Cynthia S. Birdwell
Chief Operating Officer | Director of Marketing
Cynthia Birdwell joined Andrews Myers as its first marketing director in 2011, leading the firm’s marketing efforts and attorney business development initiatives, as well as steering on-campus recruitment, association relationships and client engagement. An active member of the firm’s management team and strategic planning committee, Cynthia was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2018, and now also leads the day-to-day administrative operations of the firm.
Cynthia is an active member of Associated General Contractors, where she has chaired the biennial APEX Awards Gala for three consecutive terms, has been Co-Chair of the ABC PAC for Associated Builders and Contractors, is the Associates Co-Chair for the Mechanical Contractors Association, and has been a featured speaker at the State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section Annual Conference. Active in her community, she was an Advisory Board member for Neuhaus Education Center, member of the Episcopal High School Parents Association, and heavily involved with The Nehemiah Center.
With a background in hospitality and real estate, Cynthia was an award-winning marketing leader for a national multi-family developer, as well as an international hotel chain, prior to joining the firm. She is a graduate of the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin (B.S. Advertising).
Jean "Gina" Anderson
JD, Real Estate Contracts Specialist
Gina Anderson brings over 20 years of experience in the legal field, analyzing contracts from across several industries that involve a variety of real estate issues. She assists the real estate practice group attorneys in taking a file from inception/formation through the final closing process. Among her many duties, she reviews title and survey issues, prepares filings with the various secretaries of state, and reviews leases and construction contracts. Gina also acts as a day-to-day liaison with clients to assist the attorneys with creating a more fluid process. She’s known for her ability of seamlessly responding to our client’s needs and assisting the firm in tracking files through the various stages to completion. Gina has a B.S. from the Conrad Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston, and she received her J.D. from South Texas College of Law. Prior to joining the firm, Gina worked for one of Texas’ largest homebuilders. She enjoys international travel, which she feels provides a unique insight to experiencing other cultures, history, theatre, and the arts. You will likely find her enjoying the outdoors with her Labrador or with friends at a leisure meal filled with much laughter.
Belinda Swanzy, TBLS–BCP
Paralegal and Litigation Support Manager
Belinda Swanzy is a paralegal within the litigation practice group at the firm, but more importantly also serves as the litigation support manager for the entire group. A Board Certified Paralegal in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Belinda is one of the “firm originals,” having joined Tom Myers and Bill Andrews nearly 30 years ago. A native of Port Arthur, she attended nearby Lamar University where she studied business and accounting, before being lured away by the firm. Belinda is Mensa smart, and her specialty is complex, multi-party, multi-jurisdictional litigation – the “hairier the better” – and she is incredibly skilled at managing a very fast-paced and high energy caseload. But she’s also known for her guidance and mentorship of the paralegal team, and is often a source of support for other firm departments as well. Belinda loves her family, her dog, her job, the Astros, Texans and Longhorns, and in her free time, which isn’t often, might be found around a craps table in Las Vegas singing show tunes.
Lori Balzen has been a paralegal with Andrews Myers in Austin since 2017, and has more than 25 years of experience managing cases from anticipation of litigation through trial. She has her bachelor of science in American Jurisprudence/Legal Studies from University of Houston – Clear Lake. Working primarily with the Austin construction litigation practice group, including Carson Fisk and Clayton Utkov, Lori assists with all phases of matters, including hearings, depositions, trials and mediations. She stays busy with her two young sons and enjoys traveling and taking her family RV out for weekend camping trips.
Contract Paralegal, Litigation
Debbie Gregersen is a contract litigation paralegal with Andrews Myers, with over 34 years of experience. Prior to striking out on her own in 2021, she was a longtime member of the construction practice group and had the distinction of being one of the “firm originals,” as she was the first person hired by Tom Myers and Bill Andrews when they started the firm. She received a bachelor’s degree from LeTourneau University, and her master’s degree from New England College in New Hampshire. When not providing outside support to Jason Walker’s liens and collections team, she can be found volunteering with her church, gardening, rooting for the Texans and pursuing various DIY projects.
