President | Jeremy Blackman
Jeremy Blackman is a Portfolio Manager at Luther King Capital Management, an investment management firm based in Ft. Worth, TX with offices in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. He has extensive non-profit volunteer experience including serving on the Boards of the Metro Austin YMCA and the Candlelight Ranch Foundation. He also serves on the Endowment Committee for the Long Center in Austin.
Vice President | Tony Sherman
Tony, based in Aspen, Colorado, is Founder and Principal of Terrapin Investments, owner of hotels around the U.S. including Hampton Inns, Marriotts and Hiltons. Tony has extensive non-profit board experience including being President of the Board in San Francisco for the Hamilton Family Center, EAH Housing, a builder of affordable housing in the western US and is currently on the board of the Aspen Education Foundation.
Vice President | Cory Session
Cory Session graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991 and worked as a legislative aid for Representative Garfield Thompson from 1991 to 1994. He is the brother of Timothy Cole, who was posthumously exonerated by IPTX in 2009. Cory testified about his family's experience with wrongful convictions at the Texas Legislature, and he has made numerous public appearances in order to educate the public about the causes of wrongful convictions and how they can be prevented. He continues to advocate on behalf of the wrongfully convicted since joining forces with IPTX. He currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas.
Treasurer | Chi Miller
The former CFO at Intel for 25 years, and former Sr. Director at Apple, Chi is now the CFO and COO at Ampere, a cloud-led data center. He was also a capital analyst at the Boeing Company and a financial analyst with Chrysler. Based in California and Oregon, Chi has volunteered extensively with Habitat for Humanity.
Elsa Alcala | Member
Elsa Alcala is currently a self-employed attorney. In 2018, she retired from the judiciary after twenty years as a state judge in Texas. Most recently, Alcala was a judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s supreme court for criminal cases. She was appointed by Governors Perry and Bush to each of the three courts she served as a judge and she won four elections to retain those positions. Before becoming a judge, Alcala was an assistant district attorney for nine years at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Alcala has a JD from the University of Texas.
Member | Lael Brodsky
Since leaving her career in marketing in 1998 to raise her family, Lael has been active in the community. Lael leads and supports causes important to her and to society, with a focus on empowering women and children. Raising her children gave Lael a front row seat to brain development and sparked a new interest in neuroscience, which lead her to pursue a master’s degree in the subject in 2017. She and her husband have three children and live in the Metroplex.
Member | Cynthia Chi
Dr. Cynthia Chi is a board-certified pediatrician practicing in Austin. She is an honors graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas Medical Branch, and she completed her residency training at Stanford University. She has had a career-long interest in education and has received teaching awards for her work with pediatric residents at the University of Michigan and medical students from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Currently pursuing a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling at the University of Texas at San Antonio, she has become increasingly passionate about social justice issues since meeting the San Antonio Four through a UTSA professor.
Member | Monty Free
Monty is the Director of ERP Applications | IT Director of Financial & Accounting Applications at Cheniere Energy, Inc. in Houston, Tx. Monty is a 10-year member of the Houston Golf Association (HGA) which is a non-profit organization benefitting local children's charities. The HGA has contributed over $65M with the majority of these funds being generated by The Houston Open, a PGA Tour event. Monty served as the Tournament Vice-Chairman for the 2018 Houston Open. Most recently Monty was appointed a committee chairman for the 2020 PGA Championship in San Francisco. He hopes to help raise funds for IPTX with a golf tournament in Houston in 2020.
Member | Naomi Howard
Naomi is an Associate at Rusty Hardin & Associates in Houston. Previously, she has served at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, where she was the briefing attorney to the Honorable Bert Richardson. She has served as an intern with the Federal Public Defender’s Office in San Antonio and as a student attorney at the St. Mary’s Center for Legal & Social Justice.
Member | Johnny Pinchback
Johnny Pinchback was convicted in 1984 and sentenced to 99 years in prison for the rape of two girls. He was exonerated by the Innocence Project of Texas in 2011 by DNA evidence proving that he was not the rapist. Johnny has continued to help other prisoners wrongly convicted and we are honored and appreciate his further involvement on our board.
Member | Meg Penrose
Meg is a professor at Texas A&M School of Law. She has a BA in History from UT-Arlington, a JD from Pepperdine University School of Law, and and LL.M. in International Human Rights from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining A&M, she was a professor at the University of Oklahoma Law School. Meg is a prolific contributor to legal scholastic thought via her many publications, which cover a variety of subjects. Some of her particular areas of interest include constitutional law, criminal procedure, and habeas corpus.
