Monday, September 10, 2012  

Board of Directors

More About The Board of Direcotors

Meet the President and Board
Members for 2013 – 2014

Barry Brown

Barry is a fifth-generation Texan from Greenville and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech University. Following graduation, he moved to Washington, D.C. to work for House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-Lubbock) as a Legislative Assistant and later served as Legislative Director to Rep. Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) and Chief of Staff to Rep. Kay Granger (R- Fort Worth). Then, for the past decade, he served as Chief of Staff to Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-Lewisville).

After a twenty-year career on Capitol Hill, Barry joined the Alpine Group as Vice President. He is past-President of the National Board of Directors for the Texas Tech Alumni Association and later served on the National Board of Directors for the Red Raider Club. Brown is a former Vestry officer at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church of Washington, D.C.

The TSS has been a family tradition. His grandparents and mother were active members of TSS in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, making Barry a third-generation member of the TSS. He is also married to former TSS Board Member, Jennifer Brown, and they have a son, Leighton, and a daughter, Gipson (making them fourth-generation TSS members). They reside on Capitol Hill.

The Honorable Louie Gohmert
1st Vice-President

Serving his fifth term in the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Louie Gohmert was first sworn in January 4, 2005. He proudly represents the First District of Texas which encompasses over 12 counties stretching nearly 120 miles down the state's eastern border.

During these trying economic times, Rep. Gohmert is developing innovative solutions to jumpstart our economy and offering practical alternatives to the government's bailout frenzy. His “Federal Income Tax Holiday” gained widespread national support from the grassroots level to national leaders, allowing taxpayers to decide how best to spend their hard-earned money. Louie has repeatedly called for an end to the socialization of our economy and decried the notion that Washington Bureaucrats know better than American taxpayers.

Louie serves on numerous House committees and subcommittees. He was recently named Vice Chair of the Judiciary subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security due to his extensive knowledge stemming from years in the court room.

Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, Louie was elected to three terms as District Judge in Smith County, Texas. During his tenure on the bench, he gained national and international attention for some of his innovative rulings. He was later appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to complete a term as Chief Justice of the 12th Court of Appeals.

Louie received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and later graduated from Baylor School of Law. He is also a veteran having served his country as Captain in the U.S. Army.

Today, he and his wife Kathy are the proud parents of three daughters. Their family attends Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, where Louie has served as a deacon and still teaches Sunday school.


Julie Turner Merberg
2nd Vice-President

Julie Turner Merberg was born in Fort Worth and grew up in Abilene and Amarillo. An Amarillo High School Sandie, she graduated from Texas Christian University before moving to Washington, D.C.

Julie began her service on Capitol Hill with Congressman Charlie Stenholm and worked for the 17th district of Texas before joining the staff of Congressman Ciro Rodriguez. From 2005 through 2012, she worked for Congressman Silvestre Reyes, who represented El Paso. Currently, Julie works in the office of Congressman Filemon Vela, Jr., from Brownsville.

Julie lives in Maryland with her husband Glenn and children Alison, Natalie, and Elliott. She misses Six Flags, Palo Duro Canyon, and Diet Big Red.

Bob Mansker

Bob has been a member of the Texas State Society since 1979. He currently serves as a member of the Board for the term 2011-2013. He has served as: Historian (1987-88; 1989-90; 2005-07; 2010-2011); Treasurer (2007-2009); and Secretary (2009-2010). Additionally, he served two consecutive unexpired terms on the Board in 2003 and 2004. He graduated from The University of Texas (Austin) with a BBA in 1965. Bob was the youngest staff member on the Hill when he came to Washington to serve on the staff of Congressman John Dowdy (D-TX) 1963-64. During that period, he briefly lived in Athens, where he assisted in running the district office for the Congressman. After earning his MBA from Texas A&M University, he taught business courses at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, prior to working on his doctorate, which he received from Texas A&M in 1975, majoring in Business, Government, and Higher Education..

