Posts Tagged ‘Career News’

Tarush Anand (’03, J.D. ’06)

McGlinchey’s Tarush Anand Elected to National Retail & Restaurant Defense Association’s Board
HOUSTON (June 2022) — McGlinchey is pleased to announce that Tarush Anand—a litigation Member (partner) in the firm’s Houston office—has been elected to the board of directors of the National Retail & Restaurant Defense Association (NRRDA).
NRRDA is an industry-centered organization focused on advancing and protecting the legal interests of the retail and restaurant industry. By providing its members with cutting-edge information, strategies, and tools, the organization works to reduce claims and manage risk, mount effective defense strategies against claims and litigation, and foster a cooperative relationship among its members.
Tarush has represented clients from a wide range of industries, some of which include construction, energy, health and fitness, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, retail, and transportation. He has first-hand experience in every facet of the litigation process in state and federal courts, from obtaining emergency temporary restraining orders and injunctions all the way through trials and appeals.

about mcglinchey
McGlinchey Stafford is a premier midsized business law firm offering services in more than 40 practice areas through a highly integrated national platform. McGlinchey attorneys leverage bold innovation, diverse talent, and leading-edge technology across our powerful network to serve clients at the local, regional, and national level. McGlinchey operates from 16 offices, 140 attorneys, licensed in 32 states. The firm currently has 18 attorneys and 11 practice areas recognized in Chambers U.S.A. and Chambers FinTech 2022, 57 attorneys recognized by Best Lawyers, 40 attorneys recognized in various Super Lawyers rankings, 49 practice areas recognized by Best Law Firms, and was named a “Top Performer” by the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity (LCLD) since 2018. To learn more, visit

Gracie Villarreal (M.Ed. ’16)

Gracie Villarreal is the new Testing Coordinator at the Justin Dart Jr., Student Accessibility Center at the University of Houston. Gracie is responsible for planning and coordinating all of the testing activities and overseeing all aspects of daily testing sessions at the Dart Center. She ensures testing integrity, security and confidentiality at the University of Houston. She is a proud alumna, receiving her M.Ed. in Higher Education – Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston, College of Education in 2016.

James Alpert (’86)

James Alpert is a shareholder/owner of Posz Law, PLC, a patent preparation and prosecution law firm in the Washington, D.C. suburbs.

Bill Hickl (’86)

BDO USA, LLP announced Bill Hickl has been named Tax Regional Managing Partner for the Southwest Region. Hickl will now oversee the regional tax practice in addition to Office Managing Partner for the Houston tax practice. With over 35 years of experience in the Private Client Services arena, he has deep knowledge working with executives, closely held businesses and family offices. Hickl is involved in several community organizations, including Incarnate Word Academy and KickStart Kids Foundation, and the University of Houston Alumni Association.

Gerry Dickens (’84)

Message from 1984 alum Gerry Dickens, who earned a degree in Library Science


“”This is a brief summary of my career at UH. I earned many Awards throughout the years, which started when I was a special guest for the Cougar Games Selling Programs at the Astrodome. I was able to meet Bill Yeoman 1972-1974. Ex-cougar Wayne Johnson told me I could out throw Dallas Cowboy Roger Staubach, and later told me I would break records set by Dan Pastorini”

John Ngunjiri (’21)

After graduating from UH Law Center with JD/LLM in December 2021, I joined the global law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright at the Houston office in March 2022. I was in the UHLC part-time program, attending law school while working fulltime at ExxonMobil in their Global Projects company as the Contractors Intelligence Lead. Pivoting from an engineering career to the legal field after 17 years in a major corporation is a challenge, but UHLC made this possible, and I’m eternally grateful. The stellar UHLC Part-time Program was rank recently by US News as one of the top programs in the nation, not to mention the Health Law & Policy Institute, the Energy & Environmental Law program, and the International Law program. Combining these with the top-notch faculty, staff, and the new state-of-the-art Law Center building makes a compelling case why UHLC is one of the finest legal institutions globally!

