Clayton Bailey, BA ’90, co-founder of Bailey Brauer, was recognized for the seventh consecutive year as a “Litigation Star” from Benchmark Litigation for his work in commercial litigation. Bailey’s practice focuses on complex tort and commercial litigation matters, saving trial and appellate clients more than $750 million in potential exposure since 2013. His experience includes handling contract disputes, business torts, RICO, employment law, trade secrets, deceptive trade practices, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, antitrust, unfair business practices, Packers and Stockyards Act and wrongful death. Bailey has successfully defended against putative class actions and mass action lawsuits in state and federal district courts throughout the country.
The Fenn Family Endowed Fund for Robbins Institute for Health Policy and Leadership was established by Scott Fenn, BBA ’90, and Renee Fenn, BBA ’91, of Fairhope, AL. Their son Blake is a member of the Baylor Class of 2023.
Ann McKinley Rothpletz, BA ’93, was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard Gold Lifesaving Medal in October 2019. She is the sister of Jim McKinley, BBA ’90. The medal is awarded to individuals who rescue or attempt to rescue another person from drowning, shipwreck or other peril at extreme risk to one’s own life. The award has been given since 1874 and is bestowed infrequently, having only been awarded about 700 times. Rothpletz is the second woman to be honored in the history of the award. While on a school field trip near the Ohio River in Louisville, KY, she noticed two fishermen struggling in the water due to the opening of the McAlpine Dam. Rothpletz swam 300 feet into the water and was able to pull one of the fishermen, who was unconscious, to shore a half mile downstream. The other fisherman unfortunately perished. The person she saved, Bill Waugh, is the pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Goshen, KY. Rothpletz was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Heroism in addition to the Coast Guard Gold Medal.
John Prickette, BBA ’91, was elected 2021 chair of the board of the Convenience Distributors Association (CDA), a trade organization working on behalf of convenience products distributors in the United States. Its distributor members represent more than $102 billion in U.S. convenience product sales, serving a wide variety of small retail formats. Associate members include leading convenience product manufacturers, brokers, retailers, suppliers and others allied to the industry. Prickette is vice president of sales and marketing at Grocery Supply Company. He lives in Sulphur Springs, TX, with his wife Gena and daughter Caroline.
Rhonda M. Ramirez, BS ’91, has worked in the Garland [TX] Independent School District for roughly 27 years. She initially worked with English as a second language (ESL) students, showing them the wonders of literature and what could be expressed by using one’s words. She returned to school to pursue a career in educational counseling. After completing her new degree, Ramirez started at the middle school level and was eventually named lead counselor at a local high school. She was named the 2020 Texas School Counselor of the Year by the Lone Star State School Counselor Association (LSSSCA). Ramirez has cared for and assisted hundreds of students in the college choice process. She is a star in education and a Baylor Light shining bright in her community.
Kari Kilpatrick Vanhoozer, BS ’91, is a wife and homeschool mom of four in Texas. She published ’Tis the Season for Poetry: Through the Year with Poems and Activities for Children and Their Families, a collection of old and traditional poems to read aloud. Her first book as editor was the revised edition of A Pictorial History of Waco.
Bryan Goodwin, BA ’92, published two books, Building a Curious School (Corwin, 2020) and Learning that Sticks (ASCD, 2020). Goodwin, who has authored five other books on education, is president and CEO of McREL International, a Denver-based nonprofit that researches and supports school improvement efforts across the U.S. and around the world.
Ken Murphy, BA ’92, joined Buckner International, Dallas, as senior director of church engagement. Murphy was previously at Pinelake Church in Brandon, MS, where he served five multi-site campuses as pastor of ministry development and leadership. He has more 25 years of pastoral experience and has served churches in Texas, New Mexico, Georgia and Mississippi as a church planter, executive pastor, campus pastor and leadership coach. Murphy is also a certified Paterson LifePlan facilitator, board certified pastoral counselor and founder/CEO of Pursue Life Resources LLC. He and his wife Kim Grafton Murphy, BBA ’93, live in McKinney, TX, and have two college-aged children, Miles and Millie. Contact at 7809 Harvest Hill Lane, McKinney, TX 75071 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeffery D. Price, BBA ’92, was named as one of the 250 advisors on Forbes’ “America’s Top Wealth Advisors” list in 2020. Price and his wife Cara live in Flower Mound, TX. Their children Connor and Catherine both attend Baylor University.
