GALVESTON, TX  – April 11, 2019 – The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce held its 2019 Leadership Galveston graduation ceremony at The Grand 1894 Opera House on Thursday, April 11, 2019.

Twenty three class participants of Leadership Galveston received their certificates.

For these graduates, the walk across The Grand 1894 Opera House stage represents a steadfast journey toward learning about their personal leadership styles, nourishing their community spirit and gaining invaluable understanding of how the Galveston community works. Many of these graduates are already rising leaders at the companies where they work or businesses they own.

The Leadership Galveston curriculum allows participants to interact with diverse, high-level community leaders and decision-makers through a series of seminars and retreats in fields ranging from business, education, government, hospitality, the arts, tourism, and more.

The Leadership Galveston curriculum allows participants to interact with diver, high-level community leaders and decision-makers…

Founded in 1984 when a need to create a pipeline of future leaders for the Galveston community was identified, the Leadership Galveston program was launched. Since that time, more than 500 graduates have completed the program, learning about Galveston’s unique economy, diverse culture, largesse of educational institutions and attractive lifestyle.

All major businesses, most companies and non-profit organizations have embraced Leadership Galveston as a staple for any managerial- or executive-level employee who is new to the area. Local area leaders who have graduated from previous Leadership Galveston classes include Raymond Lewis, Board Chair of Galveston College (class of 1987), Gary Kaufman, President of GIA Insurance (class of 1995), and Lauren Millo, Marketing Director of Moody Bank (class of 2012).

“Leadership Galveston is a dynamic and interactive eight-month experience that promotes and enhances community leadership through an in-depth introduction to social, economic, business and political issues in the Galveston area,” said Gina M. Spagnola, president and CEO of the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Our graduates benefit by putting a community lens on their class experiences and focusing on the importance of leadership skills and civic engagement.”

The Leadership Galveston curriculum comprises eight units each exploring an important facet or facets of being part of the island community. Lorraine Grubbs, Director of Membership for the Galveston Chamber, spearheaded the most recent eight-month class. Mrs. Spagnola wishes to thank the original steering committee that created the innovative program with her including Dr. Myles Shelton – president of Galveston College, Dr. David Callender – president of UTMB Health, Sheila Lidstone – chief of staff of UTMB Health, Allan Matthews – grants director of The Moody Foundation, C.B. “Bix” Rathburn – director of Hilltop Securities, Inc, Fred D. Raschke – Mills Shirley L.L.P, Dr. Ian Barret – UTMB Health, Dr. Rebecca Stout – Galveston College, Joe Huff III – Galveston College, Dr. Gaynelle Hayes – Galveston College, Becky Trout – UTMB Health, and Craig Kovacevich – UTMB Health.

About Leadership Galveston
The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Galveston program creates a pipeline of future leaders for our community through the development of core leadership competencies and the introduction to social, economic, business and political issues in the Galveston area and the successful leaders that influence and run them. With over 500 graduates from the program, participants in this dynamic and interactive eight-month program learn about what makes Galveston go – from its unique economy to its largesse of educational institutions to its diverse culture and attractive lifestyle. Graduates of the program have gone on to lead our island community and include top executives and elected officials at the city and state levels. For further information about the program, please contact the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce at 409-763-5326, email Gina Spagnola at or visit