Leading the Way
Executive Committee advances alumni programs
The UT Arlington Alumni Association Board of Directors comprises 36 graduates who represent the diversity of more than 150,000 Maverick alumni worldwide.
Dedicated to helping the Alumni Association connect alumni to their alma mater, the group meets four times a year to interface with students, University stakeholders, community leaders, legislators, and alumni. The board serves in an advisory capacity to the Executive Committee, nine alumni who promote, support, and advance Alumni Association programs and services.
Executive Committee President Bob Watson earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at UT Arlington in 2003 and is now pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree at the University. A licensed professional engineer, he works for the city of Arlington’s Public Works and Transportation Department.
Robert Rivera, vice president of awards and recognition, is an Arlington City Council member. He co-founded “Touchdown Arlington!” and has served on the Arlington Park Bond Committee, Arlington 2025 Futures Committee, Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, and Arlington Library Board. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2007.
James Billingsley, vice president for facilities stewardship, earned a B.B.A. in 1987. He is a partner in the law firm of K&L Gates, LLP, where he specializes in complex business restructurings, distressed acquisitions, international insolvencies, and insolvency litigation.
Robert Strong, vice president for membership and marketing, is the Texas state president for Mutual of Omaha Bank. He earned a B.B.A. in 1978 and is a former UT Arlington adjunct faculty member in economics and finance. He recently received an honorary membership for lifetime career achievements from the University’s Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society.
Jim Herckt, vice president of constituent groups and scholarships, graduated in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. He is a project architect with the architecture firm of HKS Inc. and is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. He currently serves as past president of the Architecture Alumni Chapter and as a chair of the Topping Out Awards Program.
Secretary Lisa Kruczynski is an independent consultant specializing in social media strategies and internet marketing. She also works as an adjunct instructor for the UT Arlington Fort Worth Center. She recently joined the planning team for the Rotary Global Peace Forum.
Treasurer Julie Pence works at Novation, the supply company for VHA, a nationwide network of community-owned health care organizations and physicians. She directs the supplier audit team and chaired the communications action team for VHA’s diversity council. She received her B.B.A. in accounting in 1998.
Emily Hoad, immediate past president, earned her bachelor’s degree in advertising and communication in 1999. She works for Sabre Holdings, the parent company of Travelocity, managing and marketing programs to strengthen the company’s leadership globally.
President-elect Neer Patel graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in information systems. He is an information technology director and system developer for PetroData Business Systems in Arlington. He serves on the board of directors for the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas and volunteers at the organization’s summer camps for children with epilepsy.