Posts in #PinkGranite
Carrie Williams Named VP of Communications at the Texas Hospital Association

The Texas Hospital Association has selected Carrie C. Williams as its new vice president of communications.

Previously, Williams served as the chief press officer and the interim communications director at Texas Health and Human Services Commission in Austin. Prior to that, she was the director of media relations at the Texas Department of State Health Services. During her time at the state, Williams served as the top spokesperson and strategic advisor on significant health care issues and managed agency responses to high-profile events of both statewide and national significance.

“Carrie brings valuable health care and communications experience to the THA team and we’re excited to have her on board,” said Ted Shaw, president/CEO of THA. “Our primary mission is to provide Texas hospitals with the support they need to deliver accessible, affordable, high-quality health care in their communities. Adding Carrie’s knowledge and passion to our leadership team simply reinforces our commitment to meeting the needs of our members and the Texans who depend on them.”

Roseann Mariappuramis Named New Executive Director of Jane's Due Process

Jane’s Due Process is an organization ensuring legal representation for pregnant minors in Texas and they’ve just named Roseann Mariappuramis the new Executive Director.


Here’s a recent statement from the organization which can also be found here:

In April 2019, we announced that Tina Hester would be retiring after 11 years with our organization. While we are sad to see Tina leave, we are so thankful for all the years that she has dedicated to defending the reproductive rights of teens in Texas. 

Under Tina’s exceptional leadership, we were able to expand and grow our direct services. In 2018, we launched a text hotline to support teens navigating parental involvement laws for abortion, contraception, and STI testing & treatment in Texas. Additionally, we have been able to invest in the leadership development of our former clients in the reproductive rights, health, and justice movement. 

In case you missed it, watch our former client HK Gray testify in front of the U.S. House Committee of the Judiciary on the “Threats to Reproductive Rights in America.” Four former Jane’s Due Process clients became abortion storytellers through the Youth Testify cohort of We Testify, and we have helped former JDP clients apply for fellowships, leadership programs, and careers in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movements. These are just a few examples of the ways in which we have broadened our support of an impact on teens in our state.

We are excited about the future of Jane’s Due Process and our unique opportunity to continue to expand our role in defending the reproductive rights of teens in Texas. Which is why we are thrilled to share with you that Rosann Mariappuram will be joining us in late July as the new executive director of Jane’s Due Process!

Rosann brings a passion for reproductive rights and a vision for ways in which our organization can continue to support young people’s bodily autonomy in a hostile anti-choice climate. She is a lawyer, a previous Jane’s Due Process legal intern, and a current hotline volunteer. Rosann has valuable prior experience with the Reproductive Health Access Project and the Center for Reproductive Rights. Additionally, she is currently completing an If/When/How Reproductive Justice Fellowship, and has served in leadership capacities on the boards of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity. The board is inspired by her energy, thoughtfulness, experience, and dedication to the values of reproductive rights and justice that are central to our mission and growth. 

Equality Texas Names Angela Hale Acting CEO
equality texas.png

From a recent Equality Texas Press Release:

Equality Texas Names Longtime Equality Texas Consultant Angela Hale as Acting CEO of Equality Texas

Austin, TX, June 26, 2019 – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ Texans announced today that longtime Equality Texas legislative and media consultant Angela Hale of Red Media Group has been named as the group’s Acting CEO. Hale replaces Interim Executive Director Samantha Smoot, whose contract to lead the organization on an interim basis expires on July 1. Equality Texas is conducting a nationwide search for a permanent CEO.  

Smoot, a veteran progressive organizer and activist with a variety of groups both in Texas and internationally, has led Equality Texas on an interim basis since January. The transition will take place on July 1, with Smoot remaining temporarily as a consultant to aid in the transition.

Hale is a Dallas native, a former Emmy Award-winning TV reporter and veteran journalist at CBS KTVT Channel 11 in Dallas Fort Worth.  She is the managing partner of Red Media Group, a strategic communications and public affairs company.  She led communications efforts for the legalization of gay marriage for the Akin Gump Law Firm and the Texas plaintiffs and has been leading lobby and communications strategy at Equality Texas since 2015.

She led communications and lobby strategy during the 2017 legislative session for Equality Texas, and the business coalition against LGBTQ discrimination defeated the bathroom bill twice.  During the 2019 legislative session, she spearheaded Equality Texas communication and lobby efforts and led the Texas Welcomes All Business Coalition that included Texas Competes, Texas Welcomes All, Tech Net and the North Texas Commission defeating dozens of discriminatory bills.  She has also served in executive leadership for Speaker of the House and for the Office of the Attorney General.