Paralegal, Bankruptcy and Litigation
Samantha Ray is a 12+ year experienced litigation paralegal at the firm, who works frequently with both the bankruptcy and business litigation practice groups. Sam works with Ed Ripley, Josh Judd, Lisa Norman and other attorneys on a wide variety of complex and corporate bankruptcy and credit matters for the firm. Experienced in federal and state courts, she is considered the “Go To” paralegal at the firm for large bankruptcy cases. Sam has an associate degree in paralegal studies, loves camping, swimming and spending time with her husband and three children. She also greatly enjoys having dance parties in the kitchen while dinner is being made.
Kimberly Scott has enjoyed her entire 24 year career as a paralegal within the Andrews Myers litigation practice group. She joined the firm not long after graduating from Sam Houston State University, and now manages a high-stakes litigation caseload including construction, energy, business and employment matters. Kim is known throughout the firm for her excellent organization and problem-solving skills, but she is better known around Houston for saving and fostering more than 100 dogs through her association with Friends for Life rescue. In addition to walking the dogs, Kim’s hobbies also include cooking, traveling and spending time with her friends.
Cynthia Simpson, CP
Cynthia Simpson recently joined the firm as a paralegal in the litigation practice group, and has nearly three decades of experience in her field, working on cases involving complex, multi-jurisdictional and multi-party litigation, in Texas, Pennsylvania and California. She received her B.A. from University of Houston, Paralegal Certificate from Southwestern Paralegal Institute, and is a NALA-Certified Paralegal. For 15 years, Cynthia was a Texas-Certified EMT-Intermediate, treating patients across the Houston region. We believe it was this experience – quickly adapting and responding to emergencies and rapidly changing circumstances – that enables her to work well within the team, think creatively and navigate challenging situations. Cynthia is a native Houstonian who enjoys the Astros, the beach, playing music and spending time with her family and dogs.
Junior Paralegal/Legal Assistant
Lauren Flores is a junior litigation paralegal in the firm’s Austin office. She joined the firm nearly two years ago as a recent graduate from University of Texas at San Antonio, and more recently received her paralegal certificate. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys running around and paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake, as well as hiking on the many hill country trails.
eDiscovery Project Manager
Charles Washington recently joined the firm as our eDiscovery project manager and works very closely with the litigation practice groups. He came to us with more than 20 years’ experience as a highly competent technical project manager and litigation support specialist. Charles attended Northwestern University, where he studied computer science, before landing in Houston several years ago. Charles has the Tech Geek thing down – he and a group of longtime friends have a 25-year running gaming tournament going on, and we hear it gets pretty competitive.
Legal Assistant Support Manager
Michelle Woods has over 28 years’ experience as a legal assistant in the Houston market, where she spent much of her career at an international Am Law 100 firm, prior to joining Andrews Myers in 2012. In addition to her role as a legal assistant within the construction litigation practice group, she is also the Legal Assistant Support Manager for the firm, working with the team to ensure that administrative systems and processes are uniformly implemented across the offices. Michelle supports co-managing shareholder Ben Westcott, as well as Chris Love, Seth Russell, Adam Robertson, and chief operating officer Cynthia Birdwell. In her free time, Michelle enjoys reading, spending time at the beach, hiking, listening to music, and spending time with her friends and family.
Legal Assistant. Litigation
Cheryl Adams is a legal assistant within the litigation practice group at Andrews Myers, where she supports attorneys Ed Ripley, Manny Schoenhuber and Colby Binford within the construction and bankruptcy litigation practice groups. Cheryl has 30 years of legal experience and is well versed in drafting, reviewing and filing pleadings, motions, responses, discovery and correspondence with county, state and federal courts, as well as calendaring, e-filing and both pre-trial and trial preparation. She has an associate degree in business administration, a paralegal certification and loves cooking new recipes, gardening and working on DIY projects around her home.
