Thomas E. Alexander
City: Kerrville, Term: 2003-15
Thomas E. Alexander is Vice-Chairman of the Commission. He was appointed to the Texas Historical Commission as its professional historian in 2003 by Governor Rick Perry and re-appointed for a second term by the Governor in 2009. He is an author and historian whose books on Texas military history have received prestigious awards including one for being “The Best Book on West Texas History” in 2006.
After nearly 20 years with Neiman Marcus, he retired as executive vice president of marketing. Upon his retirement, Alexander owned and operated his ranch in West Central Texas for many years.
He served on a combat crew in the Strategic Air Command of the U.S. Air Force and later as an instructor in the Illinois Air National Guard with the rank of major.
Alexander holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in Military Studies from the American Military University (AMU) in West Virginia. He was named AMU’s Distinguished Graduate in 2012. He is a former member of the board of directors of the Admiral Nimitz Foundation in Fredericksburg, Texas, and served on the Advisory Council for the Center for Big Bend Studies at Sul Ross University in Alpine. A former board member of the West Texas Historical Association, Alexander is also a life member of the Panhandle Plains Historical Society, the Military Officers Association of America, the Air Force Association, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He received the National History Medal from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in 2007. In 2008 he was commissioned by Gov. Perry to be an “Admiral in the Texas Navy” for his contributions to the preservation of the military history of the Lone Star State.
City: Austin, Term: 2005-17
Earl Broussard was appointed to the Texas Historical Commission in 2005. With a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from Louisiana State University and a master's degree in landscape architecture from Harvard University, Broussard serves as founder and president of TBG Partners and has a diverse array of project experience. Currently, he is chairman of the Professional Fellows of Historic Preservation Education at Texas A&M and councilman for the city of West Lake Hills. He is a member of several organizations including the: American Institute of Certified Planners, American Planning Association, Urban Land Institute, Real Estate Council of Austin, and Downtown Austin Alliance. He is a distinguished member of American Society of Landscape Architects.
Broussard's services are often sought on large, complex projects that require design and guidance over long periods of time. His love of history, people, and the natural beauty of Texas has instilled in him a unique sense of stewardship of cultural landscapes that has developed into a passion for the preservation of place-making. Broussard's study and research provide him with a clear understanding of the power of landscapes to tell the story of Texas.
At all levels of involvement, Broussard is a successful advocate for excellence in professional standing, public service, and professional works in the restoration and preservation of cultural landscapes. Some of his most cherished historical projects include: restoration of the historic south grounds of the Texas State Capitol, San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, Laguna Gloria historic grounds restoration, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, and the Governor's Mansion historic restoration.
City: Dallas, Term: 2007-19
John Crain of Dallas is president and CEO of the Summerlee Foundation. He is past president of the Texas State Historical Association and is a life member of its board of directors. Crain is also a former chairman of the Dallas County Historical Commission and an ex-officio member of the Sixth Floor Museum. He is an advisory director of the Southern Methodist University Clements Center. Crain received a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas and a master's degree from Southwest Texas State University.
City: McLendon-Chisholm, Term: 2012-15
Michael "Mike" D. Donegan was raised in Texas and attended Texas A&M University, graduating with a degree in Agricultural Economics in 1972. He served five years in the U.S. Army stationed in the U.S. and Europe. His professional career has been in agricultural sales positions in South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Texas. Mike is a Fertilizer Accounts Manager with El Dorado Chemical in Rockwall, Texas. He has been a city councilman and held the office of Mayor of McLendon-Chisholm for 17 years. He has served as the chairman of the Men's Ministry of Chisholm Baptist Church and co-chair of the Dallas area Fundraiser for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis," Lou Gehrig's Disease") for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He also served on the board of directors for the Rockwall Youth Fair and was class agent for the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M. Mike and his wife Sharon live in McLendon-Chisholm.
August W. Harris III
City: Austin, Term: 2012–15
August W. Harris III, a native Austinite, is president of Covenant Financial Solutions, LLC. He is a board member of Leadership Austin, Vice President of the Heritage Society of Austin, President of the Austin High School Continuing Education Foundation, and leads several other civic and community organizations and initiatives. He is former chair of the Transportation Committee, the Local Issues Committee, and the Public Policy Roundtable of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce; past Treasurer of the Texas School for the Deaf Foundation; and a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Harris received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and is a certified mediator from the University of Texas School of Law Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution.
