The Texas Alliance Foundation Supports  Student Leadership at Texas A&M University The Texas Alliance Foundation Supports  Student Leadership at Texas A&M University Supporting Student Leadership at Texas A&M University
Texas Alliance Foundation Texas Alliance Foundation Logo supporting student leadership at Texas A&P University since 2003

Texas Alliance Foundation Board of Directors

Gary Buffington '92 is an Executive Vice President of AVIO Consulting. Gary focuses on the sales leadership and implementation methodology of the company, faithfully working directly with customers throughout their relationship with AVIO. Gary started his career in semiconductor manufacturing but quickly learned that the allure of consulting fit his personality better. His first foray into consulting was with Ernst & Young in their SAP practice. Gary has held various consulting, sales, business development and leadership positions at Ernst & Young, Kana Communications, Fuego, BEA Systems, and Oracle. Gary's clients include many Fortune 500 customers, including GE, Citigroup, Shell Oil, Motorola, Monsanto, and American Express. He has helped them to implement and realize the value of enterprise-scale technology solutions including ERP, eCRM, BPM, SOA, predictive analytics, and Portal related systems.

Gary graduated twice from Texas A&M University, first with a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering and then a Master's in Management Information Systems. Gary is married and has two wonderful sons. Gary enjoys coaching his sons' basketball and soccer teams, and playing late afternoon golf with them during the long summer days in Texas.

At Texas A&M, Gary was involved with numerous Student Government activities, serving as Judicial Board Chair and member of the Executive Committee. He also served as a Fish Camp co-chair, counselor and received the Buck Weirus Spirit Award.

Nellson Burns '97 is the Vice President of Information Technology at HollyFrontier. Prior to joining HollyFrontier, Nellson worked for nine years as a management and technology consultant for Ernst & Young and then, Capgemini. Nellson's area of focus was working with technology to improve business processes for Oil and Gas companies such as BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell Chemical, and Union Carbide.

Nellson received a B.S. in International Studies from Texas A&M University in 1998. He resides in Dallas with his wife Melissa '00 and their dog, Carlee.

At Texas A&M, Nellson was very active in campus student organizations. He was a Student Senator, president of the Honors Dorm, and a Terry Scholar. His senior year, he was the president of the MSC, the nation's largest student union in terms of number of volunteers and budget.

Jason Herrick '97 is President of Pantera Energy Company, an independent oil and gas exploration company. Prior to Pantera, Jason helped start a small niche consulting firm in Amsterdam, The Netherlands called e2i. Jason began his career working for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in Dallas, Texas.

Jason has served in leadership roles with the Amarillo Area Foundation, West Texas A&M Foundation, Don Harrington Discovery Center and the Texas Panhandle Regional Economic Development Corporation. He has also served the oil and gas industry as the president of the board of the Panhandle Producers and Royalty Association and chairman of the local Society of Petroleum Engineers. Jason is also an active member of Hillside Christian Church.

Jason graduated in 1997 from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. Jason resides in Amarillo with his wife Shannon '97 and three children Landry, Ian and Claire.

At Texas A&M, Jason was involved in Student Engineers Council, Student Senate, Fish Aides, Fish Camp, MSC Wiley Lecture Series, received the Buck Weirus Spirit Award and was designated a Who's Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges.

Rick Jordan '03 is a partner at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, where he serves as Co-Chair of its Venture Capital and Emerging Business section. He specializes in representing high-growth businesses primarily in the technology sector, and enjoys helping entrepreneurs build their businesses. Rick is a frequent speaker on corporate and venture capital matters, and is the current chair of the Venture Capital Committee of the Business Law Section of the Texas State Bar.

Rick received a B.S. of Political Science at Texas A&M and a J.D. and M.T.S. from Southern Methodist University.

At Texas A&M, Rick served as chair of L.I.N.K., a student leadership committee, and held numerous leadership positions with his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta. Rick also served as a Fish Camp Counselor.

Rick and his family currently reside in Dallas, Texas.

Brian Lanier '15 is a petroleum engineer with Pivotal Petroleum, a privately-held oil and gas company. Prior to Pivotal, he worked as a reservoir engineer for Headington Energy Partners.

Brian graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Petroleum Engineering. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas with his wife, Hailey '15.

At Texas A&M, Brian served as the Assistant Director for the Gilbert Leadership Conference, a seven week leadership program for freshman centered around the pillars of character, service, and involvement that culminates in a weekend conference. In addition, he was the Public Relations director for the Aggie Men's Club and was given the Class Star for Leadership.

Payton Roberts '13 is a candidate for Juris Doctor. Prior to law school, Payton served in the United States Marine Corps as a Platoon Commander and Training Officer with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion. He deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2017 and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Payton also worked as a congressional staffer for the Honorable Kevin Brady in 2013 and 2014. Payton resides in Fort Worth with his wife, Madeline '15, and daughter, Corley '41.

Payton received a B.S. in Leadership Studies at Texas A&M.

At Texas A&M, Payton's primary role was the Founder/Executive Director of FREE, a student organization aimed at getting students involved in the fight against human trafficking. He also served as the Selections Chairman for the Aggie Men's Club, Student Senator in SGA, Fellow in the Dr. Joe Townsend Leadership Fellows, and delegate to the Abbott Leadership Conference.

Nic Taunton '07 is the Vice President of Development at The Association of Former Students. Nic is responsible for directing The Association's efforts to raise major gifts, including the Endowed Century Club, Aggie Ring Scholarships, and capital contributions as well as leading the Annual Giving team, which raises the Annual Fund on behalf of The Association and Texas A&M. Since earning his BBA in Finance in December 2007, Nic has volunteered as a consultant for USAID in Rwanda, earned his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, and practiced commercial litigation as an associate with Norton Rose Fulbright in Dallas.

While at Texas A&M, Nic served as Student Body President and was a recipient of the Brown Foundation-Earl Rudder Memorial Outstanding Student Award.

He lives in College Station with his wife, Brittany '08, and their daughters, Priscilla '34 and Magdalene '37.