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Order of the Cascaron   San Antonio TX  

Biographies by

Paul Rossbach

MEET

OUR

MEMBERS

1998 to 2002

1998

DON MORRIS*

Noted San Antonio landscape architect Don Morris served the Fiesta Commission “without portfolio,” meaning he held no official position in the organization. But when invited to help organize the Commission’s first Art Scholarship competition, he ran with the task.Don invited student candidates to his design studio for interviews and to review their portfolios. He then advised the Commission as to which candidate he felt most deserved the honor and the $3,000 scholarship. As a final step in the process he purchased works from the scholarship recipient to donate to the Commission as the basis of its own fine art collection, after having the works professionally matted and framed at his own expense.          

PETE ORTIZ, JR. 

Pete’s initial Fiesta involvement was as a 1980 member of the San Antonio Jaycees which organized and presented La Semana Alegre. In 1984 he became active with the Jaycees’ other Fiesta event, the Fiesta Night Parade (now known as the Fiesta Flambeau). He remained with the parade through 1987, then returned in 1989 to become one of the Founders of the Fiesta Flambeau Parade Association, Inc.  He rose through the ranks of that organization and ultimately became Flambeau President in 1996, 1998 and 1999.  During those years he was also a member of the FSAC’s Executive Committee and remained on the Executive Committee as Vice President from 1999 to 2001. Pete then returned once again as Flambeau President from 2001 to 2004.  Thanks to his many years of strong leadership, the Flambeau Parade is still firmly established as the nation's largest Illuminated night parade and one of Fiesta’s major, signature and most well organized events.

 

JANICE RICKS 

Janice is one of those people who seems to be everywhere at the same time, and that is especially true when it comes to her many Fiesta involvements.  She has served as both an Elected Commissioner and on the Commission’s Executive Committee, as a member of the Host Committee, as a sponsor and co-sponsor of Fiesta fireworks events, as Chair of the Fiesta Fashion Show committee and, while all of that was going on, Janice worked tirelessly for many years to help assure the success of the Miss Fiesta Scholarship Pageant.

1999

MARSHA HENDLER

In 1991 for Fiesta Centennial, Marsha conceived the idea, and then secured the support and cooperation of the Plaza San Antonio Hotel and the San Antonio Express-News, to present “Faces of Fiesta” which ultimately led to the official establishment of the Order of the Cascaron.  That same year she organized and hosted a reunion of past Miss Fiestas which became an annual brunch event on Fiesta’s final Sunday.  She served as an FSAC Elected Commissioner for over ten years during which she chaired various committees and was extremely involved in developing new initiatives and incentives for corporate sponsors of official Fiesta events.  Marsha’s expansive Fiesta reach includes organizing the Order of the Cascaron’s annual induction ceremony, serving on the board of the Miss Fiesta Pageant and as a judge for the Queen of Soul Pageant plus being actively involved in forming the Green Patrol which encourages and enables Fiesta street parade attendees to recycle their disposable items.  

LEE VOGEL

During its quarter-century participation as an official Fiesta event, Hermann’s Happiness benefited greatly from Lee’s involvement as a volunteer member of the Hermann Sons Lodge.  He first contributed his efforts as Food Booth Chairman and soon rose to serve as Food Chairman, a position he held and excelled at for twenty consecutive years.  During those years the popularity of Hermann’s Happiness grew steadily and a clear sign of that growth was the ever-increasing food requirements of ever-increasing event participants.  That meant, for Lee, his job never became routine but, instead, presented new challenges to be met year after year.  He consistently rose to those challenges and by doing so assured the popularity and success Hermann’s Happiness enjoyed for so long.

2000

ORLANDO CISNEROS*

For the children at the San Antonio State School for the mentally challenged and severely disabled, Fiesta wasn’t part of their reality until Orlando dedicated himself to setting and achieving that goal.  He formed a committee to organize what became the San Antonio State School Fiesta Family Festival, held on the school’s campus.  Orlando worked diligently to present Fiesta-themed decorations and events including a parade, band performances, concession booths and visits by Fiesta royalty, all designed to extend the Fiesta spirit to a segment of our community that had never experienced such things before.  Orlando’s other Fiesta activities include serving as President of the Fiesta Flambeau Parade Association, as Chairman of the Fiesta Mariachi Festival and as an Elected Commissioner of the FSAC. 

EDWARD STEVES

It is difficult to clearly pin down a starting point of Edward’s association with Fiesta and the FSAC in particular.  His family has a long Fiesta legacy, dating back to before and continuing after the Commission’s formation.  Somewhat by happenstance, Edward was FSAC’s landlord when a building he owned was leased as the Commission’s home base in the St. Paul Square area during the 1980s and 1990s.  He became more directly and importantly involved when he readily accepted the challenge to help retire the remaining debt of Fiesta Centennial by soliciting donations from among his business contacts and associates.  All along, he was a member of many Fiesta-related organizations and an enthusiastic participant in their various Fiesta activities.  Edward’s dedicated efforts on behalf of the FSAC include his terms as a member of the Commission’s Executive Committee and, ultimately, Commission President in 2004.    

2001

JOAN GAITHER 

For many years Joan has served as President of the Society for the Preservation of Historic Fort Sam Houston and, on its behalf, during much of that time she oversaw the organization and presentation of a Victorian Gala.  In its inaugural year the Gala was described as one of the most entertaining new Fiesta events, with participants dressed in authentic late 19th-century formal wear and being taught dances of the period.   But time marches on and, without seeming to have aged a day herself, Joan now oversees an All-American Canteen - still a period event but of the World War II era.  Participants again dress in appropriate attire of the 1940s and they dance the jitterbug and boogie-woogie, all to honor the Greatest Generation and to acknowledge the Second World War’s impact on the history of Ft. Sam.  Joan also served as Military President of the Military Civilian Club, another Fiesta organization, in 1988-89.    .  

TOM SINENI*

Local real estate developer and business executive Tom Sineni’s major contribution to the Fiesta Commission was to put his professional expertise at the Commission’s disposal to locate and purchase what is today the organization’s permanent headquarters. Knowing the Commission’s need for office and meeting space, as well as a Fiesta Store, Tom scouted available properties and made recommendations which ultimately resulted in the move to the structure at 2611 Broadway just north of San Antonio’s downtown business district. Among Tom’s many other Fiesta involvements, he reigned as El Rey Feo LVI in 2004.

2002

JANE CHEEVER POWELL

Jane has a number of different, diverse accomplishments to her credit including record numbers of new members of the FSAC for two consecutive years when she served as a member of its Membership Committee.  She also successfully managed the Commission’s financial affairs when she served on the Executive Committee as Treasurer, and holding other leadership positions including her term as Chairman of the Art Scholarship Committee which she expanded greatly.  Most importantly, Jane arranged for all of the Commission’s historical records to be archived and preserved at the John Peace Library Special Collections Reading Room on the main campus of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

THAD W. ZIEGLER

Thad’s rise through Executive Committee positions with the FSAC, culminating with his term as President in 1998, closely mirrored his rise through leadership positions with the Texas Cavaliers and its River Parade structure.  As early as 1967, even before he was a member of the Texas Cavaliers, Thad served as a River Parade volunteer.  Later and more formally as a Cavalier, he held various River Parade committee chairmanships beginning in the early 1980s.  By 1986 he was second in command as River Parade Vice Marshal, then moved to the top post of River Parade Marshal the following year.  With his River Parade duties behind him, he next served as Day Aid to King Antonio LXVI in 1988, then led as Commander of the Cavaliers in 1991 and ultimately reigned as King Antonio LXX in 1992.       

*Indicates Deceased Member