Texas Star Alliance Adds Even More Star Power
With the start of the 87th session of the Texas Legislature looming, one of the powerhouses of the Texas lobby, Texas Star Alliance, has added even more star power to their team. Consistently ranked as one of the top 3 lobby firms in Texas, Texas Star Alliance already boasts the broadest and deepest range of policy experts at the top of Capitol Inside’s Power Rankings. With principal members including a former state senator, a former agency executive commissioner, seasoned campaign operatives, and experienced legislative and agency staffers, TSA’s knowledge and experience levels are unrivaled on a myriad of policy topics.
To add to this already impressive lineup, Michelle “Missy” Apodaca, a Texas lobby veteran, has joined the firm effective Dec. 1, 2020. Missy is a veteran healthcare policy expert with significant federal and state legislative and regulatory experience -- providing substantive strategic counsel to a diverse array of healthcare clients.
Missy’s clients include numerous Fortune 500 healthcare and technology companies, healthcare advocacy organizations, and provider associations. With over 20 years of experience in law and politics, Missy has served as a legislative aide in both the Texas Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, a Schedule C Political Appointee at the U.S. Department of Education, and as the vice president of advocacy, legal and public policy for the Texas Hospital Association.
Missy’s addition to the TSA family will strengthen the firm’s thought leadership on Healthcare and related policy and bring an expanded capability to servicing the firm’s existing and new clients.
Another personnel change sees one Henny leaving TSA while another joins. TSA Principal Kerrick Henny has left TSA to join the leadership team at the Port of Houston. Mr. Henny will serve as the Chief Government and Public Relations Officer for the Port where his decades of experience in government and policy work will benefit the people of Houston and the state. But as Mr. Henny departs, his son, Kristopher Henny, will join the firm as a consultant. Kristopher is no stranger to the “capitol crowd” having interned with Sen. Royce West’s office during the 86th Legislative Session.
And while she has been with TSA for a bit longer, this will be Capitol veteran Taylor Sims first session with Texas Star Alliance. Taylor joined TSA as an associate in August of 2020. She began her work in the Legislature in the office of then State Representative Ken Legler before moving to the Executive Office of House Speaker Joe Straus where she gained experience in several different policy areas. She built on that experience after she left the legislature working first as Director of Government Affairs and Strategic Initiatives for a large national provider of post-acute healthcare services and then as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for a Texas healthcare provider. In her personal life, Taylor has been a member of the Anti-Defamation League, participating in the Glass Leadership Institute, a program designed to cultivate effective leaders and advocates on behalf of the mission to defend democratic ideals and protect civil rights for all. In addition, she has served as a Co-Chair of the Maverick PAC that works to engage new generations of politically interested young professionals in politics. Taylor is originally from San Antonio, Texas, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and a proud member of the Texas Exes.
Crenshaw of Texas' Second Congressional district. Patrick will be working as a Legislative Analyst putting to good use his degree in Political Science from Texas Christian University. A dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, Patrick is fascinated by American and Latin American history and culture. His favorite hobbies include visiting museums and historic sites, shooting sports, reading, and hunting with his dog, Copper.
One final change is the departure of a long-time TSA family member Megan Herring to the Texas Association of Business. Anyone who has interacted with TSA over the past 7 years has undoubtedly had the pleasure of meeting Megan. In addition to serving as a trusted associate and right hand to the firm’s managing partner John R. Pitts, lobbying on a wide range of issues at the legislature and executive branch, Megan was the firm’s backbone supporting each team member during the onboarding process, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the office, and creating such key programs as the TSA Intern program. Megan leaves TSA to assume duties as Manager of Government Relations for TAB. As the de facto chamber of commerce for the State of Texas, TAB will undoubtedly benefit from Ms. Herring’s broad knowledge base on a wide variety of policy areas during the coming session. She is a graduate of Texas State University with a degree in Health and Wellness Promotion and had previously spent time at HHSC as a policy coordinator. Everyone at TSA is sad to see Megan leave but are equally excited to see her continue to work on policy that will benefit the business environment in Texas and strengthen what is already the strongest economy in the country.
Texas Star Alliance’s commitment to remaining one of the leading integrated public policy firms in the country and a thought leader on issues of importance to the people of Texas means that we will continually seek to draw talent to our team that furthers those goals. We invite you to follow us on social media and sign up for our firm newsletter to stay abreast of the coming legislative session, national developments that will impact Texas, and all things political going on in Austin and around the state.