Member | Walter Reaves
Walter Reaves has been a criminal defense lawyer since 1980. During that time he has represented defendants charged with all types of offenses, ranging from minor misdemeanors to death penalty cases. During his career, he obtained an exoneration for Calvin Washington, who had been convicted of capital murder and spent 16 years in prison. Reaves was also able to obtain the exoneration of his co-defendant, Joe Sidney Williams, after successfully winning the reversal of his case on appeal several years earlier.
In June of 2019 Walter was one of 3 attorneys awarded Charlie Butts Pro Bono Award by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.
Recently, Reaves has represented defendants in cases involving forensic issues. Those cases started with his representation of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed despite evidence being presented that the fire which killed his children was not intentionally set. As a result of that experience, Reaves is currently involved in the litigation of several arson cases. Reaves has been board certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1985. He has written numerous articles on various areas of criminal law, and has also authored several books about the justice system.
Member | Danielle Rohr
Danielle Rohr is a Senior Program Manager of Evaluation and Assessment at UNT Health Science Center. As a program evaluator she works with a variety of non-profit organizations on topics including child development, homelessness, child abuse prevention, and re-entry after incarceration. Danielle became an advocate for those wrongfully convicted after listening to podcasts and has returned to school to take paralegal courses to better understand the legal system. Previously she served on the board of the Seminole Club of North Texas, the local alumni chapter for Florida State University.
Member | Sarah Roland
Sarah is a criminal defense trial and appellate lawyer in Denton. She is blessed to practice with her brother, George, and has always wanted to be a criminal defense lawyer like her late dad, George Roland. She was a law student volunteer for ITX in its very early stages. Sarah is a past president of the Denton County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. She is very active in the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, where she has served as a board member, chairperson of the prosecutorial integrity committee, and chairperson of the Criminal Defense Lawyers Project. She is the current editor of The Voice for the Defense and serves on TCDLA’s executive committee. She has been recognized as a Super Lawyer every year since 2014. Sarah regularly writes and speaks about criminal law issues throughout the state.
Member | Somil Trivedi
Somil Trivedi is a Staff Attorney in the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project in Washington, DC. His work integrates novel lawsuits and amicus briefing with legislative, advocacy, and voter education efforts to reduce mass incarceration and racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Somil was previously a trial attorney at the Department of Justice’s Fraud Section and the United States Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. Before that, he worked in white collar criminal and regulatory defense, representing clients in investigations before DOJ, state attorneys general, district attorneys, and the U.S. Congress. His civil rights work has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times, and The Hill. He is a frequent panelist and guest lecturer on criminal justice issues across the country. Somil holds a BA from Georgetown University and a JD from Boston University School of Law.
Member| Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson joined the Innocence Project of Texas board in late 2014 after returning to private practice. In 2011 Russell was chosen to lead the Dallas County Conviction Integrity Unit where he spearheaded the successful exoneration of 13 men. The Dallas CIU was responsible for the highest number of exonerations in the country in 2011 and 2012. Additionally, Russell’s work at the CIU led him to work with the Innocence Project and consult with other state agencies and nonprofits, furthering his skills and experience to successfully review and manage wrongful conviction cases.
After his service at the DA’s office, Russell returned to private practice where he continues to work on a variety of civil and criminal cases. In addition to his legal practice and community work, Russell also serves as an adjunct professor of law at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, where he teaches a course on ethics. Additionally, Russell holds several board positions and is a frequent guest speaker on criminal law topics; community policing; and the importance of higher education. He is a resource to fellow attorneys, legal associations, and Dallas area community groups.
Member | Gary Udashen
Gary Udashen is an experienced trial and appellate attorney in Dallas. Udashen has over 30 years experience trying cases in both Federal and State courts. He frequently appears as a speaker at seminars for groups such as State Bar of Texas, Dallas Bar Association and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Udashen is Board Certified in Criminal Law and Criminal Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has been named as a Texas Monthly Super Lawyer each year since 2003 and is listed in the publication Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Appellate Law, White-Collar Criminal Defense and Non-White Collar Criminal Defense. In 2011, Best Lawyers in America named Udashen as Dallas White Collar Defense Lawyer of the Year and in 2014 Best Lawyers in America named him Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year. Udashen was also awarded a 2014 Pro Bono Award by the publication Super Lawyers for his work with the Innocence Project of Texas. In 2008, Udashen was appointed by the Court of Criminal Appeals to serve as a member of the Texas Criminal Justice Integrity Unit. Udashen has been involved, both through the Innocence Project of Texas and his private practice, in 21 exonerations.