The Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors approved the nominations of Sam Houston of San Antonio and John Shaw of Fort Worth as 2015-2016 president-elect candidates. This year, nominees for president-elect are from metropolitan cities. Biographies of the candidates, in alphabetical order, are included here. Interviews with the two candidates will be included in the April issue. Votes for TYLA president-elect and district directors can be cast via paper ballot or by voting online from April 1 to April 30. On April 1, attorneys eligible to vote will be mailed an election packet, including a paper ballot and campaign brochures. Attorneys may either submit their paper ballot via mail or vote online using the information provided. The deadline to cast ballots is 5 p.m. CST on April 30. Sam Houston San Antonio Sam Houston is a shareholder in Houston Dunn, where he practices civil appellate law. After starting his career as a briefing attorney for the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston, he has worked in the appellate sections of prominent San Antonio law firms. He is certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Houston has been a member of the TYLA Board of Directors since 2010 and currently serves as vice president. He is a council member of the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section, a past president of the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association, and a past chair of the San Antonio Bar Association Appellate Practice Section. Houston graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2003 and received Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of John Shaw Fort Worth John Shaw is an associate of Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz, where he focuses primarily on commercial litigation, employment, and intellectual property law, including matters concerning copyrights, trademarks, patent litigation, and trade secrets. Prior to joining Whitaker Chalk in 2012, he practiced public interest law at Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas for more than five years. Shaw has been a member of the TYLA Board of Directors since 2012, serving most recently as treasurer of the Executive Committee. Before joining TYLA, he was elected as president of the Fort Worth- Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, and he is currently vice chair of the board of directors of Texas Legal Services Center, a nonprofit law office in Austin that provides assistance and training to poverty law advocates and their clients in the areas of litigation support, education, and communication. Shaw earned his Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science from Wayland Baptist University. At the January meeting of the TYLA Board of Directors, the following members were unanimously approved to run for the specified offices. A ballot was sent to all the TYLA directors, and the winner of each race is listed below in the left-hand column. CHAIR-ELECT Zeke Fortenberry Zeke Fortenberry is the District 4 TYLA director and an assistant district attorney in Collin County, where he is a felony trial prosecutor and is certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He serves as chair of the National Trial Competition, which is the largest law school mock trial tournament in the country. In recognition of his service to the bar, Fortenberry has received the TYLA President’s Award of Merit three times and the President’s Award for 2013-2014. Bill Gardner Bill Gardner is an attorney at Macdonald Devin and the District 5, Place 4 TYLA director for Dallas County. At Macdonald Devin, he focuses on being a trusted adviser to design professionals and entrepreneurs in litigation and business matters throughout the United States. As a member of the TYLA board, Gardner’s greatest interest is providing supportive services to underserved individuals across Texas. Gardner is the recipient of the 2014 Keith L. Krueger Leadership Award. He has also served as a director of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers. VICE PRESIDENT Baili B. Rhodes Baili B. Rhodes is an associate with West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry in College Station, where she practices general civil litigation, including family and employment law. She is TYLA secretary and District 2 director and is secretary for the Brazos Valley Young Lawyers Association. Rhodes is executive committee adviser for the Diversity Committee and has served as co-chair and vice chair of the Law Focused Education and Family Law committees and vice chair of the Community Education and National Trial Competition committees. She has worked on many TYLA projects, including BSAFE, What Do Lawyers Do?, Breathe Free: A Guide to Immigration, Attorney General Guide, Educating Educators, and the Lawyers Who Lunch blog. She received the TYLA President’s Award of Merit in 2014. Alex Yarbrough Alex Yarbrough is an attorney with Sprouse Shrader Smith in Amarillo, where he practices civil litigation. Yarbrough currently serves as TYLA District 16 director and is a director for the Amarillo Area Young Lawyers Association. Additionally, Yarbrough is a graduate of the LeadershipSBOT class of 2012-2013. As a TYLA director, Yarbrough has chaired the Local Affiliates Committee. Because of his work on various TYLA projects, Yarbrough received the TYLA President’s Award of Merit in 2014. SECRETARY Sally Pretorius Sally Pretorius is an associate of KoonsFuller in Southlake, where she exclusively practices family law. She currently chairs TYLA’s eNews Committee, which she has served on for the past three years. She has worked on Educating Educators, TYLA Pocket Guide: Social Media 101, A Welcoming Home: Be a Foster Family, and the Family Law tool kit. She has chaired the National Trial Competition and served on the Health and Fitness initiative. Pretorius received TYLA’s Co-Outstanding First Year Director Award in 2013 and Outstanding Director Award in 2014. Nick Guinn Nick Guinn is a patent attorney with the intellectual property law firm of Gunn, Lee & Cave in San Antonio, where he assists clients with protection and enforcement of their intellectual property rights. As a TYLA director, Guinn has served on the Public Service in the Community and Competitions committees. In his committee work, Guinn organizes programs that serve his local community as well as those around Texas. Guinn additionally serves as a director to the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association and is currently a chair of its Healthy Living and Courthouse Tour and Judicial Reception committees. TREASURER Laura Pratt Laura Pratt is an assistant city attorney in Lubbock. She currently serves as co-chair for TYLA’s Law Focused Education Committee and also serves on the Online Member Services, Member Services, and Long-Range Planning committees. Pratt was instrumental in creating TYLA’s Educating Educators. She is a co-editor for eNews, and she frequently presents TYLA projects across the state. She was awarded TYLA’s 2014 Outstanding First Year Director Award and a 2013 TYLA President’s Award of Merit for her work on TYLA’s Slavery Out of the Shadows: Spotlight on Human Trafficking. She is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas. Kimberly Clark Kimberly Clark is a civil attorney with the Special Prosecution Unit in Huntsville. She currently serves as a TYLA Minority at Large director. As a board member, Clark has contributed to numerous TYLA initiatives, including the National Trial Competition and Just Drive. She has presented State Bar of Texas and TYLA projects, including R U Safe?, I was the first. Vote for Me!, and Educating Educators. Prior to her service on the TYLA board, she was a member of the Leadership- SBOT class of 2013-2014, where she was the recipient of the Pedro “Pete” Serrano Leadership Award.
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