Living in Harlingen, Texas, with his wife, Dr. David Luna serves as Executive Director of the South Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross. His grandparents came to the states from Mexico, where they landed in Texas and raised a family. Luna was born in small-town Slaton, Texas, but growing up, he and his father traveled for work before his family settled in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Once completing his Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Education in Counseling from Midwestern University in Wichita Falls, Texas, Lunas earned his Ph.D. in Leadership from Our Lady of the Lake University based in San Antonio, Texas. After 35 years of public service and completing his Ph.D., Luna retired from the State of Texas, but he still wanted to help people.

“I knew I wanted to work in a non-profit organization and continue with community services,” said Luna. “I saw the posting for the Executive Director position and was honored to be hired!”

Serving as Executive Director, Luna can be seen as the face of the South Texas chapter to many. His forward-facing role involves working closely with elected officials, community organizations, universities, consulates, law enforcement, health organizations, media and the public. Luna’s most significant public project is Sound the Alarm.

“Our smoke alarm project has been important to me,” said Luna. “It’s been rewarding going into the community and helping the families who need the alarms, as well as the fire safety education and being able to communicate with them in Spanish if needed. They are so appreciative.”

Luna learned how to speak Spanish as a teenager singing in a Tejano band. He started out playing the trumpet at ten and was eventually singing Tejano music, which forced him to understand to speak and read Spanish.

Family, faith and culture are essential to Luna; he is a firm supporter of cultural diversity and family support. His wife is a retired teacher, and they have three adult children and two beautiful grandkids who live in Austin, Texas.

After participating in various non-profit boards, he joined the Harlingen Lions Club and the Harlingen Rotary Club and is an active member. When not spending time serving or with family, Luna enjoys learning more about his cultural and folk healing, as well as playing the trumpet, accordion and keyboards in the Assumption Church Choir Band in Harlingen, Texas. Nevertheless, when it comes to the American Red Cross, Luna enjoys working with volunteers.

“I love working with our volunteers,” said Luna. “I think what I did in the past working with the state and community programs has helped turn me into who I am and helped me with what I do now for the Red Cross and supporting the mission.”

Story By Kyndal Dugger