Planning Committee. He has served on the executive board at the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate and currently serves on the Architectural Council at the University of Notre Dame. He attended the University of Colorado and UCLA and earned LLB and JD degrees from the University of California’s Hasting College of Law.
City: Dallas, Term: 2021–2025
Renee Dutia is a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America, an alumnus of the Minority Business Executive MBA program at Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business Management and she attended the University of Bombay in India. Born and raised in India, Renee comes from a family of philanthropy and commerce. After living in Texas for the last four decades, she blends seamlessly her love of preserving culture, history and heritage through providing unique experiences that engage utilizing technology, hands-on opportunities for memory making and a strong connection among people of all corners of the world.
As a founder of Regali Inc, her business accomplishments stem from her ability to pair entrepreneurial passion and acumen with creative flexibility and natural ability to assemble strategic partners. REGALi Inc has evolved from a leading and experienced global trading company into a travel retail and food and beverage concessionaire with local, national and international brands. Regali Inc is a joint venture partner of Hudson Group and holds a portfolio of concessions at DFW International Airport and Dallas Love Airport. Renee seizes every opportunity to promote North Texas region and provide warm Texas style Customer Experience to global traveling passenger.
Under Renee’s leadership, Regali Inc has also delivered logo merchandise with a concentration on apparel/uniform programs as well as provided marketing, promotional and creative services with vertically integrated manufacturing with strong in-house technology capabilities. Regali Inc holds the designation as the official technology partner for the Superbowl XLV Host Committee and was a contract holder for Super Bowl XLVI and Super Bowl XLVII. Regali Inc held a GSA Schedule 84 contract and successful fulfilled orders for multiple Federal agencies.
Renee also has served as Vice Chair on the board of the Dallas/Fort Worth Asian American Citizen Council, is a past appointed Commissioner on the City of Dallas Board of Adjustment and is Founder and Chair of Asian100; a North Texas based nonprofit organization, which launched in summer of 2017. She has served on many community boards including the Dallas Regional Chamber and the Business Council for the Arts. She is committed to projects with a purpose and economic development that impact quality of life.
City: Raymondville, Term: 2021-2027
Lilia Garcia was appointed to the Texas Historical Commission in 2018. Born in Raymondville, her family has been involved in South Texas ranching and land management since the 1850s. Growing up on her family’s ranch in Kennedy County, she is not only a fifth-generation rancher, but also a descendant of South Texas farmers. With her sister, she organized a steer operation on the family ranch in Willacy County. Family roots in Texas agriculture, ranching, and farming, as well as the preservation of Texas history and lands, inspired her to study history, political science, and art. As a university lecturer, she now promotes her love of Texas to future generations.
Garcia received a master’s degree in history at Southern Methodist University, where she also received a bachelor’s degree in political science/Ibero-American Studies. Seeing art and history intertwined, she furthered her studies in art history, studying in Spain and England and working at Christie’s auction house in New York City. She currently lectures at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and was previously a lecturer at the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College and a faculty member of St. Joseph’s Academy in Brownsville.
Currently, Garcia serves on the board of directors of the Camille Playhouse in Brownsville and the advisory board of the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg. She is a member of the Brownsville Historical Association and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
City: Dallas, Term: 2021-2027
David A. Gravelle was appointed to the Texas Historical Commission in 2018. He previously served on the Commission from 2000 to 2013 with six years as Vice Chairman. He is owner of Gravelle Branding/Marketing, a brand consultancy in Dallas.
From 1987 to 2007 David served as managing partner of Richards/Gravelle, an advertising and PR firm. From 1975 to 1986 Gravelle was chief marketing officer for MCorp, a publicly traded bank holding company.
His branding work includes assignments from The George W Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, the Host Committee of Super Bowl LI in Houston, and Tolleson Wealth Management, a firm that serves families of wealth.
He is the past President of The Town and Gown Club at SMU and former president of The Dallas Assembly and The Dallas Museum of Natural History (Perot). He is a former board member of the William P. Clements Center for Southwestern Studies, former director of the Texas State Historical Association and The Hockaday School.