Legal Assistant, Litigation
Angela Broady joined Andrews Myers nearly three years ago, bringing along her 25 years of experience as a legal assistant, which helps in supporting litigation attorneys Andy Clark, Josh Judd, Katy Jo Richards, Bob Plessala and Tony Stergio. Working with litigators whose practices span several practice groups – employment, bankruptcy and construction – keeps her extremely busy, and she enjoys the challenge of her role. On any given day, you might find her assisting with employment law seminars and presentations, preparing appellate briefs or interacting with government databases, such as EEOC or OSHA, on behalf of clients. Angela is a native Houstonian who stays loyal to her Texas teams and enjoys cheering on the Astros, Texans, and Longhorns. Her hobbies include listening to live music, dancing, trying new restaurants, and playing board games. In her free time, Angela loves exploring the outdoors, walking her dog Carl, traveling, and being with her two kids, friends, and family.
Legal Assistant, Litigation
Kathy Dubose brings more than 28 years of combined paralegal and legal support experience to the Andrews Myers’ Litigation Group. Her diverse background includes knowledge of, and experience in, commercial litigation, civil litigation, products liability, bankruptcy (Chapters 11 and 13) and other practice areas, which serves her well when working with litigators Bill Davidson, Lisa Norman, Tim Ross, Chuck Jeremiah and Lauren Scroggs. Kathy assists with all phases of matters within the construction, bankruptcy and employment practice groups to help handle hearings, depositions, trials and mediations. She enjoys working out (she consistently places in the top three with our firm step competitions), gardening, boating, the beach and fishing. She especially enjoys spending time with her family and her grandchildren.
Starla Gurka, in memoriam
Legal Assistant, Litigation
Certified as a Professional Legal Secretary by the National Association of Legal Professionals, Starla Gurka was a longtime legal assistant with Andrews Myers, with over 31 years of experience specializing in commercial litigation support within the areas of construction law, employment law, and personal injury. Prior to joining the firm over 10 years ago, Starla gained experience as a legal assistant and office administrator for a regional law firm, where she spent 22 years working with both state and federal courts as a team member in the employment and civil litigation practice groups. An important member of the construction litigation, and liens and collections group, Starla supported Jason Walker, as well as Tom Myers in his construction transactional practice. Starla Gurka passed away January 12, 2022, after a years long, courageous battle with cancer.
Legal Assistant, Litigation
Emily Harrison joined Andrews Myers as a legal assistant in the litigation practice group in 2019. She works with several attorneys within the construction, real estate and employment practice groups, Matt Cire, Patrick Kelly, Bret Rycroft, Chris Scheurich and Wesley Walker, in preparing for trials and court proceedings, written reports, draft pleadings, motions and docketing. Prior to entering the legal administrative profession, Emily was a teacher for nearly five years, and uses many of those skills learned in the classroom to efficiently juggle a very busy and active desk.
A graduate in human resource management from University of Houston – Clear Lake, Emily enjoys spending her free time traveling, going to concerts, and playing board games. She can also be found cheering on Houston sports teams, playing with her dog, and visiting with family and friends.
Legal Assistant, Corporate and Real Estate
Shelley Jordan is a longtime legal assistant with Andrews Myers who has seven years of experience in corporate and real estate transactional law, providing administrative support to co-managing shareholder Patrick Hayes, as well as Mahek Bhojani, Josh Harrison, Brenton Pharis, and Josh Cunningham. Prior to joining the firm, Shelley spent 17 years working with a regional law practice where she honed her administrative skills on matters related to family law and commercial litigation. She enjoys her role within the corporate and real estate practice groups not only for its complexity, but also for the ability to work with a variety or associates and clients in a fast-paced environment. Shelley has an AAS degree (with honors) in Paralegal Studies, and her hobbies include listening to music, spending time outdoors, and enjoying time with her family and friends.
