Fall 2013 - Friday, December 13, 2013
Paul L. Foster
Paul L. Foster is the founder and Executive Chairman of Western Refining, Inc., a Fortune 500 oil refining and marketing company based in El Paso, Texas.
A native Texan, Mr. Foster serves the Lone Star state on numerous levels. He presently serves on the Texas Economic Development Council and the Texas Business Leadership Council. He served on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board from 2004 to 2007. Since November of 2007 Mr. Foster has served on the University of Texas System Board of Regents, and in August of 2013 was named Chairman. Previously, Mr. Foster served as the Chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO).
An avid supporter of the El Paso/Juarez region, Mr. Foster is involved in numerous local and regional business, civic, and charitable organizations. He is a member of the World Presidents' Organization, is on the Steering Committee of the Borderplex Regional Economic Alliance, and serves on the Board of WestStar Bank in El Paso. He was the founding Chairman of El Paso Regional Economic Development Corporation (REDCo).
Mr. Foster is passionate about the city he calls home and is a catalyst in El Paso's recent downtown redevelopment and revitalization efforts. He has purchased a number of historic El Paso buildings in the downtown area, and is establishing the Mills Plaza District through meticulous renovation and restoration of these buildings. In addition, Mr. Foster developed and built a 600,000 sq. ft. retail shopping and lifestyle complex on Interstate 10 in El Paso called The Fountains at Farah. In 2012, Mr. Foster and his wife, Alejandra de la Vega Foster, joined with another El Paso family to form MountainStar Sports Group, which purchased the San Diego Padres' Triple-A baseball team. In 2014 the ownership group will relocate the team from Tucson, Arizona to a brand-new ballpark being built in downtown El Paso.
Paul Foster has given generously to initiatives in Texas and El Paso, including significant civic and charitable donations. His gifts have included a $50 million donation to create the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, and a $3 million donation to establish the Paul L. Foster Success Center at Baylor University. Recently, Mr. Foster gave $35 million to Baylor to construct the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, which will house Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. His gift also will support Baylor Stadium, currently under construction on that campus. Mr. Foster's donation represents the largest gift from a living alumnus in Baylor's history. He and his long-time friend and business associate, Jeff Stevens, donated $6 million to fund the Foster-Stevens Basketball Complex on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso. In addition, Paul and Alejandra Foster recently donated $500,000 to help fund La Mano Amiga, an operations facility for El Pasoans Fighting Hunger. Mr. Foster has contributed significantly to many areas of need within the state, the El Paso/Juarez Borderplex, and in his City of El Paso.
Paul Foster has received numerous honors, including the Distinguished Alumni Award by the Baylor Alumni Association. He was inducted into the 2013 Class of the Texas Business Hall of Fame, and in 2007 and 2013, he was presented the highest award given by the City of El Paso, the Conquistador Award. Honors also include being named El Pasoan of the Year by El Paso Inc. and induction into the Business Hall of Fame by Junior Achievement of the Desert Southwest. Mr. Foster was also named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce.
Fall 2013 - Saturday, December 14, 2013
Dr. O. Wayne Isom
Dr. O. Wayne Isom is the Terry Allen Kramer Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Following his undergraduate studies at Texas Tech, Dr. Isom earned his medical degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1965. He then went on to finish a medical internship and general surgery residency at Parkland Hospital in Dallas; in 1970, he completed a cardiothoracic residency at New York University Medical Center. Dr. Isom joined the faculty at NYU School of Medicine, and, in 1978, he became Professor of Surgery and Director of the Cardiothoracic Training Program, a position he held for the next seven years.
In 1985, Dr. Isom was recruited to the New York-Cornell Medical Center (before The New York Hospital and Presbyterian Hospital merged to become New York Presbyterian Hospital) and assumed the Chairmanship of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Under his supervision, the Cardiothoracic surgeons at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center have performed over 20,000 open-heart procedures, with results ranking the center as one of the best in the country.
Over his 30-year career, Dr. Isom has been responsible for teaching third year medical students, as well as general surgery house staff. He has also been instrumental in training over 50 cardiothoracic surgeons who are now either practicing or teaching throughout the country. The medical students at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center have honored Dr. Isom in the past with the Cornell Medical College Third Year Teaching Award.
As a noted professor and speaker, Dr. Isom has authored over 100 journal articles and over 20 book chapters dealing with cardiac and thoracic surgery. Currently, he and his colleagues are investigating the application of gene therapy in cardiac patients too weak to endure traditional coronary artery bypass surgery (the inserted gene will stimulate the heart to grow new blood vessels), as well as transmyocardial revascularization and robotic surgical techniques.
Dr. Isom is a member of numerous medical and surgical societies, including the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons. He has been a Board Member of the American Heart Association in New York City for many years and has been honored with their distinguished Bugher Foundation Award for Achievement in Cardiovascular Science and Medicine. In December of 2000, the National Marfan Foundation granted him the Hero With A Heart Award; the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, along with the NYSAE Education Research Foundation, recently bestowed him with their First Annual Humanitarian Award.
Dr. Isom is the father of five children and currently resides in Manhattan with his wife, Pat, and their two children, Jack and Catherine.