Annual Salute to Veterans Panelist Biographies
Lisa C. Firmin
Lisa Firmin is the Associate Provost for Faculty and Student Diversity and Recruitment at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). In this role, she coordinates efforts between Academic and Student Affairs to attract a high quality, diverse student population. Additionally, she works at the strategic level to address faculty diversity and placement goals.
Firmin holds two masters’ degrees, one in Strategic Studies from Air War College, Alabama and one in Organizational Behavior/Human Resource Management from Chapman University, California. She received her undergraduate degree in Journalism from Texas A&M University in Kingsville, Texas (formerly Texas A&I).
Firmin recently retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel and was its most senior ranking Latina officer. She has held key leadership and command positions throughout her 30-year military career and is a highly decorated officer. Most notable was her combat tour in Iraq, where she was the first Colonel to command the expeditionary mission support group at Balad Air Base during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and was awarded the Bronze Star medal. As Support Group Commander/City Manager at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, she managed/led 1,600 personnel in seven diverse organizations, providing oversight and management to engineering, housing/facility maintenance, fire protection, security, law enforcement, HR, logistics, network management, environmental compliance, contracting, food service and quality of life for over 12,000 personnel. Firmin led the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AF ROTC) Detachment 842 at UTSA to national distinction by earning the Right of Line Award as the Best Large Detachment in the Nation in 2009. She served as Department Chair of Aerospace Studies and was Adjunct Faculty. She has extensive recruiting and retention experience at the Air Force’s headquarters in the Pentagon, and her expertise in diversity management is well known throughout the Air Force and Department of Defense. Her paper entitled, Hispanics: An Untapped Leadership Resource has been cited by The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute and others researching diversity and military leadership.
In addition to the Bronze Star medal, Firmin has received many honors and accolades, such as the Legion of Merit medal, the Defense Meritorious Service medal, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Latina Leader award, the Major T. H. Baca award as the top military woman in New Mexico, the Governor of Texas’ Yellow Rose award, 21st Century Air Force Leader in the Air Force’s Junior ROTC high school textbook, National Image Inc. Meritorious Service award, Heroes and Heritage award, and San Antonio’s Northside Education Foundation’s Pillar of Character award. Firmin serves on the State Board of Directors for the Texas Diversity Council and is a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and their Texas chapter. She has been featured in local print, radio, television and national magazines.
Brigadier General Barrye Price is a 1985 Distinguished Military Graduate of the University of Houston's College of Business Administration. He earned a Master of Arts Degree in History in 1994 from Texas A&M University and in 1997 he became the first African-American to obtain a doctorate from the Department of History in the 136-year history of Texas A&M University. He also earned a Master of Science Degree in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University in 2004.
Brigadier General Price's previous assignments include: Executive Officer of the 5th Personnel Services Company, Commander of the 5th Replacement Company, Chief of Personnel/Adjutant General Plans and Operations for the 5th Infantry Division, Fort Polk, La.; Regimental Adjutant for the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in both Doha, Kuwait, and Fulda, Germany; Assistant Professor of Military History at the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.; S3, 3rd Personnel Group, Assistant Chief of Staff, G1, 13th Corps Support Command, Fort Hood, Texas; White House Fellow and Special Assistant to the Director, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Washington, D.C.; Battalion Commander, 4th Personnel Services Battalion, Fort Carson, Colo.; Executive Officer and Military Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (Human Resources) Pentagon, Washington, D.C.; Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G1, Army Materiel Command, Fort Belvoir, Va.; Commander, Eastern Sector, United States Military Entrance Processing Command; Director, J1, United Forces-Iraq; the Deputy Commanding General of the United States Army Cadet Command at Fort Knox, KY, and he currently serves as the Director of Human Resources Policy Directorate, Army G1 in the Pentagon.
Brigadier General Price served on the President and First Lady's Task Force on "Raising Responsible and Resourceful Teenagers" in 2000; served on President Clinton's "Mississippi Delta Task Force" which sought to revitalize the 207-county, seven-state region that comprises the Mississippi River flood plain from 1999 through 2000, and he’s the author of the 2001 volume: Against All Enemies Foreign and Domestic: A Study of Urban Unrest and Federal Intervention Within the United States.
