2017 Hall of Fame Recipients

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2017 Hall of Fame Awardees

At the October 2017 Annual Meeting of the Texas Genealogical College, three members were elected to the Texas Genealogical College’s prestigeous Hall of Fame: Pamela Rouse Wright, Louis J. Benavides and Lyttleton Harris IV.

Pamela Wright is a multiple small business owner, community volunteer, wife, mother and grandmother. A thirty-two member of the Texas Society Daughters of the American Revolution, she is a member of 20 lineage societies. She currently serves as the Chaplain General, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution. Joining DAR as a Junior, she has served in numerous offices and chairmanships including the centennial Regent of her 600+ member chapter, Lady Washington, Houston. During her term as Texas State Regent, membership soared to 18,000+ members, and five new chapters were organized. For her State Regent’s Project, she raised $165,000 for the refurbishment of the lower level beneath Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. This area was renamed the “Texas Lone Star Lounge” and designated a profit center for the National Society. A second project followed with the construction of the “Texas DAR Plaza of Liberty” at the Veterans’ War Memorial in McAllen, Texas. Over $180,000 was raised to construct the plaza with a bronze statues of Patrick Henry and George Washington. Pamela was elected President of the Texas DAR State Chairman’s Club; President of the Texas Page Club; President of the Outstanding Juniors Club; President of the State Vice Regents Club; and was selected as the Texas State Outstanding Junior. She is the past national chair of the Junior Membership, Community Service Awards and Americanism Committees, as well as a six year member of the Long Range Planning Commission. She has received the DAR Community Service Award, Women in the Arts Award, Women in American History Award, Juniors’ Choice Chapter Regent, Honorary Texas Junior for Life and Junior VIP. She is the recipient of the Sons of the American Revolution Daughters of Liberty Medal, Martha Washington Medal, SAR, C.A.R. Medal, and Medal of Appreciation. She continues to serve the Children of the American Revolution as Honorary Senior State President of Texas and Honorary National Vice President, South Central Region. A member of Second Baptist Church, she and her husband, Jack, have one son and one daughter. Her daughter and daughter-in-law are Junior members of the DAR with 6 C.A.R. life members.

Louis J. Benavides is widely known by Texas Hispanic Genealogical circles. He served as President of Los Bexareños Genealogical and Historical Society – an organization dedicated to Hispanic history and ancestral research. Mr. Benavides promotes public interest in history and genealogy through speaking outreach and providing educational programs. His main activity is family ancestral research. Research that includes not only the family lineage, but also the family history and how our ancestors responded to national forces and events. How it was that we, their descendants find ourselves in this time and place. How decisions made long ago affected our present lives and in many cases directly account for our existence. Based upon his many genealogical accomplishments he was selected for membership on the Texas State Historical Association Archive Committee. He is a founder and Charter President of the Abilene Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce, now known as the Hispanic Chamber. He chaired the Hispanic Celebration for Abilene’s hundred-year celebration working in conjunction with the Texas Commission for the Arts. He was a National Bank Examiner for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency working in Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Texas. He serves on the De Novo bank charter desk, researching the economic viability of proposals and on the Minority Bank Desk in Washington, DC. He was involved in the starting of seven National Banks in Texas. He served as a US Army Reservist with the Corp of Engineers. Both combat engineer companies in Fargo and International Falls, MN, received outstanding performance commendations. eptember 11, 2001 changed his life’s direction. He began to focus on educating others. He specializes in Spanish Colonial Ancestral Research and History. He is a regular speaker during Hispanic Heritage month events. He founded the Poblador de La Fontera. A lineage Society of the descendants of Settlers of the Northern Frontier, primarily during the Spanish Colonial Period. He has authored research into the beginning of banking and the economy of the Rio Grande Valley, Spanish troops that were assigned to General Galvez in the fight by the Spanish against the English during the American Revolution, the settling of Spanish Texas and about the first Republic of Texas and its effects on modern Texas and its history. He currently is the Editor for the annual journal “the Register” by Los Bexareños. He serves on the Broad of the Friends of Casa Navarro. Louis is a graduate of Central Catholic High School and from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio where he received in BBA in Financial Management and minor in Economics. He is a graduate of the National Graduate School in Commercial Lending from the American Bankers Association and has a Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction in Technology Education from Grand Canyon University. He and his wife Sandra Adams have six children and eleven grandchildren.

Lyttleton Harris IV is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and currently resides in Houston, Texas. He was married to the late Venita VanCaspel Harris. He is the retired President and CEO of Southwest Management & Marketing Company of Houston, a residential property management concern. Lyt is a 1962 graduate of the University of Mississippi with a B.B.A. degree in Marketing and Management. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Marketing and Economics from Louisiana State University in 1963. In May of 2009 he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Northwood University. After completing graduate school he rose through the ranks of Scott Paper Company where he became Project Manager for the first disposable diapers in the US which he took from test market to national distribution. Later he became National Brand Manager for disposable diapers and the company’s facial tissue product line. Later as Director of Marketing for a large division of Hunt Wesson Foods, Lyt and his team discovered and teamed up with Orville Redenbacher to take his gourmet popping corn from test markets to national distribution and in three years to the #1 selling brand of popcorn in the US, a distinction that the brand still holds today. Lyt then spent several years as a senior executive in the banking and finance industry before moving to Houston in 1982 to become President and eventually CEO of Southwest Management & Marketing Company. He sold his company and retired in 2004 and currently serves as Managing Partner of The Harris Investment Partnership, specializing in venture capital investments including specialty foods, residential real estate, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers and other projects. Always active in civic and charitable activities, Lyt has served on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations, including The Kidney Foundation, Junior Achievement, Boy Scouts of America, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. During his business career he was listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry and Who’s Who in the South and Southwest. He has served as a mentor for MBA students at the University of Mississippi’s Graduate School of Business and was made an Otho Smith Fellow of the Ole Miss School of Business Administration in 2008. He is also a mentor for middle and high school students in the Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston. Lyt served for ten years on the Board of Trustees and on the Executive Committee of Northwood University and is Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The John Quincy Adams Foundation. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of snack food manufacturer Anderson Trail, Inc. headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.  In 2016 and 2017 Lyt established what will eventually become multi-million-dollar endowed scholarship programs for worthy students of business at Louisiana State University, The University of Mississppi, The University of Colorado and Northwood University. In retirement Lyt enjoys cruising the oceans and rivers of the world, swimming, snow skiing in the winter and biking in the warmer months.