Austin, Texas – December 4, 2012– The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) names board members: Jamie Esparza, District Attorney, El Paso; Dr. Janet Denise Lawson of Austin, medical consultant for the Texas Department of State Health Services; Louise Thornell of Texarkana, Director of Emergency and Nursing Services, Christus St. Michael Health System; and Shannon Trest, the Executive Director of the Women’s Center of East Texas in Longview.

The Texas Council on Family Violence is one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the nation.   Since 1978, (TCFV), headquartered in Austin, has been a nationally recognized leader in the efforts to end family violence through partnerships, advocacy and direct services for women, children and men.

“The Texas Council on Family Violence takes great care and diligence in identifying key leaders in Texas to strengthen our collective responsive and prevention of domestic violence,” said Gloria Terry, President of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “It is imperative to have experienced, critical thinkers who understand the needs of survivors and the systems that support them, while simultaneously elevating TCFV’s acumen and credibility.”

Board Members:

New board member Jamie Esparza of El Paso has served as District Attorney in El Paso for 20 years and was recently elected to another four-year term. He is a strong advocate on domestic violence issues and has created innovative approaches to victim-centered prosecution.

Esparza was licensed to practice law in 1983 and is Board Certified in Criminal Law.  He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas and his Juris Doctor from the University Houston Law Center.  He was honored with the 2005 Texas State Bar Prosecutor of the Year award.  Esparza serves as the lead and fiscal agent for the Border Prosecutors Association.  He has also served on the board of the Texas District and County Attorney Association and their foundation.

Dr. Janet Denise Lawson of Austin, also a new board member, is the medical consultant for the Community Health Services Section within the Division for Family and Community Health Services at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

She has enjoyed a productive and successful professional career devoted to many facets of women and children’s health care, including faculty positions, and has served as director of clinics and programs serving children, pregnant teens, and women with mental and other developmental disabilities, as well as general obstetric and gynecologic care.

Dr. Lawson received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and completed a residency program in obstetrics and gynecology at the Baylor College of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals.  Dr. Lawson is a fellow in the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and was a founding member of the North American Society for Pediatrics and Adolescent Gynecology.  She has served on a variety of committees and boards, representing diverse organizations.

Louise Thornell, Texarakana, at-large term extended.    She has served on the TCFV Board since 2007.  Thornell is Director of Emergency and Nursing Services for Christus St. Michael Health System, where she has worked for 26 years. She is a committee and general assembly member of Northeast Texas Regional Advisory Council and a program board member of the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center.

Shannon Trest, of Longview, is the Executive Director of the Women’s Center of East Texas. Trest is named to a one- year at-large position extending her service on the TCFV board to 6 years. Trest has been the Executive Director of the Women’s Center of East Texas, in Longview for the past nine years and brings extensive nonprofit experience to the community.

She is on the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee for the East Texas Council of Governments and a board member for Gregg County Crimestoppers. She also serves on the Health & Human Services Commission Allocations committee. Previously Shannon served in Tyler on the Disabilities Issues Review Board for then Mayor Kevin Eltife.