One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200

School of Business to Honor Diaz, Friedman, McCumber on March 21

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – MARCH 4, 2014 – The School of Business at The University of Texas at Brownsville announces the recipients of its 2014 Business Leaders Awards. 

Dr. Ricardo Diaz Garza

The honorees are Ricardo Diaz Garza, M.D., orthodontist and businessman of Matamoros; Scott Friedman, restaurateur and Board President of the Port Isabel Economic Development Corporation; and Gregg McCumber, CPA, Managing Partner, Burton McCumber & Cortez, LLP. They will be honored at the School of Business Annual Business Appreciation Breakfast to be held at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, March 21 in El Gran Salon of the Student Union.

“Our three honorees have all made significant contributions to the development of the region’s economic vitality, quality of life and human capital,” said Dr. Mark Kroll, Dean of the School of Business.

Dr. Ricardo Diaz Garza, a certified orthodontist, has treated patients on both sides of the border for more than 35 years. He is the founder of several charity organizations, including Caritas de Matamoros, providing medicine, medical treatment, doctors, food and clothing to needy residents of the area, and the Matamoros Food Bank which provides foodstuffs to over 15,000 families (64,000 people) per year.

Diaz is involved in the maquiladora business, constructing industrial buildings and providing warehousing to maquiladoras established in Matamoros. He is also President of the University CUN in Matamoros.



Scott Friedman

Twenty-year resident of the Laguna Madre area, restaurateur and businessman Scott Friedman opened Pirates Landing in a 50x100-foot building on the Port Isabel Lighthouse Square in 1994. His vision to expand from a restaurant to a destination began to take shape, resulting in today’s multi-faceted Pirates Landing. Across Lighthouse Square sits Friedman’s Marcello’s Italian restaurant and pub; and the northwest side of the square is lined with buildings, some owned by Friedman, that are the focus of his next vision. Across the Laguna Madre, his Pier 19 offers a dining experience over the water. Friedman’s businesses employ more than 250 local residents.

Friedman is the current chair of the Port Isabel Economic Development Corporation, past chair of the South Padre Island Economic Development Corporation and current chair of the Laguna Madre Water District.

 Gregg McCumber

Brownsville native Gregg McCumber is​ a founding partner of Burton McCumber & Cortez, LLP, established in 1991, and he has been the Managing Partner of the firm’s Valley offices since 2006. The firm today has five U.S. partners and 45 employees with offices in Brownville and McAllen. Burton McCumber & Cortez is also a partner in the Mexican accounting firm of BMC y Fragoso S.C., with offices in Matamoros and Reynosa and a staff of about 40 persons.

McCumber is a past board mem​ber and chair of the Brownsville Convention and Visitors Bureau and Brownsville Community Development Corporation of Brownsville. Currently, he serves on several boards, including the UTB Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Center Board and the UTB Business Advisory Board.

The keynote speaker at the awards breakfast will be William Klesse, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Valero Energy Corporation. Klesse began his 45-year career in refining as an engineering trainee with Diamond Shamrock. In 1984, he was named Director of Corporate Development at Diamond Shamrock’s Dallas office and, subsequently, Vice President. In 1987, he relocated to Diamond Shamrock’s San Antonio office as an Executive Vice President. After the 1996 merger of Ultramar Corp. and Diamond Shamrock, forming Ultramar Diamond Shamrock (UDS), Klesse served as Executive Vice President of the company’s refining operations.

After Valero acquired UDS in 2001, Klesse served as Executive Vice President of Refining and Commercial Operations. In 2003, he was named Valero’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In 2006, Klesse became CEO, and in 2007, Chairman of the Board.

 Bill Klesse

Klesse holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Dayton, and a Master of Business Administration in finance from West Texas A&M University.

“We feel very fortunate to have Mr. Klesse as this year’s keynote speaker,” Kroll said. “This will be a great opportunity for us to learn something about the energy sector from someone who has had a long and distinguished career as a leader in that industry."

Valero Energy is the world’s largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products.

“Given how critical energy is to the U.S. economy – and what a central role it plays in the Texas economy – and given the dynamic nature of the energy industry, it should be a good conversation,” Kroll said.

Following the breakfast, Klesse will speak with students in the School of Business.

The School of Business, with over 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the spring 2014 semester, is committed to providing graduates with the education and training needed to successfully lead the region’s businesses and launch new enterprises that will grow the economy.

For more information about the School of Business awards breakfast, contact Magda Martinez at 956-882-5828 or



For comments and questions, please contact the Webmaster.