WBCA Names New President, Treasurer and Board Members for 127th Celebration


Planning for the 127th Washington’s Birthday Celebration is officially underway and under the guidance of the 2024 – 2025 Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association (WBCA) President Fernando Montemayor Jr. The WBCA Executive Committee and Board of Directors also welcomed new additions to their respective rosters.

“I am honored and humbled to have been named president of the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association for 2025. WBCA is an amazing organization that does so much good for the community, not only from an economic standpoint, but by improving the quality of life in Laredo,” said Montemayor. “With over 30 events, there truly is something for everyone and I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of it.”

This celebration will mark the 127th year that WBCA brings its festivities to Laredo and Montemayor intends on honoring its tradition and history.

“I am fortunate to have the support of an amazing group of volunteers which includes our Executive Committee, our board of directors, community partners, and the office staff that keeps the engine moving. I also want to thank and recognize the City of Laredo, Webb County and all our law enforcement and first responder crews who year in and year out help make our celebration such a huge success,”

he said.

Montemayor has served as a WBCA volunteer and board member for more than 13 years. He has chaired multiple events, but his passion for concerts and music of all genres most attracted him to chair and then co-chair the WBCA Jalapeño Festival Sponsored by La Costeña, an event he has been most instrumental in helping to evolve and grow for the past 12 years. Montemayor took on the WBCA Jalapeño Festival as a co-chair and chair for four (4) consecutive years and stayed involved to offer his expertise again as an Executive Committee member, and now as President of the Association.

An avid golf player, Montemayor also merged his other passion for the competitive game of golf with the Washington’s Birthday Celebration festivities and was instrumental in the creation of the WBCA President’s Cup Golf Tournament in 2018. He was awarded the Matias De Llano Memorial Award that same year. This award is presented annually by the President of the WBCA to a WBCA Director in recognition for service to the Association, for efforts to improve committee work and for service and time devoted.

Montemayor is also extremely active in the community and involved in various other organizations.
Most recently, he served as president of the Laredo Center for the Arts from 2020-2023.

Fernando graduated from St. Augustine High School in 1994. He then attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. where he earned two bachelor’s degrees in business management and marketing. He then returned to Laredo and attended TAMIU where he received an MBA in International Business. In 1999, he joined PaineWebber Financial in San Antonio where he obtained his Series 7, 63 and 65 licenses as well as his insurance license, this marked the beginning of his career as a financial advisor. In 2002, he moved back to Laredo to help run IBC Investment Services where he has been ever since. In 2013, he was named by Bank Investment Consultant Magazine as one of the top 5 bank advisors in the country.

Fernando has two children, Valeria and Benicio Montemayor. Valeria served as an Abrazo Child in 2015 representing the United States.

Rafael A. Martinez joins the Executive Committee as Treasurer
Rafael A. Martinez has been the President/CEO of Laredo Federal Credit Union for over five years. Rafael has over 25 years of experience in the financial service industry and takes pride in his extensive expertise in the areas of marketing, product development, real estate, consumer lending, accounting, and compliance.

Prior to becoming President & CEO, Rafael served Laredo Federal Credit Union as the Branch Manager and Marketing Director and has been instrumental in leading a variety of key initiatives aimed at improving the member experience. Since he began his career with Laredo Federal Credit Union in 2008, Rafael has worked to develop and implement important programs that have provided a more positive environment for our employees. Rafael was involved in creating and organizing Laredo Federal Credit Union’s Employee Advisory Committee, serving as a forum through which employees can voice workplace concerns and to improve community outreach among employees. Additionally, Rafael organized the Laredo Federal Credit Union Employee of the Month Award and Breakfast with the President, both increasing employee morale and communication.

While working to enhance the member and employee experience, Rafael has exhibited an exceptional adeptness in complex problem-solving and leadership. He succeeded in developing growth strategies in Laredo Federal Credit Union’s Real Estate Department, increasing its portfolio significantly in just over a year. He has served as a member of Laredo Federal Credit Union’s Asset Liability Management Committee since 2011. In addition, Rafael formed partnerships between Laredo Federal Credit Union, Laredo Independent School District, and Sames Motor Company to form the student perfect attendance incentive program, Drive for Education, and with United Independent School District and Sames Motor Company to form Kia in the Classroom, a program with the same objective. Throughout his career, Rafael has focused on ensuring Laredo Federal Credit Union delivers maximum value to its members. He truly believes in the credit union’s philosophy, “People helping People.”