He served in the Texas House of Representatives as the Administrative Assistant to Representative Smith E. Gilley (Greenville), who hired Bob after they opposed each other in the Democratic Primary of 1974. Bob served as Democratic County Chairman of Hunt County, was elected to the State Democratic Executive Committee in 1976, and was re-elected in 1978, serving the 2nd Senatorial District of Texas. He managed the successful campaign for former Congressman Jim Mattox (now deceased) and helped conduct the successful campaign of former Congressman Martin Frost. He returned to Washington in 1979 as the Press Secretary in the Congressman's office. In 1993, Frost named him Staff Director (Majority) for the Subcommittee on Accounts within the full House Administration Committee. Additionally, he served as Staff Director for the House Commission on Fair Employment Standards, a bipartisan group to handle employees' complaints. Bob became the Minority Staff Director for the Joint Committee on Printing, and, in late 1997, he was appointed as Deputy Public Printer of the United States, serving at the U.S. Government Printing Office until 2003. In 2004, he was awarded the "Outstanding Achievement Award" for his work at the GPO by the new Republican Public Printer Bruce James.

Since his departure from federal service, Bob has served as the Secretary to the Fairfax County, VA Board of Equalization, where he continues to serve. Additionally, he serves as the Chief Election Officer for his local precinct in each election. In his spare time, Bob directs bridge game activities, teaches and lectures for several cruise ships on voyages throughout the world, recently returning from England after an across-the-Atlantic cruise.

Veronica Custer

As Communications Director for U.S. Congressman Gene Green of Houston, Texas, Veronica manages press, new media and public outreach strategies for the Congressman’s Washington, DC and Houston offices. Prior to joining his Washington, DC office in 2011, Veronica began working for the Congressman in his Houston office in 2007.

Veronica was instrumental in the success of the 2013 Black Tie & Boots Presidential Inaugural Ball. She served on the Black Tie & Boots Executive Committee as proxy for the presiding President of the Texas State Society, led media operations as Black Tie & Boots Communications Director, and served as a consultant to the Black Tie & Boots Sponsorship Committee.

A native Texan, Veronica grew up in Austin and graduated from Westlake High School. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University and majored in Spanish and business. While working for Congressman Green, she completed her Masters in Business Administration degree at the University of Texas’ MBA Program for Professionals in Houston.

Veronica enjoys cooking her grandmother’s signature Mexican recipes, exploring the DC area with friends, and spending time with her family in Texas.

Lois Auer

Lois and her husband, Art, have been members of the Texas State Society since 1973.  During the years, they have been active participants in many TSS events, including the Black Tie & Boots balls.

After retiring from Capitol Hill in 1999 and a period of volunteer work at the Library of Congress, Lois accepted the position of Executive Secretary of the Texas State Society.  During her tenure (1999 - 2011), she enjoyed her many contacts with TSS members.

She worked on Capitol Hill for 26 years for former Congressman Charles W. Stenholm (17th District) and for Stenholm's predecessor, Omar Burleson.  Her 26 years of experience on the Hill proved to be very valuable in assisting TSS members with various requests.

Her home town of Runge, Texas still holds a special spot in her heart.  Although the Auers have lived in Maryland for the past 48 years, she still considers herself a Texan.  They plan at least one trip back home every year for visits with family and friends in Runge and the San Antonio area.

The Honorable Gene Green
Immediate Past President & Director with term expiring in April 2015

Congressman Gene Green was first elected to Congress from the 29th Congressional District of Texas in 1992, after twenty years in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate. In 1996, Green was appointed to the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. He currently serves on the Subcommittee on Health, Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Subcommittee on Environment and Economy, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Since being elected to the House of Representatives, Rep. Green has been a champion of education, labor, energy, domestic manufacturing, health issues, and preserving Social Security and veterans benefits. He has worked hard to improve access to quality health care, support initiatives to improve our economy and job training, and maintain financial aid for students.

Rep. Green has been involved in a number of issues and projects benefitting the 29th District. He has been instrumental in securing federal funds for the expansion of the Port of Houston and Intercontinental Airport; pushing legislation to declare the Buffalo Bayou a National Heritage Area; and supporting the expansion of community health centers in the Houston area. Rep. Green also organizes many annual events in the 29th District that serve to improve lives in the community. His annual "Citizenship Day" and "Immunization Day" are two of his most successful annual events, along with dozens of neighborhood town hall meetings each year.