Legal Assistant, Litigation
Maricela Koopmann is not just a legal assistant within the Austin office of Andrews Myers who has over 30 years of invaluable administrative experience, she’s also the de facto receptionist and primary contact for the firm’s administrative team in Houston. And those are just three of the roles she effortlessly maintains in the course of any given day. Fun Fact: Maricela has worked with many of our Austin attorneys at other firms prior to joining the Andrews Myers Austin office, proving how indispensable she really is to the team. She supports construction litigators Carson Fisk, Andy Harris, Brittany Long and Clayton Utkov, as well as corporate attorney Champe Fitzhugh. In her free time, Maricela enjoys learning about different cultures and new languages. She is fluent in Spanish and basic American Sign Language, and is currently learning Russian. Maricela is a strong believer in giving back and is often found at her church’s food pantry, donating blood, or coordinating blood drives.
Legal Assistant, Litigation
Pamela Lee began her legal career in 2005, spending most of that time working within the fast-paced oil and gas and litigation practice groups for a large, international law firm before she joined Andrews Myers, along with shareholder Hunter Barrow, in 2019. A consummate professional, Pamela currently supports Jim Aycock, Hunter Barrow, Brittany Cooperrider and Emily Miller in the firm’s business litigation practice group, as well as lends support to Tom Myers in his construction arbitration and mediation practice. A master of the e-filing systems in both federal and district courts, Pamela is an important member of the litigation team, assisting with all phases of client cases, from engagement to resolution and everything in between. She attended American International College before transferring to University of Hartford, and later achieved her paralegal certification from Truman College. She is a certified Microsoft Office Specialist in Outlook 2016, Word 2016, and PowerPoint 2016. She is a proud member of the National Association of Legal Professionals, Houston Association of Legal Professionals, and Texas Association of Legal Professionals. In her free time, Pamela can be found enjoying a good book or going on long walks around her neighborhood.
Brenda Ratliff is a 15-year legal assistant at Andrews Myers who has over 25 years of experience in her field. An important member of the transactional team in real estate and corporate law, Brenda assists Mike Cortez, Scott McKaig, Susan George, Katie Gourley, and Jeff Lefkowitz on everything from client correspondence, contract review, real estate closing preparation, corporate filings, EIN registrations and calendaring. In her rare spare time, she is focused on completing a degree in creative writing, which allows her to focus on her creative side – writing, acting and directing. She also enjoys cruising, spending time with family (she has been married 34 years and has 5 children!) and friends, and being a Sunday school teacher.
Legal Assistant, Litigation
Richelle Reeder is a legal assistant within the litigation practice group at Andrews Myers, where she supports attorneys Elaine Howard, Katy Baird and Bryan Acklin within the employment, construction and business litigation practice groups. With over 20 years of legal administrative experience behind her, including time spent with a nationally recognized litigation, valuation and financial advisory firm, Richelle is a consummate professional well versed in drafting, reviewing and filing pleadings, motions, responses, discovery and correspondence with county, state and federal courts, as well as calendaring, e-filing and both pre-trial and trial preparation. An avid Astros fan, she enjoys karaoke, supporting animal rights organizations and spending time with her four children, one of whom recently made her a very happy “Grandma.”
Stephanie Rodriguez, TBLS-BCP, ACP, ALP
Legal Assistant, Litigation
Stephanie Rodriguez brings more than 20 years of combined paralegal and legal support experience to the Andrews Myers’ Litigation Group. An Advanced Certified Paralegal from NALA, Stephanie is also a Board Certified Paralegal in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She joined the firm in 2019, and now utilizes her paralegal skill set to offer high-level support to construction shareholders and litigators Billy Davis and Jason Walker, and dual practice shareholder Sara McEown. She maintains a central docket for the team, prepares pre-trial motions, discovery requests and responses, e-filing and many other trial preparations. Stephanie has a host of creative hobbies that include crafting, learning Spanish, taking photography, thrifting, rock painting, hosting game nights with friends and family, and geocaching with her two sons. She is also a proud Scout mom.
