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Memorial Committee

The California Mexican-American Veterans Memorial Beautification and Enhancement Committee was created by SB 599 (Chapter 558 of 2007). The committee is made up of five appointees of the Governor and one appointee of the State Senate President Pro Tempore and one appointee of the Speaker of the State Assembly. The Committee is authorized to establish a schedule for the design, construction and dedication of the enhanced memorial; to solicit and select designs that may be used to beautify the existing memorial; and to solicit and receive contributions that will be used to off-set the costs of the enhancements and beautification project.

Daniel Contreras, Chair, Adjutant for the Disabled American Veterans, Department of California

Daniel Contreras, 46, of Sherman Oaks, is the adjutant for the Disabled American Veterans Department of California (DAV). Since 2000, he has served as a national service officer for the DAV. From 1993 to 1999, Contreras worked as a marketing director and case manager for Geriatric Service and, from 1980 to 1996, he served in the U.S. Army and achieved the rank of sergeant first class. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Contreras is a Democrat. (Appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger 7/15/2008)

Mario P. Diaz, Chair of the Mexican Museum Board of Trustees

Mario P. Diaz, 59, of Oakland, has held multiple positions at the Wells Fargo Foundation since 1989, including vice president and community affairs representative for the San Francisco Bay Region, program officer and program assistant. He was a coordinator for the Healthwise Senior Program at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital from 1986 to 1988 and was a syndications note clerk at Wells Fargo from 1981 to 1985. Diaz was an accountant in the international banking group at Security Pacific National Bank from 1978 to 1981. He is the current chair of The Mexican Museum Board of Trustees.

Helen Galvan, State Chair of the American GI Forum Women of California

Helen Galvan, 69, of Santa Maria, was a teacher at the Santa Maria-Bonita School District from 1978 to 2006 and a teacher at the Santa Barbara Unified School District from 1976 to 1978. She is state chair of the American GI Forum Women of California and is founding board member of the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts and Education Center. Galvan earned a Master of Education degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Tanis Ybarra, Business Owner, retired Nation Secretary Treasurer UFW

Tanis Ybarra, a resident of Sanger, California is a native of Texas. Ybarra has owned a tax and accounting business since 1984 and is an officer of Academy West Insurance Services. He served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, with a tour of duty in Vietnam. Ybarra began as a volunteer for the United Farm Workers Union in 1970 while attending college. He went to work full time with the organization after graduating from college in 1973 and rose to the position of National Secretary Treasurer, retiring in August 2012.

During his tenure with the UFW, he was also elected to the City Council in his hometown of Sanger in 1980 and also served as its Mayor.

Brigadier General Sylvia R. Crockett, Army National Guard

Brigadier General Sylvia R. Crockett began her military career in July 1982 and currently serves as the Assistant Division Commander (Support), 40th Infantry Division and the full-time Director of Strategic Communications for the California Military Department. General Crockett initially joined the California Air National Guard's 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Federal Air Field, and in 1984 she joined the California Army National Guard and entered the California Military Academy.

In 2004, General Crockett was assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, Joint Force Headquarters, and in 2006 was selected to command the 223rd Infantry Regiment (Combat Arms) - the first female to hold this position. General Crockett was also the first female to be appointed as the Joint Force Headquarters, J3, Director of Plans and Operations, and subsequently the Chief of Staff of the California Military Department. General Crockett is currently assigned as the Assistant Division Commander, (Support), 40th Infantry Division.

Ricardo Sanchez, San Benito Masonic Lodge, California Statewide Law Enforcement Association

Sanchez has been an investigator at the California Department of Motor Vehicles since 1989 and was an officer for the California State Police from 1988 to 1989. He is the Chief Financial Officer for the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) and is also a member of the San Benito Masonic Lodge.

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Memorial Committee