Rafael A. Martinez, a distinguished member of the community, has been recognized for his unwavering commitment and dedication to the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association (WBCA). Over the years, Martinez has served the organization with distinction, contributing significantly to its growth and success.
Martinez’s journey with the WBCA spans many years, during which he has held various leadership roles. His exceptional leadership skills and organizational prowess were evident as he chaired numerous events, demonstrating a deep passion for community engagement and celebration.

“I am honored and humbled to have been appointed to this role,” says Martinez. “I look forward to continuing the mission of serving our community.”

His professional studies include a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Texas A&M International University. Rafael is very proud of his community involvement, and currently serves as an elected member of Laredo Independent School District’s District Educational Improvement Council (DEIC) and as an elected board member for Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association (WBCA). He is also a Past President of Leadership Laredo.

Rafael is married to Bianca Herrera Martinez. Together, they share their proudest accomplishments, two beautiful children; Rafael A. Martinez, Jr. and Zelie E. Martinez.

The newly elected Board of Directors and appointees for the 2024-2025 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 127th Celebration are:

Fernando R. Montemayor, Jr., WBCA President
(IBC Investment Services)

Jaime Fuentes, President Elect
(Arguindegui Companies)

Albert Salinas, Ed.D, WBCA 1st Vice-President
(Community Leader)

Anabella Herbig ,WBCA 2nd Vice-President
(State Farm Insurance)

Rafael A. Martinez, WBCA Treasurer
(Laredo Federal Credit Union, President/CEO)

Rochelle V. Gonzalez, WBCA Ex-Officio (Immediate Past President)
(Gateway Community Health Center, Inc.)

The 2024 – 2025 Board of Directors include:

  • Bryon “Andy” Alford – U.S. Department of Transportation
  • AnnaIsabel Alvarez – Community Leader
  • Monica Ayala – Texas Community Bank
  • Mirthala Barragan – First Class Learning Center
  • Gilbert Bermea – Tejas Financial Advisors
  • Amelia E. Bravo – PNC Bank
  • Cristina Cabrera – Community Leader
  • Claudia Cavazos, MPH, DDS – Chief Dental Officer – Gateway Community Health Center, Inc
  • Rosa E. Cruz – PNC Bank
  • Jose “Pepe” E. Garcia – Modern Construction, Inc.
  • Jesse Gonzalez – Prime Select Realty
  • Francisco “Pancho” Gonzalez Garza – Gontor Logistics Corp.
  • Dario Gutierrez – Community Leader
  • Emmanuel Guajardo – Cresta Advisors
  • Lucy S. Hastings – Daniel B. Hastings, Inc.
  • Erika Garcia Haynes – Erika Garcia Haynes School of Dance
  • Claudio Lerma – Clarian Investments Inc.
  • Reagan M. Macdonald – Texas Community Bank
  • Abner “AB” Miranda – Community Leader
  • Ignacio “Nacho” De La Miyar – Community Leader
  • Vanessa Palumbo – Laredo Independent School District
  • Scott Payne – KGNS-TV
  • David Ramos – IBC Bank
  • Anita C. Reuthinger – Community Leader
  • Imelda Rodriguez – Falcon Bank
  • Minnie Dora Haynes Rodriguez – Rancho Colorado
  • Gloria “Terry” Salinas – Laredo Association of Realtors
  • Cordelia L. Valdez – Webb County Judge’s Office
  • Alice Villanueva – Vantage Bank
  • Nydia Weathers – Gentle Family Dentistry
  • Leslie V. Zamarron – Falcon Bank
  • Lupita Zepeda – Office of State Representative Tracy King
  • Lisa Zuniga – Zuniga Enterprises

The 2024 – 2025 Presidential Appointees serving one-year terms are:

  • Efrain Alvarado – Premier Property Inspection & Consulting; SEC Builders, LLC
  • Ashley Marie Dowler – Doctors Hospital of Laredo
  • Eileen Andrade Martinez – Community Leader
  • David Ovalle – Livi’s Mexicue
  • Anna Lizeth Sanchez – Laredo Hematology & Oncology Associates
  • Save the dates for the 127th Washington’s Birthday Celebration, January 11– February 28, 2025. 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 contributes an estimated $14 million to the local economy.

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