Texas Mediator Certification
Southwest Professional Institute, Paralegal Studies Certificate
NALA (The Paralegal Association), Certified Paralegal
NALA (The Paralegal Association), Advanced Certified Paralegal – Trial Practice
Texas Board of Legal Specialization – Board Certified Paralegal – Civil Trial Law
NALS (National Association for Legal Support Professionals) ACP Certification
Houston Paralegal Association (Member, Former President and VP Public Relations)
Paralegal Division – State Bar of Texas, Member and Professional Development Sub-Chair
Member of NALA
Member of NALS the National Association for Legal Support Professionals
Member of Texas Association of Legal Professionals
Member of Houston Association of Legal Professionals
Leticia Teran has over 35 years’ experience in the legal support field, having worked in large litigation practice groups within both international and national law firms, prior to joining Andrews Myers in 2016. She is proficient in all phases of pre-litigation and litigation procedures, and currently supports the firm’s mega-project and complex construction litigation team, consisting of named shareholder Bill Andrews, Kenton Andrews, Kristi Belt and Mike Schiff. Leticia enjoys spending her free time traveling, watching Houston sports teams, and binge watching Discovery+ TV. Leticia also has a great love for gathering with her family and having fun with her grandchildren.
Legal Administrative Assistant, Litigation
Belinda Silvas-Saucedo joined Andrews Myers’ Austin office as a legal administrative assistant in 2017. In her role within the litigation practice group, she supports the team by managing client conflicts checks, overseeing general administrative duties, and is an important member of the liens and collections group. In Belinda’s free time, she can be found creating gift baskets, planning her next international travel, or renovating and flipping homes with her husband.
Project Assistant, Litigation
Melissa joined the Firm in 2019 to assist the lien team with lien filings and collections. Her excellent organizational skills, attention to detail and willingness to learn and help out wherever needed quickly led her to additional projects for the paralegals working in the litigation practice group. In addition to being a very important member of the lien team, handling filing of liens/releases and communicating with many county clerk offices, Melissa is also involved with trial preparation, with heavy emphasis on preparing documents for production and exhibits for use in trial/arbitration proceedings, as part of the litigation team. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, being outdoors, listening to music and baking.
Marketing and Business Development Manager
Shannon Giordano joined the firm as marketing and business development manager in 2019. Bringing 13 years of corporate experience, including construction marketing and association work, Shannon uses her skills in event planning, association management, social media and marketing to keep Andrews Myers seen and heard around Houston and Austin. She graduated from LSU in 2008. Along with cheering on the Tigers, Shannon spends her free time as a Girl Scout troop leader and serving as chair of her church’s spring festival. When not vying to be “volunteer of the year,” she can be found reading, running or learning new recipes.
Human Resources Manager
The firm’s human resources manager, Veronica Aguirre is an important member of the firm’s management team and has over 13 years of experience as a human resources professional in the legal and medical fields. Prior to moving into HR, Veronica was a paralegal at a Texas-based litigation firm, experience which helps guide her when crafting employee policies within our industry. She joined Andrews Myers in 2015, and manages everything from recruiting, interviewing and hiring of new staff; consulting with top executives on company culture and health initiatives, and maintaining employee relations. She administers employee benefits and the firm’s 401(k) plan. Veronica is a busy mom of two boys and tries to spend any free time gardening, exercising and reading. She is active in the Houston Chapter Association of Legal Administrators group, is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), and has an associate’s degree in business. Veronica is passionate about giving back to the Houston community through her volunteer work at Star of Hope.
Greg Harris, CPA, CLM
Greg Harris brings 37 years of accounting experience to Andrews Myers, 28 of those years spent in accounting departments within the legal industry. In his role as firm Controller, he oversees the firm’s daily accounting operations, including the accounting, payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable departments. Integral to the financial health of the firm, Greg is a CPA and Certified Legal Manager. When not working with numbers, Greg enjoys biking, skiing and boating in Galveston. He most recently has become a licensed captain for the U.S. Coast Guard.
