Five business professionals were recently inducted into the Tyrus R. Timm Honor Registry in the department of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University during a dinner and reception in Bryan.

The inductees are Cody Catalena (‘97), Lynn Elliot (‘73), Larry Kokel (‘76), Gary Richardson (‘76), and Lisa Tanner (‘87).

Five inducted into Tyrus R. Timm Honor Registry at Texas A&MThe induction ceremony was held at Amico Nave Ristorante. Dr. Ed Rister, associate head for the department of agricultural economics, directed the evening program. Jimmy Roppolo ‘67, general manager with UnitedAg in El Campo, led the inductions.

“We are extremely pleased to recognize this distinguished group of former students into the Tyrus R. Timm Honor Registry,” said Dr. Parr Rosson, head of the department of agricultural economics at Texas A&M, who presented plaques to each recipient. “These individuals have not only excelled professionally, but have exhibited leadership in both business and local communities. They exemplify what this registry is all about and reflect the core values of Texas A&M: excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service.”

The evening program capped a full-day meeting of current honor registry members who met on the Texas A&M campus to discuss future programming for the department, as well as donor opportunities.

Catalena is vice president of wireless services for ViaStat and general manager of NetNearU, a company he co-founded while at Texas A&M. NetNearU employs more than 80 people and in 2014 received an Aggie 100 award, which is given annually to the top 100 fastest-growing Aggie-owned businesses. The company offers software services that enable companies such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Sprint and U.S. Navy to deploy publicly used Wi-Fi networks across the country and around the world.

Elliott has had an extensive career in oil and gas ventures and is major shareholder in Millican Land and Royalty Trust, to which he was appointed as successor trustee in 1990. The trust owns approximately 12,000 acres of minerals in five Texas counties. He has served on the board of directors of Wellborn Water Supply Corporation for 17 years with 12 of those years as board president. He currently serves as chairman of the board of commissioners of the South Brazos County Emergency Service District. Elliott has served on several state boards including the Texas Real Estate Commission, and has had appointments to the Brazos River Authority in 1995 and 2002.

Kokel has spent his career in real estate appraisal, including work with the Texas General Land Office beginning in 1977. In 1983, he started Kokel Appraisal Associates which reorganized as Kokel-Oberrender-Wood Appraisal.The firm conducts appraisals on a variety of farm and ranch and commercial property in Central Texas. He has served on the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board, appointed by Gov. Rick Perry. He has also served on the board of trustee of the Appraisal Foundation based in Washington (2003-2008).

Richardson has formed a number of companies since graduating from Texas A&M. Most recently, he has led a canola project in California leading to the establishment of Valley Oils Partners LLC, which utilizes non-GMO canola developed by Cibus. As president of the company, Richardson has established relationships with regional seed distributors and is currently creating a joint venture with an established commodity processing and oil distribution company, building a crushing and refining facility in Stockton, California.

Richardson has also been a member of the College of Agriculture of Development Council at Texas A&M since 1998 and has served on the executive committee the past seven years.

Tanner is assistant attorney general for the Texas Attorney General’s Office in Austin where she works for the Criminal Prosecutions Division. She first joined the Attorney General’s Office in 1994 and has specialized in the prosecution of complex cold cases. She has successfully handled several high-profile cases, including some that were more than 25 years old.

Additional information about the registry is available online at