M’Lou Patton Bell, Shareholder, Munsch, Hardt, Kopf & Barr, P.C.
Sheryl Cole, Cole & Powell, P.C., Austin City Council, Place 6
Karin Crump, Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom, L.L.P., President of TYLA
Martha Dickie, Akin and Almanza, L.L.P., President of the State Bar of Texas
Pathfinders are role models and trailblazers — local women with law degrees who are using, and have used, their degrees in a variety of ways. Every year, TCWLA makes an effort to select and honor a panel of Pathfinders who represent a diversity of life and work experiences and this results in a highly thought-provoking and often inspirational program. The program format is a panel discussion/Q&A with the Pathfinders.
FROM THE PRESIDENT
￼Happy New Year!
I am not usually a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions. They often seem so short-lived and ultimately depressing in my hands. This is of course probably due to the fact that ”exercise more” and “lose weight” make perennial appearances at the top of my list.
Thisyear,Iamgoingtoreducemylistofresolutionstooneitem: “MAKETIME.” Maketimeforthingsthatareimportanttome— getting home from work when I say I will, playing one more games of hide and seek with the kids instead of catching up with the news online, prioritizing the most productive and satisfying work projects, resisting the urge to bite off more than I can chew in general. Heck, maybe I’ll even make time to get to the gym.
One thing that is essential to me is to make time to see my circles of women friends — whether through TCWLA, at my book club, or overcoffeeandagoodbreakfasttaco. MakingtimeforTCWLAinparticularhasoftenhelpedrejuvenatemeforothereffortsinmy professional and personal life.
I hope you can make time in your busy lives to join us as a member, a full-fledged active participant or even as an occasional visitor to our monthly lunch meetings, seminars or special events. Please join us this month as we honor our 2007 Pathfinders and get inspiration to travel our own paths. One of the most popular programs of our year, our Pathfinders Lunch is definitely worth an hour ofyourtime. Ilookforwardtoseeingyouthisyearandwishyouafulfilling2007.
M’Lou Patton Bell
M’Lou is a shareholder with Munsch, Hardt, Kopf & Harr, P.C. She routinely represents both buyers and sellers in all types of real estate and corporate transactions, and has considerable experience in business organization, lending and alternative financing, asset and stock transactions, acquisition, development and disposition of income-producing properties, and commercial leasing. Her experience in development matters ranges from subdivision and shopping center development to acquisition and development in ski resort communities. In addition to corporate and real estate matters, M’Lou also represents clients in connection with government contracting and legislation, as well as software licensing, service and teaming agreements. She is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, and Midwestern State University. She is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law. She is a board member of Greater Austin First Tee and the Girl Scouts Lone Star Council, a member of CREWAustin and St. Matthews Episcopal Church.
Sheryl Cole is a lawyer, and the first African American woman to serve on the Austin City Council. She is a 23-year resident of Austin.
Sheryl earned her B.A. in accounting from the University of Texas and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1986, working for two years with the Big Five accounting firm Ernst & Young. In 1989, Sheryl returned to the University of Texas for law school, earning her J.D. in 1991 and joining the law firm Wright & Greenhill. In 1995, Sheryl became staff counsel at the Texas Municipal League, where she served until 2001. She currently practices law with the firm Cole & Powell.
Married to Austin attorney Kevin Cole for 14 years, Sheryl is the mother of three boys – Marcus, Nelson and Femi – and currently serves as president of the Lee Elementary School PTA. The Coles live in the Wilshire Woods neighborhood, and are members of the Cherrywood Neighborhood Association. The family belongs to David Chapel, where Sheryl teaches 2nd grade Sunday School.
Sheryl is a former Board member of Leadership Austin, the Austin Area Urban League, and Communities in Schools. Sheryl also served as Tri-Chair of the 2004 AISD Citizen Bond Committee, and was appointed by former mayor Kirk Watson to serve on the 1998 City of Austin Citizen Bond Committee.
Karin is the current President of the Texas Young Lawyers Association an organization comprised of more than 20,000 young lawyers. She is an experienced civil litigator and mediator with the law firm Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom, L.L.P. Karin has represented numerous individuals and businesses over the past eight years. She has extensive insurance experience, including third party defense representation in trucking, wrongful death and premises liability cases, as well as numerous first party bad faith claims. Karin has also mediated many diverse cases to a successful resolution, including insurance, personal injury and complex family law matters. In 2003, Karin moved her private practice from Dallas to join the Austin office of Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom.
Before she moved to Austin, Karin was honored as the “Outstanding Young Lawyer of Dallas” and was named as one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas Under 40,” by D magazine. In 2005, she was selected as one of the “Rising Stars of Texas Law” by Texas Monthly Magazine. Married to Omar Samman, with one child, Isabella.
