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Newsmakers: New attorneys in town


Jennifer Wersal has been named director of client services and Mike Beitler as senior art director at J.O.

Wersal is the previous vice president of marketing for Gatti’s Pizza, where she managed digital marketing and implemented strategic budget plans for a restaurant system with 87 locations. Beitler, an alumnus of Abilene Christian University, has worked in the advertising industry for 15 years. He previously was an in-house graphic designer, the art director for Insight for

Living and the creative director for Tidal Wave Marketing in Dallas, as well as a freelancer in art design since 2002.


Alfred Vidaurri Jr., vice president of Freese and Nichols Inc., has been elected secretary of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) board of directors. Each year, the NCARB’s board members from all 54 licensing jurisdictions across the country elect five executive leaders to lead the organization.

Vidaurri, who leads Freese and Nichols’ facilities practice, is an award-winning architect with extensive experience in comprehensive planning, interior design and sustainability. During his 20-plus years at the firm, he has expanded its practice areas to include higher education, health care, campus planning and sustainability, and added services in landscape architecture, interior design and urban planning.

Vidaurri previously was director of NCARB’s Region 3: Southern Conference, which comprises 12 states and territories. NCARB is made up of the architecture licensing boards of the 50 U.S. states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Texas Health Aetna, the partnership between Texas Health Resources and Aetna, has expanded its executive leadership team, adding Douglas Sanders as chief sales officer and Dr. Delanor D. Doyle as chief medical officer.

Sanders will lead the sales team in implementing strategic partnerships with employer groups and brokers, as well as maintaining a healthy pipeline to the organization’s membership goals. Most recently, he was vice president of Children’s Health System of Texas.

Doyle will be primarily responsible for providing strategic direction on health care initiatives for the joint venture and managing partnerships with the local health care systems. Doyle was previously the senior medical director in the Accountable Care Solutions department at Aetna.


Associates Katie Copeland and Sydnie Shimkus have joined Cantey Hanger LLP.

Copeland focuses her practice on family law, mediation, health law and litigation. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M University and her law degree from Texas A&M University School of Law in 2014.

She is an active volunteer with Junior League of Fort Worth, First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Dean & DeLuca Invitational Golf Tournament and the Tarrant County Bar Foundation. She also is a board member for the Texas Center for Arts + Academics.

Shimkus has focused her practice on personal injury and premises liability defense. At Cantey Hanger, she will focus on general civil litigation, including employment law, governmental litigation and personal injury defense. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business management from Texas A&M University and her law degree from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University in 2016.

Amber L. James, whose practice focus is commercial litigation and business transactions, has joined Underwood Law Firm as a shareholder.

James represents clients in all industries, but has significant experience in oil and gas, representing oilfield service companies, mineral owners, surface owners and banks in complex commercial litigation and transactions. James also frequently serves as outside general counsel for her clients, advising them on day-to-day business affairs, employment issues, contract matters, tax and regulatory matters, entity formations and more.

Previously, James was a shareholder with Atkins, Hollmann, Jones, Peacock, Lewis & Lyon in Odessa and an associate with Sprott, Rigby, Newsom, Robbins, & Lunceford PC in Houston.

She is a former director, District 17, of the Texas Young Lawyers Association and president of the Ector County Young Lawyers Association.

She is treasurer of the Tarrant County Bar Association’s Energy Law Section and a member of the United States Golf Association Girls’ Junior Championship Committee and the Texas Tech University School of Law Alumni Association Executive Committee.

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