Green, a native Houstonian, was born October 17, 1947. He received a degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston in 1971. He attended Bates College of Law at the University of Houston and was admitted as a member of the State Bar of Texas in 1977. In 1970, he married Helen Albers Green. Helen retired after teaching math in the Aldine Independent School District for 26 years. They have two children, Dr. Angela Green Hewlett and Christopher Green, and four grandchildren, Lauren, Braden, Dylan, and Tristan.

The Honorable Roger Williams
Director with term expiring in April 2015

Roger Williams represents the 25th District of Texas in the United States Congress, a district that stretches from Tarrant County in the North to Hays County in the South and includes much of Austin and the Texas Hill Country.

Prior to his election in November 2012, Congressman Williams served his country in a number of ways and brings a unique background to Congress. He was raised in the Fort Worth area where he graduated from high school and later played baseball at Texas Christian University. After graduating from college, he was drafted by the Atlanta Braves where he played in their farm system before an injury ended his sports career and forced him to begin his business career. He began working in the family car business and has owned and operated the business for 40 years.

Along the way, he also became involved civically and politically. He served as Regional Finance Chairman for Governor Bush in 1994 and 1998 before he went on to later serve as the North Texas Chairman for the Bush/Cheney 2000 campaign. Additionally, as well as the North Texas Finance Chairman and National Grassroots Fundraising Chairman for Bush/Cheney '04, Inc. Williams was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001 as the Chairman of the Republican National Finance Committee's Eagles Program. He has also served as State Finance Chair for John Cornyn for U.S. Senate, Inc., in 2002 and as the National Director of the "Patriots" program for Senator Cornyn.

In 2005, Governor Rick Perry appointed Congressman Williams to serve as Texas Secretary of State. As Chief Election Officer for Texas, he worked to ensure the uniform application and interpretation of election laws throughout the state. The Congressman worked tirelessly to promote economic development, investment and job creation in Texas. He also served as the state's Chief Liaison for Texas Border and Mexican Affairs as well as Chair of the state's 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Response Strike Force. Congressman Williams was elected to his first term in Congress on November 6th, 2012 and was selected to serve on the House Committee on the Budget, along with the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure.

Michelle Famiglietti
Director with term expiring in April 2015

Michelle Famiglietti is Vice President for Federal Government Relations at The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), a national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits products. It is the mission of DISCUS to promote responsible alcohol consumption as well as fair and equitable public policies affecting the industry and its consumers. Michele is responsible for directing and overseeing legislative and regulatory issues before Congress and the Administration. She joined DISCUS in May 2001. Michele is also the owner and principle event planner at The Wedding Closer, a Washington-based event management company that specializes in "Day-Of-Wedding Coordination."

From 1995 to 2001, Michele was Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Mark Foley (R-FL) where she supervised a staff of 15 and handled tax and judiciary issues. She also managed grassroots and fundraising programs for his reelection efforts. Prior to his election to the U.S. Congress, Michele served as Legislative Assistant to Mr. Foley during his tenure in the Florida Senate from 1992 through 1994.

Michele is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University with a M.A. in Public Administration and B.A. in Political Science. She also attended Southern Methodist University. She resides in Washington, D.C.

Lonnie Johnson
Director with term expiring in April 2015

Lonnie L. Johnson is Senior Director, Federal Relations at Exxon Mobil Corporation. Prior to serving in his current position, Lonnie served in various positions within Exxon and ExxonMobil. These positions include Strategic Issues Manager, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Counsel for ExxonMobil Exploration and Development projects in the Gulf of Mexico, Madagascar and Nigeria; Refinery Attorney, Baytown and Beaumont Texas refineries and Trial Attorney, Exxon Company U.S.A., Houston, Texas. Lonnie received his JD, with distinction, from The University of Iowa College of Law, where he served on the Iowa Law Review, and was a member of the Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity. He earned his B.S.B.A. from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Lonnie currently serves on the Board of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO); and has been active in the State Bar of Texas, having served as a member of the Legal Services to the Poor Committee and past chair of the Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession Committee. He has served on various committees of the Houston Bar Association, the Houston Lawyers Association, the National Bar Association and the American Bar Association. In 1988, Lonnie became the youngest person elected to serve as President of the Omaha Nebraska Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and has served various other community organizations including the National Urban League. Lonnie is married to Eartha Jean Johnson and they have three children.


