Meet Your Taskforce
by Lillian Kyle
Governor Abbott held a press conference on April 17th where he revealed his plan to reopen the Texas economy. A crucial part of the plan involved establishing a Strike Force of nationally recognized medical experts and private and public leaders that will advise the Governor on how to safely and strategically reopen Texas over the coming months.
James Huffines will lead the advisory strike force and Mike Toomey will serve as Chief Operating Officer. Also, on the team are Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and Comptroller Glenn Hegar, all of whom will serve as consulting members.
In addition, Texas Department of Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, will be appointed as Chief Medical Officer of the strike force with the support of three Chief Medical Advisors: Executive Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Texas System, John Zerwas, MD, Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner and U.S. Medicaid and Medicare Administrator, Mark McLellan, MD, PhD, and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Dell Medical School and program director for the Internal Medicine Residency, Parker Hudson, MD, MPH. The medical team is tasked with developing a medical architecture to comprehensively test and trace COVID-19 that will eventually enable Texans to slowly and safely return back to work and their normal lives.
Additionally, the medical team will work alongside a Special Advisory Council of 39 business leaders representing the state’s regions and industries to help businesses strategically reopen while containing the spread of COVID-19. Together they will set statewide standards and appropriate time frames to reopen Texas businesses. The strike force immediately got to work following the press conference by providing input on potential openings of activities and businesses in Texas. The Governor will hold his next press conference on April 27th to outline a revised plan for Texas based on the team’s recommendations.
Special Advisory Council members include:
Arcilia Acosta: President and CEO, CARCON Industries & Construction
Paul Andrews, Jr.: Founder and CEO, TTI Inc.
Mark Bivins: Rancher, partner in Corsino Cattle Company
Kathy Britton: CEO and Owner, Perry Homes
Brad Brookshire: Chairman and CEO, Brookshire Grocery Co.
J. Bruce Bugg, Jr.: Chairman, Texas Transportation Commission
Alonzo Cantu: President & CEO of Cantu Construction
Bobby Cox: Owner and operator, Bobby Cox Companies, Inc.
Adriana Cruz: Executive Director, Economic Development & Tourism Division, Office of the Governor
Michael Dell: Chairman and CEO, Dell Technologies
Scott Dueser: Chairman, President & CEO, First Financial Bank
Tilman Fertitta: Chairman, CEO, and sole owner, Landry's, Inc.
Richard Fisher: Senior Advisor, Barclays and Former President & CEO, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Rick Francis: Chairman of the Board, WestStar Bank Holding Company, Inc.
Printice Gary: Founding Partner/Principal and CEO, Carleton Companies
Brad Heffington: Owner of Heffington Farms, Inc. and Triple T Irrigation, Inc.
Jeffery D. Hildebrand: Executive Chairman and Founder, Hilcorp Energy Company
Nancy Kinder: President & CEO, Kinder Foundation
Tom Luce: J.D., Founder and Chairman, Texas 2036, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education
Marc McDougal: CEO, McDougal Companies
Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale: Owner, Gallery Furniture
Drayton McLane: Chairman, McLane Group
Elaine Mendoza: Founder, President & CEO of Conceptual MindWorks, Inc
Balous Miller: Owner, Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Restaurants
Carla Moran: Ramar Communications
Dennis Nixon: CEO and Chairman of International Bank of Commerce
David Oliveira: Partner at Roerig, Oliveira & Fisher, L.L.P.
Ross Perot, Jr.: Chairman, The Perot Group
Kevin D. Roberts, Ph.D.: Executive Director, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Robert B. Rowling: Owner and Chairman, TRT Holdings, Inc.
Kendra Scott: Founder and CEO, Kendra Scott
Robert F. Smith: Founder, Chairman & CEO, Vista Equity Partners
Sam L. Susser: Chairman of BancAffiliated, Inc.
Massey Villarreal: CEO and President, Precision Task Group, Inc.
Kirk Watson: J.D., Founding Dean of the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs, City of Austin Mayor 1997-2001, Texas State Senate
Marc Watts: President, The Friedkin Group
Graham Weston: Former Chairman of Rackspace Hosting Inc.
Sanjiv Yajnik: President of the Financial Services Division, Capital One
For more information about the Governor's Strike Force to Open Texas, visit the strike force webpage.