Mr. Manuel M. Vela, who graduated from Harlingen High School, earned his law degree at the University of Texas. After years in private practice, he joined the Valley Baptist Health System in 2003 as Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel. Mr. Vela has served on numerous community and state boards including the UTB-TSC Development Board, The STARS Steering Committee, the Texas State History Museum Foundation, and the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District's Future Facilities Task Force. Mr. Vela's long history of civic service includes his current appointments to the U.S. Senate Federal Judiciary Evaluation Committee and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission's Task Force for Children with Special Needs. He was appointed by Mayor Boswell to fill the vacant spot of a previous board member whose term expires in May 2011.