Jackson Walker is pleased to congratulate Shari Mao, Amanda Neinast, Kati Orso, Erik Romberg, Denise Rose, Jennifer Wertz, and Zachary Zurek on their election as fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation.
Fellows are chosen for their outstanding professional achievements and demonstrated commitment to improving the Texas justice system. Each year, one-third of 1% of State Bar members are invited to become fellows. Once nominees are selected, they must be elected by the foundation’s Board of Trustees.
More than 95 Jackson Walker attorneys have been elected to fellowship, and they continue to support the foundation either as fellows, life fellows, or sustaining life fellows. A fellow has made a pledge to the foundation, a life fellow has completed his or her initial pledge, and a sustaining life fellow continues to support the foundation even after fulfilling his or her pledge.
As the largest charitably funded bar foundation in the nation, the Texas Bar Foundation has contributed more than $20 million to worthy projects focused on providing opportunities and protecting justice.
San Antonio partner Shari Y. Mao represents privately held clients in a variety of general corporate matters, including entity formation, corporate governance, financings, and divestitures. In 2015, the Bexar County Women’s Bar Foundation honored Shari with the Belva Lockwood Outstanding Young Lawyer Award. She has also been recognized by San Antonio Scene as a Best S.A. Lawyer since 2017 and a Rising Star Lawyer in 2018. In addition to her practice, Shari serves on the Board of Directors of the San Antonio Botanical Garden. She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from St. Mary’s University School of Law and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Duke University.
Austin associate Amanda L. Neinast assists in the creation, implementation, and modification of estate plans. A noteworthy portion of her practice is devoted to advising owners of mineral interests regarding transfer techniques designed to avoid further fractionalization of interests, and she counsels fiduciaries seeking to perfect the chain of title for mineral interests during the probate process and properly document testamentary transfers. Prior to joining Jackson Walker, Amanda served as Assistant In-House Counsel for a land brokerage firm located in Midland, Texas. Recently, she was named to the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch list for 2021 in the area of Trusts and Estates. She received her J.D., cum laude, from Texas Tech University School of Law and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Texas State University.
Austin partner Kati Orso assists clients in all aspects of commercial real estate transactions, including acquisition, disposition, development of retail projects, and leasing of office, retail, restaurant, and medical office building space. In addition, Kati’s practice includes representing publicly traded and privately held companies in the acquisition of large multi-state property portfolios ranging in value from $250 million to $7.6 billion. Kati previously served as in-house counsel for a full-service real estate company with an emphasis on retail leasing and development. Outside of her practice, she is involved with the Real Estate Council of Austin, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Junior League of Austin. She received her J.D. from the University of Houston and her B.A., cum laude, from Trinity University.
Austin senior counsel Erik S. Romberg advises institutional investors in connection with investments in hedge funds and private equity funds. In his corporate and securities practice, Erik has handled a wide range of transactional and governance matters, including mergers and acquisitions; private equity and debt offerings, including venture capital, seed and angel stage financings; and public offerings. His experience also includes advising companies and boards of directors with respect to corporate governance and fiduciary duties as well as serving as outside general counsel to many clients addressing matters such as technology licensing and employment-related issues. Erik received his J.D., with honors, from The University of Texas at Austin School of Law and his B.S. from The University of Texas at Austin.
Having worked in and around the Texas Capitol for nearly two decades, Denise Rose provides effective strategic counsel to clients on a wide variety of issues, including but not limited to Medicaid and hospital finance, special utility districts, occupational licensing, healthcare quality, and agency rulemaking processes and requests for proposals. In 2019, Denise was recognized as a “Rising Star” in the Lobby Power Rankings from Capitol Inside. In addition to her practice, Denise volunteers her time with the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Texans Care for Children, the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas, Dress for Success Austin, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, and GENAustin. She was also selected to participate in the Leadership Texas Class of 2020. Denise received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center and her B.S. from the University of Oklahoma.
Jennifer F. Wertz represents a variety of stakeholders involved in bankruptcy proceedings and related complex litigation. She has significant experience in the healthcare, energy, and telecommunications industries. Prior to joining Jackson Walker, Jennifer clerked for the Honorable H. Christopher Mott, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Texas. Outside her practice, she serves as Treasurer for the Texas Women Lawyers and is Vice-President of the Austin Bar Association Bankruptcy Section Council. She also serves as the Chapter 11 debtor representative for Court Liaison Committee for the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas. She is a member of the Larry E. Kelly Inn of Court and the American Bankruptcy Institute. She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Texas Tech University School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.
San Antonio associate Zachary C. Zurek represents businesses, individuals, fiduciaries, and healthcare professionals through litigation in both state and federal courts. Zach has also represented clients in FINRA, AHLA, AAA, and private arbitrations. In addition to his practice, Zach volunteers his time as a Director of the Federal Bar Association, Vice President of the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association, a Barrister of the William S. Sessions American Inns of Court, and a Board Member of the Alzheimer’s Association San Antonio & South Texas Chapter. In 2019, he was honored at the St. Mary’s University School of Law Graduates of the Last Decade Council’s 10 Under 10 Luncheon. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from St. Mary’s University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.