The Executive Committee consists of the chair, vice chair, immediate past chair, treasurer and regional chairs. These individuals are empowered to act on behalf of the Council as needed to further the organization’s goals. This includes the ability to expend funds. An officer’s term is two years and begins at the fall semi-annual meeting after election by the Council.
The Council is currently administered by Dr. Mark A. Hussey, Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
2015-2016 COADC Executive Committee
Ed Erwin ’92 – Chairman
El Campo, Texas
Ed is the owner of E.F. Erwin Inc., a construction company serving the commercial grain elevator industry. He is in the beef cattle, hay and rice industries.
Ed earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural systems management from Texas A&M University in 1992. He and his wife Dr. Melissa Erwin have three children.
“COADC is the best conduit I have found to give back to Texas A&M and agriculture, both of which have given me immeasurable benefits. I am fortunate to be associated with the people that serve with me on the COADC.”
Trace Blair ’93 – Past Chairman
San Antonio, Texas
Trace is a partner with Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair, LLP. He serves as arena director for the San Antonio Livestock Exposition and director for the Atascosa County Livestock Show. He has been named a Rising Star in Texas Monthly’s annual Super Lawyer edition since 2005.
Trace graduated from Texas A&M University in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and earned a Juris Doctorate from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1997.
Allison Smith ’02 – Vice Chair
Allison was raised in the Texas Panhandle and graduated from Canyon High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in floriculture from Texas A&M University in 2002.
“The College of Agriculture Development Council is a wonderful way to give back to the university that did so much for me during college. It’s an honor to be part of great group of people who know that agriculture has a very real and relevant place in our lives.”
Jay Gray ’74 – Treasurer
Jay is the general manager for Graham Land & Cattle Company. He is also the owner of Diamond Grove Cattle Company and co-owner of JG Cattle Company, both cattle feeding operations.
Jay grew up in Gonzales County and graduated from Waelder High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University in 1974.
“I owe most of my life and business success to Texas A&M and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I want others that have made the step to come to A&M to have the same opportunity. My time and resources are minuscule, but I just have to do something to help them and the College.”
2015-2016 COADC Regional Chairs
Patrick Williams – Regional Chair, Central Texas
Patrick A. Williams ’92 returns to Aggieland after most recently serving Greenhill School in Addison, TX as director of major gifts and alumni relations. He assumed responsibility for solicitation of major capital and endowment gifts for the school. Prior to joining Greenhill, he was at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network as Director of Operations. He served as Director of Marketing and Recruiting for Angell Financial Group and Texas Financial Group-Dallas from February 2000 until opening a new agency for Northwestern on Muster Day 2006.
Patrick is the only Aggie in his fourteen-member family comprised of 12 boys and two girls. He grew up in Palestine, TX . He earned a bachelor’s of science in journalism with concentration in public relations. As a student at Texas A&M he served as president and social director of Hart Hall and is credited with gaining approval for the first sand volleyball court constructed on campus.
Patrick brings with him a diverse employment history including a brief stint with the Dallas Cowboys in sales. After leaving a position as Supervisor of Installations for American Airlines travel agencies throughout the nation with Bell Atlantic Business Systems Services in Dallas, he returned to Texas A&M in 1995 to serve his alma mater. He has worked in the university’s department of Financial Aid and the Office of University Relations as a media communications specialist. Before leaving Aggieland he headed up the initiative of The Association of Former Students to impact current Aggies and the larger A&M community as its Director of Campus Programs.
Patrick spends his free time in volunteer work with college and high school youth through Young Life and Campus Crusade. He is past president, member of the board and lifetime member of the Dallas A&M Club, sits on the Leadership Council of The Association of Former Students as an At- Large representative, serves on the Board of Brazos Valley United Way, serves the Association as board member of the Black Former Students network and sits on the board of South Dallas Community Ministries.
“Success is not a measure of where you are but rather a measure of how far you have come from where you are.” I am proud to be part of this Council which has helped and continues to help many students trek the path to success.
Stephen Diebel ’95 – Regional Chair, South Texas/ Valley
Casey Cook ’95 – Regional Chair, Panhandle/South Plains Texas
Casey is a business development officer for Wells Fargo Bank, focusing on large agribusiness companies across Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Kansas, and is involved in a ranching partnership with his brother. He is a board member for 24 Hours in the Canyon, an event that raises funds for the local cancer center in Amarillo. He is also board president for the Amarillo Young Professionals Association.
Casey grew up on his family ranch near Canadian. He graduated from Canadian High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University in 1995. He and his wife Stefani have two children.
“I grew up in agriculture and can find no other sector in the economy that offers more opportunities for individuals, or does more for our nation. I have learned that most of the leaders and innovators in agriculture in our part of the United States are Texas Aggies. At this point in my life, serving on the COADC is the best way for me to help more students become Texas Aggies, and to ensure that Texas Aggies remain leaders in agriculture.”
Lance Waggoner ’92 – Regional Chair, North Texas
Lance was raised in Athens, Texas and graduated from Athens High School. He received his B.S. in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University in 1992 and his M.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1994. He lives in Corsicana, Texas where he is the Vice President for Micro Title Navarro County. Lance is the current ambassador of the Navarro County Go Texan Committee, past chairman of the Navarro County Youth Expo, current and founding member of the Navarro County Area Go Texan Scholarship Foundation, a lifetime member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and numerous other memberships and activities.
Tom Paterson ’80 – Regional Chair, South East Texas
Tom Paterson left New Mexico in 1976 to attend Texas A&M on the recommendation of a member of the Class of 1941. While at A&M, he was president of the Freshman Ag Society, Sophomore Class Senator, Chancellor for Alpha Zeta and the first Executive Vice-President for Student Government. In 1979, Tom was graduated summa cum laude with a degree in agricultural economics and received the Rudder Award. After Texas A&M, Tom went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for an M.A. and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics and a law degree. He was graduated with high honors from law school. As part of his doctoral dissertation, he co-authored The Sunkist Case, which received the Quality of Research Discovery Award from the American Agricultural Economics Association.
Tom returned to Texas in 1985 to work as a trial lawyer with Susman Godfrey, a Houston-based law firm, where he is a partner. He is licensed in Texas and New Mexico. For close to 27 years, Tom has used his background and training in agricultural and natural resource economics for his clients, many of whom have been royalty owners, independent oil and gas producers and midstream companies. Tom, his wife and two daughters own the Spur Ranch near Luna, in western New Mexico. He and his daughters run the Spur Ranch Cattle Company LLC, a commercial stocker operation.
“For more than a century, Texas A&M has taken kids off the farm or ranch and given them the opportunity to succeed. We are much the richer for it. That’s what this council facilitates. That’s why it has been my privilege for 25 years to support its work.”