Minutes - May 16, 2023

A meeting of the State Securities Board was held on May 16, 2023, in Room 320, Thomas Jefferson Rusk State Office Building, at 10:00 a.m. Those present were Robert Belt, Member; Melissa Tyroch, Member; Ejike E. Opka II, Member; Travis J. Iles, Securities Commissioner; Clinton Edgar, Deputy Commissioner; Tommy Green, Director, Inspections and Compliance Division; Derek Lauterjung, Director, Staff Services Division; Joseph J. Rotunda, Director, Enforcement Division; Marlene K. Sparkman, General Counsel; Emily Diaz, Assistant Director, Registration Division; Cheryn Netz, Assistant General Counsel; Misty Smith, Assistant Director, Staff Services Division; Shaun Yarroll, Assistant Director, Registration Division; Jerri Goldstein, Purchaser, Staff Services Division; Brian Shepherd, Staff Attorney, General Counsel Division; and Sonia Fergerson, Executive Assistant. Also attending were Cheryl Saucedo and Lou Ann Lucas.

Member Belt, acting as Chair in Chair Kinney’s absence, called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

Minutes of the February 23, 2023, meeting were approved.

Member Koncaba was absent from the meeting. The vote on whether to excuse Member Koncaba’s absence was tabled to be addressed at the next meeting.

The Board voted to excuse Chair Kinney’s absence from the meeting.

After discussion and a recommendation of the Audit Committee, the Board voted to approve the internal audit plan for fiscal year 2023 prepared by Garza/Gonzalez & Associates.

The Board reviewed and voted to re-adopt the following rule chapters pursuant to the Agency's rule review plan:

  • Chapter 105. Rules of Practice in Contested Cases.
  • Chapter 106. Guidelines for the Assessment of Administrative Fines.

The Board voted to adopt the following proposed rules:

  • Amending §101.2(e) and (f), concerning classification of regulatory standards, to cite the codified Texas Securities Act and conform terminology.
  • Amending §103.6(c), concerning negotiated rulemaking, to add a missing word.
  • Amending §104.2, concerning purpose, and §104.3, concerning definition of days, to improve clarity; and
  • Amending §104.6(a), (b), and (f), concerning exceeding the time periods, to improve clarity and to cite the codified Texas Securities Act.

The Board voted to publish for public comment the following new rule proposal:

  • Repeal of Form 133.8, Consent to Service.

The Commissioner gave a report on the Agency’s budget and performance measures.

The Commissioner gave a general update on Agency operations.

The Commissioner gave an update on the Agency’s legislative appropriations request and gave a report on pending legislation.

A draft resolution honoring Lou Ann Lucas, former Executive Assistant, was provided to the Board. The Board voted to adopt the resolution and directed that the resolution be included in the Minutes. The resolution reads as follows:

WHEREAS, The State Securities Board on May 16, 2023, in Austin, Texas, does hereby take note of the recent retirement from the Agency of Lou Ann Lucas after having served the State of Texas for more than a half a century, including 47 years and 6 months as the receptionist for the Texas State Securities Board from April 23, 1974 through August 31, 2003, October 1, 2003 through March 31, 2007, and May 19, 2008 through February 28, 2023; and 

WHEREAS, It was prophetically noted in the initial interview with Ms. Lucas that “she is committed to make the continuing effort to be the absolute best receptionist possible,” and since beginning work with the Agency Ms. Lucas has greeted and welcomed virtually every visitor to the Austin office and caller to the Agency’s main telephone number in a her signature friendly yet professional manner, presenting to the public a helpful, caring voice on behalf of the Agency; and 

WHEREAS, Ms. Lucas has efficiently performed her duties by learning about the Agency, the functions of each Division, and expertise of employees, so that she was able to direct calls to the right person with only limited information from callers and has consistently exercised initiative to go beyond what would be generally expected to find assistance for each visitor and caller; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Lucas truly cares about the Agency and has expressed her willingness to help with tasks and assist others in completing their responsibilities, working hard to address and alleviate any deficiencies that could impact the public perception of this Agency; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Lucas has made a tremendous difference to the efficiency of Agency operations from day-to-day by making the job of practically all other staff members a little easier through making sure that the initial contact with the Agency of each visitor or caller was pleasant and efficient, creating a positive first and lasting impression of the Agency through her efforts; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Lucas has exhibited an exceptional commitment to providing outstanding public service, evidencing her pride in the agency through her unwavering dedication, longstanding loyalty, and high degree of professionalism, and has set a wonderful example for other employees; and 

WHEREAS, Her ever-present commitment and devotion to duty will continue to provide inspiration and guidance to all who were privileged to work alongside her; 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED That the Members of the State Securities Board, the Securities Commissioner, and all personnel of the Texas State Securities Board hereby acknowledge our admiration for Lou Ann Lucas, and thank her for her contributions, large and small, that have made this Agency a better place, and acknowledge the lasting debt of gratitude the State of Texas owes her for her exemplary service to the State and as an employee of this Agency.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That this Resolution be included in the official minutes of the May 16, 2023, meeting of the State Securities Board.

The meeting was then adjourned at 11:25 a.m.