Cheryl Edwards joined the firm’s accounting team in 2013, and has over 12 years of experience working in accounting. As the firm’s accounting clerk, she runs our accounting software programs to process business transactions, like accounts payable and receivable, handles disbursements, expense reports and receipts. Cheryl’s hobbies include sewing and putting together intricate jigsaw puzzles. In her free time, she also loves to travel and spend time with family.
Electronic Billing Specialist
Veronica Hatfield joined Andrews Myers in 2018 as the firm’s first, dedicated e-billing specialist, and we consider ourselves lucky to be the beneficiaries of her 36 years of experience. Veronica is responsible for reviewing client billing guidelines, crafting attorney communications based on those guidelines, and managing the appropriate rate codes in the many e-billing systems we are involved with. She studied accounting at the University of Houston, enjoys spending her free time rescuing and fostering dogs, and also dedicates herself to rescuing goats and assisting with the maintenance of a 50 acre ranch in Centerville, Texas.
Chris Reinecker, CPA, CMA
Chris Reinecker is an important consulting member of our accounting team, who has over 30 years’ of financial management and advisory experience, including five years in public accounting. He provides advisory services to Andrews Myers related to growth management, system conversion, accounting process and procedures, and management reporting.
Kimberly Spaeth is the accounting and payroll associate for Andrews Myers, and has over 18 years of experience working within the legal field. She attended the University of Houston, and also achieved her paralegal certification at UH. She is responsible for managing employee and staff payrolls, timesheets, as well as entering payroll and salary documentation. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and devotes herself to animal rescue organizations. Kimberly is also a big Astros fan and loves to spend a lot of time with her three boys.
The first person you see and hear when visiting or calling Andrews Myers, would be Wanda Henderson. After having worked in management and public relations in her family-owned business for over 22 years, Wanda has worked in reception at Andrews Myers for 20 years, and is as familiar to our clients as she is to our team members. In addition to her role in reception, she is a key member of the accounting team, responsible for ensuring that the firm’s invoices are accurate. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, photography and gardening. She loves to spend time with her family and friends and can also be found dedicating herself to various volunteering efforts in her community.
Office Services Manager
Billy Nelson works as the Office Services Manager at Andrews Myers, and has an extensive 30 years of experience managing copy centers and mailrooms, vendor relationships and quality assurance needs. There is probably not a single firm litigation client who doesn’t know Billy – he becomes an extension of their account team when preparing for trial, making sure every single need is met while in preparations. He treats everyone at the firm, both in Houston and Austin, the same way – no one is want for anything in our firm thanks to Billy. He is well known for being a great cook, and his homemade gumbo is legendary for firm celebrations. When he’s not at the office, he can be found cheering on the Dallas Cowboys and Golden State Warriors.
Robert Sevier is an office assistant with Andrews Myers, who has been working in the support services industry for more than 20 years. Based in the Houston office, he is a proven team player who keeps the office running efficiently. Robert loves Fantasy Football, baseball, and is the commissioner of 2 Football Leagues and 2 Baseball Leagues. People have a difficult time telling Robert apart from his twin brother, so that’s great fun for them! He enjoys spending time with his wife, tending to their vegetable and flower gardens and grilling outdoors.
Jacob Simmons has been a network engineer with Andrews Myers since 2018, and has eight years of technical support experience. He is responsible for maintaining the firm’s network, ticketing support system, implementing new systems across all devices, equipment needs and audio visual support. An Alabama native, he can be found yelling Roll Tide on Saturdays during football season. Jacob’s hobbies include building custom personal computers, exploring video games, and working on cars that belong to his family and friends. He has a Network Engineering Degree from Virginia College-Birmingham, and has lifetime CompTIA A+ and Net+ Certifications.