Where Are They Now?

Where Are They Now?



Where Are They Now

Max and Pamela Hess Mejia

He came to SHSU for the strong radio-television program. She came because of the influence of a high school criminal justice teacher. In 1999, they met at a fraternity/sorority mixer.

“My life has been better ever since,” said Max Mejia of meeting his future wife Pamela Hess on that auspicious evening.

Today, Max is a production specialist with Root Sports, and Pamela is the owner and accounting and financial recruiter at CP Paragon Solutions, L.P., both of which are in Houston.

As an editor and producer, Max has spent the past 15 years working with the sports networks that broadcast Rockets and Astros games, along with Houston Texans weekly shows. These include Fox Sports Net, Fox Sports Houston, Comcast Sportsnet (CSN Houston) and, currently, Root Sports.

His work has earned him 22 Lone Star Emmy Award nominations and seven wins, including Excellence in Sports Editing in 2013 (Sports Editor of the Year in Texas).

Since earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in general business in 2000, Pam worked with three recruiting firms before becoming co-owner of her current firm, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year.

Both attribute a portion of their success to SHSU.

“The value of spending my college years with like-minded, ambitious people with strong social skills has been immeasurable,” Max said.

“SHSU has top-notch professors. They really taught me the value of hard work. I learned critical-thinking, analytical and problem-solving skills,” Pam said. “Also, I gained exposure to real-world business problems that has carried into my professional career and assists in my business-making decisions.”

The couple has expressed their gratitude to SHSU by working to fulfill the university motto, “The measure of a Life is its Service,” both at SHSU and through various ventures in their Houston community.

“We have both enjoyed wonderful careers post graduation and have used that as an opportunity to give back to the university,” Max said. “We became lifetime alumni members in 2008 and have sponsored multiple alumni events in the Houston area.”

“We love attending sporting events, as well, and really appreciate being able to be included as sponsors,” Pam added. “I am very proud to be an alumna of SHSU and always enjoy the drive each year to see how the campus has changed.”

In addition to moving to the Humble/Atascocita area this fall, the couple has a 4-year-old daughter who keeps them busy.

“She loves animals, and so we actively donate to the Houston Zoo and are members as well,” Pam said.

Rebecca Linkous Elliott

Rebecca Linkous Elliott

According to 1998 Master of Business Administration graduate Rebecca Linkous Elliott, the three years she spent at SHSU include some of her favorite lifetime memories.

“Obtaining my MBA had been a long-time goal, but I wasn’t comfortable attending night classes at any of the Houston-based universities, which was not at all the case at SHSU, where I’ve always felt safe and enjoyed the convenient proximity of the buildings in which my classes were held,” Elliott said.

“The collegial atmosphere was, and still is, wonderful and reflects the values that I’ve always strived to maintain among my team members today—high trust, empowerment and respect—so people are inspired and supported in a manner that positions them to grow and be at their best,” she said. “In my case, I learned most of what I studied in my MBA through real-world experience first and then had the pleasure of deepening my knowledge and expertise through my classwork, research and projects.

Since completing her degree, Elliott has become head of America’s projects and technology communications for Shell, for which she performs a diverse range of responsibilities that cover reputation and business communications, as well as external relations across numerous Shell businesses.

But because the people were among what she appreciated most about SHSU, Elliott has continued to maintain her interactions with campus.

“Since graduating from SHSU with my MBA, I have enjoyed staying in touch with some of my professors, as well as current students,” she said. “For a couple of years, I had the pleasure of working as a volunteer adviser of the SHSU Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter, and over the broader span of years post-graduation occasionally I am invited to come up and speak with the business and communications students.”

Mike Dillard

Mike Dillard

Like many students, Michael Dillard chose to attend Sam Houston State University because of the people and the environment. But unlike many students, Dillard also came to SHSU to play basketball.

Following his graduation in 1998 with a degree in broadcast journalism, Dillard took a shot at professional ball, playing for one year with the Washington Generals—the team that plays against the Harlem Globetrotters—and then with the International Basketball League’s San Diego Stingrays.

Dillard became involved with the Generals “by total chance” but saw it as a fun opportunity. Through the Globetrotters, he was able to travel the world for about seven months.

“Coach Steve Spurlin, who was an assistant coach at Sam Houston, knew someone at the Globetrotters organization who then put me in contact with the Washington Generals,” he said. “They asked me for a tape of me playing and then asked if I wanted to go on tour.

