Seguin Manuel Castillas Chapter Commander Thanks all Delegates Attending the 2019 State Conference

American GI Forum Report: AUSTIN, Texas – “On behalf of our chapter I want to thank and show my appreciation to all members who attended at our 2019 Annual State Conference here in Seguin,” remarked newly Elected Chapter Commander Javier Castilleja and Co-chair of the State  Conference. Commander Castilleja replaced Commander Chris Aviles as Seguin Commander.

“I also thank and proud, grateful and thankful for the local chapter members who dedicated time, effort and resources to make the 2019 Conference in Seguin a success with a special thanks to Mr. JP Amador, Conference co-chair.”  

The state office concurs that this year’s conference was indeed successful. Much was accomplished.The Venue selected for the meetings was the ELKS LODGE located at 1331 C H Matthies Jr, in Seguin. The host hotel chosen was La Quinta Inn and Suites, located, 1501 Hwy 46 North in Seguin, about a block from the hotel. All very good accommodations for attendees.

After the Pledge and Prayer, a welcome address by Seguin Mayor Don Keil kicked off the conference. 1stVice commander Mario Perales responded, thanked the mayor for his kind words and also welcoming the delegates, promising a full agenda for the meeting.  County Judge Kyle Kutscher was unable to attend but sent a letter of congratulations.

Minutes of the last meeting were read aby Women’s Secretary Dee Leal and were approved. CEO Gil Rodriguez reported on the State-of-the-State including finances, investments, properties and promised continuous successful achievements. Lupe Rodriguez, State CFO was absent so Rodriguez made a brief financial report for the period since the last meeting in October promising that Lupe would be available at our next meeting with a complete report. Officers reports included all elected board members and Region Commanders and chairs. A closed executive session in the afternoon was called to discuss properties and Financing of existing programs.

The women’s Luncheon had two good speakers, Justice Rebecca C. Martinez from the 4thCourt of appeals and Rebecca Padilla, Evangelist Motivation Speaker and Author. They were both inspirational and received praise and appreciation from the delegates.

Resolutions Chair Mario Perales did an outstanding job of presenting six resolutions. Two of which will be making some changes to our Texas constitution. another resolution passed to change the distribution of funds made at conferences and board meetings. The hosting chapter will now be receiving two-thirds of all proceeds, leaving the state with one-third. The state however will still not share on any loses. This will become a change in the State’s Operating Procedures.

Friday evening, the Manuel Castilla Chapter treated the delegates to an evening of fun which included music, food, refreshments and entertainment. The hosting chapter had the perfect venue for the event.

Saturday saw reports on past and upcoming events including State and National Conferences plus the Washington DC Veterans event hosted by the National office. Those of you that missed the conference missed on some very important discussions and decisions that affect the State and local organizations.

Results of the closed session were recommendations to allow Heroes Lodge Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit corporation to become an affiliate of the State AGIF Organization with its own separate Board of Trustees. Motion made and passed and will now added to our State Constitution. Also passed was to put the properties not being used up for sale. We also discussed the distribution of the National Conference Proceeds.

Election of Officers results are as follow: Ceasar Ruiz was reelected State Commander, Perales remained as 1stVice and Myrna Chavarria becomes the new 2nd Vice Chair. Justo ‘Howdy’ Leal is our new state secretary and Paul Herrera was reappointed as Chaplain. The Women will continue with Sylvia Garza a Chair, Guillerma Morales as Vice Chair, Dee Leal remains as Secretary and Jeanie Aleman stays as Women’s Treasurer. Site for a special October Meeting will be San Marcos Forum and Houston will host the Mid-year in February. The State Conference will be in San Antonio in 2020. Closing prayer by State chaplain Paul Herrera preceded the Adjournment of a very productive Conference.

