MCALLEN, Texas – Businessman Mike Hernandez, who was born and raised in Brownsville, had a speaking role at a recent Texas A&M University System news conference in McAllen.

The news conference was held by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp and Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks to announce updates for the Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen. 

The top update announced was the appointment of Manny Vela as chief operating officer of Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen. He will start his new post in mid-May. Vela is currently CEO of Valley Baptist Health System.

Elected officials, community leaders, faculty and staff were in attendance for the news conference, which was held at the center. The address of the Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen is 6200 Tres Lagos Blvd., McAllen.

Hernandez is a regent for the Texas A&M University System, having been appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott.

“One of the reasons I was appointed a regent was that the governor wanted me to represent South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley specifically,” Hernandez told Ron Whitlock Reports. “And so that’s what we’re trying to do, bring more of an A&M presence down here, System-wide, not just the university. Today’s event is all about the university, of course. But the A&M System is involved in a lot of things up and down the Valley, including the Port of Brownsville.”

Here are the remarks of Regent Hernandez from the podium:


Editor’s Note: The above audio story is the fifth in a six-part series on the Texas A&M Higher Education Center at McAllen. Click here to listen to part one, which features former U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa. Click here to watch part two, which features Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp and Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks. Click here to watch part three, which features Manny Vela. Click here to listen to part four, which features audio highlights from the event.

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