Texas State Aquarium Commemorates Employees’ 30-Year Career

February 13, 2020

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – As the Texas State Aquarium approaches its 30-year anniversary, staff are celebrating two unsung heroes that have been with the institution since before day one – Ignacio “Nacho” Rodriguez and Doug Lewis.

In July 1990, the Texas State Aquarium first opened its doors to the public, but even before then, employees were being hired to prepare the much-anticipated attraction for its grand opening. Among those brought on to tackle this task were Nacho and Doug. And to this day, these dedicated members of the Aquarium’s Physical Plant maintenance crew are still at it.

Along the way, Nacho and Doug have helped the Aquarium grow many times over, from a regional attraction to what is now the largest aquarium in Texas and one of the top-rated aquariums in the nation.

As members of Physical Plant, Nacho and Doug are responsible for keeping a myriad of systems operating, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  In addition, Doug leads the Aquarium’s in-house exhibit fabrication program, and with Nacho’s electrical expertise, the two have been involved in the production of every major exhibit program since the Aquarium’s 1990 opening.

After long and storied careers, Nacho and Doug are looking towards the next phase of their lives. While Doug plans to continue work at the Aquarium, Nacho will retire this year. At a staff meeting yesterday at the Aquarium, both men were recognized for their years of service with a framed picture of the Aquarium’s building and a lifetime membership to visit the Aquarium with the families.

“As we look forward to our 30-year anniversary, we’re also looking back in gratitude at the members of our team like Nacho and Doug, who have helped carry us this far,” said Texas State Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid. “We’re beyond proud to have had Nacho and Doug as part of our team for these past 30 years, and so very thankful for their incredible work ethic, extensive knowledge base and commitment to the Aquarium and its mission.”

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