Board of Directors & Staff

Board of Directors

Jody Schechter, President (Houston)

SCHECHTER_Jody_CAM_1_750Jody Schechter first became involved with Jane’s Due Process as a hotline volunteer in 2008, while in law school at the University of Texas.  After starting her legal career in New York, Jody transferred to Houston and was anxious to become more involved in supporting and empowering Texas minors in accessing their legal rights.  She is a civil litigation attorney and is passionate about volunteering in the fields of reproductive rights as well as asylum and human trafficking.  She holds a J.D. and B.B.A. in Marketing, both from the University of Texas at Austin.  In her free time, Jody can often be found exploring the great outdoors with her husband and two twin boys.

Joanna L. Grossman, Vice President (Dallas)

Joanna L. Grossman is the Ellen K. Solender Endowed Chair in Women and Law and Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law.  Her research focuses on gender equality and family law.  Her most recent book, Nine to Five: How Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Continue to Define the American Workplace (2016), is a lively and accessible introduction to the laws, policies, and practices that shape women’s lives at work.  She teaches, writes, and does legal work in the area of reproductive rights.  She holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a B.A. from Amherst College.  She is a regular columnist for Justia’s Verdict and lectures across the country on women’s rights.  She has three sons and is a passionate if aging, endurance athlete.

Cary Jennings, Treasurer (Fort Worth)

Cary Jennings maintains an integrated tax law and estate planning practice. Board Certified in Tax by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Cary represents both profit and nonprofit entities in connection with initial entity formation and structuring matters, reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions, and sales of businesses and property and advises business owners on succession issues, providing tax planning counsel at all stages. He assists businesses with federal and state tax matters and represents clients in tax controversies before the Internal Revenue Service and the Texas Comptroller’s office. Cary’s tax practice is enhanced by six years of experience as a trial attorney with the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice. He has also served as Board of Directors and Treasurer for Planned Parenthood of North Texas from 2002 to 2008 and Treasurer for Planned Parenthood of North Texas Action Fund PAC from 2008 to 2012.

Debbie Barnes, Secretary (Dallas)

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 5.29.01 PMDebbie was a retail executive, the last 10 at Neiman Marcus in Dallas. For the past three years, Debbie has served on the Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Board, serving as the Board Chair of the NTX Community Board for the past two and a half years. On the PPGT board, Debbie serves on Executive, Governance, Finance, and Development committees. In 2015, she was invited to attend the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Leadership conference. She has also chaired committees at the Greenhill School, Temple Emanu El Pre-School, and NYU and Harvard Parent Association. She chaired the Planned Parenthood Annual Awards luncheon as well as co-chairing the fundraising event for the Vogel Alcove.

Abigail Aiken (Austin)

Abigail R.A. Aiken is currently an assistant professor of public affairs at the LBJ School and a faculty associate at the Population Research Center. Her research focuses on reproductive health and spans several disciplines, combining backgrounds in biomedical sciences, public policy, demography, and public health. Her current projects include: examining women’s experiences obtaining self-sourced abortion in contexts where legislative barriers prevent access to safe, legal abortion through the health care system; evaluating programs and policies designed to increase access to contraception in the postpartum and postabortion setting; and investigating the determinants and impacts of unintended pregnancies through a health equity and reproductive justice framework.

Thomas Ausley (Austin)

Thomas L. Ausley is the founding partner of GoransonBain Ausley’s predecessor firm Ausley, Algert, Robertson & Flores, LLP. He has devoted his legal career to the practice of family law and has earned the respect of peers and judges alike for his unwavering integrity in guiding and advising clients. Tom was bestowed the prestigious Sam Emison Award by the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists in 2013 in recognition of his significant contributions to the practice of family law and the Austin Bar Association’s Distinguished Lawyer Award in 2008.

Rhiannon Hamam (Austin)

Rhiannon Haimage1mam is a Dallas native and a Cowboys fan. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2010, where she majored in political science and French. After college, Rhiannon joined Teach for America and taught reading and writing to fifth and sixth graders in the Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas. Before law school, she worked at a shelter for survivors of intimate partner violence, and in Denver’s public hospital system conducting outreach with immigrant and refugee communities. Rhiannon graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2016, and moved to the Rio Grande Valley, where she was a public defender with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. She now lives in Austin where she works as a Criminal Defense Attorney. She enjoys discussions on prison abolition and racial and economic justice, activism in support of the liberation of Palestine, and nail art.

Carlos Loredo (Austin)

carlos-loredo-picCarlos Loredo has been a licensed psychologist in Texas since 1978. He is a specialist in trauma and sexual assault counseling and has worked with the Travis County Juvenile Court and Texas Youth Commission, among others. He has published various articles and chapters on juvenile sex offenders, culturally relevant sexual abuse treatment, child abuse, and more.

Kate Patrick (Brooklyn)

Kate Patrick has over thirteen years of experience in corporate reorganization and bankruptcy law and related litigation. Kate began her legal career in 2003, first as an associate with the law firm of Rochelle McCullough LLP and later as an associate with Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. In the fall of 2012, Kate became the founder and the managing member of the Law Offices of Kate M. Patrick, PLLC. In addition to maintaining her own law practice, Kate serves as of counsel to the Law Offices of Judith W. Ross.

