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TLR Announces Lilyanne McClean to Join as President, Addition of Marc Watts and Michael Weekley as Board Members

January 30, 2018
Contact: Lucy Nashed

AUSTIN—TLR today announced Lilyanne McClean will join the organization in April as president, as well as the addition of Marc Watts and Michael Weekley to TLR’s Board of Directors. Dick Weekley and Dick Trabulsi, TLR’s cofounders and longtime leaders of the United States’ pre-eminent lawsuit reform movement, will continue to lead TLR’s day-to-day operations as senior chairman and chairman, respectively.

“Over the past 25 years, TLR has built a legacy of smart, principled reforms that have laid the foundation for Texas’ economic success, creating opportunity for families, small businesses, job creators, medical professionals and everyone seeking access to a fair and honest legal system,” TLR Senior Chairman Dick Weekley said. “The addition of Lilyanne, Marc and Michael to our established leadership team will help TLR continue working seamlessly to improve public policy for the next 25 years, building on the critical reforms that have strengthened Texas’ economy and improved the fairness of our courts.”

“It’s an honor to join TLR’s battle-proven and highly successful leadership team,” McClean said. “I look forward to being part of this dynamic organization, which plays a unique role in protecting Texas’ business climate and keeping the state’s economy strong.”

McClean will be based in TLR’s Houston office, and will work closely with Senior Chairman Dick Weekley on fundraising, as well as continuing to mobilize the business community behind smart reforms to keep Texas’ courts fair, efficient and accessible. Dick Weekley will continue to serve as CEO and Trabulsi will continue to coordinate TLR’s legal and legislative activities. TLR cofounder Hugh Rice Kelly will continue as senior general counsel. McClean joins a seasoned management team that includes Executive Director Mary Tipps, General Counsel Lee Parsley and Communications Director Lucy Nashed.

McClean currently serves as Executive Vice President of Public Policy and Communications for the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP). She previously served as GHP’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy, and as interim president and CEO. Prior to joining GHP, she was part of the senior leadership team at K-Global, a senior policy and communications advisor for Bryan Cave LLP, and a Senior Vice President at Vox Global. McClean began her career in public policy, government affairs and public affairs in Washington, D.C. in 1994, after working for several years on Wall Street. She spent a large portion of her early career at American Express Co., with a broad portfolio that included securities litigation reform, regulatory relief and federal tax policy.

McClean has been an active member of the business community, holding several key positions on the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business Council for International Understanding and the Business Roundtable. She received a bachelor's degree from Montclair State University, a law degree from George Washington University Law School and a master's degree in communications and technology from Georgetown University.

Marc Watts is president of The Friedkin Group, an umbrella company overseeing various business interests that are principally automotive-related, including Gulf States Toyota Inc., a wholesale distributor of Toyota vehicles and products.

Prior to joining The Friedkin Group, Watts was vice chairman and managing partner for the Houston office of the 700-attorney law firm of Locke Lord LLP. Watts has more than 26 years of experience in corporate and securities law, governance and related matters. He is a board member of Highland Resources Inc., Service Corporation International, and Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation. He is also on various civic and community boards including, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Houston Branch), United Way of Greater Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership.

Michael Weekley is the founder and principal of East River Investments, a special-purpose private equity vehicle. Prior to East River, he was the director of financial analysis at PetroLogistics, the largest on-purpose propylene producer in the U.S., where he focused on M&A and corporate strategy. Weekley previously worked for Citigroup’s Global Energy Investment Banking team, advising upstream, midstream, downstream and oilfield services clients. Prior to this, he was a member of the Energy Corporate Banking group at Amegy Bank.

Weekley received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with honors.

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