Steven L. Highlander
City: Austin, Term: 2009–15
Steven L. Highlander of Austin is a founder and the managing member of Parker Highlander PLLC. He is a member of the American Intellectual Property Organization, American Bar Association, and Association of University Technology Managers. Highlander received a bachelor’s degree from Central Missouri State University, and a doctorate degree in cell and molecular biology and law degree from the University of Michigan.
City: Austin, Term: 2011–17
Matthew Kreisle of Austin is the chair of the Texas Historical Commission. He was appointed to the commission in 2011. He is managing partner of the Austin office of PageSoutherlandPage—a 113-year-old international architecture and engineering design firm founded in Austin in 1898. He has served as Principal-in-Charge for significant projects such as the Barbara Jordan Passenger Terminal in Austin, the Austin Convention Center, the Samsung Semiconductor Fab A2, and Kashm Al Aan Medical Center Master Plan in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Kreisle served two terms as president of the Heritage Society of Austin where he initiated and led the Heritage Austin Program, for which he was recognized with the Katherine Drake Hart History Preservation Award through the Austin History Center Association. He received his bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin.
City: Buffalo Gap, Term: 2011–17
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: 2007–19
Gilbert E. (Pete) Peterson of Alpine is an investments officer located at West Texas National Bank. He is a board member of the Alpine Public Library and the Davis Mountains Trans-Pecos Heritage Association. Peterson is president of the Board of Leadership Big Bend, past president of the Rotary Club of Alpine and past treasurer of the Alpine Chamber of Commerce. 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.
City: Caldwell, Term: 2011–17
Judy Williams Richardson was appointed to the Texas Historical Commission in 2011. She is currently a member of the Burleson County Historical Society and the Burleson County Historical Commission. As fifth-generation person living on the family land, she has had numerous opportunities to be instrumental in the preservation of history, including contributing to the writing of “Astride the Old San Antonio Trail," a history of early Burleson County and it’s families. Richardson received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Sam Houston State University. She worked for Tenneco Oil before starting the family's insurance business with her husband Gordon Richardson about 40 years ago. She continues to be a leader in community activities, was a charter president of the local Lions Club, a former school board member, and a former chamber of commerce director.
Robert K. Shepard
City: Weatherford, Term: 2012–17
Robert K. Shepard of Weatherford is the secretary of the commission. He is a rancher, retired American Airlines pilot, and former air traffic controller assistant. He also served as a captain and aircraft commander in the U.S. Air Force after receiving a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University. Shepard is a member of the Allied Pilots Association, a past member of the North Texas Tollway Authority Board of Directors, and an involved member of New River Fellowship. He and his wife Janelle have two children and three grandchildren.
City: San Antonio, Term: 2009–15
Nancy Steves of San Antonio is a community volunteer. She is past vice president of the San Antonio Conservation Society, past director on the San Antonio River Authority Board, and a past member of the San Antonio Botanical Garden and the Witte Museum boards of directors. She is also a member of San Antonio Museum of Art and San Antonio River Foundation boards of directors, and represents the San Antonio Museum for Art to the San Antonio Fiesta Commission.
Daisy Sloan White
City: Houston, Term: 2011–17
Daisy Sloan White has more than 40 years of experience in fundraising, development, communications, and planning. She has organized and executed many large local and national productions. Events have included multi-day Presidential Inauguration events, Super Bowl, Major League Baseball World Series, and corporate and nonprofit events, large and small. She was recognized by the United States Secret Service with a Certificate of Appreciation in 2004 for her organizational, management, and communication skills, as a result of her work on 41 @ 80, the 80th birthday for President George H.W. Bush. She continues to do special events consulting in Houston, Texas.
Volunteering has long been the hallmark of White’s life. She chaired the largest fundraiser in the nation for the American Cancer Society, the Cattle Baron’s Ball of Houston; the Nutcracker Market of the Houston Ballet, the very first year that it raised over $1 million; and the Race for the Cure, continuing its reputation of breaking both attendance and fundraising records in its efforts against breast cancer.
White currently serves as the Vice-President of the Texas A&M University Press Advancement Board, is a Board Member of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center Foundation, and is a member of the Campaign Committee of The Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University. She has served as a member of the Governor’s Commission for Women since 2005.
She received her bachelor's degree from The University of Texas and her master’s degree in speech pathology from Southern Methodist University. She is married to John D. White, a partner in Murphree Venture Partners, Houston, Texas. They have two daughters.
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