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Texas State Commander Report:
American GI Forum 2014 National Conference Elects New Leaders

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: On July 31 –August 2, 2014, the  Austin Women's Chapter, and the American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.hosted the 66th Annual American GI Forum of the U.S. National Conference in the beautiful Alamo City of San Antonio, Texas. Angel Zuniga, Corpus Christi, Texas and Alicia Rodriguez, Ulysses Kansas were elected to lead the Forum and the Women. National Youth Chair Stephanie Lefthand was reelected for a third term. National Conference Committee Chair Lupe Rodriguez and Co-Chair Gil Rodriguez along with their committees coordinated a fantastic conference. 

National Commander Luis Vazquez Contes called the meeting to order Thursday morning followed by prayer by Father Richard Pena, Posting of Colors and Pledge of Allegiance. Honorable Jerry Patterson, Chairman Texas Veterans Land Board, enlightened us with the other side of Texas history with heroes and leaders like Seguin, DeZavala and other with Hispanic surnames. Also present to give us a hearty Welcome to the Alamo City was San Antonio Mayor Pro-Tem Ms. Shirley Gonzales.

Informative Veteran Administration Workshops led by Ms. Barbara Ward, Director for Center Minority Veterans and Ms. Rosye B. Cloud, Senior Advisor for Veterans Employment office of Economic Opportunity, both from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. National Veterans Outreached Program (NVOP) founded by the American GI Forum conducted all day training for their employees during the conference.

Youth Awards Luncheon led by National Youth Chair Stephanie Lefthand from Texas introduced Master of Ceremonies Xavier Rodriguez who then introduced Keynote speaker Dr. Sonia Noyola, social studies instructor, Corpus Christi Independent School District. Competition speeches were given by Irene Perez, 2014 Miss AGIF Kansas,  Amanda Jacoby, 2014 Miss AGIF Michigan, and Monica Herrera, 2014 Miss AGIF Texas, concluded with the judges selecting Miss Irene Perez, Kansas the 2014 Miss AGIF/US, Texas 2nd place and Michigan 3rd place.

After Lunch, Federal Workshops continued while HEF Board of Directors, NVOP Board of Directors, and assigned Committees met. 

Friday morning the General assembly continued with convention rules, roll call of States, credentials report, reading of minutes, treasurer’s report, HEF report and the Constitution reading and discussion. 

For the Wounded Warrior luncheon, Master of Ceremonies Cesar Ruiz, NationalSergeant-at-Arms, introduced guest speaker Ms. Rosye B. Cloud , Senior Advisor for Veterans Employment office and Past State Commander Paul Herrera introduced Keynote Speaker Brigadier General Orlando Salinas, Deputy Commanding General, United States Army South.  General Salinas briefly spoke about his new assignment of protecting the Texas and Mexico borders ordered by Texas Governor Perry. You may view and hear his comments here on T-Span.

After lunch, the General Assembly reconvened with breakout meetings for Forum, Women, and Youth.

The evening ended with the Founder’s reception and the Commander’s Banquet with Mr. Carlos Martinez, President and CEO of the AGIF-NVOP introducing Key note speaker Texas Senator Leticia Van De Putte, Chair of the Texas Senate Committee on Veterans and Military Installations. Senator Van De Putte enlighten the large crowd with a speech and can be seen and heard here on T-Span. She later personally presented every attending veteran with her Texas Senator challenged coin.

On Saturday morning the General Session reconvened with the 2015 San Jose National conference update/report by California State Commander Dwayne Goff.  Resolutions committee read their approved resolutions to the assembly for approval. Then, State commanders, National officers, and National Youth gave and submitted their reports.

National Chairwoman Patsy M. Vazquez-Contes at the Women’s Leadership Luncheon recognized the Honorees Rosie G. Collin, Totsy Armadillo, Cindy Kawas and the Keynote Speaker (Retired) SGT Shannon Vargas. Sgt Vargas married with one child,  stated that she shocked her mother when she announced that she was joining the Army. She has had many speaking engagements about her military life. She plans to start an American GI Forum chapter. Ms. Guadalupe Spaller,  a Blue Star Mother, Ms. Theresa Alaniz, a Gold Star Mother, and Ms. Wanda Garcia, Dr. Hector P. Garcia’s daughter,  also assisted with the presentation and all were also Honorees. After the Women’s Luncheon, the assembly continued with business with Kansas State winning the bid for the 2016 National Conference.  Mid-year 2015 we will be going to Dallas, Texas. The National election results yielded;

National Commander – Angel Zuniga, Corpus Christi, TX.
Vice Commander – John Navarrette, Omaha, NE.
Secretary – Greg Nichols, San Jose, CA.
Treasurer – Ernesto Montoya, Colorado Springs, Co.
Sergeant-at-Arms – Cesar Ruiz, Austin, TX.

