Political People and their Moves

Gov. Greg Abbott appointed three to a business promotion fund. He named Clement Marcus of El Paso, Kelli Frias of Lubbock and Jimmy Mize of Nacogdoches to the Product Development and Small Business Incubator (PDSBI) Board for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2021.

Abbott also appointed Joe Martino of Marshall, Greg New of Waxahachie and Steve Squier of Cleveland to the Texas Crime Stoppers Council for terms set to expire on Sept. 1, 2020.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced three new hires last Friday:

•    Kelly Garcia was named director of government and stakeholder relations where she will serve as liaison between the state agency and elected officials and their staff.
•    Carrie Williams was named the system's chief press officer. Previously the director of media relations at the Department of State Health Services, she was the public face of the response to appearances in Texas of Ebola, H1N1, West Nile virus and, most recently, Zika.
•    Molly Czepiel, who previously held the position for which Garcia has been hired, was named associate commissioner for policy and performance.

Victoria Neave, the Democratic challenger to state Rep. Kenneth Sheets, R-Dallas, in HD-107, announced Tuesday an endorsement from the Texas State Teachers Association.

George Gooch has been named CEO of the Texas Health Services Authority. The organization coordinates implementation of health information exchange in Texas. He’s served as CEO on an interim basis since April.

After nearly 10 years at the Texas Education Agency, serving in various roles and most recently as chief deputy commissioner, Lizzette González Reynolds has gone to work for Gov. Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) as vice president of policy. She will remain in Austin and commute to D.C.

The Texas AFL-CIO has hired Mark Maldonado as its first digital strategist. He worked previously for the Texas State Teachers Association. In his new job, Maldonado will be responsible for expanding the labor federation’s use of social media in its communications with its members and with the public.

The Fast Growth School Coalition has named former Humble ISD Superintendent Guy Sconzo as its new executive director. Sconzo, who retired from the Humble school district in May, starts his new job Sept. 1. He takes over for Michelle Smith, who served as executive director of the fast growth schools advocacy group for five years. She is moving to HillCo Partners, according to the FGSC, where she will still work on issues important to those school districts.

Uber has hired Beth Huddleston as its new general manager for its operations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as well as North and West Texas. She previously worked as a consultant at McKinsey and Company in Atlanta. She takes over for Leandre Johns who will now handle external affairs for Uber’s Texas operations.

Bobby Bowling of El Paso was elected by the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers to be its next president of the board of directors. He is president of Tropicana Building Company of El Paso and is a past president of the Texas Association of Builders.

The Center for Public Policy Priorities announced the awarding of its Future of Texas honor to Brianna Brown. She currently serves as deputy director of the Texas Organizing Project.

Deaths: Former state Sen. Bill Sims, 84, passed away Monday at his home in San Angelo. He served in the Senate from 1983 until 1997, serving as the chamber's president pro tempore for the 1991 Legislature. He was buried at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Texas State Cemetery. A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. today at San Angelo First United Methodist Church.

Disclosure: The Center for Public Policy Priorities, the Texas State Teachers Association, the Fast Growth School Coalition, HillCo Partners, the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers, the Texas Association of Builders and Uber have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.