In this issue, meet Board of Trustees member Alan Dreeben

“To be as lucky in my life as I have been and not give back is unconscionable,” said Alan Dreeben, who has a long résumé of community service endeavors particularly in higher education.

In addition to his dedication to UIW, he previously served as a trustee for Texas State University and as an adviser for the development board at UTSA. He is also a current adviser to the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

“The best way to give back is through education. The world would be safer and more productive if everybody were educated,” said Dreeben, who along with his wife, Barbara, contributed to the Dreeben School of Education at UIW.

Dr. Louis Agnese asked Dreeben to become a trustee a full year before Dreeben agreed. As a practicing and deeply spiritual Jew, Dreeben visited with the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, faculty members and students to affirm that his values would be a fit. Indeed they were. The first-class education, positive values and community service at the University of the Incarnate Word all worked to hook this trustee.

“You can’t be successful without values,” said Dreeben, whose company motto “Do the right thing” is posted throughout the headquarters of Republic National Distributing Company in Schertz. The company is the second largest wine and spirit distributor in the United States with 8,000 employees in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

“Ours is the largest value-based company I know,” said Dreeben, who is one of eight partners at the company.

“We all need God in our life,” he said. “When you are young you think you are bulletproof, but you soon will learn you can’t live without faith.”

But it wasn’t the success of his privately held business, nor his prodigious record of community service that was foremost in his mind. Though the 67-year-old San Antonio resident holds an MBA from Harvard, an honorary doctorate from UIW, and chairs the UIW Academic Affairs committee, his priority is family: his wife, three daughters, their husbands and his nine grandchildren.

“Parental guidance is critical in teaching children to want to learn, to have a curiosity along with a drive to look things up and learn for themselves,” Dreeben said. “Love of learning begins within the family.”