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Wayne Terry and Tina James
UTSA alumni and H-E-B executives Wayne Terry and Tina James

H-E-B partners and UTSA alumni: one and the same

By Marianne McBride Lewis
Director of Public Affairs

(Aug. 8, 2006)--The next time you're at H-E-B, check out the folks bagging groceries and don't be surprised if you see someone familiar helping out -- someone with a blue-and-white H-E-B partner nametag that reads "Ricardo."

That's because UTSA President Ricardo Romo was made an honorary employee of the H.E. Butt Grocery Company during a July 27 event at H-E-B corporate headquarters in San Antonio's King William neighborhood.

Bob Loeffler, H-E-B chief operating officer, bestowed the honor at the first-ever H-E-B/UTSA Alumni Association gathering, complete with a personalized nametag for Romo and an invitation to bag groceries at any of the 51 San Antonio store locations.

During the reception and program, Romo and other UTSA officials greeted more than 50 H-E-B management-level employees who also are UTSA alumni. The event was to inform the graduates of the latest developments at UTSA and to re-energize their blue-and-orange pride.

H-E-B employs more than 200 UTSA alumni with 100 as part of their management team and another 100 at other levels of the organization.

Jane Burton, UTSA director of alumni programs, pursued the idea of having an H-E-B/ UTSA partnership event after Wayne Terry, UTSA Alumni Association board member and H-E-B manager of store operations and recruiting, suggested it.

"Wayne is one of our most engaged alumni," said Burton. "By President Romo sharing the great news about the growth and development of UTSA, we just knew our cadre of alumni at H-E-B would be interested and would want to be more connected to their alma mater."

Lynn Hickey, UTSA director of intercollegiate athletics, summed it up perfectly: "When you ask, 'How can I help?' -- I say, 'Just come home.'"

"Come to a game, come to a UTSA event, come for a career fair -- you will be amazed," Hickey said. "There is energy at UTSA now that didn't exist when I arrived seven years ago. You all graduated from a great university and we are proud of you."

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