Cody Lusk
Director with term expiring in April 2015

Cody Lusk is president of the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA). Founded in 1970, AIADA represents the 10,000 American automobile dealerships that sell and service international nameplate brands. These retailers have a positive economic impact both nationally and in the local communities they serve, providing nearly 500,000 American jobs. Mr. Lusk’s extensive background in trade and other international auto-related issues, combined with his experience at both the Administration and Congressional levels make him uniquely qualified to lead AIADA.

From 2002-2006, Mr. Lusk served as Chief of Staff to Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas-03), a senior member of the House Ways and Means. As Chief of Staff, Lusk served as principal advisor and strategist to the Congressman, managing a broad range of legislative issues, including taxes, international trade, and health care.

Prior to his tenure with Rep. Johnson, Lusk was an appointee of the Bush Administration, serving under Secretary of Commerce Don Evans. In this role, he served as liaison between Capitol Hill and the Secretary of Commerce on all international trade-related issues.

A TSS member since 1991, Mr. Lusk hails from Lubbock, Texas and holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Texas, Austin. He lives in Arlington, Va. with his wife, Michelle, and their three young sons.

Ryan Thompson
Director with term expiring in April 2015

A graduate of Texas A&M University, class of 2001, Ryan Thompson has served as a professional staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives for eleven years.  He currently serves as Chief of Staff to Representative Joe Barton, a Senior Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Ryan’s responsibilities include coordinating the Congressman’s activities and priorities between the Committee, Personal and Campaign offices, and managing the Washington, DC staff.

Additionally, Ryan has been active in congressional and local campaigns across Texas.  He has served as Political Director of Congressman Barton’s re-election campaign and in 2002 served as a senior staff member of open seat candidate Brad Barton’s congressional campaign.

Ryan also organizes the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, an annual event in which he raises over $250,000 for three local charities in the Washington, DC area – The Washington Literacy Council, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Washington, DC, and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation. In 2013, Ryan was presented the Champion for Literacy Award for his work on behalf of The Literacy Council.

From June 1993 to June 1997, Ryan served our country as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps, and was promoted to Non-Commissioned Officer, performing the duties of an acting Platoon Sergeant. 

While at Texas A&M, Ryan spent his free time working on Aggie Bonfire – the largest student-run organization on campus. He also volunteered with the Brazos County Boys and Girls Club, the National Youth Sports Program, and the Brazos County Academy for the Rehabilitation & Motivation of Youth.

Doug Centilli
Director with term expiring April 2014

Doug Centilli began public service in Austin as a legislative assistant for then State Representative Mike Jackson. He was next tapped to work in the administration of Governor Bill Clements as Special Assistant, where he worked on numerous issues with a heavy emphasis on criminal justice.

Following his service with Governor Clements, Doug became Chief of Staff for State Representative Kevin Brady, where he was involved in legislation ranging from child abuse prevention and school finance to economic development. Kevin Brady was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996, and he again called upon Doug to serve as his Chief of Staff in Washington, a position he has held ever since. In his capacity as Chief of Staff, Doug has had the opportunity to negotiate and help shape pivotal legislative goals for Congressman Brady, including playing an instrumental role in restoring the state sales tax deduction that allows Texans to deduct their state and local sales taxes from their federal income tax bill.

Additionally, Doug also spearheaded many important projects, including leading negotiations on the legislation that created university centers of excellence for homeland security research within the Department of Homeland Security and participating as a principal architect of the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine.

