JOEL NOYES | CHAIR
Joel Noyes is the Director of Government & External Affairs for Hess Corporation. With two decades of legislative, political, communications, and executive-level corporate experience, he serves as the lead for legislative initiatives at both the federal and state levels, providing strategic support on public policy for the company’s U.S. assets. In his role, he also oversees corporate social responsibility for U.S. assets, as well as managing HessPAC, the company’s political action committee.
He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Mid-continent Oil & Gas Association and the North Dakota Petroleum Foundation. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Women’s Public Leadership Network, a national non-profit organization dedicated to educating, organizing, and inspiring women to enter public office. In 2021 he was a recipient of ALLY Energy’s G.R.I.T. Award, recognized as an Ally and Male Champion for women and diversity.
Mr. Noyes holds a bachelor’s degree in government with a minor in business from The University of Texas at Austin. He and his wife live in The Woodlands, TX, with their daughter and son.
REP. MIMI WALTERS | HONORARY CO-CHAIR
Mimi Walters grew up in Laguna Niguel, CA and began her 22-year career as an elected official in 1996 as a member of the City Council. In 2004, she was elected to the California State Assembly and in 2008, Ms. Walters was elected to the California State Senate. In 2015, she was sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (CA-45) and served until 2019. Prior to her career in public office, Ms. Walters was an investment executive with Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc. and Kidder, Peabody & Co.
While serving as a public official at the local, state, and federal levels of government, Ms. Walters focused her attention mainly on fiscal, healthcare and energy issues. She was Vice Chair of Appropriations in the CA State Senate and served on the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee in Congress. In Congress, Ms. Walters served as a member of House leadership alongside Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan working on key issues ranging from legislation, policy and messaging for House Republicans.
Currently, Ms. Walters is building an energy company, Leading Edge Power Solutions LLC, with her husband, David. In addition, she is a member of the Board of Directors of B. Riley Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: RILY) and Eos Energy Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: EOSE) She is Chairwoman of Apollo Pact, a nonprofit organization that is focused on solutions to the mental health crises through supervised medical treatment of psychedelic drugs. Ms. Walters is currently, teaching a course on the mental health crisis as a 2023 Spring Fellow at the Sine Institute at American University in Washington D.C.
VALERIE DOWLING | VICE CHAIR
Valerie Dowling has worked in the political process from grassroots campaigns to the White House. In 2016, she joined the International Republican Institute as Director of the Women’s Democracy Network where she will continue to work to increase women’s political participation, leadership and representation in elected office globally. Previously, Valerie worked at the Republican National Committee in the Office of the Co-Chairman as the Director of Women's Programs. She has also served as the Pennsylvania Coalitions Director with the Romney for President Campaign and Political Director for the National Federation of Republican Women. Valerie also worked in the Bush Administration in Mrs. Bush’s Projects and Policy Office, Presidential Correspondence, and Intergovernmental Affairs. Valerie has worked on several state and federal campaigns in the state of South Carolina. She is a proud graduate of Converse College. She lives in Alexandria, VA.
LARISSA MARTINEZ | FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
Larissa Martinez is a policy expert and skilled political strategist with a proven track record of delivering winning, multifaceted strategies by combining policy, communications and grassroots organizing expertise. An adept navigator of the political landscape with over a decade of leadership experience on Capitol Hill, Larissa has served as a Senior Government Relations professional at Washington, DC-based government relations firm, Invariant, and on the transition team for President Trump. She received an MPA in Public Administration and Political Management from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Georgia. She lives in Atlanta, GA.
Liz Bowman serves as Vice President of Communications for the American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC). Liz leads strategic communications, messaging, and media relations for AXPC. She joined AXPC from the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she was the director of communications and marketing. Ms. Bowman previously served as Communications Director for U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), and as the Associate Administrator for Public Affairs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In this role, she served as the top EPA spokesperson, and managed communications for the confirmation of Senate-confirmed associate administrators and the Deputy Administrator. She also worked in top communications roles for public affairs firms, associations, corporations, and advocacy campaigns.
