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The American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.
2016-2017 State Executive Board of Directors
The 2016 Conference concluded with the installation of 2016-2017 newly elected officers:
Mr. John Martinez, State Commander
Houston Lucian Adams Chapter
Mr. Ceasar Rito Ruiz, Vice Commander
Mr. Justo ‘Howdy’ Leal, 2nd Vice Commander
Port Lavaca, Howdy Leal Chapter
Mr. Paul Herrera, Secretary
Mr. Gil Rodriguez, State Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Mr. Jesse Aguilera, Sgt-at-Arms
Tarrant County Chapter
Fa. Richard Peña, Chaplain
San Antonio Miguel Hernandez Chapter
Mr. Larry Perez, Immediate Past State Commander
McLellan County Chapter
Mrs. Sylvia Garza, Chairwoman
Sgt. J.P. Nevares Memorial Women
Mrs. Guillerma Morales, Vice Chairwoman
Tarrant County Women
Mrs. Tina Martinez, Secretary
San Felipe Del Rio Women
Mrs. Anna Ramirez-Antunez, Treasurer
Fort Worth Tarrant County Women
Ms. Tina L. Olivares, Chairwoman
Corpus Christi Coastal Bend Women
Ms. Laura Herrera, State Youth Chair
Austin Youth Chapter
Mr. Amador Garcia, State Legal Advisor
Corpus Christi Dr. Hector P. Garcia Founder’s Chapter
The State Commander is the Executive head of The American GI Forum of Texas Inc. and together with the executive board has power to enforce provisions of the Forum’s constitution, bylaws and resolutions of the governing body, the state convention, which meets each year to set policy for the organization. The State Commander serves a one-year term, along with the Executive Board of Directors they are elected annually.
State Executive Board and Constitutional Officers
In addition to the State Commander and 2 Vice Commanders, Secretary, Sgt-at Arms, 4 constitutional officers appointed annually by the commander. They are: Chaplain, Legal Advisor, Parliamentarian and a Veteran Service Office. The Executive Board Officers elected by the state conference take office upon adjournment and serve until the end of the next conference. The immediate Past Commander and Past Chairwoman are considered board members; they can join debate on issues and have a vote. The American GI Forum of Texas Inc. consists of anywhere from 46 to 52 Chapters in Texas.
State Office - Executive Secretary-Treasurer
The state office is located at 1000 Brazos, suite 200, Austin, Texas 78701. The office maintains all records, financial and administrative. A list of all Chapters, their officers, addresses, phone numbers and e-mails is kept by the Executive Officer. The Executive Secretary-Treasurer is selected by the Board of Directors and has the Administrative power, responsible for drafting an annual budget, approving contracts and signing off on State spending. The Executive Officer is the Chief Executive Officer and is also responsible for maintaining and updating the AGIF State of Texas Website.
The budget is presented each year to the Budget Committee at a yearly meeting following the State Conference and held at the State Office for their approval and to the entire board for ratification and their approval. The Budget Committee is composed of all elected officers. Each officer is provided a budgeted travel allowance as approved. A budget for capital equipment, software, office supplies, and contingencies is included.
State Financial records are kept and backed up in the office official computer. A Finance report is presented at each Board meeting and at the State Conference. Rosters of all chapters, members and personnel files are kept and are available only when authorized by the board of directors. Financial records are kept with access provided to all authorized members in good standing. Internal Audits may be performed every other year or as deemed necessary by the Commander and the Executive Board. A CPC firm may conduct a review of the audit whenever the entire Board of Directors makes that request. The books are always open for inspection and may be requested by any member in good standing.
The state office provides needed help to all chapters up to and including planning and executing state conferences and board meetings.
The Executive Secretary-Treasurer is a delegate with full voting power during the Forum’s fall and spring meetings and during the state conference. In short, the State Executive Secretary-Treasurer serves as the organization’s Administrator.
American GI Forum Women & Youth
Founded in 1948 as a Family Veterans Organization. The Women’s Forum has members from all walks of life. The women administer volunteer programs, dedicate hours to its communities and to veterans, and raise money to support its own programs, as well as other worthwhile charities familiar to Americans. They assist with leadership training of the Forum’s Youth that is very much a part of the State Organization. The Women officers are also members of the State Executive Board of Directors as is the Youth Chair. The women and youth are voting delegates at all gatherings of the AGIF.
State Board of Directors
While originally organized to expand The American GI Forum, the Regional Commanders, Chairs serve as members of the Board of Directors and must abide by the rules, motions and resolutions duly passed by the Conference or a duly called Board of Directors meeting. Each of 6 Regions selects a Commander, Chairwoman and Youth Chair to represent the chapters in their region at 3 Board of Directors Meetings yearly. They may elect other officers as needed at their yearly meetings. They also present resolutions, motions and ideas pertinent to their respective regions. These are presented to the body of delegates at each State Conference.
The State Conference
The AGIF of Texas, Inc. annual meeting, a two and a half day event, is the known as the State Conference and is the supreme ruling body of the organization. Local chapters bid to hold the State Conference two years in advance. Each of the Forum’s duly formed Chapters is entitled to a minimum of four voting delegates to the state conference. A chapter will be granted one extra delegate, a member in good standing, for each additional 10 members. All delegates must be present to vote.
30 days prior to the conference the Executive Secretary-Treasurer provides each chapter with their voting strength. The annually elected Executive Board rounds out the group of delegates present. The state conference delegates alone have the authority to approve changes to the AGIF of Texas Inc. and the American GI Forum of the U.S. constitution and bylaws. It is also responsible for passing programs that determine the course of the Forum, setting dues, assessments and fees for the upcoming year, and proposing resolutions and goals to the national conference.