Doug currently serves as a director of the Texas Lyceum, Texas' premier leadership incubator, and he is serving on the board of Perfect Attendance a public-private initiative that combines the strengths of the schools, the business community, community organizations, the media, celebrities, and entertainers to reward students to stay in school and to graduate from high school. Doug has also served on the board of the Texas Leadership Institute and is an alumnus of the John Ben Sheppard Leadership Institute.

Doug is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he was also a member of the Aggie Football Team.

The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson
Director with term expiring April 2014

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson is serving her 10th term representing the 30th Congressional District of Texas. The 30th District is entirely within Dallas County and encompasses a large portion of the City of Dallas as well as the entire cities of DeSoto, Lancaster, Wilmer, Hutchins, and Balch Springs. Portions of the cities of Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Glenn Heights, Ferris, and Ovilla are also in the district. The Dallas portion of the district is home to the downtown central business district and Arts District, as well as the neighborhoods of Fair Park, Cadillac Heights, the Cedars, Victory Park, Uptown, Oak Lawn, Love Field, Urban Park, Pleasant Grove, Joppa, South Oak Cliff, Deep Ellum, Munger Place, Swiss Avenue, Lower Greenville, Forest Hills, and West Dallas.

In December 2010, Congresswoman Johnson was elected as the first African-American and the first female Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. From 2000 to 2002, she was the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education. Congresswoman Johnson continues to emphasize the need to invest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Congresswoman Johnson is a current member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and has been since being elected in 1992. She is also the highest ranking Texan on this committee. Congresswoman Johnson also presently serves on the Aviation Subcommittee, Highways and Transit Subcommittee and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee.

In 2007, Congresswoman Johnson was appointed by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar (D-MN) to serve as Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment during the 110 th and 111th Congresses. She was the first African-American and first female in Congress to hold the position of this Subcommittee Chair. While holding the position of Subcommittee Chair, Congresswoman Johnson sponsored the Water Resources Development Act. She successfully secured and led Congress in overridding President Bush's veto of it. This was the only veto override during his presidency. The Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment has jurisdiction over water conservation, pollution control, infrastructure, and hazardous waste cleanup.

Congresswoman Johnson has previously served on the Subcommittee on Railroad, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, as well as served in position of Senior Democratic Deputy Whip; Chair of the House Metro Congestion Coalition; Co-Chair for the Congressional Caucus on Homelessness; and Co-Chair for the TEX-21 Congressional Caucus, which is a forum to address Texas transportation needs through the reauthorization of TEA-21.

Congresswoman Johnson is Founder and Co-Chair of the Diversity and Innovation Caucus and of the House Historical Black Colleges and Universities Caucus. Congresswoman Johnson had the honor to serve as Chair of theCongressional Black Caucus during the 107th Congress and presently co-chairs the Technology and Infrastructure Development Taskforce of the 112th Congressional Black Caucus. She is also a Member of the Congressional Task Force on Seniors.

Since coming to Congress, Congresswoman Johnson has earned the reputation of being a stateswoman who is dedicated to improving U.S. foreign relationships and policies. She works tirelessly towards improving human rights around the globe. Congresswoman Johnson's acclaimed initiative "A World of Women for World Peace" has been nationally and internationally recognized.

Congresswoman Johnson studied nursing at St. Mary's College at the University of Notre Dame. She returned to Texas when she successfully passed the National Board Examination in Nursing. She later became Chief Psychiatric Nurse at the VA Hospital in Dallas and received a bachelor's degree in nursing from Texas Christian University in 1967. She received a master's degree in public administration from Southern Methodist University in 1976. Congresswoman Johnson is the first nurse to be elected to the U.S. Congress.

Congresswoman Johnson was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1972 and became the first woman in Texas history to lead a major Texas House committee, the Labor Committee. As an advocate for workers, children, and families, she was recognized and appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve as Regional Director of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1977. In 1986, she was elected a Texas state Senator, becoming the first female and African-American from the Dallas area to hold this office since Reconstruction.