“It was so much fun. I didn't have any responsibilities or stress; we had to lose,” he said, with a smile. “I made some great friends with whom I still stay in touch. I don't actively tell people about my experience with the Globetrotters/Generals, but it definitely turns in to a conversation when they find out.”

Within a couple of years, he had married Krisha Hatch, had son Trey, and started a new venture—fundraising.

Like with the Generals, Dillard hadn’t planned on going into fundraising when he took a job in the field, but it worked out, because in 2000, he started a fundraising company in Tucson to assist high school sports programs. Sixteen years later, the company has worked with more than 2,500 Arizona athletics groups to raise more than $10 million.

“I maintain my career in fundraising because I absolutely love to work with coaches and help motivate young people to do things they don't think they can do,” he said. “I get to impact a child’s being able to participate in sports, and that is awesome. It gives me an opportunity to give back daily.”  

Dillard and his family live in Oro Valley, Arizona, where they enjoy being active, watching Trey play sports, traveling the world, attending Arizona State football games, and serving the community.

“I have had the privilege to volunteer in many capacities, whether it be time or money, in America and Mexico,” he said. “It’s very important to give back to the community.”

Among those who have benefited from his generosity are Tucson and Mesa community food banks; New Beginnings for Women; Casa de Elizabeth Orphanage; Habitat for Humanity; Families Helping Families; UNICEF; Aviva; Devereux Foster Kids; Special Olympics of Arizona; Wounded Warrior Project; Casa Del Los Ninos; Gospel Rescue Mission; Big Brothers Big Sisters; and numerous Southern Arizona high school sports programs, just to name a few. 

Though he doesn’t work in the field in which he earned his degree, Dillard said his time at SHSU has been valuable in making him who he has become today.

“My education at Sam Houston was more of a real life education; it taught me how to interact with people on a daily basis,” he said. “I have always been a people person, and I really came out of my shell when I arrived at Sam Houston.”

Steve Seltzer

Steve Seltzer

During his time at Sam Houston State, Steven Seltzer learned four things that have carried him through his life and career.

“I learned how to value relationships, to have courage in your convictions, to have personal responsibility and to capitalize on networking opportunities,” he said.

The 1977 graduate earned his bachelor’s degree in education and fondly recalls the friendships he made as among his best memories.

“While at SHSU, I made many of the friends with whom I’m still in contact today,” he said. “They include my Sigma Chi fraternity brothers, who are life-long friends.”

They also include some of his favorite educators, English professor William Fleming, health department chair Ruth Cady and the late Elliott T. Bowers, who was president of SHSU and for whom Seltzer had worked during the summers.

“‘Doc’ Fleming was our fraternity adviser, as well as my English professor. His caring attitude about his students was very genuine and had a lasting effect,” Seltzer said. “He was able to connect on all levels with his students. I am fortunate to still see him on a regular basis on my visits to Huntsville.

“Dr. Cady was one of my first professors at Sam and one of my all-time favorites,” he continued. “She saw my potential early on and had a tremendous impact on my adjusting to college life.”

Since graduating, Seltzer has worked in the commercial real estate investment field for 35 years, now serving as chief operating officer and executive vice president for TPMC Realty Corporation in Houston.

 In addition to his work with TPMC Realty, he is a board member of the Houston Fire Fighters Foundation, which raises money independently for the Houston Fire Department; is an active member of the Houston Office Leasing Brokers Association; has served as a past president of the Houston Building Owners and Managers Association and held a board position on the Texas Building Owners and Managers Association; and has worked for more than 15 years in raising more than $1 million with three Harris County Judges for Harris County Children’s Protective Services.

“I was fortunate to be on the ground floor of the opening of the BeAR Room (Be A Resource) for CPS Kids with former First Lady Laura Bush,” he said. “I knew early on in my college life and career that volunteering would play a major role. I enjoy giving back to my community and helping those who cannot help themselves.”

At SHSU, Seltzer is a Life Member of the SHSU Alumni Association, is a Bearkats in Business sponsor and is active with the Sigma Chi Alumni Association. He also served for three years on the SHSU Alumni Board of Directors.

“One of the best decisions in my life was attending SHSU.  It made such a great impact on me not only from an educational perspective but a personal one, as well,” Seltzer said. “Giving back to the university and alumni association not only financially but spiritually should be an objective for all alumni.  

“The word alumni stems from the Latin alere, ‘to nourish or be nourished,’” he continued. “Being associated with the Alumni Board of Directors and our great university nourishes that need. I, like many SHSU alumni, bleed orange and white.”