City: El Paso, Term: 2023-2029
Ted Houghton of El Paso is Principal of Houghton Financial. He is Chair of the El Paso Mobility Commission and Vice Chair of the Medical Center of the Americas. He formerly served as Commissioner of the General Land Office and the Texas Transportation Commission & Chair. He served 8 years on the El Paso Water Utilities/Public Service Board and the El Paso Electric Company Board of Directors. He also was a member of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee.
City: Austin, Term: 2018–2023
Laurie Limbacher of Austin is president and principal at Limbacher & Godfrey Architects. She is a member of the American Institute of Architects, Texas Society of Architects, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Society of Architectural Historians, Association for Preservation Technology, and the Austin American Institute of Architects. Limbacher received a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University.
City: Dallas, Term: 2017–2023
Catherine McKnight, a seventh generation Texan, was raised in west Texas where her family has ranched for many generations. Her family has a long history of dedication and commitment to Texas, its preservation and its growth. She resides in Dallas and is a retired healthcare attorney. Catherine is an adjunct professor at the Texas A&M University School of Law. She is a member of the Texas State Bar Association, a member of the Delta Delta Delta Alumnae and a former member of the Junior League of Dallas and St. Louis. McKnight received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin and her Juris Doctorate from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.
John L. Nau, III
City: Houston, Term: 2021-2027
John L. Nau, III is Chairman and CEO of Silver Eagle Beverages, one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors in the nation. Silver Eagle Beverages employs over 500 employees who service a territory that includes the greater San Antonio area in Bexar County and extends over 12 additional counties in southwest Texas. In addition, Silver Eagle Beverages distributes Grupo Modelo beers, a broad selection of national and local craft beers and several non-alcohol beverages and waters.
Nau’s commitment to service is apparent through a broad spectrum of participation in civic, community, and philanthropic organizations in Texas and throughout the country. His current involvement includes Chairman of the Texas Historical Commission, National Park Foundation Board of Directors, American Battlefield Trust Board of Directors, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation Board of Directors, Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Board of Trustees, University of Houston Board of Visitors, Honorary Trustee of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Honorary Trustee of Texas Heart Institute, Honorary State Trustee for the San Antonio Parks Foundation and Advisory Council member to the Center for Big Bend Studies. He also serves as a Board Member for Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park, Houston Police Foundation, San Antonio Zoo and The Admiral Nimitz Foundation.
He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and from 2011 through 2015 served on the Board of Visitors, a position appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is founder and President of The Nau Foundation.
City: Buffalo Gap, Term: 2021-2027
Tom Perini of Buffalo Gap is the owner/operator of Perini Ranch Steakhouse. He is a member and past president of the Texas Restaurant Association, a member of International Association of Culinary Professionals, James Beard Foundation, and the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health Advisory Board. He is a former board member of the American Red Cross, St. John’s Episcopal School in Abilene, and the Ben Richey Boys Ranch of Abilene. Perini grew up proudly surrounded by historians. Locally, Perini serves on the board of the Buffalo Gap Historic Village, the Fort Chadbourne Foundation in Bronte, Texas, and various committees of the Buffalo Gap City Council, including Planning and Zoning. He graduated from Peacock Military Academy in San Antonio and attended the University of North Texas.
Gilbert E. Peterson
City: Alpine, Term: 2021–2025
Gilbert E. "Pete" Peterson III is an investments officer located at West Texas National Bank in Alpine. He is president of the Davis Mountains Trans-Pecos Heritage Association, president of the Board of the Museum of the Big Bend and vice-president of the Friends of the Center for Big Bend Studies. Peterson is past president of the Board of Leadership Big Bend and of the Rotary Club of Alpine, former member of the Alpine Public Library Board, and former treasurer of the Alpine Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the Board of the Friends of the Governor’s Mansion. He is also a member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Peterson received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Methodist University.
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