Mr. Brett Cate
Chairman of the Board, Former Chief Sales Officer for Tyler Technologies
Brett Cate recently retired as the chief sales officer for Tyler Technologies. After joining Tyler Technologies in 1999, Cate served as a product specialist and then as director of sales and chief operating officer. In August of 2006, Cate was promoted to president of Tyler’s Local Government Division headquartered in Lubbock. During Cate’s tenure as president, the Local Government Division was comprised of 850 employees who developed, sold and supported nine product lines representing approximately one quarter of Tyler Technologies. In 2016, Tyler Technologies created a new role in leading sales efforts across all Tyler divisions and sought Cate to lead the effort. With more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry, Cate graduated from Lubbock Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Cate also serves on the advisory board for LCU’s School of Business as well as on the board of directors for People’s Bank and Jochebed’s Hope, a ministry aiding children of poverty in Indonesia. Brett and his wife Sherry are the proud parents of two daughters.
Mr. James Conwright
Vice Chairman of the Board, Senior Vice President at Vista Bank
James Conwright is the Senior Vice President at Vista Bank. After graduating with a Bachelor of Sciences in business administration from Texas Tech University in 2009, Conwright transitioned into the Texas Tech School of Banking for additional training. Since beginning his professional career at Vista Bank as a loan officer, he has acquired more responsibility to become the Senior Vice President. Conwright has proudly served as the secretary on the Electric Utility Board. As a Red Raider both on and off the football field, he knows the importance of working as a team to achieve a common goal.
Mr. Barry Orr
Past Chairman of the Board, Former CEO of First Bank & Trust
Barry Orr is the founder, Chairman and CEO of First Bank & Trust and its subsidiary mortgage company, PrimeWest Mortgage Corporation in Lubbock. Orr has served the Lubbock community in many roles with organizations such as the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, United Way and Rotary Club. Most recently, he served as the Chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the City of Lubbock. Orr grew up in Graham, Texas, and later graduated from Texas Tech University where he met his wife Kathy. After graduation, they made Lubbock their home. They have two children, also Texas Tech graduates, and four grandchildren.
Mr. Matt Bumstead
President at Nun Ide and CEO in Residence for Lubbock Christian University
Matt Bumstead is president at Nun Ide and CEO in Residence for Lubbock Christian University. Previously, Bumstead was co-owner, co-president and served on the Board of Advisors for United Supermarkets, LLC. He received his degree in religion from Davidson College, attended Union Theological Seminary in Virginia and went on to receive his Master of Business Administration from Texas Tech University. Originally from Nashville, Tenn., Bumstead now calls Lubbock home and is humbled and honored to serve as part of the mission and work for both LEDA and Market Lubbock, Inc. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Happy State Bank, the Texas Methodist Foundation, the Texas Tech University Athletic Directors Advisory Council and the steering committee for the Covenant Health System Capital Campaign. Bumstead and his wife, Krista, have three children, Susannah, Ash and Nate.
Mr. Henry Patel
President & CEO for TAJ Hospitality Management LLC.
Henry Patel is the Founder, President & CEO of Prem Industries, LLC et. al. and TAJ Hospitality Management, LLC et. al. which are primarily focused on Hospitality Management, CRE Construction/Development, and HVAC Manufacturing/Supply. Henry and his wife, Neeta Patel, began their ventures in 1984 after immigrating to Lubbock in pursuit of the American dream and now own and operate locally grown and internationally known companies. For more than 30 years, Henry has been committed and engaged in these industries, as a hotel owner-operator, developer, and an industry supplier by directing all company operations from financial management to development and construction. Henry contributes depth of experience and keen business sense to his team by strategically planning and executing the growth initiatives set forth for his companies. Over the years he has perfected processes for audit, finance, customer service, revenue management, operations, and sales through defining, operating, and leading every position in his portfolio. Henry holds a Bachelor of Commerce from India, a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Texas Tech University, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University. He is highly active as a leader and enjoys contributing to the progress of the Lubbock community.
Mr. Sonny Garza
Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at City Bank
Sonny is a Senior Vice President/Commercial Lender at City Bank. For nearly four decades, Sonny has helped individuals in Lubbock and across the South Plains secure funding for their home, business, and other commercial needs. Prior to joining City Bank, Sonny worked for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and another prominent Texas bank.