Congresswoman Johnson is widely recognized as one of the most effective legislators in Congress. She is credited with originally authoring and co-authoring more than 150 bills that were passed by the House and Senate and signed into law. She also has a long-standing reputation for providing excellent constituent services. Her district office in downtown Dallas specializes in working with all federal departments and agencies to assist constituents in solving a wide range of individual problems.

Congresswoman Johnson is the proud mother of her son, Kirk, and of her three grandsons, Kirk Jr., David, and James.

Dean Aguillen
Director with term expiring April 2014

Dean Aguillen joined Ogilvy Government Relations, one of Washington's most successful bipartisan government relations firms, in 2007 as a senior vice president and currently provides counsel to some of the top corporations in the United States on government relations and political strategy. As a native Texan and someone who has worked for many years in the California delegation, he is keenly alert to the issues in Southwest and West.

Named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States in 2007 by Hispanic Business magazine, Aguillen previously served as a senior advisor and Director of Member Services in the Office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In this role Aguillen was one of the Speaker's primary advisors on matters pertaining to members of Congress and played a key role in the formulation of the Speaker's agenda. As a Member of the Speakers staff, he worked closely with many governments in Latin America and traveled extensively throughout the region. Aguillen joined Congresswoman Pelosi's staff in 2002 after her election to House Democratic leadership as Democratic Whip. During this time he served as a liaison to Democratic members and their staffs and advised them on legislative strategy, parliamentary procedures and floor scheduling.

Besides his work in Congress, numerous campaigns and various political and governmental organizations, Aguillen had the privilege of working for the Clinton Administration. On July 5, 1999, President Clinton appointed Aguillen to the position of Special Assistant in the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor and later promoted to Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Chief of Staff for Congressional Affairs. In these various capacities at the Department, Aguillen reviewed and analyzed significant congressional and executive administration proposals and issues pertaining to or affecting the nation's workforce. In addition, he served as a liaison between the Department and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and intergovernmental organizations including the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Conference of State Legislators.

Aguillen is frequently cited as a government relations expert in publications such as, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, Roll Call and The Hill. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Avance, Inc., a national non- profit organization based in San Antonio, Texas focusing on early childhood education and is a board member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Inc.

Aguillen received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, with double majors in political science and communications, radio-television. He later went on to complete his Master of Arts degree in public communications at the American University in Washington, DC.

Jarvis Stewart
Director with term expiring April 2014

Jarvis C. Stewart, chairman and managing partner of Ian Reid, is a nationally recognized corporate and government affairs advisor. His work at Ian Reid includes providing innovative, strategic counsel to a wide range of clients in areas such as banking/ financial services, health care, homeland security, stakeholder relations and crisis communications. His client roster has included domestic and global brands such as Biogen Idec, FedEx, Industrial Bank of Washington, Jamba Juice, NASCAR, National Medical Association, Savantage Solutions, Sodexo USA, Toyota Motor North America, Verizon, Wal-Mart and Williams Capital Group LP to name a few. Mr. Stewart also served as the executive consultant to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, the organization charged with raising $120 million to build a Memorial on the National Mall in honor of Dr. King and the Museum for African Art's Nelson Mandela Center for Diplomacy and Social Justice in New York City.

His proximity to influential public policy and regulatory decision makers has enabled him to deliver sage advice and counsel to the firm's clients. His approach to professional service is rooted in increasing investor and shareholder value, while expanding and protecting the client's brand. Mr. Stewart is highly regarded by his clients and colleagues for having the unique ability to navigate the often divisive political waters of Washington and the expertise to move comfortably in both Republican and Democratic circles.

Mr. Stewart's legislative and government experience includes serving as Chief of Staff to former United States Representative Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN), where he managed Ford's day-to-day political and legislative agenda. He also served as the Congressman's primary liaison between the White House, Congressional leadership and coalitions, such as the New Democrats, the Blue Dogs and the Congressional Black Caucus.

Before joining Ford's staff, Mr. Stewart served in the Clinton Administration as a senior advisor to former U.S. Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman. At the Labor Department, he advised the Secretary on key political and legislative issues relating to H-1B Visas, OSHA and Employment Standards. He also served as liaison to Members of Congress, big-city mayors and various other state and local elected officials.