For the Commander’s Banquet Juan Mireles did his usual good job as MC. It was an honor to have as the Keynote U.S. Congressman Vicente Gonzales who gave a very inspirational speech. Newly elected officers were installed by Past National Commander Antonio Gil Morales. Entertainment and dancing to the music of Rene Ramos’ Dancing Machine followed the dinner. A hearty Thank You from all the officers a Delegates to the Manual Castilla Chapter for their Hospitality and well-organized Conference. See y’all in San Marcos in October.

REMINDER:If the State Office still does not have your e-mail address please send it the state at state@agiftx.comIt will be kept confidential and will be not be disclosed without your permission.

Hotel Rates Updates:
Seguin Manuel Castillas Chapter Commander Updates Preparations for 2019 State Conference

American GI Forum Report: AUSTIN, Texas –Chapter Commander Chris Aviles reports, “We continue to make progress in seeking sponsors for the upcoming convention as we look forward in making this event attractive for all attending. We have worked on sequence of events and are being put together and will be ready to be mailed electronically or by USPS to all Commanders and individuals that have an e-mail address in the AGIF state Data Files. We will have some assistance from the State in putting together materials for mailers and for updates on out state website. We also want to make sure we can properly reach all of the Texas chapters and keep them updated of rates, and fees, the itinerary, places and sites to visit and the conference sequence of all events.

"Please if we do not have your e-mail address please send it the state at state@agiftx.comIt will be kept confidential and will be disclosed with your permission only.

"I have appointed a person to assist with communications. His name will be Javier Castilleja.  He will be reaching out and communicating all details as they become available. He will also serve as our public relations representative for the press and the general public. “We will be corresponding with the state in a more frequent manner. We are working to finalize budgets, fees, events, and itinerary from this point forward in preparation for the conference. We plan to make every attempt to give a weekly update on our progress forward. The committee chairs and key people will be meeting weekly to finalize all events and work with the state with the business agenda to work around all planned events. Sponsorships are coming along good and we are currently working on a schedule of events for the convention. 

“The Venue selected for the meetings is the ELKS LODGE located at 1331 C H Matthies Jr, Seguin, TX 78155 (830) 303-5844. The selected Hotels in proximity of the venue are: La Quinta Inn and Suites, located, 1501 Hwy 46 North, Seguin, TX 78155. Hotels are availabel for $99.00 plus taxes as a Group Rate so please mention the AGIF Conference when you register. La Quinta Registration phone is (915) 888-3442. Another Hotel adjacent to the meeting site is the Americas Best Value Inn, located at 1525 N State Highway 46, Seguin, TX 78155. We have not negotiated with them but their rates are affortable.

We have set registration fees for the Conference pre-registration at $100.00 and registration on site will be $125.00. Click Here for Restration Forms. I will include a map to and from the venue so you can get a better perspective of the distance between venues.  The Elks lodge and the hotels are about 500 feet from each other. They are really close to each other.

Scheduled on our Itinerary is as follows: A scheduled Hospitality Room at the Hotel for Early arrivals on Thursday evening, June 6, 2019. We plan Continental Breakfast on Friday and Saturday. On Friday we will have the Women's Luncheon at the Elks Lodge and that evening we plan a poolside reception with music, hors d'oeuvres and refreshments. On Saturday we have planned Lunch at noon and the Commander's Banquet that evening. We plan to have entertainment and a dance with live music. On Sunday we plan to have a Continental Breakfast at our usual Sunday Board of Directors Finance and Budget Meeting. Everyone that is still present is invited.

“We are working on the food (caterers), entertainment, hospitality rooms while seeking sponsors for each event. I continue working with members Louis Ramirez and Past Commander and the 2014 Conference Chair JP Amador on all details. We plan on getting with the state office for information we might need in putting the entire event together. We intend to prepare mailers and have information posted on the State Website as soon as we finalize each detail.

“We’re hoping to reach all the chapters in hope of getting representation from each at this conference. Remember that our success depends on your attendance. As for us, we will make every effort to make this conference attractive, affordable, and with lots of comradery. This conference is being prepared with you in mind. We look forward to seeing you in Seguin in June!”


Christopher Aviles, Seguin AGIF Manuel Castillas Commander