National Chairwoman – Alicia Rodriguez, Ulysses, KS.
Vice Chairwoman – Anna Ramirez-Antunez, Ft. Worth, TX.
Women’s Secretary- Kathy Clennin, Denver, CO.
Women’s Treasurer – Jeanie Aleman, Houston, TX.

National Youth Chair – Stephanie Lefthand, Waco, TX. 

On behalf of myself, the American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Board of Directors and members we wish to thank Outgoing National Commander Luis Vazquez Contes and National Chairwoman Patsy Vazquez Contes for their work and dedication and for leading the American GI Forum of the U.S. during the 2013-2014 year. We also offer Congratulations to our new leaders, Mr. Angel Zuniga, Mrs. Alicia Rodriguez and newly reelected Stephanie Lefthand wishing them all well, good luck and support during the upcoming year. 

Yours in AGIF,   
John Martinez
Texas Commander 


San Antonio, Texas is the Site
Texas AGIF Prepared for 2014 National Conference

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: An Invitation Join Us: I am pleased to invite you to join us in San Antonio, Texas for our 66th Annual National Conference. The American GI Forum, the largest and only Federally Chartered Hispanic Veterans Family Organization in the country, will meet again to address important issues impacting our veteran’s community.

With a theme of “Honoring our Wounded Warriors and their Families,” our 66th National Conference is scheduled for July 30 to August 2, 2014. San Antonio, Texas, the beautiful Alamo City. Come help us honor our Wounded Warriors – besides, the Luncheons, receptions and Banquet, the AGIF will hosts a special Luncheon and Reception for our Wounded Warriors. Representatives from the Wounded Warrior Project have agreed to participate. Entertainment with minimal speakers scheduled for this event.

The 2014 Conference will feature our corporate partners, government agencies, colleges and universities, military, and non-profit organizations displaying their products and services while recruiting Latino employees at THE JOB Connection, for job seekers looking for opportunities. Attend the work shops, plenary session, and exhibits booths that will include the speakers and presenters from the VA, SBA, DOL, and our NVOP’s programs. We will visit and tour the NVOP facilities and Residential Center.

You can navigate this website and get the latest updates to the 2014 AGIF National Conference, Veterans Workshops & Job Connection Expo that will start on Wednesday, July 30 thru Saturday, August 2, 2014 at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel, 111 E. Pecan Street San Antonio, TX.

Information has been mailed to Board Members, State Commanders, State Chairs and others in our Texas Address Data Base. This information has been updated so please pass on all information to members who wish to attend but have not logged into our web site and have not received any information. 

Room Rates Extended: Please make your Hotel Reservations now. Hotel Rooms at the reduced price of $106 have been extended until June 29. Call direct to (210) 354-2800 or go on line at www.sawyn.com. Be sure and use the Group Code. Complete directions are posted for on line registration at  http://www.agiftx.org/index.php?page=events#online – These are how-to directions, click onwww.sawyn.com to register. Rooms after July 29 are on first-come-first served limit and will be charged at the hotel going rate at the time you register.

Early Registration for the Conference ends on July 14, after that, $200 check or money order and applications will have to be mailed before July 21 or pay on-site. Attached are the latest updates and itinerary for your convenience. Updates will be posted on our web site at www.agiftx.org or you click directly to the information at http://www.agiftx.org/index.php?page=2014.nat.conf.sa. You can navigate for complete information and registration and other forms.

Most importantly, we want you to visit with friends, make new friends and enjoy the beautiful Alamo City and it’s many exciting sites and places to visit.

Call Us: If you have problems with room registrations or have questions on the Conference, Registration, or places to visit, call us at (512) 992-7066 or email at: gil@agiftx.com.

Lupe Rodriguez,
2014 National AGIF Conference Chair
 
 

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