Gail Hathaway is the 2022 Board Chair for Guide Dogs of Texas. Prior to joining the Board, Gail served on the Boards of Preservation Fort Sam Houston, Military-Civilian Charitable Foundation, and as President of the Military-Civilian Club. She is a San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo life member and volunteers at the Valero Texas Open Golf Tournament annually. Gail was commissioned in the Navy in 1986 and retired at the rank of Captain in 2014. She is a board-certified Aerospace Physiologist and completed the Aviation Safety certification program at the Naval Postgraduate School. As an Aviation Safety Officer, Gail has logged more than 650 flying hours, primarily in the F/A-18D and C-130J aircraft. A Hutchinson, Minnesota native and graduate of the University of Minnesota, Gail has earned a bachelor’s degree in education and masters in industrial safety. She is a 2018 graduate of the San Antonio Masters Leadership Program with Class XIV. Life is better with her two golden retrievers, whom she shows in hunt tests, and hunts with for upland birds and waterfowl. She and her husband Dennis enjoy hunting, golfing, and traveling the world. They have 4 adult children and 5 grandkids. She is pictured here with her dog, Crash.
Karen Vázquez joined the GDTX Board in 2021 with more than 30 years of financial experience, most of it in the oil and gas industry. She recently served as CFO for GTI Statia, one of the largest independent crude and refined product storage terminals serving the US Gulf Coast and Caribbean markets. Prior to her service with GTI Statia, Vázquez retired from her position as Vice President of Finance and Controller, Latin America for Andeavor Corporation (formerly Tesoro Corporation), a premier, logistics and refining company. In that capacity, she was a member of the senior leadership team that initiated Tesoro’s entry into the Mexican market. Previously, Vázquez had been VP, Strategic Risk Management, where she led the Audit and Enterprise risk functions for more than 6 years. She held a variety of roles within the company, including Assistant Controller and Director positions in Operational Accounting, Procurement Systems, and Investor Relations. She served as the inaugural executive co-sponsor for Andeavor’s Women’s Inclusion Team and was an adviser to the Multi-Cultural inclusion team, served on the Board of Governors for the San Antonio Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and currently serves on the Board for Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union, where she previously served as the Chair of the Supervisory Committee. Karen is pictured with her dog, Patches.
JC Clapsaddle is a retired Air Force Colonel. Among his assignments was a tour in Iraq as a liaison between Air Force and Army combat medical activities, and a liaison between the U.S. State Department and the Iraqi National Health Ministry. He served on Capitol Hill at the U.S. Senate as a National Defense Fellow and liaison a legislative portfolio of Veterans Affairs, human rights, gender equality, racial diversity in officer recruiting, combatting religious intolerance, prevention of sexual harassment & assault, and ending veteran suicide.
In 2010, the Secretary of Defense appointed him Deputy Director of the Pentagon’s special Legal and Legislative Team that crafted the President’s successful repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” Later, he commanded military hospitals at Ramstein Air Base (Germany) and Al Udeid (Qatar) to care for ill & wounded from combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
JC is graduate of the Masters Leadership Program San Antonio; a Rotarian; and serves on five nonprofit Boards. He is co-founder of the Corrymeela Centre’s (Northern Ireland) International Peace Scholar program, the U.S. Coordinator of the Seeds of Hope Peace Leadership Academy (United Kingdom), and part of an international humanitarian relief operation supplying goods, medical supplies, and vehicles to the Ukraine during the Ukraine-Russian War.
He is married to Colonel (retired) Andra Clapsaddle. They have one son, two grandkids, and three dogs. One dog, Freddie, is a Guide Dogs of Texas K9 they are raising/training as a future Guide Dog for a visually impaired Texan.
Jane Fritz has lived in San Antonio for over 40 years and has been involved in the community from the start. She got a jump start by serving on the Board of the Greater Chamber of Commerce. Her career began managing the business side of the law practice for multiple San Antonio firms and has presented to law students at both St. Mary’s School of Law and Baylor University on building a successful business practice. As the Executive Director of the Community Justice Program from its inception, Jane recruited volunteer lawyers to represent indigent clients on a variety of legal issues at monthly offsite locations throughout the San Antonio Community. Jane’s husband, Howard was transferred to Dallas with AT&T where Jane joined Legal Aid of Northwest Texas based in Fort Worth initially on a Capital Campaign while introducing the Tarrant County Bar members to the meaningful work of legal aid. She worked closely with the Bar to develop a Pro Bono program following some of the basic framework of the San Antonio Community Justice Program. Jane gently eased into retirement by doing consulting work for lawyers and law firms focused on business development and relationship building both in Ft. Worth as well as when they returned to San Antonio.
Jennifer Mendez is the Director of Digital Marketing Communications at Argo Group, a global specialty insurer in the P&C market. In this role, she oversees the strategy and execution of the company’s web, email marketing and social media programs and digital campaigns. Prior to this role, Jennifer held other positions at Argo, which included leading their global brand strategy, corporate giving program, partnerships, and the communications plans for recruiting and corporate responsibility/ESG. In 2020, she received the Rising Star Award from the Insurance Marketing & Communications Association (IMCA).
Jennifer joined the GDTX Board of Directors in 2020. In addition to her work with GDTX, she is an active member in the community. Jennifer has served on Argo’s San Antonio Community Relations Committee since 2017 and is also the Committee Secretary.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science, double major in Business Administration (Concentration: Marketing) and Communications and Media Studies, from Trinity University. Originally from Houston, TX, Jennifer has called San Antonio home for the past ten years.
Bill Kessler is a proud Puppy Raiser for GDTX and joined the Board of Directors in 2023. He earned his law degree from Loyola University, New Orleans, and his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. Before retiring, he practiced law in San Antonio for 35 years.
Bill volunteered in different capacities throughout his life. As the Chairman of the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Appeals for the City of Boerne from 2005 to 2018, he oversaw public hearings and made rulings on requests for zoning variances from citizens. He coached Little League and Select baseball teams in the San Antonio and Boerne areas for over ten years.
His interest in supporting GDTX began a few years after Bill and his wife Anna moved to San Antonio. His daughter and son, who share his love of dogs, remember attending an informational meeting about becoming a Puppy Raiser in the mid-1990s. Timing is everything, after retiring, another GDTX Public Service announcement lured him back. This time he left with Price, a beautiful yellow lab, who is currently in Advanced training. In addition to raising Rio, his second GDTX puppy, Bill enjoys spending time with grandchildren, watching baseball and college football. His quest to cook a better brisket is ongoing.
Details coming soon.