HIPLA Committees

Amicus Committee
Recommends to the board that amicus curiae briefs be filed in appropriate cases and attends to the preparation of such briefs on behalf of the association under the direction of the board.

Chair: Jeff Andrews
Yetter Coleman LLP
811 Main Street, Suite 4100
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 713-632-8071

Annual Federal Judges Dinner Committee
The Annual Federal Judges Dinner Committee is charged with planning and executing the annual dinner honoring the Federal judiciary.

Chair: Tammy Pennington Rhodes

Wenderoth, Lind & Ponack, L.L.P

1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 500

Washington, D.C. 20036

Phone: 202-721-8245


Annual Fall Institute Committee
Plans and executes the Annual Institute on Intellectual Property Law in conjunction with the Program Planning Committee.

Chair: Sparkle T. Ellison
1221 McKinney Street
Houston, TX 77010
Phone: 713-309-2200

Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Plans, organizes, and manages initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion.

Chair: Natalie Alfaro Gonzales
Baker Botts

910 Louisiana Street

Houston, Texas 77002-4995

United States



Entertainment Committee
Plans, organizes, and manages parties and social functions of the Association.

Chair: Ryan Gum
Occidental Petroleum Corporation 
1201 Lake Robbins Dr.
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Phone: 832-636-3272

Giles Rich Moot Court Committee
Plans, organizes, and supervises the Houston regional Giles Rich Moot Court competition.

Chair: Thomas Landers
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
1111 Louisiana St., 44th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 713-250-2137

Co-Chair:  Jonathan M. Hernandez
Shook Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.
600 Travis St., Suite 3400
Houston, Texas 77002
Phone: 713.546.5691

Inventor of the Year Committee
Plans and executes the Annual Inventor of the Year award in conjunction with the Program Planning Committee.

Chair: Christopher McKeon
Arnold & Saunders, LLP
4900 Woodway Dr., Suite 900
Houston, TX 77056
Phone: 713-972-1947

Intellectual Property Liason Committee
Liaises with aspects of the Intellectual Property Community outside of HIPLA

Carlyn Burton

Osha Bergman Watanabe & Burton LLP
Two Houston Center

909 Fannin

Suite 3500, Houston TX 77010

Phone: 713.228.8600


Mark Chretien

Greenberg Traurig LLP

1000 Louisiana St., Suite 1700

Houston, TX 77002

Phone: 713-374-3528



Iona Kaiser

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

909 Fannin St., Suite 2700

Houston, TX 77010

Phone: 713-588-7003



Law School Relations Committee
Provides liaison between HIPLA and the Houston-area law schools, and their faculty and students, concerning intellectual property law matters.

Chair: Jorge Lozano
Phone: 956-534-8911

Meeting Arrangements and Programs Committee
Plans, organizes, and supervises the arrangements, program speakers, and management of the meetings, dinners, and other functions of the Association, subject to the approval of the President.

Chair: George Webb
Rice University
6100 Main St - MS 363
Houston, TX 77005
Phone: 713-269-5061

Membership Committee
Promotes and encourages new members to join the Association and organizes and distributes an annual pictorial directory of members.

Chair: Open

Patent Agents & Intellectual Property Managers Committee
Plans, organizes, and manages events for patent agents, patent attorneys practicing as a patent agent or manager, and non-registered patent professionals that primarily work in patent preparation, prosecution, and portfolio management

Co-Chair: Brandon Hudder
Knauf Insulation

Co-Chair: Valerie Moore
Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, LLP
700 Louisiana St., Suite 4100
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 713-588-7031

Scholarship/Fellowship Committee
Receives, reviews, and recommends worthy applications from students at local Law Schools wishing to receive scholarships who have a demonstrated interest in intellectual property law. Also receives, reviews, and recommends worthy applications from applicants wishing to receive fellowships to work as interns in the Houston offices of a U.S. District Court Judge or a U.S. Magistrate Judge, at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or at the United States Patent and Trademark Office

Chair: Ron Haggerty
Ronald Haggerty Law Firm
12440 Emily Ct., Suite 101
Sugar Land, TX 77478
Phone: 713-588-7031

Science Fair Committee
Organizes members of the Association to serve as judges for the international and local Science Engineering Fair, provides for appropriate Association award(s), and arranges an appropriate ceremony for the presentation of the award(s).

Chair: Varsha Pednekar, Ph.D.
Cantor Colburn LLP

2603 Augusta Drive STE 1270
Houston, TX 77057
Phone: 713.266.1130

Website and Social Media Committee
Leverage technology to manage communications between HIPLA, its members and the public at large.

Chair: Matthew Prater

SABIC Americas, Inc.

2500 CityWest Blvd.

Houston, TX 77042


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