Amanda Woog (Austin)

arw-picAmanda Woog is the Executive Director of the Texas Fair Defense Project, a legal nonprofit dedicated to improving criminal justice outcomes for low-income Texans.  She previously held research fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania and UT-Austin, served as policy director of the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence and worked as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.  Amanda got bitten by the Texas policy bug in the summer of 2013, inspired by Wendy Davis and the feminist army that took over the pink granite dome.  She received her law degree with honors from the University of Texas School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.  

Dessiray Cusic (Houston) 
Dessiray Cusic is a graduate of the University of Houston Law Center. She has been a licensed Texas attorney since 1993 and is Board Certified in Family Law. Dessirray is passionate about the reproductive rights of minors and has been JDP referral attorney in Harris County for over 10 years!

 

 

Jessica Moreno (Austin)

Jessica Moreno serves as the Community Initiatives Manager at Break the Cycle’s Austin, TX office, overseeing the organization’s national training and technical assistance projects. Over the past 14 years, she has centered her work in the prevention of gender-based violence on partnerships with youth leaders and activists. Her former roles include protective order advocate, adolescent counselor, and prevention educator. She most recently worked as the Youth Engagement Prevention Coordinator at the Texas Council on Family Violence where she led the coalition’s youth leadership board and a statewide community of practice for prevention educators. Jessica is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and combines her clinical background, public speaking experience, and radical play approach to facilitate experiential learning environments at local, state, and national levels. She holds a BSW from Texas State University and MSW from the University of Houston.

Rochelle Garza (McAllen)

Rochelle Garza recently joined the ACLU of Texas as a staff attorney. Prior to that position, Garza practiced alongside her brother, Myles Garza, specializing in juvenile and adult immigration, criminal defense, and family law. Rochelle served as Guardian ad Litem in the immigrant Jane Doe case that garnered national attention in 2017, when the Office of Refugee Resettlement refused to transport a Jane to receive an abortion after a judge granted the Jane judicial bypass. Rochelle later provided very moving testimony against Judge Brett Kavanaugh in his confirmation hearings, highlighting Kavanaugh’s efforts to prevent the Jane from receiving time-sensitive medical services. Garza earned her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her law degree from the University of Houston.

Legal Advisory Board

Dr. Herb Brown (San Antonio)
Susan Hays (Austin)
Louise Hytken (Dallas)
Michael Lowenberg (Dallas)
Rita Lucido (Houston)
Sarah Weddington (Austin)

Staff

Tina Hester, Executive Director

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetFor a quarter-century, Tina Hester has been committed to social justice and women’s health causes working on behalf of abortion rights and women’s reproductive health at both the national and state levels. She served as hotline coordinator for three years and, as of 2011, as executive director for Jane’s Due Process. Prior to her work with JDP, Hester has been affiliated with the following organizations: People for the American Way in Washington, D.C.; Planned Parenthood Federation of America in New York City and its state affiliate in Kentucky; the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky; and the American Association of University Women, California chapter. In Texas, Hester served on the board of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and committees at First United Methodist Church of Austin and St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Hester is from Lubbock, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin.

Blake Rocap, Legal Director

Blake Rocap has worked in the Texas Legislature for almost a decade. For the past four legislative sessions Blake has focused on abortion rights for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. He is longtime board member and volunteer attorney for Jane’s Due Process, representing abused teenagers in judicial bypass proceedings. He also serves on the board of the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas.Blake grew up attending public schools in San Angelo, before moving to Austin to attend the University of Texas. He earned his BA in American Studies with a minor in Government before returning to West Texas to attend the Texas Tech School of Law on a full Regent’s Scholarship. While in law school he was a founding board member of the Student Public Interest Initiative, the social director of the Board of Barristers and a member of the institution’s curriculum committee. Blake and his wife live in central Austin with their two daughters.

Eleanor Grano, Community Outreach and Youth Engagement Coordinator

Eleanor Grano joined Jane’s Due Process as the Community Outreach and Youth Engagement Coordinator in June 2018. Prior to joining Jane’s Due Process, Eleanor provided direct services to victims of intimate partner violence as a Bilingual Digital Advocate at National Domestic Violence Hotline & loveisrespect, where she helped pilot their Spanish language chat platform. Eleanor is a NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Next Generation Fellow and a volunteer for Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity’s Spanish hotline. She studied Neuroscience & Jewish Studies at Smith College. 

Irma L. Garcia, Client Services Manager

Irma joined Jane’s Due Process as the Client Services Manager in September 2018. Prior to joining Jane’s Due Process, Irma worked at Austin Women’s Health Center as a patient advocate. Irma is also a strong local voice in acknowledging and centering reproductive justice issues in black and brown communities, prioritizing womanist values, and supporting pregnant people of color as a trained doula for Mama Sana Vibrant Woman. She is also is a NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Next Generation fellow. In 2016, she graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s in journalism.