Pat S. Charnveja was born as Prapatip Sthapitanonda in Bangkok, Thailand and came to the United States in October 1961.  She is a very active and respected civic leader in the Greater Houston area, both in the mainstream and also in the Thai community.

          Prior to her decision to retire in 1998, Ms. Charnveja worked in the oil and gas industry from 1976-1998, working for several medium-sized oil and gas exploration companies serving in several capacities such as corporate secretary and land administration manager.  She was the first Asian-American woman in the United States to hold a position of an offshore landman.  Ms. Charnveja was responsible for Gulf of Mexico areas located in the states of Louisiana and Texas from 1990-1998.  Since her retirement, she has devoted her life to community volunteer work, promoting equality and unity among the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other ethnicities through cultural education and participation.

          Ms. Charnveja is the founder and president of the Thai American Chamber of Commerce (TACC).   She is currently serving as president of Thai Arts and Culture of Houston (TACH), a non-profit cultural and educational organization.  She was the first president of the Thai Association of Greater Houston.  Ms. Charnveja also serves as a liaison between the Royal Thai Embassy/Royal Thai Consulate General and the Thai community.  She served as a vice chair of the Organizing Committee for the Demarcation Ceremony held on June 22-23, 2002, Public Affairs Committee Chair of Queen Sirikit of Thailand's Welcoming Committee to Houston during October 12-16, 2002, chaired the Loy Krathong Festival at Wat Buddhavas of Houston (Thai Buddhist temple) and has served on numerous committees.  On February 21, 2002, she received a Letter of Commission from H.E. Adisai Bodharamik, Minister of Commerce, appointing her as the Honorary Trade Advisor (HTA) of the Ministry of Commerce in the State of Texas.

          Ms. Charnveja is a member of the board of directors of the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association (APAHA), a leading cultural and education non-profit organization for the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and served as its president from July 2000-December 2001.   She is a member of the Focus Group for the Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) and a member of the Cultural Diversity Committee of the Holocaust Museum Houston’s The Human Race.  She is a member of the executive committee of the Houston80-20 PAC, having served as its assistant campaign treasurer and program committee chair.  She also served on the 80-20 Initiative's Endorsement Committee for the 2000 Presidential Election.  Ms. Charnveja was elected as treasurer of the newly formed (2002) Asian American Voters' Coalition (AAVC) and also serves as chairman of the Membership Committee.

          Ms. Charnveja is a member of the Texas Advisory Board of the Asia Society-Texas Center, a member of the “Asia House” Planning Committee and the Nominating Committee.   She is currently serving on the Mayoral Advisory Board for International Affairs and Development-Asia (2000-present).  Ms. Charnveja is a member of the Patrons Committee for the Consular Ball 2002 and is a member of the International Service Award Selection Committee of the Houston Jaycees’ Consular Forum 2001 and 2002.  She is a graduate of Leadership Houston Class XX (2001-2002) and has also been selected to serve as a grant review panelist (2002) for the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County (CACHH).  The Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO) named Ms. Charnveja as one of the four Volunteers of the Year in 1998.  She was also profiled by Channel 39WB as an outstanding Asian American during the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May 2000.  She was also named second runner-up in the Mrs. Houston International Pageant 2000

          Ms. Charnveja loves volunteer work.  She is committed to promote Thai arts, culture and business and also to bridge the gap between the Thai community and other cultures in the Houston area.  Ms. Charnveja is also passionate about international business, which led her to form PSC Marketing International, an international business and marketing development company, in 2000.  Currently, she is working with several ASEAN countries developing business partnerships and strategies among the countries and Houston area.

          Ms. Charnveja is married to Mr. Kitipot Charnveja.  They have three sons, Pete, Paul and Perry.  She attended West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas and the University of Houston-Downtown, majoring in Petroleum Land Management and minoring in Accounting.

          Contact address: Thai American Chamber of Commerce, P. O. Box 681277, Houston, TX 77268-1277 USA.E-mail:


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