Featured: Anne Mazuca, most recently the longtime chief-of-staff for Rep. R.D. “Bobby” Guerra, D-McAllen. The Austin native, who prior to being hired by Guerra worked on the legislative staffs for Rep. Helen Giddings, D-Dallas, and Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, on Tuesday, July 27, 2020, was selected as Vice President for the Austin office of Cornerstone, a leading, bipartisan government relations and public affairs firm with federal and state reach.
Photograph Courtesy CORNERSTONE
Anne Mazuca, longtime Chief-of-Staff for Rep. R.D. “Bobby” Guerra, D-McAllen, chosen as Vice President for Cornerstone legislative firm
Anne Mazuca, longtime Chief-of-Staff for Rep. R.D. “Bobby” Guerra, D-McAllen, on Tuesday, July 27, 2020, was selected as Vice President in the Austin office of Cornerstone, which describes itself as “a leading, bipartisan government relations and public affairs firm with federal and state reach.”
Before being named Chief-of-Staff, Mazuca served as a legislative director and legislative aide and was the policy lead for Guerra’s work on the House Appropriations, Public Health, Energy Resources, State Affairs, and Ways & Means committees.
“We are thrilled Anne is joining our team, adding valuable policy expertise and political relationships across the Capitol,” said Campbell Kaufman, the firm’s managing director for state government relations. “She will have an immediate impact, and we are lucky to have her.”
According to the announcement by Cornerstone, Mazuca was responsible for guiding the day-to-day operations of Guerra’s Capitol and McAllen offices. Additionally, she provided support for Guerra’s re-election campaign, giving strategic advice, assisting with messaging and fulfilling all Texas Ethics Commission and campaign finance filings requirements.
Mazuca joins a well-established Cornerstone team in Texas that includes Martin Hubert, Craig Holzheauser, Steve Holzheauser, Justin Jordan, Tim Schauer, Tony Essalih and Tyler Nelson.
“I am excited to be joining the team in Austin, where I hope to build on the success and proven track record Cornerstone has earned by consistently delivering reliable results for their clients,” said Mazuca. “I look forward to bringing my expertise and experience to the team to ensure successful outcomes for our clients as we continue to grow our footprint in Austin.”
Mazuca, a native of Austin, graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos with a B.P.A. (Bachelor of Public Administration) and moved back to Austin to pursue her career working in state government.
According to Molly Kiernan, Marketing Manager for Cornerstone, Mazuca began her legislative career working during the 80th Regular Session in 2007 for Rep. Hellen Giddings, D-Dallas.
First elected in 1992, Giddings retired from the Texas Legislature in late 2017, after serving as Vice-Chair of the House State Affairs Committee and also as Chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus.
“She assisted Chair Giddings with the Business and Industry Committee as well as with the that lawmaker’s legislative priorities,” Kiernen said. “She continued working for Rep. Giddings for the 81st and 82nd legislative sessions (in 2009 and 2011), where she focused primarily on House Appropriations committee work.
In the 81st Regular Session, Giddings served as Chair of the budget subcommittee on Business & Economic Development (Article VI, VII & VII) and served on the budget subcommittee for Education (Article III) in the 82nd Regular Session.
For the 83rd Regular Session in 2011, Mazuca came on board with Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, for she continued to develop her expertise in the legislative appropriations process, covering where Article II (healthcare). In addition, she increased her expertise on tax policies by helping Eiland on his work as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
After Eiland announced his retirement, Guerra brought Mazuca onto his legislative staff and made her his Chief of Staff for the 84th, 85th, and 86th regular sessions, Kiernen added.
In her more than a decade-long career working in the Capitol, Mazuca has worked on many different policy areas. As a legislative staffer, she said she is most proud of her work in securing more funding for the BackPack program to ensure that food-insecure children would have access to nutritious food to take home over the weekend while not in school.
“When a child goes to bed hungry here in Texas, we should all be called to action,” said Mazuca.
She has also worked with the Department of Licensing and Regulation to ensure Texans can get back to work faster by extending the renewal period for certain licensees.
“The Texas economy needs skilled workers to meet the growing job market demand.
During her time working for Guerra, Mazuca strategized with the local economic development corporations and the Texas Education Agency on legislation to expand computer science courses for students.
“Students can now receive core credit for taking an advanced computer coding class, allowing them to develop a skill set that they can use to find employment or build on what they have learned at an institution of higher education,” Mazuca reflected.
Also, she has worked extensively on health care policy, most recently focusing on border health issues, maternal mortality, and telehealth.
Cornerstone Government Affairs, Inc. is a full-service, bipartisan public affairs firm with 100 professionals in ten offices across the country.
Through its federal and state government relations; strategic communications; and business consulting/strategic advisory brands, Cornerstone represents a diverse group of clients from myriad industries and sectors and maintains expertise in a wide range of issue areas, including agriculture, cybersecurity, defense, education, energy, health, homeland security, international affairs, tax policy, telecommunications, and transportation and infrastructure.
VETERAN ORGANIZATIONS FORM NATION’S FIRST STATEWIDE NETWORK FOR FORMER SERVICE MEMBERS IN TEXAS
Texas is now the first state in the country to offer veterans an interconnected network of services to help them go from the battlefield to the civilian workforce.
Veterans groups, philanthropies, state agencies, and institutions of higher education have joined forces to create the Texas Veterans Network, university officials announced on Monday, August 12, 2020.
The unique collaboration will streamline services to help veterans accelerate the transition to successful careers outside the military.
Combined Arms, a Texas-based collaborative impact organization using an innovative approach of technology and service delivery to disrupt the veteran transition experience, joined The Texas A&M University System and other groups – including the Texas Workforce Commission, Wal-Mart Foundation, Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and Texas Veterans Commission – to connect veterans and their families with the resources and programming they need to thrive.
The newly formed Texas Veterans Network is intended to meet the needs of fragmented communities and the veteran families who live in them.
The network will provide the first and most comprehensive combination of customized assessments and vetted quality programming for veterans anywhere. Historically, veteran services have existed in silos without any effective communication needed to improve the processes. This partnership will ensure that all federal, state, and local government and nonprofit agencies are connected to the Texas Veterans Network in order to effectively serve more military, veterans, and their families in both urban and rural areas of Texas.
State agencies will now have the capability to connect these veterans and families into a comprehensive network of services ranging from employment to education to healthcare to volunteering in a matter of seconds by leveraging the Texas Veterans Network technology to connect directly with government and nonprofit partners.
“We look forward to this new formalized and collaborative effort to enhance veteran support and serve as a model for the rest of the country,” said Colonel Gerald Smith, USMC (Ret.), Director of the Texas A&M University System Office of Veteran Services.
The formation of the network is made possible by funding from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), The American Job Center Network, and the generosity of the Wal-Mart Foundation, which has made significant contributions toward expanding employment for veterans after they have finished their service to the country.
John Boerstler, Combined Arms CEO, added, “By continuing to invest in the expertise of the Texas Veterans Network, the impact on the transitioning veteran population is efficient and immediate.”
About Combined Arms
Combined Arms is a Texas-founded and Texas-operated nonprofit organization committed to unleashing the impact of veterans on the communities they return to. Through streamlined assessments and customized resources based on individual veteran needs, Combined Arms is simplifying and accelerating the connection point between veterans and resources. Combined Arms deploys a data-driven approach and a collaborative, connected model of service delivery so that veterans and the community are united after the uniform.
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy.
Tim Eaton contributed to this article. For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories that affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (TitansoftheTexasLegislature.com).