tilo galvan

Longtime community leader and businessman Tilo Galvan was unanimously appointed Thursday by members of the Athens ISD Board of Trustees to fill a vacant seat on the board. Galvan replaces Chris House, who resigned recently due to an out-of-town move.

  • “I’m very excited to have Mr. Galvan join our team of eight,” said AISD Superintendent Dr. Janie Sims. “He has supported this school district and the people of Athens for many years, and I have no doubt he’ll be a great contributor to the board.”

    Galvan immigrated from Mexico to Athens in 1980 and became a citizen of the United States in 1991. His first job in Athens was working in construction. On the weekends, Galvan also worked as a dishwasher at what was then the Holiday Inn.

    “As soon as I finished washing, I’d go into the kitchen and watch the cooks so I could learn from them,” he said. When a position opened, he was hired as a cook. 

    “When the head cook retired, she gave me all her recipes and she said, ‘I want you to give them to someone else when you retire.’”

    As his skill increased, Galvan became a head chef and worked in different local restaurants, including several years at the Athens Country Club, and Papa Tilo’s in what was then the Best Western Inn. In 2008, he opened Tilo’s Cuisine & Bakery in the Heritage Square shopping center, which he continues to operate. 

    In January, Galvan was named by the Athens Chamber of Commerce as 2023 Co-Citizen of the Year. He has served as a member of the Athens Chamber of Commerce board of directors, on the Henderson County Library Board, as president of Kiwanis and on the St. Edward’s Catholic Church financial committee.

    “I’m excited about serving on the school board,” he said. “Our hispanic community has grown, and I want to be a voice for them, as well as for everyone else. We need to work together so we can make our district the best place for everybody.”

    Galvan and his wife, Teresa, have been married 39 years. They have two grown children, both of whom graduated from Athens High School, and two grandchildren who currently attend AISD.