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Vice President

About Carlos E. Peña

Carlos E. Peña is vice president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The 2009 Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis re-elected him to serve a second six-year term. He was elected to his first term as vice president by the 2003 Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee. 

Peña was born April 25, 1953, in Houston, Texas. He attended Ball High School, Galveston, Texas, and graduated in 1971. Peña attended the University of Houston, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1976.

Peña worked for the Galveston Independent School District from 1976 to 1979 as a band director. In 1979 he joined his family’s business, Kleen Supply Co. Inc., Galveston, which also acquired C. M. Distributing Corp., Houston, in 1999. He now serves as president of both companies.

Peña has extensive experience in the church. He was president of First Lutheran Church, Galveston, from 1989 to 1995, and was vice president of the ELCA Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod from 1991 to 1995. In 1993, he was elected to serve a six-year term on the ELCA Church Council and was on the council’s Executive Committee.

Peña serves on the Gulf Coast Regional Governing Board of Christus Health, a Catholic faith system of hospitals, and is a director of Texas First Bank, Galveston. In February 2006, he was elected to the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches. He has also served as president of the Galveston Historical Foundation.

Peña was a recipient of the Liberty Bell Award from the Young Lawyers Association of Galveston County. He is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. Peña is married to Diane, a former teacher and administrator in an Episcopal school. They have a son, Steven, and a daughter, Stephanie. The Peñas reside in Galveston and are members of First Lutheran Church.