A native of Victoria, Dennis Vanek is a graduate of the University of Houston who earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He has served as an Agent for RVOS since 1983.
His degree led to a financial career in the banking industry, where he specialized and concentrated on delivering exceptional customer service and banking products through the use of technology. Dennis served as Vice President and Information Systems Manager for South Texas Savings Bank and FirstCapital bank in Victoria for 21 years.
He was elected as District 4 Director at the 2006 General Convention in Waco and re-elected for another 4-year term at the 2010 Convention held in Galveston. Dennis and his wife Donna have two children, Dana and Dean.
A University of Texas graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree, James Smith was first elected to the RVOS Board of Directors in 2001 as District 7 Director. He served two and one half years as Vice President at Large (Inactive).
He moved into the Home Office full time in August 2012 and currently oversees Information Technology and the RVOS Claims Department. James also served as an RVOS agent for 27 years.
In addition to the insurance business, he has 30 years experience in the natural gas pipeline industry, having served 16 years in system operations and 14 years in the auditing division.
Community service is very important to him. He has served as a past president of the local Chamber of Commerce, deacon of his church, and served three elected terms in all three officer positions for the school board. He and his wife of 35 years, Betty, have two grown daughters, both of whom are graduates of Texas A&M.
From the small farming community of Holland, Joe Liles has been with RVOS Lodge 83 for more than 30 years. He has served as an agent, local lodge claims adjuster, Alternate By-Law Committee representative, By-Law Committee member and Chairman, Alternate District 1 Director from 2002-2011 and RVOS District 1 Director beginning in 2011.
Joe was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve for more than 26 years, being honorably discharged as an E-8 Master Sergeant in 1998. He attended Temple Junior College and graduated from Sam Houston State University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree and obtained his Master's degree in 1977.
He has been a public educator for 35 years, with a majority of those teaching Agriculture at his Alma Mater, Holland High School. Joe is a member of St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Salado, a 3rd Degree in the Knights of Columbus, and a member and 1st Vice Commander of American Legion Post 526. He also serves on the Board of Directors for SPJST Lodge 80, the Holland Cemetery and the Smith Ranch Property Owners Association.
Being an insurance agent and educator in a small community has brought great joy and many pleasant memories to Joe. He and his wife Shirley (Bartz) Liles still reside on a small farm just outside Holland.
Claude Hempel is a native Texan, raised in Austin. He graduated from The University of Texas with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Master of Arts in Public Administration. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Army and was stationed in Germany. Upon completion of his active duty, he returned to the states and Austin accepting a position with The University of Texas, where he launched his career in Human Resources. Within a few years, he transitioned to The University of Texas System for the remainder of his career retiring as Chief Human Resources Officer for the System. After his career at UT System, he then established his consulting practice focusing on human resources, employee benefits, and insurance.
While pursuing his career and raising a family, he also continued his military career through the US Army Reserve retiring with the rank of Colonel. Following his military retirement, he continued to serve his country. He was nominated by then Governor George Bush for the federal position of Selective Service System State Director for Texas. He was appointed to the position and served for several years, retiring on December 31, 2021. He has been associated with RVOS since the late 1990s. He and his wife, Patricia, reside in Austin. They have a son and daughter and are blessed with four grandchildren.
Originally from Arlington, Rhonda Steelman began her career with RVOS as an Agent in 2001. Her family has a long history with RVOS, beginning with her grandfather serving as Home Office Treasurer for many years and her parents as Local Lodge Officers, also for many years.
She is proud of her 100% Czech heritage and being raised in a Catholic environment. She worked in the IT industry for more than a decade and became a member of the RVOS By-Law Committee in 2006. She became a member of the Board of Directors in April 2011 and still serves as an Agent for her Lodge in the Whitesboro/Tioga area of North Texas.
She has been married to her husband Tillman Jeffrey Steelman for 14 years and they are the proud parents of sons Pate, 18, and Wade, 16.
Originally from Abbott and a current resident of Troy, Richard Hykel served in the US Army National Guard from November 1965 to April 1970, at which time he received his honorable discharge as Specialist 4. He came aboard with RVOS in April 1974 as a State Claims Adjuster until January 1979.
