The American Bankruptcy Institute selected Chief Bankruptcy Judge Barbara J. Houser (N.D. Tex.; Dallas) as president of the board of directors for a one-year term. Houser is succeeding Alane A. Becket of Becket & Lee, who will assume the position of immediate past president.

An ABI member since 2003, Houser has served as vice president – research grants and co-chair for ABI’s alternative dispute resolution committee, and she is a frequent speaker at ABI events and contributor to the ABI Journal.

Sworn in as a bankruptcy judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas in 2000, Houser previously was an attorney and shareholder at Sheinfeld, Maley & Kay in Dallas. While at Sheinfeld, she led the firm’s representation of clients in a variety of Chapter 11 cases, including the firm’s representation of Dow Corning Corp.

Houser was elected a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy in 1994 and currently serves as its vice president. She was elected to membership in the National Bankruptcy Conference in 1996 and also serves as a member of its executive committee. In addition, Houser is a past president of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. She also is a visiting professor of law at the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University, where she teaches creditors’ rights.

Houser is a contributing author to Collier on Bankruptcy (15th edition) and the Collier Bankruptcy Manual (third edition), and the National Law Journal named her one of the 50 most influential women lawyers in America in 1998.

In addition to Houser’s appointment, Robert P. Reynolds of Reynolds, Reynolds & Little, formerly vice president-development, was named president-elect and will become president in April 2021. Christopher A. Ward of Polsinelli was elected to serve a two-year term succeeding Reynolds ABI vice president-development.

An ABI member since 1994, Reynolds is a past co-chair of ABI’s Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop. Reynolds is a senior partner at Reynolds, Reynolds & Little, where he represents lenders in commercial litigation throughout Alabama and in bankruptcy proceedings in Alabama, the Northern District of Florida and other bankruptcy courts throughout the country. He is a former chair of the Alabama State Bar’s Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section, and he is board certified in both business and consumer bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification.

Outside of the appointments of Houser and Reynolds, Ted Gavin of Gavin/Solmonese succeeded retired Bankruptcy Judge Eugene R. Wedoff as chairman of the board for a one-year term. Soneet R. Kapila of KapilaMukamal, formerly an at-large member, was selected to serve as treasurer. Stephen Lerner of Squire Patton Boggs and William Henrich of Getzler Henrich & Associates were elected as at-large members of the executive committee. Lisa Sommers Gretchko of Howard & Howard Attorneys, vice president-publications; Thomas M. Horan of Fox Rothschild, vice president-communication and information technology; and Annerose Tashiro of Schultze & Braun GmbH, vice president – international affairs, were all reappointed to two-year terms.

Nine ABI members were elected to their first terms on the ABI board of directors:

  • Dawn Cica of Carylon Cica
  • H. David Cox of Cox Law Group
  • Eric L. Johnson of Spencer Fane
  • Ericka Johnson of Womble Bond Dickinson
  • Paul Leake of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
  • Erika Morabito of Foley & Lardner
  • Victor Owens of East West Bank
  • William S. Sugden of Alston & Bird
  • Adrienne Walker of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo