Making Sure A&M’s Traditions and Culture are not Lost

Joseph “Joe” W. Ashy, General, USAF (Retired)

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Joseph “Joe” W. Ashy, General, USAF (Retired), President of the Texas Aggie Sul Ross Group

Joseph “Joe” W. Ashy, ’62

There is a lot going on at A&M that most people don’t hear or read about.  Under Joe Ashy’s leadership, the Sul Ross Group is collaborating with many A&M officials and groups to make sure A&M’s traditions and culture are not lost. The Sul Ross Group’s membership includes all former students who attended Texas A&M or graduated more than 55 years ago.

General Joe Ashy and his wife Sue grew up in Beaumont, Texas. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in mechanical engineering. After being commissioned, he attended flying school at Reese AFB, Texas followed by F‐100 gunnery school at Luke AFB Arizona. His first assignment was to the 494th Tactical Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, England. He then was assigned to 3rd Fighter Wing at Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam where he flew 289 combat missions. Other fighter aircraft he has flown operationally include the A‐7, F‐4, F‐5 and F‐16. He also served in various staff positions during the span of is service in the USAF. He was the operations officer of an F4E squadron (the 36th FS) in Korea, followed by command of the 421st Fighter Squadron (F‐4Ds in Utah).

He later commanded two fighter wings (the 37th Fighter Wing “Wild Weasels” at George AFB, California, and then the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing at Nellis AFB). Following Commands included: the USAF Fighter Weapons Center at Nellis AFB Nevada, 16th Air Force in Europe along with and a theater component command (NATO’s AIRSOUTH, where he directed air operations in the Mediterranean area and air combat operations over the Balkans), and two Air Force major commands (Air Training Command and Air Force Space Command).

In his last assignment, he was “triple hatted” as Commander, NORAD, Commander, U.S. Space Command, along with Commander, Air Force Space Command. He is a command pilot with over 3500 hours in fighter and attack aircraft. Decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster.

He retired from the USAF in 1996. As president of Ashy and Associates, L.L.C., he consulted for aerospace firms, was a member of boards and USAF advisory groups, and mentored a Department of Defense course for newly promoted US flag officers and senior civilians for 18 years – traveling and visiting over 125 countries around the globe as the senior US delegate.

He and Sue now live on College Station, Texas. He is a member of the Christ UMC, enjoys golf, great grand kids, all things Texas Aggie, the Sons of the Republic of Texas (SRT), the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), and is currently President of the Texas Aggie Sul Ross Group.

2021 Legislative Update with Emphasis on Texas A&M Priorities

Kris Heckmann, Treasurer of the TAMU System PAC

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Kris Heckmann,
Partner with Granite Public Affairs and Treasurer of the TAMU System PAC

Kris Heckmann, ’92

Kris Heckmann’s deep capabilities in regulatory and government affairs were developed with more than 12 years working in the legislative and executive branches of Texas state government, in addition to working in private consulting and lobbying practices. He worked for Governor Rick Perry for more than nine years, serving as deputy chief of staff, deputy legislative director, liaison to the Senate, and policy advisor.

Kris’ background in the legislative branch includes serving as the messenger to the Senate for the Texas House, and as a policy analyst and deputy general counsel for the Sunset Advisory Commission.

His private sector experience includes representing corporations, entrepreneurs, municipalities, and land developers as they navigate licensing and regulatory hurdles, while building and maintaining coalitions to help advance their public policy needs. Kris graduated from Texas A&M University in 1992, and earned his law degree from Texas Southern University.

Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets Update and Momentum

Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets Update and Momentum

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Joe E. Ramirez, Jr. ’79
Brigadier General, USA (Ret)
Commandant, Texas A&M Corps of Cadets

Joe E. Ramirez, Jr. ’79Brigadier General Joe Ramirez is a native of Houston, Texas and is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Texas Aggie Band in the Corps
of Cadets. He received his commission in the United States Army Field Artillery from Texas A&M in 1979 as a Distinguished Military Graduate.

During his 31 years of military service, General Ramirez commanded soldiers around the world and served in leadership positions in various joint and operational commands. He was the Deputy Chief of Staff for United States Central Command during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and was the Deputy Division Commander for the 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea. His most recent assignment was Deputy Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy for US European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.

General Ramirez holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Texas A&M (1979); a Masters Degree in Management from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri (1993); and a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania (2000).

His numerous military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Korean Defense Service Medal, and the Parachutists Badge.

TexAgs – Football Recruiting and Baseball Update

Ryan Brauninger

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Ryan Brauninger
TexAgs Recruiting & Baseball Analyst

Ryan Brauninger

Ryan joined TexAgs in August of 2015. A college baseball player at McNeese State (Class of ’09), he moved to College Station in 2010 to pursue a Master’s in sport management at Texas A&M. Since receiving his degree, Ryan has been active in the youth sports scene in the Brazos Valley, the state, and region; including a summer stint with USA Baseball. He is a member of the TexAgs Recruiting team and a baseball analyst.

2021 Texas Legislature Session Priorities

Chris Britton

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Chris Britton
Managing Director,
Caddo Associates

Chris Britton ‘92
Chris Britton is the managing director for Caddo Associates, a specialized boutique lobby firm located in Austin, Texas. Skilled in legislative and regulatory policy, Chris has provided counsel on budget and policy matters across all issue areas. He has served as deputy chief of staff for Governor Perry, policy advisor for the Offices of Governor and Lt. Governor, and committee clerk and chief of staff for legislative offices in the Texas House of Representatives. In the private sector, Chris worked for Accenture, a Global Fortune 500 Company, with the company’s public service practice. His service included policy expertise, managing an initiative working with client legal staff to identify and resolve data sharing issues, and overseeing improvements in the processing of public assistance applications. Prior to his time with Accenture, Chris provided policy counsel to other private and public‐sector clients. As part of his volunteer activities, Chris serves on the board of directors for the YMCA of Austin and the board of management for the Texas YMCA Youth and Government. He is a past chair and board member for the Austin Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of South Central Texas.

Chris received his Bachelor of Science Agriculture Development from Texas A&M University in 1992.

The State of the Texas Economy

Dr. Luis Torres

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Dr. Luis Torres
Research Economist
Real Estate Council of Austin

An overview with emphasis on commercial and residential real estate in Austin

Dr. Luis Torres

Dr. Luis Torres received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico. He received a master’s in economics from the University of Texas at El Paso, where his dissertation received honors. He later earned a scholarship to participate in the American Economic Association Ph.D. Summer Minority Program. His Ph.D. is from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he specialized in international economics and econometrics. During his doctoral studies, he worked at the El Paso Branch of the Dallas Federal Reserve. From 1995 to 2012, he was with Banco de Mexico in the research department and the institutional liaison department. He has more than 15 years of central banking experience.

Dr. Torres studies the Texas economy and real estate market as well as researching the U.S. and world economies. He developed regional indicators that measure economic activity in the real estate industry and forecast housing and commercial markets. Luis also oversees the following Center publications: Texas Housing Insight, Outlook for the Texas Economy, Texas Border Economy, and Texas Quarterly Commercial Report.

Dr. Torres has taught classes and seminars at U.S. and Mexican universities, as well as in national and international forums. He has published various articles in academic and nonacademic publications about banking, international economics, trade and applied econometrics.