Esperanza "Hope" Andrade

AUSTIN – Esperanza "Hope" Andrade of San Antonio became the first Hispanic woman to serve as Texas secretary of state Wednesday, July 23, when she was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry.

As secretary of state, Andrade will serve as the state's chief elections officer, the governor's liaison on border and Mexican affairs and Texas' chief protocol officer for both state and international matters.

The Office of the Secretary of State also serves as the formal repository for official and business records, publishes government rules and regulations, keeps the state seal and attests to the governor's signature on official documents.

Andrade's appointment takes effect immediately. She replaces Phil Wilson, who stepped down to work for Dallas-based energy company Luminant.

"Hope's dedicated public service and business savvy have made her an indispensable asset to the state of Texas," the Republican governor said in a statement. "I look forward to working with her to continue to make Texas the greatest and most prosperous state in the nation."

"I am honored to work with Governor Perry and serve the state of Texas as the 107th secretary of state. I am looking forward to my new role in promoting the commerce of Texas and a prosperous working relationship with our neighbor, Mexico," Andrade said. "As the chief elections officer of Texas, I will strive to protect the integrity of elections as part of our democratic process – a process that Texans value and respect."

Andrade, 58, is well known in the San Antonio business community where she owned health-care related businesses. Last year, she received the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2003, Andrade was appointed to the Texas Transportation Commission, which oversees the activities of the Texas Department of Transportation. She also served as interim chair of the commission from January to April of this year.

While with the commission, Andrade often supported many of Perry's initiatives, like tollways and public-private partnerships on roadways.

Andrade attended Our Lady of the Lake University, the University of the Incarnate Word and the University of Texas at San Antonio Entrepreneurship Program.

Her other accolades include the Hope for Children Esperanza Award, San Antonio Leadership Hall of Fame Award, and the Republican National Committee's Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award.

She was also named Woman of the Year by the Houston Chapter of the Women's Transportation Seminar, Mother of the Year by Avance and Small Business Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration.

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