Directors & Officers
Courtney Bryan Sheaffer
Courtney Sheaffer is an Associate attorney at Stibbs & Co., P.C. in The Woodlands, Texas practicing employment law and commercial litigation for a variety of domestic and international business entities. Her areas of focus are disputes regarding breaches of non-solicitation and non-compete agreements, misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets, defense against discrimination and harassment claims, FLSA, EEOC, TWC and other Department of Labor claims and unemployment claims. Courtney also assists businesses with the preparation of employment agreements, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, deferred compensation and other compensation agreements, employee handbooks and policies & procedures. Also, Courtney provides general employment and Human Resources advisory counsel and support. she graduated from Louisiana State University Law Center in 2009, and from Louisiana Tech University with a B.S., Finance in 2005.
Professional and Community Memberships and Affiliations
The Woodlands Bar Association, Montgomery County Bar Association, Houston Bar Association, Community Placement Committee Chairman of the Junior League of Houston, Leadership Montgomery County Alumni, Member of the State Bar Associations of Texas and Louisiana, Friends for Life Animal Shelter Volunteer, Kids' Meals Volunteer, Houston Food Bank Volunteer and Member of Ecclesia Church of Houston.
Brian Albert serves as Associate Counsel at Waste Connections, Inc. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from American University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Houston Business & Tax Law Journal. Brian previously worked in private practice with The Strong Firm, P.C., focusing on corporate and business law transactions, commercial real estate, trademarks, and oil, gas, and energy transactions.
In addition to serving on The Woodlands Bar Association Board of Directors, Brian also serves on multiple committees of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce and the Leadership Montgomery County Board of Directors (Class of 2016).
Nhi Le Whitehead
Co-VP of Membership
Nhi Whitehead is an attorney at the Le Whitehead Law Firm, PLLC. She earned her J.D. from South Texas College of Law, her B.A. in Economics from Baylor University, and is licensed to practice law in Texas. Nhi serves as the Co-VP of Membership for The Woodlands Bar Association and is a member of the Texas Young Lawyer's Association and the Texas Bar College. Nhi is fluent in Vietnamese.
Director & Co-VP for Community Affairs
Patricia (Pattie) is the principal of the Law Offices of Patricia G. Chapman. Prior to forming her firm in 2008, Pattie was an attorney with a large international law firm in downtown Houston, representing governmental entities (city, county and state governments) and Fortune 500 companies in mass tort litigation and employment matters . Pattie’s practice in the Woodlands is a mixture of employment law, commercial litigation, business-related probate matters (operating and closing companies upon the death of the owner), oil and gas, energy law and general corporate law.
Pattie received her JD from the University of Houston School of Law and her LLM in Environmental Law and Natural Resources from Northwest College of Law in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed in Texas and in Oregon; Pattie is also a member of the Texas Bar Foundation and the Houston Bar Foundation, as well as a member of the Woodlands Bar Association, Montgomery County Bar Association, the Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce and a proud member of the Leadership Montgomery Class of 2013. Besides her other responsibilities, Ms. Chapman serves on the Board of Women of Wine Charities, a 501(c)(3) corporation, whose activities benefit the Houston Area Women’s Center.
Director & Co-VP for Community Affairs
Mr. Mussalli is a top rated (AV) by Martindale-Hubbell civil litigator who handles cases in Texas and beyond. He is a Partner of The Law Office of Matthew J. Mussalli, P.C. He has been practicing law for 16 years and has been a resident of The Woodlands since 1998. He is licensed to practice law in Texas, New York and in a variety of federal courts in different states. He also represents parties in domestic as well as international arbitration proceedings. He began his legal career in New York City in 1995 as an associate with a large insurance defense firm. While in New York, his practice areas included defending companies and professionals in medical malpractice, products liability, toxic tort, construction, premises and automobile liability cases. In 1998, he relocated to The Woodlands, Texas and has since expanded his areas of practice to include complex commercial and business, construction, serious personal injury and probate and estate litigation matters.
