Three to receive distinguished alumni, rising star honors during homecoming
KINGSVILLE - October 17, 2006
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Three alumni of Texas A&M University-Kingsville will be honored Saturday, Oct. 21, when the Javelina Alumni Association meets for its annual Homecoming luncheon at noon in the ballrooms of the Memorial Student Union Building.
Hector Farias, Jr.
Hector Farias Jr., Class of 1961, and Rodney A. Klett, Class of 1965, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award and Marcy Martinez, Class of 2000, will receive the Rising Star Award.
Farias is the chairman of the board of Farias & Farias Inc., an international trading company in Laredo that provides customs clearance, freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution.
He is well known in the international trade community having served several terms as president of the Laredo United States Customhouse Brokers Association and is currently president of the Texas Mexico Border International Trade Association.
Farias earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education, speech from Texas A&I University. He also earned a doctoral degree in medical education from Northwestern University.
He has been involved in his hometown of Laredo in various capacities for four decades. Farias has been in the forefront of the Laredo citizen’s watchdog organization VIDA (Voices in Democratic Action) since it was founded in 1966. He has chaired the organization successfully since 1994. In the late 1960s, he was head of the local VISTA organization that brought many positive changes to the Laredo area, including the establishment of neighborhood councils, which gave local residents political power.
A Marine Corp veteran, Farias has lobbied on behalf of veterans organizations, serving five terms as chairman of the Laredo Veterans Coalition.
Farias oversees the daily operations of his firm, which has offices in Laredo, Brownsville, San Antonio and Houston. Under his leadership, Farias & Farias Inc. has extended its business ventures that now include real estate, rental properties, foreign export declaration rebates and land development.
He and his wife, Diana, have seven children, five of whom hold key administrative positions within the firm. Farias also has undergone intensive physical therapy and several surgeries to overcome the disabilities caused by a near fatal auto accident in 1986.
In 2005, Farias & Farias Inc. was honored by Baylor University’s Institute for Family Business, an award that is given to families who have demonstrated a commitment to each other and to the business community. They were the first business in South Texas to receive this honor.
Klett retired three years ago after serving 39 as a Texas band director and music coordinator, all but one of those years at Georgetown High School. Under his direction, the Georgetown band received 36 sweepstakes awards, won the state marching contest six times and won the state wind ensemble contest eight times.
His band was named outstanding at numerous national music festivals throughout Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Florida and Colorado. The marching and concert bands performed at the National Bandmasters Association’s National Convention, the only time two bands from the same school have been asked to perform.
The Georgetown band received the Sudler Flag of Honor, an international award recognizing high school bands. The band placed in the top five honor band tapes for the Texas Music Educator’s Association five times and was selected the state’s 4A Honor Band three times.
Klett is spending his retirement in McKinney enjoying playing with his grandchildren and playing golf and fishing. However, he hasn’t left the world of band directing behind as he spends three or four days a week working with band directors and students from the surrounding area.
He has recently been notified he was selected to receive the prestigious Bandmaster of the Year award for 2007 from the Texas Bandmaster’s Association. In 2004, Georgetown Independent School District named its 2,000-seat performing arts center, the Rodney A. and Mary Ann Klett Center for the Performing Arts.
Klett earned his bachelor’s degree in music from Texas A&I University and his master’s degree in education from Southwest Texas State University.
Martinez is the one of the most high profile alumnae of A&M-Kingsville in the Rio Grande Valley. She is currently morning and noon news anchor for KGBT-TV in Harlingen. She also acts as education reporter, which includes producing education reports and training six high school students to report monthly packages. In addition, she co-hosts the MDA telethon.
She has been chosen Best TV Personality by in the Valley Morning Star’s Reader’s Choice Awards four of the last six years and A&M-Kingsville’s communication and theatre arts department named her Alumna of the Year in 2003.
Martinez received the Retired Teacher’s Association School Bell Award for coverage of education stories.
She gives to the community in the Rio Grande Valley by volunteering for many civic events. Just to name a few…she delivered the commencement address for the Progreso High School graduation in May, served as a judge for the Miss Texas Teen USA pageant in 2005 and as mistress of ceremonies for the Ford Salute to Education Scholarship presentation in 2004 and 2005.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in government and continues to give back to her university. She has been featured in university television commercials, was keynote speaker at Freshman Convocation and has been judge and mistress of ceremonies for the Miss TAMUK Pageant several times. She is a former Miss TAMUK herself selected in 1998.
Martinez follows in the footsteps of her father, who graduated from Texas A&I and her two older sisters, who received degrees from A&M-Kingsville.
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