(September 9, 2021) It is with sadness that we share the news that Mr. Jesse S. Treviño, former chair of the IDRA Board of Directors, passed away last week surrounded by family. His commitment to education and empowering children was a driving force in his life.
Mr. Treviño was the founding chair of the IDRA Board of Directors and served on the board for 44 years, including many years as chair. In 2018, he transitioned his service as IDRA’s founding board member emeritus.
IDRA President & CEO, Celina Moreno, J.D., said: “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with Mr. Treviño. He has been a cherished leader in the IDRA family throughout our almost five decades. We are also so grateful to Mary Lou for her friendship and support and send our deepest condolences to their family.”
Seven days after graduating from high school in Alice, Texas, Mr. Treviño was inducted into the Army Air Force and trained as a ball turret gunner in a B-24 serving three years during World War II and was honorably discharged as a sergeant. He earned a BBA in international trade from the University of Texas in Austin in 1950 and taught sixth grade in Alice for one year. Mr. Treviño later worked for the U.S. Labor Department as a compliance officer and as a special agent for an insurance company. He then opened his own agency as the Jesse Treviño Independent Insurance Agency. He became active in the state association and was the first Mexican American to serve as a board member of the state Association of Independent Agents.
Mr. Treviño was elected to serve on the McAllen ISD school board, serving 11 years, twice as president. He was selected by Senator Lloyd Bentsen to develop the Council for South Texas Economic Progress, Inc. (COSTEP), a non-profit that provides financial aid to college-bound students and their families. He served on its executive committee for 40 years.
He felt very fortunate and honored to have been awarded Man of the Year by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, the University of Texas–Pan American International Women’s Board, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He served as the first layman of the grievance committee of the District for the Texas State Bar Association. He also served on the board of the Driscoll Children’s Hospital, as well as ex-officio of the International Museum of Art & Science board. The Texas State Board of Education named him a Hero for Children.
See a video interview of Jesse Treviño for the UTRGV-Center for Bilingual Studies Oral History Series