Spotlight on the Texas Center Staff

Randy L. SarosdyRandall L. Sarosdy: Randy Sarosdy has served as Executive Director for the Texas Center since September 1, 2010. Prior to joining the Texas Center Randy practiced law for nearly 30 years in the Washington, D.C. and Austin offices of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. where he specialized in complex commercial, labor and employment, environmental and intellectual property litigation. He served as managing partner of the firm’s Washington litigation section for three years and was an Adjunct Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law. He has tried cases and argued appeals in state and federal courts throughout the nation. He also taught Justices of the Peace throughout the state for several years. He is a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a member of the State Bar College. Randy is a native Texan. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in Virginia with high honors in 1974 and from the University of Texas School of Law in 1977 where he served as Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review. His interests include history, hiking and triathlon.

Heidi PenixHeidi Penix: Heidi Penix has worked at the Texas Center since June 2009 where she has been involved in both the Children’s Justice Act and Court Improvement Program grants. Heidi graduated with honors from Smith College with a B.S. in Government and continued her education in international relations and finance at graduate programs at George Washington University and Harvard University. She worked at The New Republic magazine, the Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard University and the University of Texas prior to landing at the Texas Center. As you might be able to tell by her blinding pallor, Heidi is not a native Texan and is still trying to believe that exposure to this much sunshine will not cause her to melt. When not immersed in child abuse programming, Heidi can be found enjoying live music and Austin’s impressive trailer cuisine. She shares her domicile with two bossy and possibly deranged cats.

Gail BellGail Bell: Gail Bell joined the Texas Center in July 2010 as Conference Coordinator, where her responsibilities include selecting menus for conferences which, according to Gail, is the most stressful part of her job because she has yet to select something that everyone likes! Gail graduated with honors from the American University in Washington, D.C. with a B.A. in International Relations. During college she studied abroad for a semester at the Freie Universität in Berlin and at the American University in Rome but unfortunately her skills in German and Italian do not extend beyond the ability to say “hello,” “goodbye,” and “where is the bathroom?” However, Gail did attend high school in France as an AFS Exchange student and speaks fluent French with a pronounced American accent. Prior to joining the Texas Center, Gail worked in marketing at a community development financial institution in Chicago and at an Educational Service Center in Austin where she planned a statewide conference for Title I schools. After 8 years in Chicago, the thing Gail likes best about Texas is that no matter how hot the summers get, she will never have to shovel her car out of the heat.