UHD Hosts American Leadership Forum’s November Meeting
Alumna, State Rep. Mary Ann Perez Featured Speaker
By Mark Kramer
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) hosted the Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Leadership Forum’s (ALF) November meeting recently, which featured UHD alumna and District 144 State Rep. Mary Ann Perez as guest speaker.
A non-profit organization, ALF’s mission is to connect and strengthen professional leaders by building opportunities to make a difference in Greater Houston and surrounding communities. Perez and UHD President, Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz are both fellows of the organization.
“We are grateful for Dr. Muñoz and the important role UHD plays in the community to educate tomorrow’s leaders,” said Daniel W. Snare, president of the ALF’s Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter. “UHD and our organization share a common vision of creating diverse leaders to serve our community.”
During the luncheon of the all-day event, Muñoz introduced Perez and spoke about the important contributions she has made to her alma mater. Most significantly, she authored House Bill 1277 and was influential in its passage by the Texas Legislature. The approval of the Bill during the Texas 86th Legislative Session authorized a dedicated student fee to support the construction of the new UHD Wellness & Success Center. The initial stages of the project will begin soon.
“This is the first time in decades that our Legislature has approved such a fee to fund a project of this magnitude on our campus,” Muñoz said. “It was all made possible because of her support.”
Perez is a first-generation college graduate and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2003. She went on to build a successful insurance agency in southeast Harris County and was elected to the Houston Community College Board of Trustees in 2009. Perez was first elected to state office in 2012 and is currently serving a third term in the Texas House.
“It’s wonderful to come back to the UHD campus—it has a special place in my heart,” she said. “Everything that I’ve learned from here helped pave the way for my future professionally as well as in office.”
Perez said she values her relationship with the ALF organization.“We all come from different backgrounds and different cultures, which is important when it comes to representing the diverse communities of this great city,” she said.