Panel of Judges Announced for KoonsFuller Family Law Foundation awards
KoonsFuller CEO and Managing Shareholder Ike Vanden Eykel announced the finalists for the KoonsFuller Family Law Foundation awards. The 16 finalists were selected from 32 non-profit organizations who applied for the 2018 charitable grants. KoonsFuller is celebrating the firm’s 40th anniversary with a charitable campaign to award $200,000 in grants to Texas non-profit charities. The grant winners will be selected by a panel of notable judges from North Texas and Houston.
“Our judges are as distinguished and diverse as the charities they will be judging,” said Vanden Eykel. “Each one of our judges is well-known for their leadership in North Texas and Houston.”
The North Texas judges for the 2018 awards are:
Marcos G. Ronquillo: A well-known veteran trial lawyer and partner at Fishman Jackson Ronquillo, Marcos has over 35 years of experience representing governmental agencies, such as the Dallas Independent School District and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Fortune 500 companies and Business Owners in high-profile controversies where public policy and social concerns collide in the courtroom. He is a past recipient of the State Bar of Texas Presidents’ Special Citation Award and Outstanding Lawyer of the Year Award from the Texas Mexican Bar Association. From 2012 to present he has been chosen Best Lawyers in America. Since 2016, he has been selected by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel as the “Nation’s Top One Percent.”
Cathy Maher: Maher was a 37-year employee of the Dallas Bar Association, having served for many years as its Executive Director before her retirement in 2016. She also served as a Director of the Dallas Bar Foundation. She worked with 21 DBA Presidents, including KoonsFuller’s Ike Vanden Eykel. Maher helped lead the $14 million campaign to build the Pavilion at the Belo Mansion.
Robert W. Jordan: Jordan is Diplomat in Residence and Adjunct Professor of Political Science in the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2001-2003 and took charge of his mission in the wake of the attacks of September 11 at a critical time in U.S.-Saudi relations. He was a partner in the international law firm Baker Botts L.L.P. for many years and headed the firm’s Middle East practice based in Dubai. Jordan is Vice Chair of the Tower Center Board of Directors and of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a past president of the Dallas Bar Association and the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Bilateral U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce and is a frequent commentator with international media including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg and the New York Times.
Judges for the Houston area include:
Jeff Bagwell: He is a former Houston Astros first baseman and 1/3 of the Killer B’s. Bagwell won the National League’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1994, was a four-time Major League Baseball All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger winner and a Gold Glove recipient. He was elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, and to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017.
David Farr: Farr is the presiding judge of the 312th Judicial District Court of Harris County. He has a distinguished military career – he was deployed to New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, deployed during Hurricane Harvey and won the Houston Bar Association’s President’s Award for Leadership for his contributions to the recovery following Hurricane Harvey. Farr was also awarded a Judicial Excellence Award from the Burta Rhoads Raborn Inns of Court and the David A. Gibson Award for Professionalism and Excellence in the Practice of Family Law.
Meteorologist Chita Craft: Craft joined KHOU 11 News in 2011 and can be seen each day on News This Morning. She came to Houston from KRCR in Redding, CA, where she was named “Best Media Personality” two years in a row. She has received her AMS Seal of Approval and her National Weather Association Seal of Approval and is a member of both.
Grant winners will be announced at two 40th anniversary celebration events held in Dallas on November 2 and in Houston on November 4.
The KoonsFuller Family Law Foundation builds on a 40-year platform of giving back through volunteerism, advocacy, pro bono and financial support of charities that serve Dallas, Denton, Houston, Plano and Southlake-Fort Worth. The Foundation will continue its mission to support the dignity and personal growth of the people in the communities where our attorneys and clients live and work. We do this by supporting charitable and civic organizations that serve, nurture, lift-up, inform and educate individuals and families so they have additional and better opportunities to pay it forward and contribute to others.