Texas A&M’s Federal Grant to Study Rural Autonomous Driving Systems

Texas A&M University Unveils New Music Activities Center


Mike Hernandez III

Mike Hernandez III

An accomplished business leader in Dallas-Fort Worth, Mike Albert Hernandez III serves as the CEO of D & M Leasing, a successful fleet-vehicle leasing business. Originally hailing from Brownsville, Texas, Michael Albert Hernandez III was appointed in 2019 by Governor Greg Abbott to sit on the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.

In August of 2019, Texas A&M held a grand opening ceremony for its new Music Activities Center. Featuring the Elizabeth A. and Paul H. Motheral ‘52 Rehearsal Hall, which can now comfortably accommodate all 356 members of the university’s Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, the facility was made possible by private philanthropic fund-raising that totaled more than $20 million. Its opening ceremony was attended by hundreds of student musicians, former students, donors, and community members.

Construction of the Music Activities Center, which sits on the university’s College Station campus at George Bush Drive and Coke Street, commenced in September 2017. At a total cost of about $40 million, the facility demonstrates the importance of musical education to Texas A&M, as well as the importance of music in creating lasting bonds among members of the student community.

Texas A&M Appoints New Members to Board of Regents

An executive with more than three decades of experience, Michael “Mike” Albert Hernandez III serves as the CEO of D&M Leasing and Hernco, Inc., which operate in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. Mike Hernandez III also regularly donates to the Brownsville Scholars Program, and recently achieved a position on the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, an honor appointed by Governor Greg Abbott. He will serve alongside Jay Graham, who holds the title of CEO and chairman of Spur Energy Partners, and Michael J. Plank, the CEO and chairman The Plank Companies, Inc., and its affiliate companies Rail Logix, National Property Holdings, and Speed Shore Corporation. The appointments will expire February 1, 2025.

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has multiple responsibilities. These include setting policy direction for the A&M System’s seven state agencies and 11 universities, and promoting academic research to advance the state of Texas. One of the most sizable university systems in the U.S., The Texas A&M University System operates with an annual budget of around $4.7 billion.

Admission Requirements of the Cameron County Education Initiative

Cameron County Educational Initiative pic

Cameron County Educational Initiative
Image: myccei.org

With over 30 years of experience as a business leader in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Micheal Albert “Mike” Hernandez III serves as the CEO of D&M Leasing, a consumer car leasing company. Raised in Brownsville, Mike Hernandez III launched OP 10.33 to provide educational and employment assistance to the residents of Cameron County.

As part of OP 10.33’s mission of providing students access to affordable education, Mike Hernandez founded the Cameron Country Education Initiative (CCEI) which offers programs in construction technology, medical billing and coding, and medical assistant training. To qualify for admission, applicants must meet at least one of the requirements below:

1. A verifiable high school diploma or an Official High School Transcript with a graduate date.

2. A transcript of records with written documentation of high school graduation from an accredited college.

3. International applicants must submit a transcribed version of their high school documents.

4. For students who were homeschooled, they must present the curriculum used to earn a high school education.

5. A score of 200 verbal points and 210 quantitative points of the Wonderlic Basic Skills Test and compliance with the required age of attendance set forth by the State of Texas.

For more information about CCEI, visit www.myccei.org.

Texas Legislature Approves $157 million in New Funding for Texas A&M

Mike Hernandez III

Mike Hernandez III

The CEO of D & M Leasing in Dallas-Fort Worth, Micheal “Mike” Albert Hernandez III manages a successful fleet vehicle leasing business. A native of Brownsville, Texas, Mike Hernandez III recently was appointed to the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents by Governor Greg Abbott.

Recently, the Texas Legislature approved a record $157 million in new funding for the Texas A&M University System. Next, Governor Abbott will have the chance to sign the bill after the state comptroller’s office certifies that state funds are adequate to cover the appropriations for the next two years. The infusion of resources will help Texas A&M fulfill its mission of education, research, and service to the state of Texas, according to Chancellor John Sharp.

In addition to $12.8 million in new university research funding, the appropriation includes $55 million to bring Texas A&M’s per-student funding in line with the additional funds allocated to the University of Texas at Austin in 2017. The bill also approved a request by Chancellor Sharp to transfer the Texas Division of Emergency Management to the Texas A&M System, from its previous home from at the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The organizational change will mean increased coordination between the state’s Division of Emergency Management and the university system’s disaster response efforts, which includes Texas A&M Task Force One, the Texas A&M Forest Service, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The associated funding includes more than $10 million for a state disaster recovery task force, with an additional $6.8 million going to fund the AgriLife Extension’s disaster readiness work.

Increasing Employment Opportunities – A Sure Path to Reducing Poverty


Mike Hernandez III pic

Mike Hernandez III
Image: brownsvilleherald.com

Serving as the CEO of D & M Leasing, Micheal Albert Hernandez III grew up in Brownsville before founding a successful Dallas-Fort Worth area business. Aside from managing a vehicle leasing company, Mike Hernandez III works at alleviating poverty through financially supporting a workforce training program called the Cameron County Education Initiative.

According to an analysis by the Brookings Institution, one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty is by increasing work rates among the poor. Households without a full-time worker have an exceptionally high poverty rate of more than 33 percent, according to 2014 Census Bureau data. In comparison, people who work full-time have a much lower poverty rate, around three percent.

Unfortunately, the percentage of prime-age men working full time has decreased from 94.5 to 85 percent over the last 45 years, and employment among prime-age African American men has fallen from 76.3 to 53.2 percent during the same period.

The Brookings Institution report concludes that making significant strides in the fight against poverty will require investment in programs that increase paid work among poor and low-income people. The benefits of full-time employment to the individual and the community as a whole are unmistakable. In addition to increased earnings, ensuring paid work for impoverished people enables their economic mobility, increases their Social Security benefits in retirement, and reduces the strain on public welfare programs.

Cameron’s OP 10.33 Organization Commits $10M to Anti-Poverty Work

OP10.33 pic

Image: op1033.org

The CEO of D & M Leasing, Micheal (Mike) Albert Hernandez III is a Brownsville native who built a successful Dallas-Fort Worth area vehicle leasing company. Aside from his professional responsibilities, Mike Hernandez III is heavily involved in efforts to reduce poverty in Cameron County, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation.

One of the vehicles Mr. Hernandez uses to work toward his goal is the organization he founded called OP 10.33. The “33” stands for the goal date of 2033 for making significant economic improvements in the region that will help lift people out of poverty. Through funding by its founder, OP 10.33 has budgeted $10 million for strategic programs to uplift Cameron County residents over a 10-year period, and announced its plans through a major billboard campaign in the region after its launch.

These funds will go toward various programs focused on increasing education access and training in-demand workers such as medical assistants and construction workers. OP 10.33 also plans to invest in other programs focused on creating jobs and increasing economic opportunities, such as developing alternative health care services to meet the needs of low-income, uninsured residents and increasing WiFi and computer access throughout the county.