Houston, TX, May 4, 2011 -- On May 12, 2011, the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston will honor shareholder Thomas J. Forestier with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Forestier is the managing shareholder of Winstead's Houston Office, and he is a member of the Energy & Environmental Law and Business Litigation Practice Groups. Forestier's former partner and mentor, Jack Balagia, General Counsel of Exxon Mobil Corporation, will introduce him at HisBA's 2011 President's Day Gala.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes, "a person or entity whose outstanding character, legal ability, and service to the Hispanic community serves as a model to other Hispanics in the legal profession." Founded in 1988, HisBA is a non-profit organization which actively promotes the advancement of Hispanics and all minorities in the legal profession. "I am a long time member of the Board of Directors and supporter of HisBA and am deeply honored to receive this award," Forestier remarked.
Forestier's outstanding combination of professional experience and community service make him especially worthy of this prestigious award. In January 2011, he was appointed a trustee of the Lone Star College System (LSCS), the largest institution of higher education in the Houston region and one of the fastest growing community college systems in the United States. Forestier is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Racial Diversity in the Profession Committee of the State Bar of Texas, and he is also a Life Fellow of the Texas and Houston Bar Foundations. Forestier serves as general counsel and a board member for Houston Golf Association, and the University of Texas Board of Regents appointed him Life Member of the Texas Union Advisory Council.
Serving as the chairman of Winstead's Diversity Committee from 2006-2010, Forestier brought much progress and improvement to Winstead's diversity program. In 2007, under his leadership, the Firm introduced the Winstead Juris Doctor Scholarship Program which targets first-year, top minority candidates at three Texas law schools. Also in 2007 and 2009, Winstead received the highest ratings in the Law Firm Diversity Report Card from the Houston Multi-Bar Diversity Committee. From 2009-2010, Winstead rose from number 87 to number 66 on American Lawyer's Diversity Scorecard. "We're very proud of Tom and his achievements within the diversity program here at Winstead. His efforts have been a source of inspiration to all of us," said Yasmin Atasi, Winstead's current Diversity Committee chair.
In addition to many other positions in community and educational organizations, Forestier acted as chairperson of the board of directors for Northwest Assistance Ministries from 2009-10. He served on the founding school board for St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School and was a member of the advisory committee of the St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance. After receiving his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, Forestier served as a briefing attorney for the Honorable James R. Nowlin, United States District Judge.
Winstead is among the largest business law firms in Texas. Winstead attorneys and consultants serve as trusted advisors to mid-market and large businesses, providing a core range of legal services that are critical to their operation and success. From its well-known reputation in real estate and financial services to its corporate and high-stakes litigation practice, Winstead delivers practical knowledge and responsive service. And it's all backed by a get-it-done attitude. Winstead has offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and The Woodlands, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina and Washington, D.C. For detailed information about Winstead, visit www.winstead.com.