Planning for the 126th Washington’s Birthday Celebration is officially underway and under the guidance of the 2023 – 2024 Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association (WBCA) President Rochelle V. Gonzalez. The WBCA Executive Committee and Board of Directors also welcomed new additions to their respective rosters.
“I am honored and excited to lead this wonderful Association,” Gonzalez said. “WBCA is truly an organization with something for everyone, with an amazing team comprised of volunteers, an amazing board, a fantastic staff, and the best sponsors and community partners we could ever dream of. I have big plans for the upcoming 126th Washington’s Birthday Celebration and hope to take our festival to the next level.”
Rochelle Valdez Gonzalez has served as an official WBCA Board Member and volunteer for over 13 years; however, her involvement with the Celebration dates back to her early childhood.
Her great-grandmother was a Charter member of the Society of Martha Washington, an affiliate of WBCA; and her mother Cordelia Valdez was both a past president of the Princess Pocahontas Council and currently serves as an active WBCA Board Member for 25 years and counting. Her father Roberto Valdez is also actively involved with LULAC Council #12. He was both a past president of LULAC Council #12 and currently serves as an active board member of the same organization. Rochelle was a WBCA Jalapeño Festival “Jalapeñoette” mascot at the age of 9, was crowned Princess Pocahontas in 1994; and, was a member of the Princess Pocahontas Council for more than 10 years.
Rochelle was voted into the WBCA Board in 2013 and hit the ground running. At the start of her tenure, she spearheaded a new pilot committee centered solely on recruiting volunteers and provided much needed volunteer support to all other WBCA committees in need. The volunteer committee has since been developed further and is now among the most important committees on the board. Rochelle was awarded the WBCA Matias de Llano award in 2013 and the WBCA President’s Merit Award in 2015.
Rochelle also participates in other community organizations such as the Society of Martha Washington, the American Heart Association, and has headed “Project Cupcake” at the Bethany House for several years. In addition, she was voted to the Casa de Misericordia Board of Directors in May of 2019.
Rochelle is a graduate of J. W. Nixon High School and was recently honored as a Mustang Legend. She also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and is in the final stages of completing her Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP). She is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Vascular Access Nurse at Doctors Hospital. Rochelle enjoys spending time with her family and supporting her children in all of their extracurricular activities at school and in the community. She is also an active parishioner of San Luis Rey Church.
Married to Juan Manuel Gonzalez, Jr. for more than 20 years, the two have three children: Diego, Isabella, and Sofia. Rochelle’s two daughters have also been actively involved with WBCA; both having served as WBCA/IGNC Abrazo Children to represent the United States. Her daughter Isabella was selected as an Abrazo Child in 2014 and Sofia in 2018. Isabella was also presented as a SMW debutante in 2022.
Anabella Herbig joins the Executive Committee as Treasurer
Selected as the 2023-2024 WBCA Executive Committee Treasurer for the 126th Celebration is Anabella Ruiz Herbig. Herbig was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and has been a WBCA member and volunteer for more than 20 years and an active WBCA Board Member since 2016.
Herbig opened State Farm agency in 2002 in Laredo, Texas and recently celebrated her 20th Anniversary as a successful businesswoman. Herbig has always believed in doing things the right way and credits her success to her ability to provide excellent customer service and value to each customer.
She has extensive experience and knowledge in the insurance and financial service industry and specializes in providing auto, home, life, business, and health insurance and financial services. Herbig is also skilled in the areas of financing and refinancing your home.
Anabella attended United High School in Laredo, Texas and earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. She has been honored as a Paul Harris Fellow and has been a member of the Laredo Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years. As an insurance agent, she has earned the coveted Ambassador Travel Qualifier designation, the Legion of Honor, and the Bronze Tablet recognition. Herbig is also involved in various other organizations in Laredo including the International Good Neighbor Council, the Society of Martha Washington, the Boys and Girls Club of Laredo and is currently a member of the Advisory Board at St. Augustine High School.
She is married to Andy Herbig and has two daughters, Audrey & Anna. Anna was selected to serve as a WBCA/IGNC Abrazo Child to represent the United States in 2016 and Audrey was presented as a SMW debutante in 2020.
The newly elected Board of Directors and appointees for the 2023-2024 year were also recently announced. The WBCA board is made up of leaders and professionals from the community. Elected board members serve three-year terms and volunteer countless hours of their own time to make all of the annual events a success.
The Executive Committee members for the 126th Celebration are:
The 2023 – 2024 Board of Directors include:
The 2023 – 2024 Presidential Appointees serving one-year terms are:
Save the dates for the 126th Washington’s Birthday Celebration, January 25 – March 2, 2024. The Washington’s Birthday Celebration, founded in 1898, is the largest Celebration of its kind in the United States. Throughout the years, the Celebration has grown to be over a month long and consists of parades, dazzling pageants, fireworks, a carnival, an air show, a sizzling Jalapeño Festival and much more. Combined, WBCA events attract nearly 500,000 residents and visitors and yearly contribute an estimated $14 million to the local economy.
Stay up to date with all our events by visiting our website at wbcalaredo.org. You can also stay up to date, and win ticket giveaways and other prizes by liking us on Facebook and Instagram.
For additional information visit wbcalaredo.org, e-mail email@example.com, contact the WBCA office at (956) 722-0589, or visit 1819 E. Hillside Road in Laredo, TX.