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Michelle Phillips is Vice President, Land at Lime Rock Resources in Houston, TX. Michelle completed her undergraduate degree in business from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She completed both her Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma. During her years at Shell Exploration and Production, Hess Corporation, and Callon Petroleum; Michelle worked a variety land roles for spanning commercial, surface, and mineral. She has extensive experience in basins across the United States including Permian, Eagle Ford, Bakken, Rockies, and Mid-Continent. She has also served as a faculty member teaching Oil and Gas Law as well as Energy and Mining Law at the University of North Dakota School of Law. Michelle gives her time back to the Energy and Legal Communities as a trustee for the Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law and has served as the Second Vice-President of the American Association of Professional Landmen. In addition to AAPL certifications, Michelle is a member of the state bars of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.
Outside of her career, Michelle is very active in her community – serving as Girl Scout Troop Leader and Gold Award Mentor; Finance and SPR Committee member for Cornerstone Methodist Church; and Alumni Admissions Volunteer for Georgetown University. Michelle and her daughter, Ella, are on a joint mission to visit and earn Junior Ranger badges from all 423 locations in the National Parks System.
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Matt Ralston serves as a Senior Manager of State Affairs in the Atlanta office of Troutman Pepper Strategies. In this capacity, he works year round with members of the Georgia General Assembly and Executive Branch as an advocate for improvement in a number of policy areas such as agriculture and natural resources, education, higher education, state budget projects, technology, and healthcare, in addition to building strong relationships with a multitude of trade associations, business leaders, and key coalitions and organizations. Prior to joining Troutman Pepper Strategies, Matt worked with the University of Georgia’s Office of Government Affairs, the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education, as well as numerous political campaigns. He lives in Atlanta, GA.
JESSICA RUBIE | SECRETARY
Jessica Rubie has almost two decades of experience leading big ventures and high-profile initiatives on behalf of CEOs in politics, private philanthropy, social venture start-ups, and higher education. She currently leads Flourish at Texas A&M, the university's employee wellness and engagement initiative designed to drive positive cultural change, retain top talent, and improve health and performance for 10,000+ employees at the country's largest public university. Jessica is passionate about coaching women in the social impact sector, helping them increase their leadership capacity and manifest the change they wish to see in the world faster and at greater scale. In addition to her role on the WPLN Board, she works with the Coaching Fellowship, a nonprofit organization that provides 200+ pro-bono executive coaching placements per year for emerging women leaders. Jessica has experience working on Capitol Hill for members of the US Senate and the House of Representatives. She has helped organize surrogate activities and advance work for national and state-wide campaigns and conventions. Jessica is a graduate of the University of Washington and the Hudson Institute of Coaching. She is a west coast native currently living in Texas.
JENIFER SARVER | IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR
Jenifer Sarver has nearly two decades of experience in media relations, crisis communications, speechwriting, coalition building, and media and presentation skills training. Her career has spanned the corporate, nonprofit, and political worlds. Jenifer also teaches courses on public speaking, advocacy communications, speechwriting, storytelling and confidence in communication, among other topics, and she has lectured at a number of American and international institutions. She has served as the Chief of Staff to Ambassador Karen Hughes, the Worldwide Vice Chair of Burson-Marsteller, and as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Bush Administration. Jenifer served as the Director of The Archer Center and was a Senior Advisor on the Washington, D.C. staff of U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies. She received a Master in Public Administration from American University. In 2017, Jenifer was selected as a Presidential Leadership Scholar, and in the 2018 Primary Election she was a Republican candidate for U.S. Congress (TX-21). She lives in Austin, TX.
AMY WHITED | TREASURER
Amy is an award-winning government relations professional with 16 years of experience at all levels of government. Born and raised in Alabama, her previous experience includes working in the district office of Congressman Robert B. Aderholt (AL-04) and as a District Director to former Alabama Governor Bob Riley. Upon moving to Texas, Amy has worked in government at the City of Houston and as a political campaign consultant. Amy is the Principal and Founder of Whited Consulting Group. In addition to her consulting firm, Amy is the founder of Pink Granite and the Pink Granite Foundation - bipartisan organizations dedicated to elevating the voices of women in Texas politics and policy. She previously lead government relations efforts across 8 states for UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company. Amy holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama as well as a Master's of Public Administration from Auburn University at Montgomery. When not working in state capitals, Amy can be found volunteering in the Austin community as a Board member to the LBJ Women's Campaign School at the University of Texas, the Texas Medical Association Foundation, and with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Central Texas Chapter. Amy also serves as past president of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association. She resides in Austin, TX with her husband and two young children.
The WPLN Board of Directors at our 2023 National Summit in San Diego, CA