Sonny currently serves as a member of the Catholic Diocese Priest Retirement Board, Lubbock Business Park TIF Board, Lubbock Central Appraisal District Board, and SPAG Revolving Loan Fund Board. His past board appointments include the Community Foundation of West Texas, Habitat for Humanity, LISD Foundation for Excellence, Lubbock Boys & Girls Club, Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, Lubbock Comprehensive Plan Advisory Board, North and East Lubbock CDC, Red Cross, and United Way.
In his spare time, Sonny enjoys playing golf and spending time with his wife, Sylvia, and two dogs. His children, Erik and Erin, reside in Lubbock and Dallas, respectively.
Mrs. SuzAnn Kirby, CPA
Former CFO for United Supermarkets, LLC
SuzAnn Kirby served as CFO for United Supermarkets, LLC, and is also a member of the company’s executive committee. A Lubbock native, Kirby started with United in 1999 as controller and continued in that position until being promoted five years later to her current role. Before working for United, she spent five years as a financial manager of a billion-dollar agribusiness. Kirby was also a public accountant for six years, three of those years being with Coopers & Lybrand. Kirby serves on the board of Lubbock’s YMCA and is chair of the finance committee. She also volunteers for organizations including United Way and the Talkington School for Young Women Leaders. She received a degree in accounting from Texas Tech University and is a certified public accountant.
Dr. John Opperman
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Texas Tech University System
Dr. John Opperman was named Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the Texas Tech University System in June 2015. He served as Interim President at Texas Tech University from January 2016 through July 2016, returning to his current post at the Texas Tech University System in August 2016. In his role, Dr. Opperman is responsible for system-wide strategic planning, academic affairs, and policy development. He also collaborates with university presidents, provosts and academic leadership on academic initiatives, programs and procedures. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Opperman served as Vice Chancellor for Policy & Planning. In this role, he oversaw strategic planning for the TTU System and academic policy issues assigned by the Chancellor. Previously, Dr. Opperman was the Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer for the TTU System from 1996-1999. In addition to his positions at the TTU System, Dr. Opperman has spent more than 20 years in public service with the State of Texas. He has served as Director of Budget, Policy & Planning for the Governor of Texas, Budget Director for the Lt. Governor of Texas, and Director of the Senate Finance Committee in the Texas Legislature. He also has served as a special adviser to the Lt. Governor on public and higher education policy and the state budget, and most recently as a special adviser to Sen. Jane Nelson. Dr. Opperman holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught courses in economics at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas Tech University. He and his wife, Becky Opperman, have three sons, Justin, Sean and Jared.
Mr. Chris Carpenter
President of Armstrong Plumbing – Air – Electric (Armstrong Mechanical Co. Inc.)
Chris Carpenter is president of the local, family-owned plumbing, air conditioning and electrical contractor that has been serving Lubbock and West Texas since 1934. He has served on several city and community boards throughout his years in service to the Lubbock community. He most recently completed a nine-year term on the Lubbock Model Codes Advisory Board and still serves as a board member on the Workforce Solutions South Plains and the Lubbock ISD Architecture and Construction Industry Leadership Council. Originally from Lubbock, Carpenter earned his Eagle Scout, graduated from Coronado High School and is a proud Texas Tech University alum. Chris married his high school sweetheart, Beth, and together they have three beautiful children, Kailey, Ryan and Kendal.
Mr. Walter Cathey
Regional Chief Executive of the Covenant Health System
Walter’s career with Covenant Health started 24 years ago. Over two decades Cathey has served as a Rehabilitation Aide, Occupational Therapist, Executive Director of Rehabilitation & Neuro Services, Vice President of Covenant Specialty Hospital, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Executive Officer of Covenant Medical Center, President of Operations, and most recently as Chief Executive of the Lubbock market for Covenant Health. Walter and his wife, Bethany, have been married for 20 years. They have two daughters, Kendall and Caroline. The Catheys are active members of Lakeridge United Methodist Church and are also proud owners of a beloved Westie named Raider. He can often be found playing a round of golf, smoking a brisket, or in the mountains skiing.