Laurels is a selection of exemplary professional accomplishments by Texas attorneys. To submit a listing to be considered for Laurels, please use the online form at texasbar.com/submissions. Marcos Antonio Mendoza, assistant director of legal and regulatory affairs for the Texas Association of School Boards in Austin, graduated with honors with an LL.M. in insurance from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Jon Franks, an attorney and mediator with the Wynne Law Firm in Grapevine, was named a member of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority Board of Directors. David Wellington Chew, senior chief justice of the 8th Court of Appeals in El Paso, received the Chris P. Fox Memorial Award from the El Paso County Historical Society for his outstanding contribution to historical awareness. Gary Gurwitz, managing partner in Atlas, Hall & Rodriguez in McAllen, received the Man of the Year Award from the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and also was named along with his wife, Bailey, the 2014 Humanitarian Honorees by the Easter Seals Rio Grande Valley Board of Directors. Rodney Ramsey, an attorney with the Law Office of Rodney Pat Ramsey in Waxahachie, received the 2014 Pro Bono Attorney Award from Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas. Gregory Perkes, justice of the 13th Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi and Edinburg, was appointed to a term on the board of directors of the Texas Center for the Judiciary. Daniel P. Novakov, a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig in Dallas, was elected to the board of directors of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. Beverly Godbey, a partner in Gardere Wynne Sewell in Dallas, was named a member of the board of trustees of the Center for American and International Law. Benjamin E. Hoover, an associate of the Nix Law Firm in Wichita Falls, was named Outstanding Young Graduate by Howard Payne University. Dax Frank Garza, owner of Dax F. Garza in Houston, was elected president of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association. Tracey L. Haley, managing claims counsel to Zurich Surety and Financial Claims in Dallas, received the Kirsten Christophe Memorial Award for Excellence in Trial and Insurance Law from the American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section. Benny Agosto Jr., a partner in Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend in Houston, was named Hispanic Male Executive of the Year by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Arturo Rodriguez, a managing shareholder in the Arturo Rodriguez Law Firm in El Paso and legal representative for Carolina Adoption Services, signed a cooperation agreement with the State of Yucatan for promoting international adoptions between the United States and Mexico. M. Sue Kurita, judge of the El Paso County Court at Law No. 6, has been appointed to the Grievance Oversight Committee of the Supreme Court of Texas. Lisa M. Tatum, owner of LM Tatum in San Antonio, received the 2014 Civic Award from Women That Soar, a media and content development company. Joseph D. Jamail Jr., an attorney in Houston, received the Joseph D. Jamail Award for Justice from the advocacy group Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse. Stephen W. Stewart, founder of the Stewart Law Firm in Austin, received the 2014 Star Volunteer Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving Central Texas. Steven Reis, Matagorda County district attorney, was named Prosecutor of the Year by the Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar of Texas. Richard Orsinger, a partner in Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson, received the 2013-2014 Exemplary Non-Judicial Faculty Award from the Texas Center for the Judiciary. Leslie Sara Hyman, a partner in Pulman, Cappuccio, Pullen, Benson & Jones, was named the Belva Lockwood Outstanding Lawyer by the Bexar County Women’s Bar Foundation. Natalie F. Wilson, an associate with Langley & Banack, was named Outstanding Young Lawyer by the group. Robert K. Schaffer, judge of the 152nd Civil Court in Houston, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the South Texas College of Law Alumni Association. Debra Ibarra Mayfield, judge of the Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 1, received the association’s Public Service Award. Annabell Perez, judge of the 41st District Court in El Paso, received the McDonald’s Hispanos Triunfadores Award for Government Service from the McDonald’s Owners and Operators Group of El Paso/Las Cruces. Meg Jordan, an assistant attorney general in the Child Support Division’s Lubbock office, was named Managing Attorney of the Year by Attorney General Greg Abbott. Ted M. Kerr, an attorney in Midland, received the Judge John G. Hyde Memorial Award from the Midland County Bar Association. A.Shonn Brown, a partner in Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank, received the 2014 Sam A. Lindsay Award for Professionalism and Ethics from the J.L. Turner Legal Association. Audrey M. Chang, an associate of Greenberg Traurig in Houston, received the 2014 DiversityFIRST Award from the Texas Diversity Council. Andrews Kurth received the Corporation of the Year Award from the Dallas/ Fort Worth Asian American Citizens Council. Hyattye O. Simmons, general counsel to Dallas Area Rapid Transit, also received a council award. Randy Robason, national managing partner of tax services in Grant Thornton in Dallas, is now chairman of the board of directors of Downtown Dallas Inc. Christopher B. Trowbridge, a partner in Bell Nunnally & Martin, has been named chairman of the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas. Zach Luce, a partner in DLG Luce Salazar in San Antonio, is now a member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and South Texas Board of Directors. Jay Westbrook, the Benno C. Schmidt Chair of Business Law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, received recognition from the International Insolvency Institute. TBJ
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