LEP’s August Meeting – A Conversation on Law, Justice, Ethics, and Collaboration

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In keeping with EPC’s monthly theme, LEP’s session for August focused on governance, ethics, and regional collaboration.


The morning began with a presentation by Hunt Companies senior board chair Woody Hunt. Hunt discussed the benefits of regional collaboration and its role in the economic development of El Paso. Following Hunt, Kemp Smith partner Gene Wolf walked the class through the governance structures of non-profits. Wolf’s presentation illuminated not just the process of governance but also best practices for individuals considering serving on a board.

The LEP class then spoke with FBI Special Agent Valerie Venegas (LEP 41). Venegas, a Del Valle High School graduate, is assigned to the El Paso Field Office. Venegas discussed her role in the FBI and shared her journey from El Paso through the FBI including her training in behavioral crimes and her later work as a crisis negotiator. Venegas discussed her leadership philosophy as that of a “servant-leader”, noting the weight of being back in her hometown and working on serious issues like human trafficking and last year’s Wal Mart shooting.

Just before breaking for lunch, Chief Legal Officer for UMC Omar Villa (LEP 38) moderated a panel with County Attorney Joanne Bernal, City Attorney Karla Nieman, and District Attorney Elect Yvonne Rosales. The three offered insight into how their jobs work together and the challenges and opportunities facing the County and City of El Paso.

In the afternoon, class members listened to a Q&A with Mayor Dee Margo. The day ended with a philosophical activity around ethics hosted by UTEP College of Business Administration Assistant Dean Laura Uribarri and Business Professor Raul Carrillo.