Honoring Margie & Bill Klesse

The Friends of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Foundation recently held its Fifth Annual National Speakers Luncheon. The event honored Margaret and Bill Klesse with the Beacon Award for their passionate service to our community and featured Chris Lowney as the keynote speaker. Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit programs supported by the Friends Foundation at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospitals.

Honoring Margie & Bill Klesse

From left: Bill and Margie Klesse, Chris Lowney, and John Bel

This year’s Beacon Award celebrated the contributions of Margaret and Bill Klesse. Bill is the former chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president of Valero Energy Corporation. During his tenure at Valero, Bill was the chief proponent of volunteerism and regularly challenged his employees to return the blessings they enjoy by helping those in need. Bill has served as a board member for the San Antonio Food Bank, chairman of the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, and chairman of the Las Misiones Campaign. Margaret Klesse has served on various community boards including the Cancer Therapy & Research Center Cabinet,  the Library Foundation, the Catholic Community Foundation, and the Ecumenical Council. She has also served as president for the San Antonio Junior Forum and Friends of the Ronald McDonald House. Together, the couple established the Klesse Foundation to give even more back to the community. It has supported many worthy causes such as the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and the city’s historic missions, and continues to make a positive impact for charitable, civic and social organizations.

Keynote speaker for this year’s event was Chris Lowney, chair of the board for Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation’s largest health care systems. He is a one-time Jesuit seminarian who later served as managing director for J.P. Morgan & Co. Lowney is a popular keynote speaker who has lectured in more than two dozen countries on leadership, business ethics, decision-making and other topics. He has authored four books, including the best-seller, “Heroic Leadership,” which has been translated into eleven languages and was named to the Commandant of the Marine Corps recommended reading list. His latest work, “Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads,” has been referred to as “an invaluable gift” and “a book of ages.” Lowney also founded Pilgrimage for Our Children’s Future, which funds education and health care projects in the developing world.

Proceeds from the National Speakers Luncheon will benefit programs supported by the Friends of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Foundation.