MCLE Credits: 1.00 including 1.00 MCLE, 1.00 Ethics
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Mary Elizabeth (Liz) Cedillo-Pereira is the Director of the Dallas Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs which was established in March 2017. The Dallas WCIA seeks to be a bridge connecting Dallas’ diverse immigrant communities with existing Dallas residents so that common ground and shared leadership can be realized.
A Dallas native, Liz has more than 15 years of experience at the federal, state and local level on immigration related matters. Prior to joining the City of Dallas management team, Liz served as the Obama Administration’s Senior Advisor to the Director at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where she focused on immigration policy and community engagement to foster relations in communities across the U.S. An attorney, advocate and policy advisor, Liz is dedicated to improving our nation’s immigration system.
Among numerous awards for commitment to service and excellence in the legal profession, Liz has been conferred with the Distinguished Alumni Award by SMU Dedman School of Law, the Ohtli Award from the Republic of Mexico, the Maura Award by the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the 2018 SMU Latino/a Alumni of the Year, the 2017 Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas Latina Trailblazer Award, D Magazine 2018 Best Attorneys in Dallas.
Liz is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and received her high school diploma from North Dallas High School, her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pennsylvania and her Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University. She is married to Oscar Pereira, an aeronautical engineer, and they are blessed with three children.
Caren K. Lock is the Regional Vice President and Associate General Counsel of TIAA. In her role at TIAA, Caren is the primary interface for the company on all legislative, executive, administrative, and regulatory matters in the southwest and mountain regions. She also directs all legislative lobbying and regulatory advocacy in her states. At the company, Caren is active in gender and racial diversity initiatives. She was the former Corporate Co-Chair of the Women’s Employee Resource Group and is currently a member of the Denver/Broomfield Leadership Council and Dallas Leadership Council.
Prior to joining TIAA, Caren was General Counsel with a consumer financial company. Before entering the corporate world, Caren spent over a decade litigating complex business matters including copyright and trademark infringement, employment discrimination, shareholder and partnership disputes, aviation, and toxic tort.
Caren is the Board Chair and a member of the Executive Committee at the Dallas Women’s Foundation. Caren is also an Exective Board member of the Texas State Bar College. Previously, she has also served on the Boards of Girls Inc. Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas Bar Association, State of Texas Asian Pacific Interest Section, and was President and former Board member of the Dallas Asian American Bar Association, and the Center for Nonprofit Management in Dallas. Caren is also a member of The Dallas Assembly and a graduate of The Leadership Dallas Program. From 2008 - 2013, she served on the Texas State Bar Grievance Panel and was Chair of her panel. Caren co-founded The Orchid Giving Circle that provides community grants to support social change and services to the DFW Asian Community.
Caren is a frequent speaker on racial and gender diversity, nonprofit regulatory issues, legal ethics and grievances, generational dynamics, and community and political engagement. She regularly presents at legal continuing education courses for the local and Texas bar organizations. In her spare time, she volunteers at the Cancer Support Community (formerly Gilda’s Clubhouse) teaching yoga to cancer survivors and their families. She resides in Allen with her husband, Michael Bahar, and her two sons.
Sandra Phillips Rogers is group vice president, chief legal officer, general counsel and corporate secretary of Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). In this role, she oversees the legal services function for Toyota’s North American operations, Toyota Legal One (“TL1”), and the representation of the company and its affiliates. Rogers directs the strategy to help Toyota navigate significant business and legal challenges while supporting its expansion as a global mobility company, one that is an industry leader in autonomous, connected and sustainable vehicle technologies. She also provides strategic guidance in areas such as global transactions, cybersecurity, privacy, government and regulatory investigations, complex litigation, labor and employment and intellectual property, among others. She serves as an advisor to the TMNA Executive Committee and is a member of the company’s global leadership team.
Previously, Rogers was vice president and deputy general counsel, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. Prior to joining Toyota in June 2012, Rogers was a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where she focused on complex litigation management and strategy, including crisis management. She also served as senior vice president, associate general counsel and chief litigation counsel at Pfizer Inc., where she was responsible for the company's global product litigation and environmental litigation strategies. Previously, she was managing partner of the Houston office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon.
Rogers serves on the board of directors for the YWCA USA, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and the University of Texas Law School Foundation. She holds both a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
The Honorable Karen Gren Scholer was sworn in as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas on March 7, 2018, after being unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate 95-0. She has the distinct honor of being nominated to be an Article III judge by two different Administrations for two different Districts - by President Trump for the Northern District of Texas (Dallas) and by President Obama for the Eastern District of Texas (Plano). She is the first Asian American federal district judge in Texas and the entire Fifth Circuit. Prior to her appointment to the federal trial bench, Judge Scholer was both a trial lawyer and state trial judge. She was elected as Judge of the 95th District Court for two terms, serving from 2001 to 2008. In private practice, Judge Scholer was co-managing and named partner at Carter Scholer (2014-18), and a litigation partner at Jones Day (2009-13), Andrews & Kurth (1996-2000), and Strasburger & Price (1982- 96). Judge Scholer is a graduate of Rice University and Cornell University Law School.
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