Senator Zaffirini Welcomes Students from Mexico and Spain to Texas Capitol

(AUSTIN) —The Texas Senate today (Wednesday) passed a resolution by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, paying tribute to students from Mexico and Spain who attend The University of Texas at Austin.

Senator Zaffirini also celebrated the students with a reception, sponsored by BBVA Compass, in the historic Lieutenant Governor’s Reception Room in the Texas Capitol. The event gave students an opportunity to interact with legislators and top-ranking UT officials, including UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven and UT-Austin President Bill Powers.

“As the first Hispanic woman in the Texas Senate and a proud Texas Ex, I am delighted to welcome these students from Mexico and Spain to the Texas Capitol,” Senator Zaffirini said. “Excellent exchange programs such as those offered by UT-Austin not only promote intercultural exchange and understanding, but also enhance the educational experience for students both in Texas and abroad.”

Welcoming the students to the State Capitol were Senator Zaffirini; McRaven; Powers; BBVA Compass Vice Chairman of the Board Bill Helms; and BBVA Compass Austin Market CEO Joe Petet.

“BBVA, our parent company in Spain, has operations all over the world, so the idea of learning about new cultures and collaborating across borders is really important to us,” Petet said. “Every one of the students here today has shown a great deal of determination in coming here to study, and we honor their bright futures.”

Aniela Zarzar Toraño, an undergraduate student from Mexico studying chemical engineering, gave the students’ official response by thanking Senator Zaffirini, legislators, UT officials, guests and the event’s sponsors. Alicia Bodas Fernández, a graduate student from Spain studying advertising, accepted an official Senate proclamation commemorating the event.

Students from Mexico have studied at UT since 1940, and the university’s Graduate School of Business offers joint degree programs with Mexican higher education institutions. More than 580 students from Mexico and 33 students from Spain are enrolled at UT. What’s more, 89 UT students are studying in Mexico, and 447 are studying in Spain.

“We hope that international students will master not only their selected fields of study, but also develop deep relationships that will help them promote friendship, harmony, and commerce between our sister countries,” Senator Zaffirini said.

STUDENTS FROM MEXICO AND SPAIN who attend UT-Austin were honored Wednesday with a reception sponsored by BBVA Compass at the Texas Capitol. Shown (L-R) are Alicia Bodas Fernández, a graduate student from Spain; BBVA Compass executives Rita Garza, Yolanda Davila, Joe Petet and Susana Valencia; UT-Austin President Bill Powers; BBVA Compass Vice Chairman Bill Helms; UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven; Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; and Aniela Zarzar Toraño, an undergraduate student from Spain.

STUDENTS FROM MEXICO AND SPAIN who attend UT-Austin were honored Wednesday with a reception sponsored by BBVA Compass at the Texas Capitol. Shown (L-R) are Alicia Bodas Fernández, a graduate student from Spain; BBVA Compass executives Rita Garza, Yolanda Davila, Joe Petet and Susana Valencia; UT-Austin President Bill Powers; BBVA Compass Vice Chairman Bill Helms; UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven; Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; and Aniela Zarzar Toraño, an undergraduate student from Spain.

About BBVA Compass

BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 672 branches, including 341 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 77 in Arizona, 62 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 20 in New Mexico, and commercial and private client offices throughout the U.S. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (5th). BBVA Compass earned the top ranking with customers in American Banker’s 2014 annual reputation survey of the top 25 largest U.S. retail banks. It also has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration and in 2014 ranked 12th nationally in total SBA loan volume. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at www.bbvacompass.com, by following @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visiting newsroom.bbvacompass.com.

BBVA Compass is a trade name of Compass Bank.

 

 

Senator Judith Zaffirini, Rep. John Cyrier Elected Chairs of Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus

(AUSTIN) Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and Rep. John Cyrier, R-Lockhart, today (Tuesday) were elected Chairs of the Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus, a group of more than 30 legislators who focus on issues related to oil and gas development in the shale region. In addition to electing officers, members set goals for the caucus and discussed issues of mutual interest, including transportation funding, property rights and water.

“I am delighted to be the Senate Chair of the Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus, especially because of the shale’s tremendous economic impact on our district and state,” said Senator Zaffirini, a member of the Senate Natural Resources Committee and Vice Chair of the Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs Committee. “What’s more, I look forward to continuing to collaborate with my colleagues in championing legislation and funding that promote responsible development and address the region’s unique opportunities and challenges.”

“I am honored to serve as House Chair,” said Rep. Cyrier, a member of the House Land & Resource Management Committee. “As the representative for Karnes County, the largest oil producing county in the state, I am deeply interested in the region’s future. I look forward to working with my colleagues and constituents to address the challenges facing the Eagle Ford Shale region and to ensure its continued prosperity.”

In 2012 Senator Zaffirini and other legislators organized the caucus, which champions short- and long-term solutions to the impacts of the shale on transportation, education, public safety, housing, the environment and other areas.

In 2013 when the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced a plan to convert certain paved highways in the shale to gravel, the caucus hosted a regional public meeting providing an opportunity for citizens and legislators to question high-ranking TxDOT officials and discuss potential solutions. As a result, the agency abandoned its original plan and partnered with communities to keep their roads paved.

Senator Zaffirini represents Senate District 21, which is in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale and includes the majority of rigs, the majority of production and the shale’s highest-producing counties. She also is a member of the Energy Council.

Rep. Cyrier, who also serves on the House Agriculture & Livestock Committee, represents House District 17, which includes Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes and Lee counties.

THE EAGLE FORD SHALE LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS meets to elect officers and discuss mutual priorities. Members include (from top, L-R) Reps. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) and Tracy King (D-Batesville); Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), Senate Chair; and Reps. Leighton Schubert (R-Caldwell) and John Kuempel (R-Seguin). Also shown are (bottom, L-R) Reps. Dennis Paul (R-Houston) and John Cyrier (R-Lockhart), House Chair; Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen); and Reps. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) and Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton).

THE EAGLE FORD SHALE LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS meets to elect officers and discuss mutual priorities. Members include (from top, L-R) Reps. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) and Tracy King (D-Batesville); Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), Senate Chair; and Reps. Leighton Schubert (R-Caldwell) and John Kuempel (R-Seguin). Also shown are (bottom, L-R) Reps. Dennis Paul (R-Houston) and John Cyrier (R-Lockhart), House Chair; Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen); and Reps. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) and Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton).