The interim director of the Texas Engineering Extension Service has been nominated to remain in the role permanently. Gary Sera was named the sole finalist for the job by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Friday.
Sera has served as interim director of TEEX since March 30, when the board named him to that position. Sera reports to Dr. G. Kemble Bennett, vice chancellor of engineering for the A&M System and dean of engineering at Texas A&M University.
Sera was employed with TEEX from 1988 to 1990, when he joined the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), and returned to TEEX in 1993 until the present. Before serving as interim director, Sera had most recently served TEEX as division director of the Technology and Economic Development Division (TED), which conducts a wide range of training and technical assistance programs for communities and companies in the areas of manufacturing, technology transfer and emergency response planning.
"Gary Sera has provided key leadership and expertise to TEEX over his many years of service with the agency and during the last few months as interim director," said Dr. Michael D. McKinney, chancellor of the A&M System. "In fact, Gary already has implemented a number of new initiatives that will further secure the agency as a leader in national security, emergency response and safety training, and other endeavors that help cities and counties throughout Texas and beyond."
Dr. G. Kemble Bennett said, "Gary's long experience with various components of Texas A&M Engineering, coupled with his genuine dedication to the citizens of Texas and commitment to serving the greater good, make him an ideal fit for this position. His excellent service as interim director demonstrated how well-matched Gary is to the duties of TEEX director. I am very enthusiastic to see TEEX advance its mission under his capable leadership in the future."
As TEEX director, Gary Sera will serve as the agency's chief executive officer, responsible for its operation, including the planning and development of all programs. His duties will be to administer the business and financial management of the agency, prepare annual budgets for activities and construction, and operate and allocate resources. In fiscal year 2007, TEEX served more than 200,000 people from all 50 states and 53 countries through training and technical assistance. The agency has seven divisions and an annual budget of $79.3 million.
Sera also will represent the agency to state and national organizations involved in vocational and technical training programs, and through interaction with other agencies, educational institutions and public and private sector organizations. "I am honored to be named the sole finalist for TEEX director position," said Sera. "As interim director, I have come to appreciate even more our public service mission and look forward to preparing the agency to serve Texas for many years to come."
From 1992 to 2006, Sera served as director of the Mid-Continent Technology Transfer Center, a center sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) focusing on the delivery of technology commercialization services. Acting in a consulting role to Texas A&M's Vice President for Research, he helped develop and establish what is now the A&M System's Office of Technology Commercialization.
In 1992, Sera established a graduate assistant program at TEEX, through which students in Texas A&M University's Mays Business School perform work under contract with NASA, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the private sector.
In the 1980s, Sera was employed as manager of manufacturing engineering for the Santa Barbara Research Center of Hughes Aircraft Company, where he was responsible for facility management and engineering processes for product lines serving defense-related products. He previously worked as an industrial engineer for McGaw Laboratories of American Hospital Supply and Shiley Laboratories.
Sera earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1974 from California State University and a master's degree in industrial engineering in 1977 from the University of Arizona.
The Board of Regents may consider the appointment of Sera to the TEEX director's position after the 21 days required by state law for public notice of the appointment with the Texas Secretary of State.