In addition to his work at Ian Reid, Mr. Stewart is also a founding partner of the Washington Nationals, a Major League Baseball franchise.

Mr. Stewart is also a frequent guest and commentator in the national media providing policy and political analysis to outlets including Fox News, Roll Call TV with Robert Traynham, The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Black Enterprise Magazines.

Mr. Stewart currently chairs the board of directors for the National Center and Caucus on the Black Aged, DC Chamber of Commerce and Menz Fit, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting men with clothing and employment skills as they re-enter the workforce. He is a past director of the Congressional Black Caucus, Corporate Advisory Board, the Ellington Fund, the National Capital YMCA, the Tavis Smiley Foundation, and the Blue Dog PAC Steering Committee. University (Texas), with dual degrees in Political Science and Geography.

He is a graduate of Prairie View A&M.

Don Carlson
Director with term expiring April 2014

As a managing director in the Washington National Tax Services office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Don Carlson provides strategic advice as well as legislative, executive branch and regulatory representation for domestic and international clients of PricewaterhouseCoopers on a broad spectrum of issues including tax, international trade, Social Security, budget and appropriations.

Mr. Carlson's wide range of legislative, international and political experience spans a 34-year Capitol Hill career. For 30 years, he worked for Congressman Bill Archer, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, representing Houston's 7th Congressional District. Mr. Carlson served as his Chief of Staff from 1988 to 2001. He was the Chairman's prime liaison with the Members and staff of the Ways and Means Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation. Prior to assuming that position, he was Representative Archer's Legislative Director, with responsibility for all of his legislative/Committee work. His primary areas of concentration included taxation, trade, Social Security and budget matters. In addition, he was Rep. Archer's chief political advisor and liaison to Republican Party groups at the local, state and national levels.

In early 2001, he served as Chief of Staff to Congressman John Culberson, Republican of Texas' 7 th District. Prior to his service with Congressman Archer, he worked for former Congressmen Don Riegle and James Harvey, both of Michigan.

Mr. Carlson brings extensive international experience to the firm. He has represented Rep. Archer on international issues worldwide and is a Senior Advisor to the United States-Asia Foundation and has led Member and staff delegations to Asia. In addition, he has been a member of the Congressional Staff Advisory Committee on International Trade Policy of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Steering Committee for the Congressional Staff Forum on International Trade of Georgetown University's School of Business, staff liaison for Congressman Archer to the U.S.-Asean Business Council, and staff liaison to the MERCOSUL Congressional Study Group for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Mr. Carlson currently serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board of The Archer Center – the Washington Campus of the University of Texas System. He also is on the Board of the Texas State Society of Washington, D.C., the Board of The Ripon Society and co-chairs the Development Committee for the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

Mr. Carlson earned his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the School of International Service at the American University, Washington, D.C. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from 1970 to 1976.

Heather Traeger Cohan
Director with term expiring April 2014

Heather Traeger was born in Austin and, after brief stops in El Paso, Belton and Houston, grew up in Kingwood. After attending Williams College and law school at the University of Houston, Heather moved to Washington, DC, where she promptly joined the Texas State Society.

Heather is a partner in the Washington, DC office of O'Melveny & Myers LLP and is a member of the Financial Services Practice. Prior to joining O'Melveny, she worked for the Investment Company Institute, representing the mutual fund industry. Heather started her legal career at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, after serving as a briefing attorney on the First Court of Appeals for the State of Texas.

Heather coordinates visits with her family in Schulenburg to coincide with the blooming of the blue bonnets and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as frequently as possible. She's making every effort to ensure that her daughter, Elana, and her husband, Jeff, are honorary Texans, right down to the tip of their boots.

Tim Teehan
Membership Chair

Tim is currently a partner at Columbia Books & Information Services, the leading specialty information publishing firm for the government relations and association community for nearly 50 years. Columbia Books is home to such notable publications as The Original US Congress Handbook, The Washington Representatives Directory,, and Association Trends, as well as partnering with the American League of Lobbyists on the Lobbying Certificate Program.

