The Houston Bar Foundation, or HBF, announced its new officers, including Chair Travis Torrence, of Shell Oil Company, and presented Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva M. Guzman with the James P. Sales Pro Bono Leadership Award for her lifetime of work to ensure equal access to justice for all Texans at its annual meeting and luncheon February 14 at the Marriott Marquis Houston. The HBF also honored Kay Sim, the longtime executive director of the foundation and the Houston Bar Assocation, or HBA, for her contributions to the legal community.Torrence, global litigation bankruptcy and credit team lead at Shell, serves on the board of directors of the National LGBT Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation. He previously served on the State Bar Board of Directors Executive Committee and as president of the Arthur L. Moller/David B. Foltz Jr. American Inn of Court. Torrence served as co-chair of the Texas Minority Counsel Program.
In addition to Torrence, other new foundation officers include Vice Chair Charles A. “Chip” Casey, of ExxonMobil Corporation, and Treasurer Tom Godbold, of Twin Eagle Resource Management. New directors include Susan L. Bickley, of Blank Rome; Polly Fohn, of Haynes and Boone; Jim Hart, of Williams Kherker Hart Boundas; Neil Kelly, of Hunton Andrews Kurth; Richard Mithoff, of Mithoff Law Firm; Jason Ryan, of CenterPoint Energy; and Denise Scofield, of Winston & Strawn. Brett Reasoner, of Gibbs & Bruns, serves as immediate past chair, and HBA President Warren Harris, of Bracewell, serves as ex officio.
Others were recognized for their contributions to Houston Volunteer Lawyers, or HVL, including Christie Cardon, of King & Spalding, who received the Outstanding Contribution to HVL by a Pro Bono Coordinator; J. Thomas Black, who received the Outstanding Contribution to HVL by a Solo Practitioner; Bryn Poland, of Mayo & Poland, who was recognized for Outstanding Contribution to HVL by an Individual; and Shell Oil Company, which was recognized for Outstanding Contribution to HVL by a Corporate Law Department.
Susan Rokes was recognized for Outstanding Volunteer Service to the Dispute Resolution Center; James Montgomery for Longevity of Exemplary Service to the Dispute Resolution Center; and Dustin Rynders, of Disability Rights Texas, was honored as the author of the outstanding legal article published in The Houston Lawyer.
Others receiving awards include Baker Botts for Outstanding Contribution to HVL by a Large Firm; Blank Rome for Outstanding Contribution to HVL by a Mid-size Firm; and Jenkins & Kamin for Outstanding Contribution to HVL by a Small Firm.