September 17, 2018


>> Odessa Fire Rescue Chief John Alvarez has successfully completed the process that awards the professional designation Chief Fire Officer. The Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) met on Aug. 8 to confer the designation. Alvarez is one of only 1,306 CFO’s worldwide.

The Designation Program is a voluntary program designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate their excellence in seven measured components including experience, education, professional contributions, association membership, community involvement and technical competence. In addition, all applicants are required to identify a future professional development plan.

The CFO designation program uses a comprehensive peer review model to evaluate candidates seeking the credential. The Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) awards the designation only after an individual successfully meets all of the organization’s stringent criteria.

Achieving this designation signifies Alvarez’ commitment to his career in the fire and emergency services.

This professional designation is valid for three years. Maintaining the designation requires recipients to show continued growth in the areas of professional development, professional contributions, active association membership and community involvement as well as adhere to a strict code of professional conduct. Alvarez initially earned the designation in 2015.

The Commission on Professional Credentialing, an entity of the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc., (CPSE) administers the Designation Program. The CPC consists of individuals from academia, federal and local government, and the fire and emergency medical services profession. To learn more about CPC, visit cpse.org.


>> Edna C. Hernandez of Odessa has been selected to become a member of the National Society of High School Scholars.

The society recognizes top scholars who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship and community commitment. The announcement was made by NSHSS Founder and Chairman Claes Nobel, senior member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes.

“On behalf of NSHSS, I am honored to recognize the hard work, sacrifice and commitment that Edna has demonstrated to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence,” said Nobel.

“Edna is now a member of a unique community of scholars - a community that represents our very best hope for the future.”

“We are proud to provide lifetime membership to young scholars to support their growth and development,” stated NSHSS President James W. Lewis. “We aim to help students like Edna build on their academic success by connecting them with unique learning experiences and resources to help prepare them for college and meaningful careers.”

NSHSS members automatically become lifetime members at the time of their initial membership.

At each step along the way, from high school to college to career, NSHSS connects outstanding young scholars with the resources they need to develop their strengths and pursue their passions.

For more information about NSHSS, visit www.nshss.org.


>> CRANE Don R. Carter as has been named market president for both the West Texas National Bank in the Crane and Kermit areas. Carter began his employment at WTNB in March of this year and draws on his decades of banking experience to serve these two growing communities.

He will further develop and grow our commercial lending services in these areas.

Carter attended Midwestern State University with a focus on finance and has more than 35 years in the banking and financial industry. He resides in Odessa and has a diverse community service background that includes volunteering, board and committee membership in the local independent school district, Chamber of Commerce, United Way and other organizations.


>> ALPINE Sul Ross State University’s Vice President for Budget and Finance, Cesario Valenzuela, will be leaving Sul Ross to become president of business affairs and chief financial officer at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. He will officially begin in his new position on Oct. 1.

Sul Ross President Bill Kibler praised Valenzuela for his more than 30 years of service at the University.

“Valenzuela made great strides in developing effective strategies within our finance and operations division that pushed Sul Ross State University toward a better future. We commend him for his impressive work, and we sincerely appreciate his loyal service to Sul Ross.”

A native of Marfa, Valenzuela worked in oil exploration immediately after high school but soon decided to pursue higher education. He enrolled at Sul Ross in the fall of 1979 and chose to follow his friends into the accounting program, having no idea the choice would ultimately define his professional career.

“I was offered my first accounting position in 1983 at Sul Ross and decided to try it as a favor to a friend, but it was only to be for one year,” he said with a smile. “My wife Barbara and I both grew up in Marfa. We had our parents and extended families here, so after we married we decided to stay. When our kids came along, we realized this was the place we wanted to raise them. We were blessed in that we both had good jobs, so it was an easy decision to make. I am very proud of the way our family turned out, so it was the right decision.”

Valenzuela also appreciates being a part of many challenging, consequential decisions and improvements during his tenure at Sul Ross.

“I’m very proud of the role I’ve played in the transformation of the campus, both in developing the infrastructure and in improving the services we offer. There have been many positive additions made, and it has all been to create a better experience for the students.

“Sul Ross has been a true blessing for my family and me,” he added. “I am truly proud of what Sul Ross is and what it provides to students and the community.”

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