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TxDOT Promotes Several Employees to New Positions

Tue January 24, 2023 - West Edition #3

Trent Thomas: New Director of Government Affairs Division

Trent Thomas was appointed the director of the government affairs division. Thomas will direct and coordinate the department's federal and state government relations and legislative activities in this role.

Thomas began his career with TxDOT in 2012 as the director of State Legislative Affairs, where he has navigated TxDOT through multiple legislative sessions, special sessions and the Sunset Commission Review process. Thomas previously served as chief of staff to State Rep. Drew Darby. He holds a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Science and Development with a teaching emphasis and a master's degree in Education, both from Tarleton State University.

Alejandro Garcia Named Director of Communications, Public Affairs

Alejandro Garcia joined TxDOT as the director of communications and public affairs. Garcia will direct and coordinate the department's overall communications and public affairs strategy, overseeing the communications and travel information divisions. Garcia brings a wealth of experience and a vast portfolio in communications, public affairs, government relations, state policy and campaigns. Most recently, Garcia served as director of communications for the Texas Office of the Attorney General. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in criminal justice from Texas A&M International University and a master's degree in political science with a concentration in international relations from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Parsons Townsend Returns as Compliance Division Director

Parsons Townsend returned to TxDOT as the new director of the compliance division. Townsend served as TxDOT's compliance division director for five years between 2016 and 2021. He has a distinguished background having served at the Texas State Auditor's Office and most recently as the audit director at the Texas Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. He also served as a Marine Sergeant from 1999 to 2003.

Tito Gonzalez: Director of Transportation Planning, Programming

Humberto "Tito" Gonzalez Jr. started as the new director of the Transportation Planning and Programming Division. In his new role, Gonzalez will direct and manage all activities of the transportation planning and programming division. Gonzalez is a Laredo native and a 2003 graduate of Texas A&M University at College Station where he received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He started his TxDOT career as a summer intern in 1999. In 2012, he was appointed Laredo District design engineer. In 2022, he was appointed as the deputy district engineer for the Laredo District.

Epi Gonzalez: Laredo District Engineer

Epigmenio "Epi" Gonzalez is the new Laredo District engineer. He began his TxDOT career in 1995 as an engineering tech in the Pharr Area office. He graduated with a civil engineering degree from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2004 through TxDOT's degree completion program. In 2011, he graduated with a master's degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He oversaw the design of several large projects while he led the design team for the Pharr District's central design office and has been the district's director of transportation operations since 2021.

Charon Williams: Director of Transportation Programs Division

Charon Williams became the new director of the Transportation Programs Division. She joined TxDOT in 2006 serving as a utility coordinator in the Right of Way Division. In 2010, she rotated to the design division's plan development section. Upon completion of her engineering rotation, Williams transitioned back to the Right of Way Division.

Since 2019, she has served as the deputy director of the Right of Way Division where she was responsible for the management of all aspects of the portfolio of right of way projects. She earned her bachelor's degree from Texas Southern University and her master's degree from St. Edward's University.

Diann Hodges: Director of Communications Division

Diann Hodges is the new director of the communications division. Hodges has served as director of the Southwest Texas public information officer section for the past five years. She also has experience with the media before coming to the agency and she was the public information officer for the city of Lago Vista. She received her bachelor's degree in Journalism and Speech Communication from Texas A&M University.

Brian Sweat New Support Services Director

Brian Sweat was named the new director for the support services division starting in January. He joined the division seven years ago and was the lead architect for the Stassney Campus project. He was recently promoted to State Headquarters section director, a new section within the division, responsible for supporting state headquarter facilities and the daily operations of the Stassney Campus. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a master's degree in Architecture. Before joining TxDOT, he was in private practice as an architect.

[Editors's note: Brian Sweat's photo was not available at the time of publication.]

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