DATE:  May 11, 2004
CONTACT: Melissa Goonan, Public Affairs Manager, (361) 825-2337; Rachel Adams, Public Affairs, (361) 825-2181

Wal-Mart Vice President Theresa Barrera to be Keynote Speaker at Islander Spring 2004 Commencement on May 15
Live broadcast of two graduation ceremonies begins at 1:30 p.m.

Theresa Barrera, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will deliver the commencement address at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s 2004 Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 15 at Memorial Coliseum.

The graduating class of 670 students will be recognized in two ceremonies. The ceremony for the College of Business and the College of Arts and Humanities will take place at 1:30 p.m. followed by the ceremony for the College of Education and the College of Science and Technology at 4:30 p.m. Both ceremonies will be broadcast live on KXPX channel 14, Grande Channel 14, Charter Channel 14, CMA Channel 51 and Cable One Channel 10.

Barrera, a Corpus Christi native, graduated from Corpus Christi State University in 1989 with a degree in finance. An 18-year veteran of Wal-Mart, she began her career as a part-time cashier while attending college full time.

Barrera has served in several key positions at Wal-Mart, including international special projects, international assistant buyer, housewares buyer and seasonal vice president and divisional manager. Her expertise includes the areas of management, global merchandise research, merchandising, purchasing and internal audit inventory.

In her current role, she is responsible for the direction and management of 10 buyers and 11 administrative assistants. Her responsibilities include merchandise trends, worldwide merchandise research and development and strategies for reducing costs in the merchandise purchasing process.

Barrera was recognized by Hispanic Business Magazine in 2003 as one of the “80 Elite Hispanic Women.” She was also named to the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s elite “40 under 40” listing.

Barrera serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of Texas Pan American. She has received extensive corporate training in the areas of management, leadership development, business plans, budget processes and operations.

She and her husband of 15 years, Rudy, are the parents of two daughters, Alli, 9, and Olivia, 6.