Houston Treasures for 2005
Photo by: Alexander’s Fine Portrait Design
George W. Strake, Jr., a third generation Texan, was born in Houston, attended St. Thomas High School, and the University of Notre Dame-where he was elected Senior Class President and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He served two years as a commissioned United States naval officer and received a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Harvard University in 1961. Upon returning to Texas, he joined his father in the independent oil business. He has continued the family business and is still Chairman and CEO of Strake Energy, Inc.
He has been active in state and national politics since 1961 and became Texas Secretary of State in 1979. In 1989, he was appointed by Governor Clements to serve as a member of the Texas Task Force on Public Education. He was Co-Chairman of the Houston Economic Summit Host Committee for the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations, and was honored by the city for his efforts in the Great Summit Clean-Up to prepare the city for hosting the world leaders.
Mr. Strake has served as a member of the boards of numerous civic and charitable organizations, among them the Boy Scouts of America; Rotary Club of Houston; Asia Society/Houston; Mexican Cultural Institute of Houston; Institute of International Education; Greater Houston Partnership; Keep Houston Beautiful; Acton Institute For The Study of Religion and Liberty; Texas Parks and Wildlife Expo; San Jacinto Museum of History Association; and the University of St. Thomas. He is a board member of the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Foundation and is the President of Strake Foundation.
He has been awarded and recognized by numerous organizations such as the University of Notre Dame, St. Thomas High School, Rotary Club of Houston, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Goodwill Industries, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, Taipei City Council, Houston Vietnamese Community, and Sons of the Republic of Texas. In 1998, he was named one of the Community Partners’ “Fathers of the Year.” In 1993, both Mr. and Mrs. Strake were named “Houstonians of the Year” by The Center for Hearing and Speech.
Annette DeWalch was born in Houston where she graduated from St. Agnes Academy and attended the University of St. Thomas. She married George while he was on active duty with the Pacific Fleet in the United States Navy. She has been actively involved with her community serving on the Board of St. Agnes Academy and as Chairman of their Capital Endowment Drive, the Heritage Society Board and as Chairman of the Sesquicentennial Stars Over Texas Ball, the Board of the Center for Retarded, and the Advisory Board for the Volunteer Center.
In 1988 she was appointed by Governor Bill Clements to the Texas Commissions on the Arts and in 1990, she served as a member of the Host Committee for the World Economic Summit. She is a member of the Tanglewood Garden Club, the Garden of the Seasons Garden Club, the St. Michael’s Women’s Guild and the Donne de Domani Club. George and Annette enjoy spending time with their six children’s families, including fifteen grandchildren.