“Equality Texas extends its deepest appreciation to Sam Smoot for her six months of exceptional service and leadership. She leaves the organization in a stronger position to advocate for full lived equality for all Texans,” said Elizabeth Myers, Chair of the Board of The Equality Texas Foundation. “Sam Smoot was instrumental to Equality Texas’s success and leadership throughout the 86th Legislature. This session saw the creation and rising influence of the LGBTQ caucus, significant legislative success both in defeating discriminatory bills and advancing bills to protect the LGBTQ community, and an increasing awareness by our state’s leadership that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is against Texans’ fundamental belief in equality. Sam’s leadership deserves significant credit for this progress,” said Holt Lackey, Chair of the Board of Equality Texas.

“We are pleased to announce Angela Hale as Equality Texas’s Acting CEO while we continue the search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer,” said Myers, “Angela’s years of dedication to the LGBTQ rights movement and to Equality Texas make her the perfect candidate to lead the organization through this transition.” “We are honored to have Angela Hale serve as Acting CEO,” added Lackey, “We know from her years of service with Equality Texas that she is a talented and formidable advocate for the LGBTQ community and equal rights for all Texans.”

“I am both proud and humbled to accept the position as Acting CEO of Equality Texas. In more than 25 years working in Texas politics and media,  I have repeatedly seen Equality Texas leading the fight for full lived equality throughout the State of Texas. It has been an honor to work with Equality Texas for the past 5 years, and I am excited to continue that work with Equality Texas in this new role,” said Hale. 

“I thank the Board and staff of Equality Texas for the opportunity to lead this organization for the past six months,” said Smoot. “Equality Texas will be in good hands with Angela Hale as Acting CEO until a permanent CEO can be identified. I am proud to have been associated with this organization, which has led the fight for LGBTQ equality in Texas for 30 years and wish Equality Texas continued success in the future in advocating for full, lived equality for every Texan,” said Smoot.


Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.

Women Working It Across the Board

To give credit where it’s due - the Quorum Report has reported the following ladies on the move.

  • Courtney Reid from the House Committee on Insurance is moving over to Mindy Ellmer’s shop next month.

  • Jennifer Fagan has recently started a new position as the Vice President for Government Affairs at the Texas Construction Association.

  • Jennie Kennedy in Rep. Celia Israel’s office is taking a new position at AFT as Legislative and Policy Director.

Big high fives and slow claps to each of these ladies!

If you don’t subscribe to the Quorum Report and are interested in immersing yourself in Texas politics or policy you’re missing out. Certainly the best money you can spend to get started.

#PinkGraniteAmy WhitedComment
Portia Bosse Named TSTA Director for Public Affairs
Portia Bosse, via LinkedIn

Portia Bosse, via LinkedIn

Per a recent press release:

Portia Bosse is the Texas State Teachers Association’s new Director for Public Affairs, Executive Director Richard Kouri announced today. Bosse, an attorney in her 13th year with TSTA, will direct a staff tasked with governmental and political relations as well as communications with members, the news media and the general public. Bosse previously was a TSTA Governmental Relations Specialist, responsible for working with the Texas House, the State Board of Education and the State Board for Educator Certification. “I am pleased to announce Portia’s promotion,” Kouri said. “She will direct TSTA’s public education message and promote our priorities during this election season and next year’s legislative session, when issues of crucial importance to public schools, students and educators will be decided. I am confident our message and our priorities will be heard loud and clear at the state Capitol and in school board rooms across Texas.”

Amanda Woog Named Executive Director at Texas Fair Defense Project

Per a recent press release:

The Texas Fair Defense Project’s Board of Directors and staff are excited to announce that Amanda Woog is the organization’s new Executive Director.

Ms. Woog is a nationally recognized leader in the criminal justice reform movement. Her work has been widely recognized in the media, including The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Univision, and New York Daily News. Additionally, she has had opinion pieces published in the Washington Post, The Conversation, the Dallas Morning News, and the Houston Chronicle.

“Amanda is the perfect choice to lead the organization into its next phase of development. Her broad knowledge of criminal justice issues coupled with her strategic vision for TFDP’s future are exactly what we need. We are thrilled to have her,” said Board of Directors Chair Jennifer Brevorka.

Ms. Woog most recently completed a research fellowship at the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Prior to her time at the Quattrone Center, Ms. Woog completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis at the University of Texas at Austin and co-founded the Texas Justice Initiative, an online interactive database of custodial deaths and deaths in police interactions in Texas.

Ms. Woog has worked as a litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and a briefing attorney to the Honorable Cheryl Johnson of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Ms. Woog also served as the Policy Director of the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence during the 84th legislative session. “I have long admired the Texas Fair Defense Project and its work on behalf of indigent people caught up in the criminal justice system. I look forward to building upon TFDP's successes and working with allies in fighting for a more just Texas,” said Ms. Woog, who begins her new role September 4, 2018.

About the Texas Fair Defense Project The Texas Fair Defense Project is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to fight for a criminal justice system that respects the rights of low-income Texans. We envision a new system of justice that is fair, compassionate, and respectful. Through impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and education, we are working to end counterproductive, costly, and unconstitutional practices like jail time for traffic tickets and our broken money-bail system.

#PinkGraniteAmy Whited