Spring is in the air, and that also means that election season is here.
Several positions on local city councils and school boards are up for grabs, as well as other items such as bond issues in Hunt County.
The Commerce Journal reached out to candidates in contested races to get short biographies on each, to help readers better understand their candidates. Most of the candidates that were contacted gave responses.
Their responses are printed below.
Wyman Williams (incumbent): Wyman Williams was born in Dallas, moved to Commerce at age 3, completed public school in 1965 and graduated from East Texas State University in 1969.
Immediately after graduation, he married Harriet Atchley and began working in his family’s automobile dealership.
As a local car dealer, Williams became active in volunteer opportunities related to education, healthcare and economic development. He served on the university foundation board for over 23 years, as well as serving on numerous search committees including three for university Presidents. He was a member of the founding board of the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum. He currently serves as the chair of the Commerce Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors.
Williams was a member of the Hunt Memorial Hospital Board of Directors for 12 years and served as board chair for 10 years. He has served as a board member and then as a president of the Commerce Economic Development Corporation and was twice recognized as Citizen of the Year by the Commerce Chamber of Commerce.
In 2010, Williams sold his deanship and became employed as a director of development at A&M-Commerce. He is currently associate vice president of advancement, and has served as the Mayor of Commerce for the past three years.
Glenn Davis: My name is Glenn Davis and I am running for mayor of Commerce. I am 33 years old and am currently the Chemistry teacher at Caddo Mills High School. I moved to Commerce in 2006 from Schweinfurt, Germany. No, I am not German, my father was in the military so we moved around a lot. It is difficult for a military child to find a place to set down roots. Well, I found my place in Commerce, TX and I feel the need to serve the community that has made me feel like I am home.
Commerce isn’t just a town to me. Commerce is where I started my family and my future. I am married to the love of my life, Amber, who has given me my two greatest treasures on this earth: my two boys Eddie, and Jeffery. We own a home in town and enjoy spending time at the parks and exploring the opportunities Commerce offers.
My life has been lived in service to others. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s in Applied Criminology, both from Texas A&M University-Commerce. I have served as a Combat Medic in the Texas Army National Guard and from there continued my service to others as a Crisis Clinician-working to help those in a mental health emergency. My wife and I continue to serve our neighbors in the county as teachers and look forward to making the county, and OUR city, brighter for the next generation.
Commerce ISD Board (One race, Place 2)
Gabe Wittkopf (incumbent): My name is Gabriel “Gabe” Wittkopf and I am seeking re-election to Commerce ISD Board Of Trustees Place 2. I have served as a member of the board for 9 years and seen a lot of change in our district and the community of Commerce during that time. As a board member, I have worked to be fiscally responsible to the taxpayers while providing the best opportunities for our students to learn from some of the best teachers in Texas. We, as a board, have strived to create a culture of excellence for everyone at Commerce ISD and translate those expectations to our students for their time as students of the district so that they may carry that into their adult lives.
I serve the City of Commerce as a Captain at Commerce Fire Department and am continuing my education as a student at Texas A&M University - Commerce. I am married to Alicia Wittkopf and have two girls Allie and Emma who are students at Commerce High School. We have been residents of Commerce since 2001 and quickly grew to love the city and the people. We found Commerce to be inviting. We fell in love with the people here and decided this community of friends was the ideal place for us to raise our family.
I decided to run for Commerce ISD School Board Place 2 in 2010 in order to be involved in the education and growth of the children of Commerce. I found in Commerce ISD that the board, superintendent and staff are not just people within the walls of the buildings in which they work, but they are active, engaged, passionate people who support the whole community in a variety of capacities. Every person in Commerce has an opinion and a voice that is heard and thoughtfully considered by the CISD Superintendent and Board of Trustees. I am proud to be a part of this culture of openness and remain committed to listening and acting in the best interest of our students and the community.
I am thankful for the support from the community and ask for your continued support during this election. Please cast a vote for me so I may continue to serve the students, teachers and taxpayers.
Proud to be a Tiger!
Elva Rezendez: Dr. Elva A. Resendez is originally from Orange Grove, TX (near Corpus Christi), but “grew up” and was “raised” by the City of Commerce since turning 18. Love the culture of the people of Commerce. Believe Commerce has taught me the true meaning and value of the word community. Lived here over 25 years, evolved from a recipient of the Commerce community culture to a facilitator of Commerce community culture for others entering our community. Married for over 20 years to Danny House, a certified quality engineer with experience in the medical and oil and gas industries. One daughter, Maria Celeste Resendez House, junior at Commerce High School. Parishioners of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Commerce, TX. Worked at A&M-Commerce for over 25 years beginning as a student worker to now a faculty member in the Department of Management. Earned my PhD in Organizational Development and Change in 2018 from the University of Texas at Tyler.
I have experienced our community and my organization transform widely throughout the last 25 years. From ET to A&M-Commerce, from Commerce to a certified retirement community, we are poised for continued growth today and development due to the vision, actions and efforts of several community leaders/citizens willing to lead and guide change. As our community continues to transform and evolve, our trustees should be well prepared to positively and appropriately respond to change. My experience and actions within the community, diverse constituencies, allows me to interact and respond with resources and actions to many within our community.
As a CISD trustee, my hope is to be known as an approachable, service-minded leader who understands the needs of the community and school district are interdependent. In order to sustain and create a strong community, we should continue to provide and seek new ways to ingrain strong, positive characters, a sense of citizenship in all our youth. Our youth become our citizens, who become our employees and community leaders. My goal is to continue to support and find ways to positively and realistically develop conscientious leaders for tomorrow in my community through initiative and collaboration. I know that just as change is important, constants are even more vital, keeping our strong Commerce community culture, in the values of our community, will keep Commerce strong.