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.

Update from The Association of Former Students

Porter S. Garner III

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Porter S. Garner III
President & CEO
The Association of Former Students

Porter S. Garner III ’79

Porter graduated from Texas A&M University in 1979 with a BBA in marketing and began his career with Hughes Tool Company before joining The Association’s staff as Field Director in 1981. After nearly 18 years of service to The Association, Porter was unanimously elected by the Board of Directors to lead the organization, making him only the seventh chief executive in The Association’s 141‐year history. Over the last 21 years as President and CEO, Porter has inspired innovation and led initiatives to achieve The Association’s vision to become the premier alumni organization, enhance Association programs and services, and broaden the organization’s reach and relevance to the worldwide Aggie Network. He serves as a non‐voting member of The Association’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, working closely with the Board to ensure that donated funds are used in the most efficient and effective ways to benefit Texas A&M and the Aggie Network. Under his leadership as President and CEO, The Association of Former Students’ total assets have grown from $55 million to $117 million and the organization has raised over $321 million impacting Texas A&M and Texas Aggies.

Porter is a member of the Self‐Governing Alumni Forum (SGAF), Council of Alumni Association Executives (CAAE), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and serves on the board of Baylor Scott & White Health – College Station Region. He served on numerous boards to include: CASE District IV, CASE Commission on Alumni Relations, Brazos Valley Rehab Center and March of Dimes. He is only one of two individuals to have been honored with a lifetime membership in the Brazos County A&M Club. Porter and his wife, Lisa ’91, have three children: Claire ’21, Callie ’23 and Porter IV.