TEXAN HERITAGE, GALVESTON ROOTS
From Houston to Galveston, with the obligatory stop in Austin.
You can’t grow up in the coastal plains of Houston without longing for Galveston. Like nearly every young person growing up in the Houston area in the 1950s and 1960s, Bill loved Galveston. He enjoyed coming here with his family as a toddler, and he loved surfing its waters as a teenager in the revolutionary 1960s.
The period had a great impact on Bill. It was a time of social change in America.
“I was deeply moved by President Kennedy’s call to my generation to ask
what we could do for our country. It was that statement that really put
me on the path of public service.”
Bill graduated from Milby High School in Houston, and then was off to the University of Texas where he majored in Government. Soon after, he worked his way into professional politics as a campaign worker in the New Hampshire presidential primary.
Family – Bill’s Issue A Number 1.
“Family is my life, it’s at the core of every decision I make. Everything starts
and ends for me there.”
Bill’s early specialization in political life was the impact of high energy prices on the economy. The time was the mid-1970’s and oil embargos were affecting every aspect of life around the globe.
To answer JFK’s call to government service, Bill and his first wife, Deborah, settled in Somerville, Texas (Burleson County), where he opened a small business and launched his bid for political office. Bill ran against the two-term incumbent State Representative, and against all odds was chosen by the people of Texas’s 29th Legislative District as their voice in Austin.
That same year, Bill and Deborah’s daughter, Maura, is born.
Bill would go on to serve the people of his district in the Statehouse for two more terms, putting forth a strong legislative history that represented all socio-cultural strata of his district.
Following his third term, Bill chose to put his political career on hold as he won custody of Maura. With his family the priority, and now a single parent, Bill put all of his focus into raising her.
Big business experience at the executive level – Austin and Washington, D.C.
For the next decade, Galveston will need leadership that knows its way around the two biggest seats of power – Austin and Washington, D.C. The 2020 census will, no doubt, put us over the 50,000 mark, and this will take every ounce of intelligence about how to operate in these capitals to take advantage of the new population status.
Following his decision to exit Texas politics for a while, Bill moved straight into the Vice Presidency of Austin-based Schlotzsky’s Inc., before moving on to become the Executive Director of the national trade association, APRO.
For the next 28 years, Bill manages the APRO’s efforts to gain state and federal regulatory legislation, and successfully combating legislative attacks on the industry.
Also during his time at APRO, Bill's love of the arts was exemplified by his election as President of the Austin Visual Arts Association. In addition, his business executive skills were tapped by the Texas Society of Association Executives when he was named as its Chairman of the Board.
It is clear, Bill has the experience needed to get Galveston to the table in Austin and in Washington.
Moving back home to Galveston.
Bill’s feet have been in the sand of Galveston beaches his whole life. In fact, the Galveston shore is where Bill’s father proposed to his mother in the late 1930’s. However, it’s Bill’s wife of eleven years, Debby, whose direct lineage winds its way back to the early 1840’s when her family first arrived here from France.
Debby’s great grandfather and three of his sons died in the hurricane of 1900.
Now, in their house on Rosenberg Street, Bill and Debby live and love the Island the way all of their fellow Galvestonians do. Bill’s call to public service has never waned, and now with his important work on Vision Galveston and other arenas, he is once again giving back to his neighbors, to his city.
Graduate of Galveston University – a 3 month, 27 hour course designed to engage citizens and key city staff on a collaborative learning process regarding Galveston city government enterprise and operations.
Steering Committee, Vision Galveston – A locally generated and sustained project to empower the community members of Galveston to define a vision of the city’s future.
Legislative and Advocacy Committee, Galveston Chamber of Commerce
The Sunday Morning Coffee Club
The Galveston Island Rotary Club