Rene S. Rogers has been a licensed attorney for 31 years. She is a native Houstonian and a graduate of the University of Houston and the University of Houston College of Law. She has been a resident of The Woodlands for 23 years. Rene began practicing law in 1984 and in 1992 became a partner in a downtown Houston law firm. During her more than 30 years of practice, Rene has handled a wide variety of cases, including banking, products liability, oil field, medical malpractice, breach of contract, Deceptive Trade Practices, real estate, and personal injury.
In 2013, Rene joined her husband, Mark Wham in his litigation practice. Rene has handled hundreds of cases and has extensive first chair jury trial experience on both sides of the docket in both commercial and personal injury cases.
Rene is well regarded by her peers. She is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell's Attorney Peer Rating review and has been selected for the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers. The AV-Preeminent rating is the highest possible rating as to both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards.
Rene is on the board of directors for the Woodlands Bar Association and is a member of the Executive Women’s Alliance and the Houston Bar Association.
Rene and Mark have two sons, Michael who is a graduate of the University of Texas and a software engineer, and Ryan who is graduating from the University of Texas in December of 2015 and plans to attend law school.
WBA Liaison to Energy Section
Kelli D. Smith is an Associate Attorney at Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC, whose practice focuses on oil and gas law. She received her J.D. from the University of Houston, Masters in Journalism from the University of Maryland and B.A. (magna cum laude) from Howard University.
In addition to her role on the Board of Directors of The Woodlands Bar Association, Kelli serves as the Board Liaison for the newly formed Energy Resources Section of the local bar.
Energy Section Chair
Director & Co-VP for Continuing Legal Education
Jerry Porter represents clients in the areas of family law and general civil litigation. He is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Consumer and Commercial Law. He is an experienced litigator with extensive jury trial and arbitration experience.
His primary focus is on family law and it includes property settlement, modification and enforcement of child support and conservatorship, with a special emphasis and training in collaborative family law.
Jerry is a member of the American Bar Association, The Texas State Bar, the College of the State Bar of Texas, The Woodlands Bar Association, the Montgomery County Bar Association, The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Conroe Chamber of Commerce and the International Association of Collaborative Professionals. He is a founding member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas.
Director & Co-VP for Social Activities
Luis Hess is an attorney at the Luis F. Hess Law Firm, PLLC. He received his Juris Doctorate from Saint Louis University and is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and in the United States Federal District Court and Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas. Mr. Hess's practice is focused on employment immigration, family immigration; commercial transactional law; and commercial litigation. Before starting his own firm, he worked for a now-retired US Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Texas, in-house counsel with Sisters of Mercy Healthcare System, the United States Air Force JAG Corps, and as an adjunct professor at Saint Louis University.
Mr. Hess received his Master of Arts from the University of Arizona where he served part-time as a college instructor. He also received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Louis University.
Having lived in Madrid, Spain, Guadalajara, Mexico, Beijing, China, and Berlin, Germany, he is highly proficient in Spanish and has a passing knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.
Steven L. Dickerson is a graduate of Harvard Law School (1987) and served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Environmental Law Review. He received his B.A. in Political Science, magna cum laude, from Millsaps College in 1984.
Mr. Dickerson currently serves as Assistant Chief Attorney in the Production Law group for Exxon Mobil Corporation. His current portfolio includes responsibility for various international production operations, corporate reserves, and global transparency initiatives. Immediately prior to this position, Mr. Dickerson served as General Counsel for ExxonMobil Qatar Inc. and was located in Doha, Qatar. He has also worked in a variety of other positions supporting Exxon Mobil Corporation’s upstream businesses. Prior to joining Exxon Mobil Corporation, Mr. Dickerson was an equity partner in the specialty practice group of the Dallas, Texas office of Strasburger & Price, L.L.P. (1988-1999). His practice at Strasburger included partnership and joint venture agreements, environmental law, appellate and complex litigation.
Mr. Dickerson served as the law clerk to Judge E. Grady Jolly, U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1987 – 1988. He was admitted to practice in Texas in 1989 and the District of Columbia in 1990. He has also been admitted to practice before several federal district courts and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Dickerson is a former chairperson for the International Law Section of the Houston Bar Association and is a frequent speaker in the area of international transactions.