Richard was first elected to the RVOS Board in January 1979 as Secretary of the Association. In January 1999 he was elected as Vice President to oversee the Claims Department. In January 2003, the Association expanded its Human Resource Department and his duties were changed to oversee that department until January 2007, at which time he retired.
He was again elected to the Board at the 2010 General Convention held in Galveston as Vice President. He oversaw the HR Department, building and grounds maintenance and Local Lodge affairs, while supervising the Marketing Department.
In August 2012, he assumed the Vice President at Large (Inactive) position. He currently works with the at large agents, conducts promotional events and works on other special projects as assigned in addition to serving on the Board of Directors.
Thomas Stavinoha served RVOS Lodge 97 in the Fairchilds/Needville area as a Sales Representative and Local Lodge claims adjuster for 30 years. He retired in 2000 when he was elected County Commissioner for Precinct 1 in Fort Bend County, a position he held for 8 years.
He also taught Industrial Arts for 30 years, mostly in the Rosenberg area. He was elected as District 3 Director at the 2010 General Convention held in Galveston. Thomas is a member of the Rosenberg Rotary, Fort Bend County Historical Commission, Knights of Columbus 3rd and 4th degrees, Needville Chamber of Commerce, Needville Harvest Park and Saint Michael's Catholic Church Parish Council.
He has been married to wife Donna for 40 years and they have three children — Bradley, Amy and Christy — as well as seven grandchildren. He raises cattle and enjoys traveling, boating and hunting.
Wayne Wilson has been a member of RVOS Lodge 79 since 1983 and currently serves as President of the Lodge. He served as an RVOS sales agent for 14 years, Parliamentarian of the 2006 RVOS General Convention and RVOS Convention Chair in 2010. He was elected Alternate District 7 Director in 2010.
Wayne joined the RVOS Board of Directors in 2013. He has a General Lines Property & Casualty agent license, and a General Lines Life, Accident, Health & HMO agent license. He holds the Farm Mutual Director Certification (FMDC) designation and a Fiduciary Insurance Counselor (FIC) designation.
Wayne was appointed by Governor Abbott to serve on the Brazos River Authority board of directors and he also serves on the Brazos G Regional Water Planning Group.
Wayne has served on various other boards including the Texas Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Capital Farm Credit ACA, Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District, Aggieland Pregnancy Outreach, community service committees, agricultural volunteer groups and non-profits. Through his prior board experiences, he has completed numerous board development programs and financial trainings. Wayne has owned several small businesses including an independent insurance agency, feed sales, livestock order buying and property management.
He and his wife, Linda, reside north of Bryan near Wheelock and operate a diversified stocker operation in Brazos and Robertson counties. They are active members of Christland Church and enjoy their family, which includes a daughter, son-in-law, two granddaughters and a grandson.
A graduate of Texas Tech University in Lubbock with a Bachelor's degree in Architecture, Wesley Jackson began serving on the Board of Directors as Corporate Secretary in October 2006.
He holds an Associate in Claims (AIC) from the Insurance Institute of America, a Professional Farm Mutual Manager (PFMM) designation from the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), in addition to a Property & Casualty Adjuster and General Lines Property & Casualty license issued by the Texas Department of Insurance. Wesley also serves the Texas Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (TAMIC) as a member of the Nominating Committee.
At RVOS, he was promoted to Vice President in August 2012 and has oversight of Underwriting, the Marketing Department and Local Lodge affairs.
A native of San Angelo in West Texas, Wiley Shockley began his long history with RVOS as a Sales Representative and Local Lodge claims adjuster in 1978. He served on the By-Law Committee as Chairman from 1986-1990, as Alternate District 5 Director from 1991-1998 and as District 5 Director from 1999-2006.
During his 28 years as an active agent, he also served 26 of those years as a firefighter for the City of San Angelo, retiring from the department in 2006 as senior Captain.
Delegates at the 2006 General Convention held in Waco elected him as Vice President to succeed long time Home Office Officer Richard Hykel after 32 years of service. In 2010, the General Convention Delegates assembled in Galveston subsequently elected him to serve as the official head of the Association and of the Board of Directors as President.
He holds a Professional Farm Mutual Manager (PFMM) designation from the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), a Managing General Agent (MGA) license, a General Lines Property & Casualty license, a General Lines Life, Accident, Health & HMO license and a Property & Casualty Adjuster license, all issued by the Texas Department of Insurance. He and his wife Mary reside in Belton.