The Board of Directors directs and manages the affairs of the Foundation and controls the disposition of its funds, primarily through grants to local non-profit organizations that protect the legal rights of women and children in Central Texas. The Board is composed of up to 14 directors. Four of these directors are permanent directors: Past President, President, and President Elect of the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association and Past Chair of the Foundation. The remaining directors are non-permanent and each serve two –year terms. The officers of the Foundation are the Chair, the Chair-Elect, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. The current Board is:
Lessie Gilstrap is a trial attorney with more than fifteen years of experience in commercial litigation. She concentrates her practice on representing clients in state and federal court and in arbitration. Her practice is varied and includes breach of contract and other business disputes, breach of fiduciary duty litigation, product liability, and employment law matters.
Lessie brings a big-picture approach to resolving commercial disputes for her clients. Whether representing an individual, a small business, a national or international company, Lessie offers her clients a creative perspective to crafting legal strategies, focusing on her client’s end goal and the most effective and efficient way to achieve it.
Lessie received her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center. In addition to her volunteer work for TCWLA, Lessie serves as the Vice-Chair of the Travis County Child Welfare Board.
Immediate Past Chair / Fellow Liaison
Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP
Sue Ayers is a partner in the trial department of Jackson Walker L.L.P. During the first several years of her law practice, Sue developed broad trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts in cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, toxic tort, and free speech, and represented the court-appointed Receiver in one of the largest Ponzi scheme cases ever filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. As part of Jackson Walker’s eminent domain practice group, Sue has developed expertise in land acquisition, including the negotiation of easements and crossing agreements, the purchase of property in fee simple, and condemnation. Sue assisted with all aspects of the acquisition of right-of-way for an electric transmission line project selected as one of the Top 10 Infrastructure Projects in the nation in 2013 by the International Right of Way Association.
Before law school, Sue was a high school English teacher for nine years. As an attorney, her community service has included membership on the Walnut Creek Elementary Campus Advisory Council and the Development Council for A Community for Education (“ACE”). Sue is a Fellow and a Board Member of the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Foundation and is beginning her first year as Secretary of the Board.
Tracy Kasparek Elaguizy
Cristina Nahidi, TCWLA President
Cristina Nahidi is a trial attorney specializing in personal injury defense, business, and construction defect litigation with Wright & Greenhill, P.C. Her personal injury defense practice is focused on defending companies and individuals in cases related to workplace premise liability, wrongful death, as well as motor vehicle accident and catastrophic industrial accidents. Her business practice is focused on a variety of “business divorce” type cases, ranging from investor disputes to breaches of contract, fiduciary duties, as well as employment disputes regarding non-compete agreements, discrimination and wrongful termination. Her construction defect litigation practice is focused on defending general contractors and subcontractors in commercial construction defect cases, as well as representing homeowners in residential construction defect cases. Cristina graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and magna cum laude from The University of Pennsylvania.
Danielle Ahlrich, TCWLA President-Elect
Danielle Ahlrich is a partner at Martens, Todd, Leonard, Taylor & Ahlrich. She represents clients in state tax controversies with the Texas Comptroller, primarily concerning sales tax and franchise tax. Danielle assists clients with audits, challenging assessments, and seeking refunds of overpaid tax before the Comptroller of Public Accounts, the State Office of Administrative Hearings, and in state district court.
Danielle obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and her law degree from Baylor Law School. Danielle enjoys trying new restaurants and exploring Austin with her family.
Alyson Falk is an Associate Attorney with Coldwell Bowes, L.L.P., a family law litigation firm in downtown Austin. Alyson’s practice is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of family law matters including high-conflict divorces, cases involving complex property division, child custody disputes, protective orders, and modifications of prior orders.
Alyson is a fourth-generation Austinite, and serves her community through her many years of volunteer work with The Junior League of Austin and Rodeo Austin. Alyson is also a member of the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association, the Austin Bar Association Family Law Section, the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, the Williamson County Bar Association, and the Family Law Foundation of Texas.
Stephanie Perkins is an Employment attorney at Jackson Lewis PC, where she stephanie_perkinsrepresents companies in negotiating and drafting employment contracts and policies, conducting internal investigations, and defending management in litigation in state and federal courts. Stephanie also represents companies in government agency charges and investigations, wage and hour matters, and arbitrations. She is a member of the Austin Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section, and serves with various community non-profit organizations. Stephanie received her JD with honors from The University of Texas at Austin, and was honored with membership in the Order of the Coif. While at law school, she served as Editor-in-Chief of The Review of Litigation. Stephanie received her B.A. magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. When not practicing law, Stephanie enjoys reading, traveling, watching football, shoe-shopping, and trying to keep up with her warrior princess daughter.
Monica B. Stallings is a trial attorney specializing in family law at the Law Office of Nikki G. Maples. She focuses her practice on divorce, custody, adoption, and other family law matters. Monica graduated from Boston College and then attended Seattle University School of Law, where she co-founded the school’s chapter of the ACLU and focused her studies on family law and intellectual property. Monica has a deep passion for women’s and minority issues. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, reading, working out, and exploring all the great culture, music, and activity that Austin has to offer.