Meet your new Board of Trustees. Although you can also navigate over to this FASF Website and see more detail on your Trustees and Officers by clicking on the top menu bar’s heading of “FOUNDATION” and then its sub menu of Board of Trustees to see this information, here it is in a news-like format:
The new Trustees for 2015 are the following:
Alma Villezcas, like fellow Trustee, Bill Wallace, shares a special connection to the history of the FASF. She was born and grew up in the same Mexican City where Bill was also raised: Casas Grandes, Mexico, the home of the first foreign United States Air Base, from which the First Aero Squadron was deployed during the 1916 Punitive Expedition. Alma left Casas Grandes to emigrate to the United States in her twenties, but before she left, she became interested in the financial industry, based upon her experience working in Banks in Casas Grandes. Upon arriving in the U.S. Alma immediately started working on becoming proficient in English, later on graduating from the University of Arizona with a Major in Accounting. Prior to her studies at the U of A, she obtained other degrees in financial service areas, all the time working her way along as a single mother. Alma has worked in diverse areas of business and the law, from manufacturing, to retail sales and market research. Alma presently runs her own Accounting and Tax Service in Deming, NM, and also manages a multi-faceted business enterprise in Deming which operates everything from Car Washes and gas stations to a Convenience Market and Restaurant. With significant experience in Business Planning and Financial Forecasting, Alma is expected to provide some much-needed financial expertise as the FASF continues to grow and prosper.
Bill Wallace III – Although Bill was born in El Paso, Texas, he was raised until his teens in the city which, in 1916, became the first official foreign Air Base for the United States Military: Casas Grandes, Mexico. When Bill was sent up to the States to obtain some U.S. Schooling, it was to the New Mexico Military Institute, which immersed him in its renowned Leadership training, imparting those skills to this cadet. Later he attended and graduated from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Bill’s major career direction has been in Agriculture, primarily in ranching. He continues to keep his homes in El Paso, TX, Columbus, NM and Casas Grandes, Mexico, where he runs the old family ranch. Bill is currently running the largest business in Columbus, NM, the Columbus Stockyards, which is affiliated with the CATTLEMEX Corporation. Both of these operations are right on the U.S. Border with Mexico. Bill is looking forward enthusiastically to his work with the FASF, since his family had a great deal of actual life experience with the Pancho Villa Raid on Columbus on March 9, of 1916. General Villa actually murdered some of his grandfather’s employees at the ranch in Casas Grandes and then stole a number of the ranch horses for his men. Later, Bill’s grandfather invited the famous U.S. Army Buffalo Soldiers to bivouac at the family ranch, where they successfully defeated Villa’s troops in a famous battle, although the U.S. men were outnumbered by more than five to one!
Megan Wenzel comes to the Board with some excellent small business managerial skills and talents. She is currently a facility manager for an automotive business franchise in Deming, NM, and is continually trained and re-trained my her national corporate headquarters in Marketing and public relations, as well as in the related fields of automotive service and, in particular, the tire industry. In addition to her interest in civic activities and the history of the Southwest, where she was born and raised, Megan has been a life-long equestrian enthusiast, from her younger years as a 4H participant, to her continuing love of Rodeo Competition, which she continued to pursue all the way through her college years, where she graduated with a Major in Agriculture from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, the same school from which two other current Trustees also graduated: Colonel Ira Cline, and Bill Wallace. Megan is looking forward to helping with the First Aero Squadron’s Centennial Celebration in 2016, where, among other activities, she expects to assist with the groups of re-enactors engaged at the events in portrayal of both the troops, especially the mounted cavalry soldiers, and that of the Cavalry Officers who, in 1916 were trying to become airmen in their, at that time, brand new flying machines, those intrepid “Jenny” biplanes.
Roy Mantei hails from the East Coast, where he obtained his schooling, later graduating from the State University of New Jersey, or as it is more commonly known, Rutgers University. After graduating, Roy immediately went to work in the engineering and technical fields, working primarily in Aero Space engineering areas. He also served in the United States Navy and became an Intelligence Specialist, with a focus on mainland China. Roy achieved fluency in Mandarin Chinese during this period, a skill he used later in his various Engineering work, often traveling to China to oversee and explore manufacturing activities in the Far East. While still living and working on the East Coast, Roy became interested in flying, and became a pilot. Eventually, Roy moved to Deming, NM, in 2010, where he became the Quality Assurance Manager for Compass Manufacturing of that City. Active in civic affairs, Roy is also on the Board of Directors of the Luna County Deming New Mexico Chamber of Commerce.
Continuing on in office from 2014 are: Col. Ira Cline, Josh Plasencio, Dr. Kathleen Martín and Ric Lambart. Elected as the new Executive Committee for the Foundation are its new Officers: Ric Lambart, President: Kathleen Martín, 1st Vice President; Roy Mantei, 2nd Vice President; Josh Plasencio, Secretary; and Alma Villezcas, Treasurer.