George Salazar (’83)

Engineering Alum George Salazar was recently selected as the NASA Computer-Human Interface System Manager for the Human Lander System(HLS) The HLS will serve as the moon lander for the Artemis program.

Krista Ochoa (’19)

Krista Ochoa has been working as an epidemiologist for the past year through the COVID pandemic. She recently learned she’s been accepted to the Ivy League school, Cornell University, to pursue her master’s of public health! She’ll be moving from the hot, humid Texas gulf coast to the snowy Itchaca, New York!

Jaroslav Rysavy (M.B.A. ’98)

In February 2022, Jay celebrated his 15-year anniversary with United Airlines and was upgraded to Captain on Airbus 320.

Jay began private pilot flying lessons in 1998 a few months after Commencement in May 1998 for his MBA in International Business with Honors. He completed the degree and flight training, all while working full time at M W Kellogg Company as an electrical engineer in sales for downstream projects (where he was known as Jarek). He joined a regional airline in 2003 and was hired by Continental Airlines in 2007. Jay previously worked for Ralph M Parsons in Pasadena, California after immigrating from the Czech Republic in 1990 where he graduated with a EE degree in 1988 from ČVUT in Prague.

Jay is type-rated on all United aircraft (Boeing 737, 747, 757-767, 777, 787 and Airbus 320. He was naturalized in 2000. He and his wife, Era N Ford, were married in 1995 and reside in Houston.

Xavia Rolle-Higgs (’11)

University of Houston graduate Xavia Rolle-Higgs is a multi-faceted solopreneur. The wedding planner and self-described foodie officially began her career at Atlantis Resorts as a Social Catering Manager in December 2011. At Atlantis, she got her feet wet in destination wedding management. After three years of planning and executing weddings and events, she was sought out by Melia Nassau Beach Resorts in 2014 to organize and head the newly formed Romance Department.

With a desire to create a businesses and build an empire in 2016 she decided to “Jump” and carry out her vision. She is now the Chief Executive Officer of Xa La Mode Wedding & Event Planning and the President of POW! Pancakes, Omelettes and Waffles Mobile Restaurant.

With over 160 successful weddings planned under her belt, Xavia Rolle-Higgs is a seasoned wedding planner. With this experience Xa La Mode has also created a keepsake guide for brides-to-be to assist in their wedding planning. She published her first specialized wedding planner, ‘Our Wedding Our Way’. The planning guide was launched in March 2016. As for her second business, Xavia has always had a love for food and making omelettes. As a student and college intern in the University of Houston’s School of Hotel & Restaurant Management, Conrad Hilton College, she worked the breakfast assembly line, whipping up custom omelettes for customers. Xavia wanted to find a way to marry her love for eating food and her experience in making breakfast and brunch menu items. After much creative planning, she formed her mobile brunch food truck, POW!

As a business owner, Xavia demonstrates her love for philanthropy. In 2018 she participated in Paradise Plates, Hands For Hunger and also partnered with the Kiwanis Club for their Christmas charitable event. In 2019 she shared her wealth of knowledge with students at The Salvation Army for the blind. She educated them about the triumphs and pitfalls of entrepreneurship. Xavia played an instrumental role by sitting on panels such as The Bahamian Exchange, Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, The Rotary Club and The Blueprint Planner to name a few where she also shared her wealth of knowledge as a business owner. After hurricane Dorian, it was pivotal for Xavia to assist the citizens of Abaco and Grand Bahama by donating a monetary gift on behalf of POW! At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic Xavia launched a Podcast show called Entrepreneurial Edge. The show aims to inspire, motivate, educate and challenge budding and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Xavia is now bringing a unique taste experience to Nassau by introducing a new twist to mobile food service with POW! Launched in February of 2017, the brunch on-demand business that caters to private functions, local festivals and pop-up locations has grown organically into a fulltime operational mobile restaurant in New Providence. In July 2022, phase three of POW will be launched. It will be the very first restaurant storefront for what started as a pop-up Food Truck.

Xavia’s goal is to expand both businesses and create memorable events and taste experiences for her customers.