Various Texas Tech and Lubbock community members have been chosen to serve under Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on a newly formed strike force to reopen the state amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas will safely and strategically restart and revitalize all aspects of the Lone Star State—work, school, entertainment, and culture,” according to the Office of the Texas Governor website. 

Within the strike force, 39 business leaders representing various regions of the state will provide advice as members of the Special Advisory Council, according to the Office of the Texas Governor website. Members of the council with ties to this region include:

  • Rick Francis, a Tech alumnus and former chairman of the Tech System Board of Regents most recently in 2018, is chairman and CEO of WestStar Bank. 
  • Scott Dueser, a Tech alumnus and former chairman of the Tech System Board of Regents most recently in 2009, is the chairman, president and CEO of First Financial Bank and serves on boards of the Tech Alumni Association, the Tech Free Market Institute and the American Bankers Association Foundation. 
  • Carla Moran, a Tech alumnus and founding member of the Lubbock Entertainment/Performing Arts Association, is President-Elect of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum Foundation. 
  • Marc McDougal served as Lubbock mayor from 2002 to 2006 and is the CEO of McDougal Companies. He was formerly President of the Lubbock Apartment Association and served on boards of the West Texas Home Association and the Texas Apartment Association.
  • Brad Heffington, a Tech alumnus, is owner of Heffington Farms Inc. and Triple T Irrigation, Inc., which are companies specializing in the production of Texas Cotton. He also serves as Vice President of High Plains Underground Water Conservation District and was formerly President of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

Additional Tech alumni on the strike force include Arcilia Acosta, president and CEO of CARCON Industries & Construction, and David Oliverira, a graduate of the Tech School of Law and partner at Roerig, Oliveira & Fisher law firm. 

More information on The Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas is available at

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