Anthony “Tony” Alotto and Leslie “Les” Bunte with the Texas Engineering Extension Service received the prestigious Regents Fellow Service Award from The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in December. The annual award is the highest honor given by the Board of Regents and recognizes employees who have made exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas.
Alotto was recognized for his dedication and public service to the citizens of the nation and of Texas. After a successful career at Sprint Communications, Alotto joined TEEX to use his skills and knowledge to help others through training. Because of his extensive knowledge and experience in both public and private utilities, he was called on by the Texas Department of Emergency Management in 2007 to create and coordinate a state Public Works Response Team. Since then, the team has helped communities statewide to get their public infrastructure back online as quickly as possible following hurricanes or flooding incidents, saving the state and communities countless thousands of dollars in downtime.
As the Associate Director of TEEX’s Infrastructure Training and Safety Institute, Alotto has implemented several training programs and initiatives and served as a subject-matter expert, imparting his vast knowledge of current telecommunication technology and instructional design principles. His dedication and commitment to public works professionals have helped TEEX set the global standard in infrastructure training.
Bunte, Director of the Emergency Services Training Institute and chief of the Brayton Fire Training Field, was honored for his commitment and dedication to the fire service, to the state’s firefighters, and to ensuring the safety of all Texans. A 41-year veteran of the Texas Fire Service, Bunte joined TEEX full-time in 2003 after serving as an adjunct instructor for the annual Texas Municipal Fire School for 26 years. He is committed to providing outreach programs to the state’s firefighters, and working with the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals Association Certification Board to make it easier for firefighters to achieve the Basic Firefighter certification.
Bunte also established the Texas Fire Officer Program and the EMS Leadership Academy to provide leadership development and continuing education for fire and EMS command staff. Through his leadership, TEEX offers 42 courses certified by the national Pro Board and has an agreement with Blinn College that allows students to earn college credit for completing the TEEX Recruit Fire Academy. Bunte also spurred the development of the Industrial Emergency Response Specialist certificate program, which is seen as a benchmark for fire chiefs and leaders in the industrial sector, and has worked to establish partnerships around the globe through Cooperative Learning Centers.