Martha S. Dickie is the current president of the State Bar of Texas. She joined the firm of Akin and Almanza, L.L.P. in January 2005, where she practices general civil and criminal law. She worked for the firm of Minton, Burton, Foster and Collins P.C. from 1982 to 2004, and for U.S. District Judge Jack Roberts from 1980 to 1982. She has served on the State Bar Board of Directors, the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, as a trustee of the Texas Bar Foundation, and as chair of the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation.
A former president of the Travis County Bar Association, Dickie has served on a number of Travis County and State Bar committees. She has also served as a commissioner on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and as a board member of the Austin Child Guidance Center. She graduated with honors from the University of Texas, and earned her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.
Dickie is married to James Rader, in-house counsel with the Lower Colorado River Authority in Austin. They have two sons, Joey, 12, and Clark, 10.
Wine Tasting Notes, by “The Wine Guy” Chris Black TCWLA Holiday Party
December 6, 2006
Yalumba “Y Series” Riesling (mainly Eden Valley, Australia), winemaker Louisa Rose
This was what I suggested for the first wine of the night, packaged in a tall “flute” bottle complete with screwcap (“Stelvin”)closure. It’sprettydryforaRiesling(pronouncd“reese-ling”),asmostAustralianRieslingsare. Dry Rieslings like this typically have floral aromas (honeysuckle?) and flavors reminiscent of pears with a hint of maybe peachorapricot. Typicalretailabout$11. Usuallyit’sontheshelfatGrapeVineandCentralMarket,andmostlikely is at the new Spec’s as well.
Gallo of Sonoma Chardonnay (Sonoma, California), winemaker Gina Gallo
I thought this was really a terrific bottle for the money and in light of the considerable production levels and broad portfolio under the Gallo name. Yes, it’s California Chardonnay, but it’s perfectly in line with the trend away from over- oaked, excessively viscous, and cloying examples of that varietal. No doubt there’s a little bit of wood on it, but the citrusy fruitiness comes through with the oak flavors (vanilla, butterscotch, butter) in the background. Typically also about $11, and it’s probably available at the aforementioned retailers as well as most grocery stores with a decent wine selection.
Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir (Monterey, California), brand manager Austin’s Evelyn Pool
This might have been the star of the night, as it’s REALLY hard to find a good, varietally correct Pinot Noir for $12. Evelyn’s brokering company, Crush, has long represented Hahn winery from Monterey. That part of California, being much cooler than Napa and Sonoma, is great for growing Pinot Noir. Cycles Gladiator is a new brand that Evelyn and Hahn created using many of the same fruit sources as those previously used for the extremely successful Rex Goliath (47 pound rooster) brand. And the Cycles Gladiator wines are even better. This one was light-to-medium in body (weight), with classic Pinot flavors of strawberry and cranberry and very soft texture. An easy drinker. Again, GVM and CM are your best bets.
Crios Syrah-Bonarda (Mendoza, Argentina), winemaker Susanna Balbo
If you like big reds, then Susanna Balbo’s offerings will never disappoint. This blend of Syrah (a grape variety booming in popularity) with Bonarda (a really obscure one) creates a bold, full-bodied wine with black cherry flavors and a firm backbone of tannins. Best enjoyed with beef or game, whose fatty qualities offset the tannic texture of the wine (and vice versa). Typical retail about $15, most likely at GVM, CM, and perhaps Spec’s.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED AYLA-TCWLA-VLS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROJECT
Would you like to make a lasting difference and help someone in need start building a new life? AYLA and the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association is parterning with Volunteer Legal Services for the fourth year of the Domestic Violence Project. Volunteers are needed to handle 2 domestic violence divorce cases on an emergency basis over 2007. “Emergency basis” means a case that needs a response within two weeks, and VLS will attempt to work around your schedule as requested. Participants will be trained by VLS domestic violence experts, and will be given a list of family law mentors that they can call with questions. We need at least 10 volunteer attorneys for this project. Please contact Laurie Higginbotham at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating.
Austin Under 40
On March 9, 2007, Austinites will gather at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum to honor our best and brightest at the ninth annual Austin Under 40 Awards. Hosted each year by the Young Women’s Alliance and the Young Men’s Business League, the Au40 Awards allow us to recognize men and women under the age of 40 who have achieved extraordinary professional success while simultaneously demonstrating outstanding community service. Past winners include Michael Dell, Lance Armstrong & Mayor Will Wynn.
Nominations are currently being accepted for the Legal Category. A nominee’s leadership, special skills, notable contributions, experience, community service, and overall achievements are examples of the criteria upon which nominees will be judged.
For more information on nominations and sponsorship opportunities, please go to www.austinunder40.org All proceeds will go to the Austin Sunshine Camps and Young Women’s Alliance Foundation.