Officers and Council

CHAIR – Punam Kaji

Punam practices Labor and Employment at Haynes and Boone, LLP in Houston, Texas (soon moving to Dallas, TX). She has been on the APIS Officer Board since 2015, serving as Vice Chair, and then Chair-Elect. She is on the Board of the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) of Houston and was honored with a “Best Public Service” award by SABA Houston in 2016. Punam was Co-Chair of Public Service of the Dallas Asian American Bar Association (DAABA) in 2013 and was awarded Member of the Year. She volunteers with various domestic violence organizations and is on the Board of the Young Professionals for DAYA in Houston, Texas.

Chair-Elect – Chi Reece

Chi Reece is an attorney at Vacek, Kiecke & Colmenero, LLP where she counsels business and real estate clients in a variety of transactional matters related to leases, acquisition and disposition, entity structuring and branding, trademark matters, vendor contracts, financing, private securities offerings and contract negotiation and review. Chi is active in the Austin Asian American Bar Association, serving as president in 2014.

VICE CHAIR – Paul Yin

Paul Yin is an attorney at Thompson & Knight in Houston. Paul provides federal and state tax planning advice on the formation, operation and disposition of partnerships and limited liability companies. Paul is also experienced in mergers and acquisitions, private equity fund formations, Texas state and local tax incentives for wind-energy projects, and tax controversy matters. Paul is an active Board Member of the Organization for Community Advocates (OCA) and previously served on the Social and Mentorship committees of the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Houston.

 

TREASURER – Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a patent attorney at Fletcher Yoder P.C. in Houston with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Houston. Jim’s practice includes patent prosecution with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in a wide variety of technical areas, opinion work for patent infringement and invalidity analysis, and coordinating patent harvesting workshops. He has been active in a number of organizations taking on various roles, such as panel coordinator for the annual conference held by the South Asian Bar Association of North America, city committee member for the Texas Minority Council Program, and committee member for the Corporate IP Management Sub-Committee in the Intellectual Property Owners organization.

SECRETARY – Teresa Messer

Teresa Messer is the principal at the Law Office of Teresa Messer and practices immigration law. She has represented clients before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as well as before U.S. Consulates and Embassies, and the Immigration Court. She is an active board member of BPSOS-Houston (Boat People) and the Houston Northwest Bar Association, currently serves on the State Bar of Texas Laws Relating to Immigration and Nationality Committee and has previously served on the board of Lawyers Against Human Trafficking and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Committee on Immigration Issue Development and Advocacy (VAWA, U’s, and T’s).

COUNCIL MEMBERS

Zeena Angadicheril - The University of Texas System (Austin)
Alice Liu Cook - Disability Rights New Mexico (New Mexico)
Daniel David Hu - U.S. Attorney’s Office (Houston)
Michele Wong Krause - The Wong Krause Law Firm (Dallas)
Catherine Le - Law Firm of Catherine Le PLLC (Houston)
Albert J. Li - Ottobock North America, Inc. (Austin)
Cindy Y. Lin - King & Spalding LLP (Houston)
Patsy P. Yung Micale - U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Dallas)
Toni D. Nguyen - Luminex Corporation (Austin)
Bill Richmond - Platt Cheema Richmond PLLC (Dallas)
Ann Chao Sheu - Assistant District Attorney in Collin County (Dallas)
Gina Shishima - Norton Rose Fulbright (Austin)
Albert Tan - Haynes and Boone, LLP (Dallas)
Lisa S. Tsai - Reid Collins & Tsai LLP (Austin)
Charlene Tsang-Kao - Chevron (Houston)
Wesley K. Young - Local Search Association (Dallas)

Jerry Clemet Alexander - Board Advisor
Rudy Metayer - Alternate Board Advisor