Past Board Members

MICAELA ALVAREZ, McAllen, TX
Board Member, 1997 – 2005
Ms. Alvarez was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor George Bush in 1997. She was a presiding judge of the 139th Judicial District Court, Texas until 1996. In 2004, Ms. Alvarez was nominated by President George W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. She was confirmed in November of that year. Ms. Alvarez was a board member from 1997 – 2005.

RONALD D. BEALS, Tyler, TX
Board Member, 1997 – 2008
Dr. Ronald Beals was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor George Bush in 1997. At that time he was president and medical director of Acute Care of Tyler, an urgent care center that also provided occupational and workers’ compensation care. He was a member of the Smith County Medical Association and served on the state board of the Texas State Basic Trauma Life Support Association. He earned an undergraduate degree from Millikin University in Illinois and a medical degree from Creighton University in Nebraska. Dr. Beals served as vice chair from 2002 – 2005.

ERNEST C. GARCIA
Board Member, 2005 – 2011
Mr. Garcia was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor Rick Perry in 2005. He served the U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, focusing on cases involving commercial litigation, employment discrimination, tort, immigration and bankruptcy. Mr. Garcia received a bachelor’s degree in Finance with honors and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He served as an appointed Commissioner for Travis County Emergency Services District, No. 14, from 2006 to 2009 and was a former board member of the Texas Automobile Theft Prevention Authority. Mr. Garcia served as chair from 2005 – 2011.

JAMES E. GREEN, Hurst, TX
Board Member, 1999 – 2002
Mr. Green was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor George Bush in 1999. He was the risk manager for Justin Industries, Inc., in Fort Worth, where he established the original risk management program for the manufacturing company. Mr. Green also served as the Region V chairman of the Texas Association of Business Chambers of Commerce. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University. During his term he served as vice chair from 2001 – 2002.

RUBEN W. HOPE, JR., J.D., Montgomery, TX
Board Member, 2008 – 2010
Ruben W. Hope, Jr., was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor Rick Perry in 2008. He is a board certified personal injury trial lawyer who served with distinction in the Texas House of Representatives from 1999-2007. He previously worked with the Texas Water Commission, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, and civil defense law firms. In 1974, he founded the Ruben Hope & Associates law firm (now Hope & Causey) in Conroe. Mr. Hope has worked tirelessly with many local youth sports and educational organizations. Mr. Hope received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Hope served on the board from October 15, 2008, to December 21, 2010.

GERALD M. LAVEY, Humble, TX
Board Member, 1997 – 2005
Gerald Lavey was appointed the first chairman of the Board of Directors by Governor George Bush in 1997. At that time, he was president of International Insurance Consultants, Inc., an insurance brokerage and risk management consulting firm. He was a member of Texas Insurance Professional, and the Houston Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Joseph’s University in Indiana. Mr. Lavey served as the board chair from 1997 – 2003.

KENNETH N. MITCHELL
Board Member, 2005 – 2010
Kenneth N. Mitchell was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor Rick Perry in 2005. Mr. Mitchell is the Senior Vice President and El Paso Managing Director for Wells Fargo Insurance Services of Texas, Inc. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas Tech University and designations as a charted property casualty underwriter, certified insurance counselor, and certified risk manager.

FRANCES C. OLIVER, Plano, TX
Board Member, 1997 – 1999
Ms. Oliver was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor George Bush in 1997. She was the risk manager at Centex Corporation in Dallas. She served as vice chair of the national research committee of the Risk and Insurance Management Society and was a member of the Zurich Insurance Company Risk Managers Advisory Council. She is a graduate of Northwestern State University.

RAY “TOM” PACE, Odessa, TX
Board Member, 1997 – 2005
Tom Pace was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor George Bush in 1997. He was the fiscal services director of Ector County in West Texas. He is a retired U.S. Marine, member of the Government Finance Office Association, and the County Veterans Service Officers Association. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in education from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles.

MARTHA A. RIDER, Houston, TX
Board Member, 1997 – 2008
Martha Rider was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor George Bush in 1997. At the time, Ms. Rider was a risk manager for Montgomery County and served on the state board of the Public Risk & Insurance Managers Association. She was also a member of the Montgomery County Safety Advisory Council and the Texas Safety Association. Ms. Rider served as board chair from 2003 – 2005.

STEPHANIE SIMMONS, J.D./Ph.D.
Board Member, 2011 – 2016
Stephanie Simmons was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor Rick Perry in 2011. She is the founder and principal of Simmons Legal Consultants. Having developed her expertise in the areas of corporate law and business development, Stephanie worked with numerous public and private companies in the development and strengthening of business structure. Ms. Simmons has 20 years of industry knowledge and has earned a reputation for providing skilled and practical leadership as a business consultant, chief legal officer, operations and human resource executive, and key stakeholder for various enterprises. She is an advocate and public speaker for children and seniors, holding a Ph.D. in Organization and Management and a J.D. from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Ms. Simmons served as board chair until early 2016.

RONALD J. WALENTA, Dallas, TX
Board Member, 2005 – 2011
Ronald J. Walenta was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor Rick Perry in 2005. Mr. Walenta owns a risk management and claims management consulting firm and has been involved in the industry since 1972. He has also served as corporate risk manager for DFW International Airport, Chili’s Restaurants, Trailways Transit, ATE Management and Service Comp., and Chief Auto Parts. Mr. Walenta received a bachelor’s degree in Insurance from the University of Texas at Austin and a certified insurance counselors designation. He has served on the state faculties of the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors, the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, and the insurance committee for the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Walenta served as vice chairman of the board from 2005 – 2011.