Tyson Voelkel to be Featured Speaker at Chamber/EDF Annual Banquet

December 13, 2018
    The Washington County Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Foundation of Brenham have announced the date of their upcoming Annual Banquet and the featured speaker.  Brenham native Tyson Voelkel, President of the Texas A&M Foundation, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet to be held on Tuesday, February 5, at Fireman’s Training Center in Brenham.  The theme of the banquet is “Shaping the Future.”
    “We are very happy to have Mr. Voelkel as our banquet speaker.  He is an inspirational leader and a distinguished graduate of Brenham public schools,” said Randy Wells, outgoing Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. 
    Before serving Texas A&M University as president of the Texas A&M Foundation, Tyson Voelkel led a Houston-based consultancy focused on building, managing and advising ultra-high net worth family offices. He also has served as COO for a multibillion-dollar holding company consisting of more than a dozen operating companies and philanthropic endeavors. He holds a degree in industrial distribution from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in international relations and national security from the Bush School of Government and Public Service, and an MBA from Rice University.
    While at Texas A&M, Voelkel was a student leader and advocate for students on campus. He was a member of many organizations including the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band and Ross Volunteers, and was selected as the first-ever Aggie Bandsman to serve as Corps of Cadets Commander his senior year. A Buck Weirus Spirit Award winner as well as a recipient of numerous academic and leadership awards, Voelkel lived the traditions of Texas A&M and believes they were as important to his transformational education as the rigorous academic programs.
    He proudly served as a U.S. Army infantry officer for 12 years, with varied leadership roles during peacetime and combat. Tyson's military service includes posts in Europe, the U.S. and Middle East. He twice served as a company commander in combat in the 82nd Airborne Division, earning numerous awards including two Bronze Stars in Iraq, the Department of the Army MacArthur Leadership Award, and Army Ranger and Airborne Qualification Badges. A jumpmaster with senior parachutist rating, he also earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.
Tyson’s military career took him around the world and also afforded him the honor of teaching leadership and ethics at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He continues to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.
    Tyson Voelkel was the first student regent appointed to the Texas A&M University Board of Regents, and he currently serves on the Texas A&M Board of Visitors, Galveston A&M Board of Visitors, Bush School of Government and Public Service Advisory Board and on the advisory board for Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.
    The Voelkel family believes a life of service is a life of meaning and donate widely of their time and resources. Tyson and his wife have three daughters and currently reside in College Station.
Brett Smith, President of Lee Anderson Company, will be the MC of the event.  A former Washington County Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board and Economic Development Foundation board member, Smith is an alumnus of Texas A&M University and past president of the Rotary Club of Washington County, along with other local leadership roles.
    Chairman Circle sponsors of the banquet include Baylor Scott & White Health, Blue Bell Creameries, Brenham Abstract & Title Company, Brenham National Bank, City of Brenham, Germania Insurance, and Van Dyke Rankin Insurance. Headline Sponsors confirmed so far include Blinn College, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative and Brenham Chrysler Jeep Dodge.
    “We are very grateful to these sponsors,” said Page Michel, Chamber president, “They will enable us to host a great event for the community, plus they join in applauding the efforts of the volunteer leaders and citizens who will be recognized.”
    At the banquet, the Washington County Chamber will recognize five directors who have ended a three-year term of service on the board:  Walter Jackson, Superintendent of Brenham ISD; Jeannie Kroll of Baylor Scott & White-The Brenham Clinic; LaVerne Krumrey of Brenham Monument Company; Jenny Van Dorf of Blue Bell Creameries; Kristie Wensel of the Brenham State Supported Living Center; and Kyle Merten of Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, who served as Chairman of the Board in 2017.  Outgoing Chairman Randy Wells will also be recognized for his leadership in 2018.
    The Brenham Economic Development Foundation will recognize 2 outgoing directors: William Krueger, Engineer-Retired, for 14 years of service on the board, with 8 in the role of Immediate Past Chairman; and Cory Flencher of Citizens State Bank for 9 years of service on the board.
    Another highlight of the evening will be the announcement of the Man and Woman of the Year-Lifetime Achievement Award winners.  Last year’s recipients were Heather Thielemann and Donald Draehn, M.D. who will return to do the surprise introductions of the 2018 winners.  The Blue Blazer of the Year Award will also be announced.
    Tickets for the banquet will go on sale January 2 at the Washington County Chamber, located at 314 S. Austin Street in Brenham. Individual tickets are $40 per person, and will be on sale until January 29.  For more information, contact the Washington County Chamber at 979-836-3695 or info@brenhamtexas.com