The Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors approved the nominations of Raymond Baeza of El Paso and Victor Flores of Denton as 2018-2019 president-elect candidates. This year, nominees for president-elect are from nonmetropolitan counties. Biographies of the candidates are featured 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 2 to May 1. On April 2, 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 May 1. Raymond Baeza El Paso Raymond Baeza, an attorney for Farmers Insurance Exchange in El Paso, is the vice president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association and has been on its board since 2014. Baeza has served on the Public Service in the Community, Member Outreach, and Law Focused Education committees. He is a graduate of LeadershipSBOT and a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Baeza has worked on many TYLA projects to educate the community, promote diversity, and assist young lawyers, including Vote America!, End Bullying Now, Just Drive Campaign, Resources for Foster Care Children, I Was the First. You Can Be a Lawyer Too!, the Minority Law Student Scholarship Program, and Speed Mentoring for Women Law Students: Preparing for Your Future Now. He received the TYLA President’s Award of Merit in 2015 and 2016 for his dedication to public service. Baeza is active in the El Paso community and the El Paso Young Lawyers Association. He has participated in programs geared to mentor children, assist residents of a domestic violence shelter, and support families with chronically ill children. Baeza received El Paso’s Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year in 2016 in recognition of his professional achievements and contributions to his community. He is a Texas Tech University School of Law graduate and is married to Melissa, a shareholder in ScottHulse. They are the proud parents of Ethan. Victor Flores Denton Victor Flores served in the Marine Corps and is an Iraq War veteran. He practices government law in Denton and serves on the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors, the council of the State Bar of Texas Government Law Section, the Texas Young Lawyers Association, and the American Bar Association Young Lawyer Division Council. Flores has led many TYLA projects, including Vote America!, inspiring civic engagement among youth; Strength in Unity, aimed at improving police-community relations; and Breaking the Silence, addressing attorneys’ mental health. His favorite project was implementing Vote America! in McAllen, where the Vote America! Rally Week mobilized approximately 1,500 area high school seniors to register to vote for the first time. Flores is also a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a frequent speaker at Texas Bar CLEs, a mentor with Communities In Schools of North Texas, and legal counsel to his church. For his service to the public and the bar, Flores has received the LeadershipSBOT Pedro “Pete” Serrano Leadership Award, a resolution from 2016-2017 State Bar President Frank Stevenson, TYLA’s annual President’s Award, and the Hidalgo County Bar Association’s Rookie of the Year Award. Flores’ favorite breaks from work are date nights with his wife, Kristal, and reading bedtime stories with his son, Brennan. 2018-2019 TYLA Executive Committee Election At the January meeting of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors, the following members were unanimously approved to run for the specified offices. A ballot was sent to all TYLA directors, and the winner of each race is listed below in the left-hand column. CHAIR-ELECT Courtney Barksdale Perez Courtney Barksdale Perez, a partner in Carter Scholer in Dallas, is a TYLA at-large director and serves as co-chair of the National Trial Competition Committee. Perez has been involved with the National Trial Competition since 2009 and has contributed to numerous other TYLA initiatives, including I Was the First. You Can Be a Lawyer Too!, Strength in Unity, How to do a Pro Bono Clemency Petition, and the forthcoming Spanish for Lawyers. She has also drafted and edited several guides including The Fair Labor Standards Act: A Guide for Employers, Pregnancy and the Workplace: Know Your Obligations—A Guide for Employers, Pregnancy and the Workplace: Know Your Rights—A Guide for Employees, and the Employers Guide to General Employment Law. Perez received the President’s Award in 2017 and the Joseph M. Pritchard Inn Outstanding Director Award in 2016 for her service to TYLA. John W. Ellis John W. Ellis is a litigator with Scott Douglass & McConnico in Austin, where he represents clients in a variety of complex commercial litigation disputes. Ellis regularly litigates disputes in the energy, medical device/pharmaceutical, and financial