In 2013, the Alliance accepted nominations for its Distinguished Alumnus award. To be eligible to receive the award, the nominee must have received a degree or certificate from Lee College. A Distinguished Alumnus should be an individual of integrity who is held in high esteem.
Criteria are accomplishments in one or more of the following areas:
- Professional achievements
- Community service
- Academic achievements
- College service
- Personal triumphs
Two individuals were selected as 2013 Distinguished Alumni. They are:
Gary Englert – Class of 1984
Gary exemplifies a man who gives as much as he can to make his church, his community and his college a better place. A native Baytonian, his influence and impact encompasses a broad spectrum of community groups, educational institutions, and assistance groups. Gary has been employed in the banking industry for 33 years. He graduated from Lee College with an associate’s degree before earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UHCL. He has served on the Lee College Community Leadership Advisory Council, the Lee College Bond Committee, and was the past chairman of the Lee College Foundation Board. Gary and his wife, Diane, are Lifetime members of the Alliance.
Renea Dillon – Class of 1984
As a first generation high school graduate, Renae has always been willing to help students find their passion and to help navigate them through their chosen career pathway. Renea received an associate’s degree in secondary education from Lee, as well as a bachelor’s, a master’s degree and a principal certification from UHCL. As a single mother working to support her family, Renea was faced with many hardships. During Renea’s 24 year career, she has been employed with three ISD’s as well as College of the Mainland. A published author, Renea also has led career and technical education workshops in the U.S., sharing a wealth and knowledge of best practices in her field. Renea has made a significant impact on optimizing dual credit opportunities through partnerships with high school students and Lee College. Renea and her husband Mike are Lifetime Members of the Alliance.
The Alliance applauds all of our nominees for this recognition. The following alumni were nominated:
Tracy Allen – Class of 1995
Tracy Allen, A.D.N., B.S.N., M.S.N., is a Family Nurse Practitioner and is employed at Lee College as a nurse educator. She received her associate’s degree from Lee, and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Texas Tech. Tracy’s career includes serving as the Nursing Director at Liberty Community Hospital and serving as CEO of a new hospital in Cleveland for its first 18 months. Tracy’s goal is to improve the process of nursing through nurse education and ultimately improve the health care system for all people.
Monica Chauviere – Class of 1975
As the oldest of six children, Monica experienced many hardships in her early years. With the encouragement of Lee College counselor Gertrude Teter, Monica received her associate’s degree from Lee, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston. After spending her entire career at ExxonMobil, Monica retired and started her own international consulting business. She remains active in professional organizations, keeping abreast of the latest in coatings and insulation technology. Monica is active in her church, and is always ready to help her friends in need. Monica’s three children were accepted into the McComb School of Business at UT Austin.
Larry Douglas – Class of 1986
Larry received two associate’s degrees from Lee College’s prison education program and a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University. While incarcerated, he opened his mind to learning and changed his entire life. He provided tutoring assistance to other inmates. With a focus on his personal rehabilitation and his education, Larry received a master’s degree in psychology. Since 1992 Larry has been employed with the Gateway Foundation. Today, he not only provides Houston-area inmates with assistance including substance abuse and career counseling, but also travels the country training other counselors on how to work with offenders with addictions and medical needs. Larry, a member of the Alliance, credits the college for building the foundation for his career. His greatest reward, he says, is getting to share his story with inmates who are about to leave prison in order to begin a new life.
Cherie Laughlin – Class of 1976
Cherie received an associate’s degree from Lee and a bachelor’s degree in business management from LeTourneau University. She has spent more than 35 years at Bayer. The past 15 years, Cherie has served as the Communications & Public Affairs Lead and is a recognized leader on Bayer’s Site Leadership Team. Cherie has held leadership roles on local and state wide petrochemical industry boards. In addition, she has served in leadership roles on boards and committees related to Baytown community, civic, and outreach initiatives. Cherie is a champion of Lee College and is an Alliance Lifetime member. She celebrates her personal triumph over breast cancer in 1998 by continuing to help others gain confidence in fighting their own personal battles; her daily personal goal is “One Random Act of Kindness — no strings attached.”
Augustine Loredo – Class of 1995
Augustine Loredo received an associate’s degree in communications from Lee, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston. Currently he is a teacher and coach at Pasadena High School. Augustine is founder of CICLO, a magazine aimed at the Hispanic community. He is very active in the Baytown community and currently serves on the GCCISD School Board. In addition, he is a board member of the Baytown Parks and Recreation Department and helps operate the Grito Festival, with an estimated 5,000 people in attendance. Augustine has a passion for inspiring young people to go to college. He is a board member for two non-profits: HEAC, a group that motivates Hispanic students to attend college, and Promise Center Board, which provides students with activities and education after school and on weekends.
Keetha Mills – Class of 1992
After earning an associate’s degree in accounting at Lee, Keetha was awarded her bachelor’s degree in accounting from University of Houston-Clear Lake. Keetha is a Lifetime member of the Alliance. Keetha’s roots remain true to the success of students and the advancement of community colleges. Keetha has had a successful career that has included groundbreaking leadership in both the private and nonprofit sectors. Today, she leads the foundation for California Community Colleges, one of the largest non-profit educational foundations in the country, which exists to support and benefit the 2.4 million students and 112 colleges that comprise the California Community College system.
Gina Rivon – Class of 2001
Gina Rivon received an associate’s degree in office technology and a bachelor’s degree in business administration while working full time and raising three children as a single mother. Gina has been employed in several departments with the City of Baytown since 1994, and is currently the Utility Billing Manager. As the first African American to serve in any capacity in the City of Baytown Mayor’s Office, Gina has crossed many racial barriers. During her employment, Gina developed and/or implemented several successful youth programs that are still offered today. She served as the Mayor’s liaison between the Mayor’s offices and Baytown citizens. Gina’s community activities have included the Baytown Chamber of Commerce, Friends Serving Friends, Relay for Life, the United Way Campaign, Communities in Schools board, and as a past board member of the Alliance. Gina authored an inspirational poetry book entitled, “Love, Life, and Jesus.”