Staff and Consultants

Gary Anderson

Executive Director

Gary Anderson has served as TPEA’s executive director for the past 17 years. With broad experience in management, government and political affairs in both associations and the private sector, Gary has the ability to see issues affecting the state and its employees from many different angles. He began his career in Texas in 1980 as executive director of Texas Medical Association’s political action committee. He went on to serve in senior management positions representing numerous business and industrial interests. Since Gary became executive director of TPEA, issues affecting state employees have attracted much more media attention and legislative action. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

Charlotte Wilsan

Director of Financial Affairs

Charlotte Wilsan serves as TPEA’s director of financial affairs. Prior to joining the TPEA team 16 years ago, she worked in the telecommunications industry. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and holds a degree in finance.

Kate Johanns

Director of Marketing & Communications

Kate Johanns joined the TPEA team in January 2015. A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Kate has more than 14 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, specifically with membership associations, and previously served as communications director for Texas’ largest public educator association.

Sonta Henderson

State Agency Liaison

Sonta Henderson represents TPEA by developing strategic partnerships with state agencies and promoting “what TPEA does best” to potential members. A mass communications graduate of Texas State University, she served as a broadcast journalist for more than 20 years. Sonta also possesses regulatory and legislative affairs, corporate communications, and community relations expertise from her work with the largest automobile association in the country.

Jennifer Paz

Administrative Assistant

Jennifer Paz brings years of customer service experience in the nonprofit and health care sectors to TPEA.

Davis Kaufman PLLC

Denise Davis

Partner, Davis Kaufman PLLC

Consistently ranked as one of Texas’ top lobbyists by Mike Hailey’s “Capitol Inside,” Denise Davis has nearly two decades of experience working with the Texas Legislature. Prior to founding Davis Kaufman PLLC in 2012, Denise served as Chief of Staff to House Speaker Joe R. Straus. She also served as House parliamentarian and special counsel to the Texas House of Representatives. Denise is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas School of Law.

 

Lisa Kaufman

Partner, Davis Kaufman PLLC

Consistently ranked as one of Texas’ top lobbyists by Mike Hailey’s “Capitol Inside,” Lisa Kaufman has nearly two decades of legislative experience. Prior to founding Davis Kaufman PLLC in 2012, Lisa served as policy director and special counsel to House Speaker Joe R. Straus. She also served as executive director of the Texas Civil Justice League, as well as worked 11 years as general counsel to Sen. Robert Duncan. Lisa is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and earned her law degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.