services sectors in state and federal courts and arbitration proceedings. He has served on the TYLA Board of Directors since 2014, where he has co-chaired the Public Service in the Community Committee for the past two years and helped create and implement numerous TYLA initiatives. Ellis and his wife, Bethany, have two boys, Brooks and Hudson. VICE PRESIDENT Britney Harrison Dieng Britney Harrison Dieng is an associate of Goranson- Bain in Dallas, where she practices family law. Dieng joined the TYLA board as a minority at-large director in 2016. She currently serves as co-chair of the Implementation & Pamphlets Committee. Dieng took a lead role in developing several TYLA projects, including the Not a Victim website and Divorce: Guide for Teens. In 2017, she received the Keith L. Krueger Leadership Award. Dieng is also a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a graduate of the LeadershipSBOT Class of 2015-2016. Nick Guinn Nick Guinn is an associate of the IP firm of Gunn, Lee & Cave in San Antonio, where he assists clients with procurement and litigation. Guinn has served on the TYLA Board of Directors since 2014, most recently as secretary. He has also served as treasurer, chaired multiple committees, and spearheaded several projects, including Cyclists Be Careful, Professional Etiquette Guide, and How to Get Involved in Nonprofit Boards. Guinn is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a member of the Texas Bar College. Guinn received TYLA’s Outstanding First Year Director Award in 2015. SECRETARY Tim Williams Tim Williams is a member in Sprouse Shrader Smith, where he practices civil litigation in a broad range of matters, including contracts, business disputes, construction claims, employment matters, and oil and gas litigation. He is the TYLA District 16 director. Before joining the TYLA board, Williams was an Amarillo Area Young Lawyers Association director for five years. He received TYLA’s President’s Award of Merit in 2014 and 2017 and Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas in 2015. Williams and his wife, Jackie, have three kids, Madison, Emma, and Beckett. Lauren Renee Sepulveda Lauren Renee Sepulveda is a first chair prosecutor for the Felony Section of the Hidalgo County Office of the District Attorney in Edinburg. Sepulveda serves as TYLA’s District 13 director and is a member of the Texas District & County Attorneys Association’s Training Committee, a director for the Hidalgo County Young Lawyers Association, and a member of the Cameron County Young Lawyers Association. In her first year as a TYLA director, she was project lead on the first annual Ultimate Writer Regional Legal Writing Competition and contributed to several TYLA initiatives, including the National Trial Competition, the training on criminal enhancements, informative guides released during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Privilege 101: Understanding Privileged Conversations Under the Law, and the forthcoming Spanish for Lawyers. Sepulveda was named Prosecutor of the Year in 2016 by the Rio Grande Valley chapter of Families & Friends of Murdered Children and received the Rising Advocate Award from the State Bar of Texas Government Law Section in 2017. She is a graduate of the LeadershipSBOT Class of 2016-2017 and is a member of the Texas Bar College. TREASURER Tim Newman Tim Newman is a partner in Haynes and Boone in Dallas, where he defends clients in government enforcement, cybersecurity, and complex litigation matters. Newman was recognized as TYLA’s Outstanding First Year Director in 2017 and co-chaired the Member Outreach Committee this year. He has contributed to numerous TYLA projects, including Strength in Unity, Not a Victim, and Startup Toolkit for Young Lawyer Affiliates. Before joining the TYLA board, Newman was a Dallas Association of Young Lawyers director for four years and was recognized as an Outstanding Committee Chair in 2016. He is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Nicole Soussan Caplan Nicole Soussan Caplan is a senior associate of Reed Smith in Houston, where she represents energy industry clients in complex litigation matters. Caplan has served on the TYLA board since 2014 and has chaired the Diversity and Serving the Underserved committees. She has spearheaded and contributed to numerous projects, including End Bullying Now, How to Get Involved in Nonprofit Boards, Strength in Unity, Hiring an Intern, and Privilege 101: Understanding Privileged Conversations Under the Law. Additionally, she helped revamp TYLA’s Diversity Scholarship, organize TYLA’s response to Hurricane Harvey, and plan the 2017 Diversity Dinner. In 2015, she received the TYLA President’s Award of Merit.
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