Gov. Greg Abbott has reappointed Tilman Fertitta and Beth Madison to the University of Houston System Board of Regents, and appointed insurance professional Ricky Raven to the governing body that oversees the four universities that make up the UH System (University of Houston, University of Houston-Clear Lake, University of Houston-Downtown, University of Houston-Victoria). The Board of Regents is composed of nine regular members and a student regent.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have such skilled, passionate and knowledgeable leaders on the board to guide our system to the next level,” said Renu Khator, chancellor of the University of Houston System. “All three appointees have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their respective fields, which is a true asset to our system.”
An accomplished businessman, Fertitta has served on the Board of Regents since 2009 and was elected chairman in 2014 and has served since, instrumental in advancing several system goals including the establishment of a medical school at the University of Houston in 2020, and more recently, entrance into the Big 12 Conference.
Fertitta is the sole owner, president and CEO of Fertitta Entertainment which owns the restaurant giant Landry’s, the Golden Nugget casinos and hotels, and the NBA’s Houston Rockets. He is considered one of the foremost authorities in the restaurant, gaming, entertainment and hospitality industries and is a New York Times best-selling author, while also leading numerous civic boards in Houston.
“I’m proud of all we have accomplished across the University of Houston System over the last decade and am grateful to Governor Abbott for the opportunity to be a part of this exceptional board for another term,” said Fertitta. “We have incredible momentum right now. Chancellor Khator has been a transformational leader, and I look forward to working with her and the Board to make sure each System university can reach its full potential.”
Beth Madison, founder of Madison Benefits Group, currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Higginbotham, a commercial risk management and insurance firm, was first appointed to the UHS Board of Regents in 2015. For fiscal year 2020-2021, she served as secretary, chair of the Academic and Student Success Committee, vice chair of the Endowment Management Committee, a member of the Facilities, Construction and Master Planning Committee, and secretary of the Executive Committee.
Madison is a certified employee benefits specialist, certified property and casualty underwriter and a chartered life underwriter. She served as president of the Houston Estate and Financial Forum and on the board for the Houston Chartered Life Underwriters as well as national advisory boards for multiple insurance companies. Madison received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston.
Ricky Raven of Sugar Land is the board’s newest appointee. He is senior vice president and deputy general counsel for Allstate Insurance. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, International Association of Defense Counsel, International Association of Trial Lawyers and the State Bar of Texas. He recently ended appointment on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and is a trustee of the University of Houston Foundation.
Raven currently serves on the University of Houston Board of Visitors, a presidentially-appointed advisory board of private sector thought leaders. He received a Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor degree from the University of Houston.
Every two years, the governor of the State of Texas, subject to Senate confirmation, appoints three members. Each regular member serves a six-year term. The latest appointments will expire on Aug. 31, 2027.
Gerald W. McElvy departs the board after completing six years of service. Most recently, he was vice chairman of the board, chair of the Finance and Administration Committee, vice chair of the Facilities, Construction and Master Planning Committee, a member of the Audit and Compliance Committee, and vice chairman of the Executive Committee.