An Aggie from San Antonio, Tim also lived in Bryan/College Station and Dallas (where his Aggie ring still resides beneath White Rock Lake) before moving to Washington, D.C. to help fundraise for Members of Congress and charities close to his heart. After 2006, Tim joined Campaigns & Elections as part of the team which rehabilitated the magazine to its former glory.

When not working, Tim can be found two-stepping, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, or teaching kayaking classes (although not all at the same time).

Ed Perez
Entertainment Chair

A seventh generation Texan, Ed grew up in Corpus Christi. He currently serves as Senior Advisor to Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-08). He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Ed was appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 2001 and confirmed by the Texas State Senate to serve as the executive director of the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations (OSFR). He led Texas' Washington DC office for ten years (2001-2011). After his tenure with the State of Texas. Ed was a government relations consultant in the private sector until joining Congressman Kevin Brady's staff in 2013. Prior to serving as Texas OSFR's executive director, Ed worked in the economic and community development fields at the State, county and city levels of government (1983-2001). Ed lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife and two children.

Ed joined the Texas State Society in the late 1980s, became a board member in 2003, and served as President of the Texas State Society for the 2007-2008 term. Ed served as chairman of the Texas State Society's 2009 Black Tie & Boots (BT&B) Presidential Inaugural Ball held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on January 19, 2009. He also served as chief operating officer of the 2013 Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball held on January 19, 2013. He continues on the TSS Board as Entertainment Chair and as Black Tie & Boots 2017 chair.

Jack Peterson
Sponsorship Chair

Since January 1995, Jack has served as Federal Liaison for Harris County and works to protect the interests of the citizens of Harris County and the constituents of the Harris County Flood Control District.

Born in Beaumont, Jack grew up in Houston, where he graduated from Spring Branch High School and then from the University of Texas at Austin. There, he began his career in the legislative process and politics working ath the Texas Capitol. He lived in Texas until 1989, when he moved to Washington, D.C. and later that year to Arlington County, Virginia.

Jack was Director Political Affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers when he first moved to the nation’s capital, and he was Director, Political Education at the Texas Hospital Association in Austin before that. Earlier, he held several positions with the Texas Legislature.

Jack is the proud father of Michael and Charlie Peterson who attend Yorktown High School in Arlington and Longwood University respectively.

Bill Christian
Executive Secretary

A graduate of Monahans (Texas) High School, Bill Christian most recently served in the administration of President George W. Bush as the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Selective Service System, where he received the Distinguished Service Award. In addition to managing the Texas State Society, he is the Director of Government Affairs for Citizens Against Government Waste, a non-profit watchdog group, and he is a founding partner of Rappahannock Timber Frame Company, a construction-marketing firm based in Sperryville, Virginia. A 1986 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, he served (until December 2006) as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Federal Relations in the UT System's Washington, D.C. office for five years.

In 2003, Bill Christian returned to his home in Midland, Texas, to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, in a special election to fill the vacancy created by the early retirement of then-Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Congressman Larry Combest (R-Lubbock).

In addition to working in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, the native West Texan served on the staffs of U.S. Senators John Tower and Phil Gramm, and U.S. Representative Tom Loeffler, while his last assignment on Capitol Hill was Chief of Staff for Congressman John Culberson. A graduate of the Naval War College, Bill recently retired from the United States Marine Corps Reserve. In his spare time, Christian is an active member of the Capitol Hill United Methodist Church, and he is an alumnus of the Texas Lyceum, an association committed to identifying and developing the next generation of top leadership in the State of Texas. Bill also serves on the Board of Advisors for both the Gamma Upsilon Chapter (UT Austin) and the Alpha Pi Chapter (George Washington University) of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) Fraternity, while also representing TKE in the Capital Fraternal Caucus in Washington, D.C.

Bill's hobbies include marathon running, coaching a softball team (The RBIs of Texas), and serving as a Commissioner in the U.S. Senate Softball League. A Past President of the Texas State Society, Bill served on the TSS Board of Directors until his appointment as Executive Secretary.