Charles Benninger, MHA ’93, is chief operating officer/director of the Veterans Administration Central California Health Care System in Fresno, CA. The healthcare system serves more than 30,000 veterans in California’s Central Valley.
The Perry Family Trailblazers Endowed Scholarship Fund was created by James Perry, BBA ’93, and Lydia Perry, BA ’93, JD ’96, of Dallas. This scholarship will be awarded to students participating in the Trailblazers Scholars Program. The Perrys are members of the Bear Foundation, Three Point Club and Judge Baylor Society.
Bill Strait, BBA ’93, was appointed the EY Americas deputy vice chair, assurance by Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) in July 2020. Strait helps lead a $5 billion business by overseeing all aspects of the Americas assurance strategy, including growth, quality, risk, talent, operations, brand and culture. His depth of experience serving EY clients and leading multidisciplinary audit teams equips him to strengthen EY’s focus on sustainable audit quality. Strait also champions targeted efforts in the U.S. to move to a data-first mindset, combining leading-edge digital tools, stakeholder focus and enablement to support teams in leveraging data in all phases of the audit. From 2017 to 2020, Strait served as the Houston office managing partner, leading nearly 1,800 employees and partners and competing in the market to deliver the firm’s full capabilities. In that role, he cultivated a high-performance culture through his willingness to collaborate, his empathy for and focus on others and his commitment to diversity and inclusion. Strait has also served as the presiding partner for the Americas advisory council and US partner/principal council, and as a member of the EY global governance council. “Bill embodies all the attributes needed to be successful in his new role; trust, teamwork, accountability and the ability to maintain critical relationships among a wide range of stakeholders,” Americas Assurance Vice Chair John King said. “His distinguished track record reflects his strong client service ethic and audit-quality orientation as well as a practical and balanced mindset. He will continue to be a tireless champion for our people, our clients and the broader stakeholder community.”
Kevin Moore, BBA ’94, was promoted to senior chaplain at Dallas’ VNA Hospice, where he has worked for five years. He has worked in hospice care for more than a decade. In addition to providing pastoral care to patients and families, Moore provides mentorship to other VNA Hospice chaplains. He also helps shape new community outreach initiatives for the organization in an effort to effectively meet needs and provide education surrounding the end of life journey. Contact at email@example.com.
Satyra Austin Riggins, BA ’94, and her siblings established the Vera and Howard Austin Community Leadership Scholarship fund to honor their parents’ combined 70 years of service to the children in their hometown of Prescott, AR, and their lifelong commitment to the Prescott community as a whole. Once the fund is fully endowed, scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors who are of service to their community and are pursuing educational opportunities. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Embry, BA ’96, is co-founder and executive vice president of client development for MedSys Group, which proudly supported the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by taking their new electronic medical record system live in 2020. It is a significant step forward for improving veteran healthcare. Contact at email@example.com.
Lauren E. Waddell, BBA ’98, founded Houston’s Waddell Law Firm PC, which focuses solely on family law issues. The firm was recognized as a Best Law Firm for 2020 by U.S. News — Best Lawyers. Waddell was also included in The Best Lawyers in America for the fifth consecutive year. She is a contributing editor to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers: Financial Issues in Divorce, A Client Handbook, published in 2020. She is a past president of the family law section of the Houston Bar Association and Texas Women Lawyers. Waddell was a panelist for Business Development for Women: How to Overcome Obstacles and Thrive, the Houston Bar Association’s gender fairness committee; and Nerdy Girl nonprofit’s Success, Breaking Barriers: Career and Leadership Summit for High School Girls.
Jody Flowers, BS ’99, published his debut novel, The Clean Up Spot, in September 2020 under the pen name J.A. Flowers. This romance thriller includes characters who must decide which path to take — regret, revenge or redemption — after secrets try to destroy them.