Mr. Gary F. Sera was named interim director of the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Friday by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. He will begin work immediately, reporting to Dr. G. Kemble Bennett, vice chancellor of engineering for the A&M System and dean of engineering at Texas A&M University.
Sera has been employed with TEEX since 1993, most recently 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.
“For many years, Gary Sera has provided valuable leadership and expertise to TEEX, particularly in commercializing the technology that has made the agency a leader in numerous areas, including its world-renowned training in firefighting, national security and related programs,” said Dr. Michael D. McKinney, M.D., chancellor of the A&M System. “TEEX will continue to benefit from Sera’s leadership as interim director of the agency.”
“Having served on my senior leadership team during my previous tenure as TEEX director, I am very familiar with Gary Sera’s leadership style and vast array of strengths and abilities,” said Bennett. “I have full confidence that those attributes, combined with his knowledge of the organization and his genuine passion for the TEEX mission, will serve the agency and State of Texas very well during this interim period.”
As interim director of TEEX, Sera will serve as the agency’s chief executive officer, responsible for its operation, which includes coordinating 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 2006, TEEX served 221,500 people from all 50 states and 57 countries through training and technical assistance. The agency has seven divisions and an annual budget of $79.2 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 deeply honored by this appointment as interim director of TEEX. Over 17 years ago, when I started at TEEX, I was impressed that such a major university system contained an organization whose mission was to bring technical assistance and training to the state’s citizens,” Sera said. “As a major part of one of the finest engineering programs in the world, TEEX is very well-positioned to move forward to serve our state and the nation.”
Sera currently chairs the executive council of the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC), a consortium including six universities and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce that serves Texas manufacturers with training and technical assistance.
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.