Family Patriotic Organization
The three entities make the American GI Forum a family patriotic service organization. Through chapters located in 40 states and Puerto Rico, the American GI Form of the U.S. embodies the spirit of America that has prevailed through war and peace. The Texas group, American GI Forum of Texas Inc., is truly an American Patriotic Family Organization and stands behind America and her ideals.
National Officers Elected for 2014-15
2014 National Conference, San Antonio, Texas –The American GI Forum (AGIF) of the U.S. National Conference, was held in San Antonio, Texas on July 31- August 2, 2014. The National AGIF conducted the business of setting goals and policy for the following year. It also conducted educational and training for members and guests with seminars, workshops and meetings of the AGIF Hispanic Educational Foundation HEF and AGIF National Veterans Outreach Program (NVOP) taking place over the 3-day event.
The Austin Women's Chapter, headed by Conference Chair Lupe Rodriguez and assisted by the State Office, Gil Rodriguez, State Executive and with assistance from the Austin Chapter, State and National committee members.
The annual election of Officers elected Commander Zuniga and Chairwoman Rodriguez to head the men and women and reelecting Stephanie Lefthand to continue heading the Youth Group. Other members of the Executive Board were elected by the delegates present and will help lead the organization for the next year.
Texas congratulates all the new officers and is proud to share photos of the newly elected National Executive Board.
National AGIF Executive Board Officers
Mr. Angel Zuniga, National Commander – Richard Roco Chapter, Corpus Christi, TX
Mr. John Navarette, Vice Commander – Jerry Garcia Chapter, Omaha, NE
Mr. Greg Nichols, Secretary – San Jose Chapter, San Jose, CA
Mr. Ernesto Montoya, Treasurer – Colorado Springs Chapter, Colorado Springs, CO
Mr. Ceasar Rito Ruiz, Sgt-at-Arms – Austin Chapter, Austin, Texas
Mr. Luis Vazquez Contes, Past Commander – Pueblo Chapter, Pueblo, CO
National Women’s Forum Executive Board Officers
Mrs. Alicia Rodriguez, National Chairwoman – Ulysses Chapter, Ulysses KS
Ms. Anna Ramirez-Antunez – Tarrant County Chapter, Fort Worth, TX
Mrs. Kathy Clenin, Secretary – Denver, CO
Mrs. Jennie Aleman, Treasurer – Greater Houston Women's Chapter Houston, TX
Mrs. Patsy Vazquez Contes, Past Chairwoman – Pueble Chapter, Pueblo, CO
National Youth Forum Executive Board Member
Stephanie Lefthand, National Youth Chair – McLellan County Youth Chapter, China Springs, TX
AGIF Texas does not have complete personal contact information, but each may be contacted through Office Manager Dottie Burton, Denver Colorado National Office:
AGIF National Office • 2870 N. Speer Blvd, #104 • Denver, Colorado 80211 • (303) 458-1700 • (303) 458-1634 Fax • email@example.com.
2013 State Conference, Houston, Texas
Our State Conference, held in Houston, Texas on June 6-8, 2013, was a great success. It was well attended and the State’s business was conducted. Our thanks to the Lucian Adams Chapter and the Greater Houston Women’s Chapter, and Mr. Mitch Contreras, Local Commander and the Conference Chairman. We had a number of speakers addressing the delegates which included Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressmen Al Green and Gene Green, Brig. Gen. Joe Ramirez, Jr., Ms. Yolanda Suarez, NVOP, Dr. Thomas H. Kreneck, Judge Josefina Rendon, and Minerva Perez, MC, Presenters Johnny N. Mata and Justo L. Garcia. The luncheons, banquet and receptions were all excellent. Additional information and pictures may be viewed on this site. Our newly elected officers have been e-mailed to local commanders and chairs and will be mailed to those without e-mail. The State Office issued a press release and has sent a list of our new officers to our State Legislators’ offices at the capitol in Austin and to our State Congressional Delegation’s Texas offices. Commander Mitch Rendon, Chapter Commander and Mrs. Lily D. Contreas, Greater Houston Chairwoman and the committee and chapter members were excellent hosts to our guests, sponsors, legislators and local officials.
On behalf of the State, the members and new officers, our sincere thanks to Mr. Danny Delgado who has served as our State Sgt-at-Arm and decided to step down. He and the Board have our sincere thanks and appreciation for their service. Mr. John Martinez from Houston was reelected State commander, Mr. Ceasar Ruiz from Pflugerville remained our 1st Vice Commander and Justo ‘Howdy’ Leal from Port Lavaca is still 2nd Vice Commander. Paul Herrera, remained as State Secretary; Roy Reyes was elected to replace outgoing Danny Delgado as Sgt-at-Arms and Father Peña remains our State Chaplain. The Forum Women chose to stay with their existing Board. Stephanie Lefthand remains as our State Youth Chair and is also our National Youth Chair.
Take time to view our photos from the conference on this web site. We updating our Legends Banner and are available to anyone wanting one. Call the State office for details. If
you have a photo of yourself or your loved one in uniform, we will keep updating our Military Heroes with pictures as we get them.
Take time to view our photos from the conference on this web site. We are updating our Legends Banner. If you have a photo of yourself or your loved one in uniform, we will keep updating our Military Heroes with pictures as we get them.
2013 State Conference Photos
2012 State Conference Photos