UTSA Alumni Association

Gala 2014

15th Annual Alumni Gala


Alumnus of the Year: John T. Engates '94

John Engates

John T. Engates is the Chief Technology Officer at Rackspace Managed Hosting in San Antonio, Texas. Established in 1999, Rackspace delivers enterprise-level hosting services to businesses of all sizes and kinds around the world. Engates began in 2000 as Vice President of Operations and managed the datacenter operations and customer-service teams. He helped to develop the Intensive Hosting business unit and stepped into his current role as Chief Technology Officer shortly after. Engates was one of the leading forces behind Rackspace’s Microsoft Gold Certification and is recognized as a cloud expert internationally. He is a valued speaker at major technology conferences and speaks on topics such as the future of cloud computing, enterprise cloud adoption, data center efficiency, green data center best practices and more. Prior to joining Rackspace, Engates was a founder of Internet Direct, one of the oldest and largest Internet service providers in Texas. Engates graduated from UTSA with a BBA in accounting.


Alumna of the Year: Winell Herron '00

Winell Herron

Winell Herron is Group Vice President of Public Affairs, Diversity and Environmental Affairs for H-E-B in Houston, Texas. Since Herron began her career at H-E-B in 1988, she has held several key positions at the company, including Service Team Leader, Director of Workforce Diversity, Vice President of Customer Service and her current role of Group Vice President. She is a Trustee for H-E-B Tournament of Champions and was instrumental in creating the H-E-B Faculty Research Excellence Fund at UTSA. Herron serves on the boards of Texans Care for Children, The Ensemble Theater, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the board of trustees for the University of the Incarnate Word, and chairs the Texas NAACP Corporate Advisory Council. In 2013, she was inducted into The Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame for her contributions to the advancement of women and the community. Herron received her BBA from UT-Austin, graduated from the USC Food Industry Management Program and is an MBA graduate of UTSA.

Distinguished Service Award: Jane Burton

Jane Burton

Jane Findling Burton spent 33 years of her career with UTSA and held the positions of Director of Student Activities, Director of the University Center, Assistant Athletic Director for Development and Assistant Vice President of Alumni Programs. She served as UTSA’s first college-based development officer for the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and was the first Executive Director of the Alumni Association. Burton established the UTSA Ring Ceremony tradition and the Alumni Association’s key fundraising events, Alumni Gala and Diploma Dash. Burton’s greatest achievement was assisting with the establishment of campus housing and starting the first student union. The Jane Findling Burton Endowed Scholarship was established by alumni, faculty and friends in her honor. Burton is a graduate of Southern Methodist University.