2003 to 2007
Claus’ foremost affiliation is with Beethoven Maennerchor, a PMO that presents Fiesta Gardenfest. And Claus has uniquely taken advantage of opportunities available to his organization to support other Fiesta activities and by doing so to increase the visibility and popularity of the Gardenfest event. For example, Beethoven Maennerchor has sponsored floats in a number of Fiesta’s parades, it has participated in the King William Fair since that event’s inception and it provided financial support for the purchase of FSAC’s headquarters building. Besides leading his organization as President, Claus has served terms as an Elected Commissioner and on the Executive Committee, and as a member of at least five other FSAC committees.
A member of the FSAC for over forty years and named a Distinguished Alumnus of St. Mary’s University for creating Fiesta Oyster Bake, the school’s highly popular Fiesta event, Louis is also credited with assuring the continuation of the Miss Fiesta Pageant and the Fiesta Flambeau Parade, in the latter case being named one of only three Charter Members of the Fiesta Flambeau Parade Association, Inc. in 1989. Louis also served, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, on the Commission’s Executive Committee as Secretary, Treasurer, Presidential Appointee, Vice President and, in 1983, President. In those leadership capacities he was responsible for a reorganization of the Commission into the structure that continues today.
LES PAULIK *
Included as a member of El Rey Feo XL’s court in 1988-1989, Les, a transplanted Texan, quickly became an ardent Fiesta fan and supporter. A mere two years later he launched his own one-man effort to help quickly retire the debt from Fiesta Centennial. And just two years after that, Les paid his own way to the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to help build enthusiasm for and attendance at the IFEA’s meeting in San Antonio the following year. And to achieve those goals, and again at his own expense, Les purchased and shipped everything needed to stage a mini-Fiesta event in Rotterdam which was greatly enjoyed by everyone there. Back in San Antonio, his penchant for hosting led Les to the FSAC’s Hospitality Committee, assuring a good time for visiting dignitaries from other civic celebrations in the United States.
ROBERT D. REED*
Bob’s rise through the FSAC structure began with committee memberships and chairmanships before serving terms on the Executive Committee at the turn of the millennium leading to his presidency in 2002. At that time, a ongoing goal of the FSAC was to create a way to increase available funds through donations rather than to rely solely on revenues. Bob took on that task and, using his legal expertise and understanding of tax laws, completed the required documentation to establish a not-for-profit 501[c]3 foundation related to the FSAC that could accept tax deductible donations from both individual and corporate donors. By completing that highly important project, Bob established the means to increase income for the FSAC’s own growth and the financial support of its PMOs
PENNY McCUTCHEN GARDNER
As a founding board member of the Queen of Soul Pageant, Penny has been responsible for the personal development and etiquette training of young women who otherwise might not have had opportunities to participate in Fiesta. She helped to establish the Pageant as a PMO and its Queens as official members of Fiesta royalty. She has served as President of the organization, and she is a recipient of its Outstanding Service Award. Her deep commitment to the advancement of young women in the San Antonio community also includes terms on the Board of Directors of the Miss Fiesta Scholarship Pageant since 1983, including as its President in 2009. For the FSAC, Penny has served on the Host and Membership Committees, three terms as an Elected Commissioner and Vice President of the Executive Committee in 2010.
JACK C. HEBDON Jr.
Jack continues his family’s long and multiple associations with Fiesta. He has served various PMOs as a volunteer from 1978 to the present and, after rising to the very top echelons within the Texas Cavaliers including his reign as King Antonio LXXVII in 1999, his attention and acumen were next applied to the FSAC. Through numerous committee chairmanships he arranged enhancements of television coverage of Fiesta’s three major parades, he increased net sponsorship revenue to nearly $350,000 and he arranged better insurance coverage for the FSAC and its PMOs. As Treasurer on FSAC’s Executive Committee in 2001-2002., he meticulously revamped the PMO allocation process to assure it is administered fairly and that rules are consistently followed. Again rising to the top, he became FSAC President in 2013.
Perhaps Susie is best described as an innovator because she adds something new and improved to every activity she oversees. That is particularly true with the Battle of Flowers Association which she headed as President in 2003-2004. In 1996 it was she who introduced the Fireworks Extravaganza at the end of the annual Battle of Flowers Band Festival. Much appreciated by Band Festival participants are souvenir patches Susie created for students to wear on their school uniforms or jackets. When she chaired the Battle of Flowers Parade she designed the organization’s official flag, added music to public school floats and arranged funding for fans and foam hats to be given to parade spectators – all new, all improvements.
Ever creative and original, Rosemary introduced Fiesta to the game of croquet through Sticky Wickets, an event that benefited the Blessed Sacrament Academy and the Sisters of the Incarnate Word. Originally staged on the Academy’s grounds and later moved to other spacious outdoor venues, Sticky Wickets included competitions between local VIPs, Fiesta royalty and other celebrity croquet players, food, music, a Children’s Fair and a silent auction. Always present to personally oversee all the activities, Rosemary’s sparkling personality set the tone for this unique family fun event.
Mary headed the River Art Group which every year presents the Fiesta River Art Show. Member artists of the Group display their creative artworks along the Paseo del Rio, adding to the festive ambiance of San Antonio’s famed Riverwalk during Fiesta. Mary’s tireless work with the group included management of the member-staffed and operated non-profit business entity and its gallery, open daily, in the downtown La Villita historic district.
What else could be expected of an official Fiesta event created by inveterate hostess Amelia Garza than one that includes baubles and bubbly? That’s exactly what the annual Champagne and Diamonds Brunch consists of, presented by the Lo Bello Women’s Association. Lo Bello’s members, including Amelia, are business professionals who volunteer their time to increase educational opportunities for area students. Fundraising events, including the Champagne and Diamonds Brunch, enables the group to award scholarships to students who pursue four-year degrees at local colleges and universities.
Mary’s associations with Fiesta began in 1997 when she became a member of the Miss Fiesta San Antonio Scholarship Pageant’s Board of Directors and was immediately placed on its Pageant Committee to train and groom young women to be more polished, articulate, confident and self assured. In 2001 she became President of its Board of Directors, serving two terms, as well as becoming a member of FSAC’s Executive Committee. In 2002 she was elected FSAC Secretary while continuing her work with the Miss Fiesta Board of Directors. In 2007 Mary again returned to the FSAC Executive Committee as its Treasurer, then as Senior Vice President, then President Elect and, in 2010, President of the FSAC. In between and along the way, she also found opportunities to apply her time, talents and energy to other PMOs including the Military Civilian Club, the San Antonio Conservation Society and the Woman’s Club of San Antonio.