SENATOR KIP AVERITT - LEGISLATIVE CONSULTANT
Senator Kip Averitt was born in the small West Texas town of Crane. The son of a banker and a school teacher, Averitt was raised in numerous cities and towns across Texas. He graduated from Reagan High School in Austin and earned a BBA and MBA in economics and finance from Baylor University in Waco. Averitt is a certified public accountant and consultant.
After serving nine-and-a-half years in the Texas House of Representatives,including two terms as Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Institutions, Averitt was elected to the Texas Senate in April of 2002. Averitt was Chairman of the powerful Senate
Committee on Natural Resources. His legislative experience and in-depth understanding of complex issues repeatedly won the respect and recognition of his Senate colleagues and the legislative leadership. During his last four legislative sessions, Averitt was chosen to fulfill leadership roles on major legislative efforts, including school finance reform and
design of the state's $180 billion biennial budget.
In addition to chairing the Senate's Natural Resources Committee, Averitt served on the Senate's Finance, Business and Commerce, Education, and Higher Education committees. Other legislative responsibilities included serving as co-chair of the Joint Legislative Task Force on the Use of the Sales Tax on Sporting Goods, chairman of the Oilfield Cleanup Fund Advisory Committee, and co-chair of the Environmental Flows Advisory Group. Averitt is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Texas Nature Conservancy and the Texas Water Foundation.
Averitt’s accolades include the Texas Classroom Teacher's Association Legislative Star award, the Association of Texas Professional Educators Freedom to Teach award, the Equity Center Champion for Children award, the Republican Party of Texas Chairman's Award for Courage, the Texas Medical Association's (TEXPAC) Friends of Medicine Award, and an honored spot in the Texas Association of Realtor's Hall of Fame. The National Federation of Independent Business/Texas named Averitt the Senate’s Most Valuable Player, and the Texas Farm Bureau named him one of their 12 Stars for Rural Texas. The Texas Association of Business, who called his legislative accomplishments "pro-Texas" and
"pro-business," named Averitt a Fighter for Free Enterprise. In 2005, to honor his legislative work on their behalf, the City of Marlin officially named October 19th Kip Averitt Day.
JULIA GRIZZARD - POLICY ANALYST/CONSULTANT
Julia Grizzard worked for over ten years in education and policy, most recently as the legislative director for the vice-chair of the House Committee on Public Education. Julia coordinated the entire legislative agenda as well as researched, developed, and executed legislation pertaining to public education, higher education, tax reform, healthcare, immigration, and economic development. Additionally, Julia played a key role in developing the comprehensive school finance legislation, House Bill 3, which systematically updated how public schools in Texas are funded.
Julia also acted as a point of contact and resource to District 123’s educational institutions, state-wide education and policy advocacy organizations, and state agencies including the Texas Education Agency, Higher Education Coordinating Board, and Health and Human Services Commission.
After leaving the legislature, Julia worked with Bexar County independent school district superintendents to create the Bexar County Education Coalition (BCEC) a policy coalition focused on elevating the voices of sixteen districts in and around Bexar County.
Julia grew up in San Antonio, attended Trinity University and Teachers College, Columbia for undergraduate and graduate studies respectively. In the rare event that she’s not reading the Texas education code or philosophizing about Texas School Finance, she is spending time with her husband George and her son Liam.