Brigadier General Price is the benefactor of the Elaine Yvonne Cook-Price Memorial Scholarship within the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. He is the recipient of the 2007 Distinguished African-American Alumnus Award from the University of Houston African-American Alumni Association, and the recipient of the 2008 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Houston Alumni Organization. He was selected as one of 20 Americans for the U.S.-Japan Foundation's Young Leaders Fellowship, and he was the 1997 winner of the Arter-Darby Military Writing Award from the Army's Command and General Staff College. He is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the Society of Military History, the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, and a is a life-member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Brigadier General Price's military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, five Meritorious Service Medals, Joint Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Service Medal, Outstanding Volunteer Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Staff Badge, and the Airborne and Air Assault Badges. He is married to the former Dr. Tracy L. Benford of Gary, Indiana. Brigadier General Price and Dr. Price have one child: William Garrison Price. The family resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
PAUL W. BUCHA
Nominated by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Paul Bucha was born August 1, 1943, to Col. and Mrs. Paul Bucha. As a child he lived abroad in both Germany and Japan. He graduated from High School in Ladue, Missouri, a suburb of St Louis, and immediately entered the United States Military Academy at West Point. Paul Bucha received his BS in 1965 graduating academically in the top 2% of his West Point Class; number two in Military Order of Merit and a two time All American and Captain of the Swim Team.
Immediately upon graduation from West Point, he attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business receiving his MBA in 1967 and completing his Airborne and Ranger training between academic years. After Stanford, Paul Bucha reported for duty with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky to prepare for deployment to Vietnam as part of Operation Eagle Thrust in November 1967. While a company commander in Vietnam, Paul Bucha received among other decorations, the Bronze Star with V and Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart and Medal of Honor. Upon his return to the United States, he reported for assignment as Assistant Professor of Managerial Economics at West Point. He resigned his Army commission in 1972.
Paul Bucha joined du Pont Glore Forgan as a special assistant to H. Ross Perot in 1972 and later moved to the Perot owned Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS) as Senior Vice President of International Operations. In 1973, Paul Bucha established the new EDS headquarters in Teheran, Iran, and remained in the Middle East until 1978 having expanded the operations throughout the Middle East and Europe. In 1978, he moved his headquarters to Paris, France, where he remained after leaving EDS to form his own international consulting company. Returning to the United States in 1980, Paul Bucha expanded his company to include real estate development building the environmentally acclaimed development Port Liberte, on New York Harbor.
As a member of the Board of Directors of WHX Corporation, he was asked to assume the title of Chairman of Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation in 1996 to preside over the reorganization of the company. Completing his assignment in 1999 with Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel, Paul Bucha returned to real estate in 2003 establishing Terra Mark LLC in joint venture with Fisher Brothers of New York City and later, in 2005, his own firm, Terra Mark II, LLC which specializes in residential and mixed use development in environmentally sensitive locations. In addition to real estate, Paul Bucha served as CEO of Delta Frangible Ammunition, the worlds leading developer of lead free ammunition for military and law enforcement.
In addition to his corporate activities, Paul Bucha has been a frequent lecturer to military leaders of all branches on honor and leadership. Appointed Civilian Aide to Secretary of the Army, Paul Bucha worked with Accessions Command supporting the challenge of Army recruiting in a time of war. In addition, Paul Bucha has been active as a member of the Board and an officer of The Fisher House Foundation and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund which support military families and wounded warriors. Paul Bucha has also been active supporting the activities of US Army National Guard and Reserve forces giving motivational and leadership presentations across the country. A frequent lecturer at all four national military academies, Paul Bucha has developed a close working relationship with the graduates of those academies including those in current leadership positions of the military. Paul Bucha is a Past President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society of the United States of America.
Besides his military honors, Paul Bucha is a Gold Medallion inductee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame; recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor; an inductee of the US Army Ranger Hall of Fame. Paul Bucha has four children and three grandchildren and is married to the former Cynthia Carter Bell of Cornwall, New York. Together they reside in Ridgefield, Connecticut.