Texas Ranger. The Texas Icon. With past deeds any group could boast about, the Texas Rangers have a proud heritage. Just the fact that the Rangers were here before Texas was Texas is a great accomplishment. Anyone who cares for the history of Texas, and our great nation, must feel a sense of duty to preserve and maintain that history, much like the Officers and Directors of the Texas Ranger Law Enforcement Association who are passionate about Texas History and the Texas Rangers.
The Officers and Directors of the TRLEA have come together with a common purpose - to advance the history and properly recognize the past and present Texas Rangers. The Officers and Board serve without compensation and volunteer their time. When possible the Board seeks out others who volunteer their time to accomplish the purpose of the organization. TRLEA is not about seeking personal recognition, yet we feel the public has a right to know about the Officers and Board that direct the activities of such an important non-profit organization.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON TRLEA BOARD MEMBERS
Clark Willingham, TRLEA Chairman and Director:
Mr. Willingham is a Dallas attorney specializing in business organizations and estate planning. He is also in the cattle business and has served as president of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, the Texas Beef Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Texas Agriculture Land Trust and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation.
Capt. David Byrnes, TRLEA Pres. and Director:
Retired Texas Ranger Capt. David Byrnes entered D.P.S. in March, 1970. He served in the Highway Patrol in Pecos, Denton, and Ft. Davis before being promoted to Texas Ranger, January 1, 1979; served as a Ranger in Midland and Snyder; was promoted to Sgt. (Lt) Sept. 1, 1986 and assigned to Co. “B” Garland as the first line supervisor; promoted to Capt. Co. “B” Texas Ranger, Dec. 1, 1991. Retired August 31, 1996. Capt. Byrnes was the Task Force Commander during the Waco/Branch Davidian investigation. Capt. Byrnes is currently serving his third term as Sheriff of Kaufman County.
Roland Russell, Director Emeritus:
Roland Russell is a 5th Generation Texan. He is currently President of Warbird, Inc., an international consulting company; Past Trustee, Department of Public Safety Officer’s Ass’n; Served on President’s Council, Tarleton State University, Past Director, State Bank & Trust, Dallas, Texas, Past Director, Dallas Council of World Affairs, Charter Patron of the Texas Ranger Association Foundation; Director, Tarleton State University Foundation, Inc.; Board Member, COBA Executive Advisory Board, Tarleton State University; Member, John Tarleton Society, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas; Master Mason; Scottish Rite 32nd Degree; Hella Shrine.
Sr. Capt. Maurice Cook, Sr, TRLEA Director:
Maurice C. Cook, Sr. was born and raised in Texas; joined the U.S. Air Force at age 17 with duty of one year in South Viet Nam during the war years. Fresh out of the service, he worked as a policeman in three Texas cities before joining the Texas Department of Public Safety. For the next 29+ years, he served in some capacity in the DPS with the last 23 years as a Texas Ranger. After six years in the Rangers, Cook was promoted to Sergeant, two years later to Captain, and 2+ years later to the Assistant Commander of the Texas Rangers and then to Chief of the Texas Rangers (same position as Senior Ranger Captain). Since retirement in 1996, Cook has taught on the faculty of a community college and later completed law school. Cook holds an AA, BS, MA, and a JD degree and has been recognized a distinguish Alumni from Sam Houston State University. He assisted with the formation of the Texas Ranger Law Enforcement Association and continues to support the mission of the Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety. He is married to Sherry Cook of Bastrop, a 30 year veteran of state government who currently serves as the Assistant Administrator of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Chester Davis, Director:
Chester Davis is currently CEO of Ches-Lee Enterprises, Inc. dba American Fireworks. President, 5-D Investments, Inc., a Real Estate Holding Company; President, Texas Pyrotechnic Association and Vice President, American Pyrotechnic Association. He serves on the Board of the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory and the Hyde Park Baptist Church Foundation. Mr. Davis is also a registered lobbyist.
John H. Moon, Sr., TRLEA Director:
Mr. Moon is a Banker and Investor; past Chairman/President of Banks for 25+ years; Recipient of Many Professional/Civic Awards; Graduate of Texas A & M Kingsville; Texas State Board of Public Accountancy; listed in Who’s Who in America.
Dave Parks, TRELA Director:
Mr. Parks is a Dallas/Austin businessman; President, Speedy-Weedy, Inc.; All American Graduate, Texas Tech University; NFL Number One First Round Draft Choice, San Francisco Forty-Niners, 1964; six-times all Pro; played NFL Football for the San Francisco Forty-Niners, New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers; served as a Director, NFL Alumni Association, Dallas Chapter; member, Texas Football Hall of Fame; member, West Texas Hall of Fame; inducted into the NCAA Hall of Fame, 2009.
Sr. Capt. Earl Pearson:
Mr. Pearson joined the TABC as the Chief of Staff in January 2009, bringing well over 30 years of management, legislative and law enforcement experience. Earl attended McMurry University in Abilene where he was a starting football player. While at McMurry, a friend encouraged him to join the Texas Department of Public Safety, which he did, graduating from the Recruit Academy in 1976. He then spent 13 years as a trooper with the Texas Highway Patrol. In 1989, he joined the ranks of the Texas Rangers.
Earl rose to Lieutenant in 1992, Captain in 1996 and Assistant Chief in 1991. In 2004, he was named Chief of the Texas Ranger Division, becoming the first African American Department of Public Safety Division Chief. Earl retired from public service in 2005 to start his own security services company, but he re-joined the State of Texas in 2009. Earl holds a TCLEOSE Master Peace officer Certification and is a graduate of the Governor’s Executive Development Program at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin.
James E. "Pete" Laney, TRLEA Director:
Mr. Laney graduated from Hale Center High School in 1961. He earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics at Texas Tech University. He became a successful cotton farmer and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1972. He was a member of the Texas House of Representatives for 34 years from Hale Center (near Plainview). Mr. Laney served as Speaker for ten years from 1993 to 2003. Laney served as Chair of the Southern Legislative Conference and President of the National Speakers Conference. He received the Outstanding Texas Leader Award, given by the Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute and the Helen Farabee Leadership Award for the Texas Perinatal Association. He is the recipient of the Gerald W. Thomas Outstanding Agriculturalist Award. Texas Tech University named him a Distinguished Alumnus and Wayland Baptist University has conferred on him an honorary doctorate.
During his tenure in the House of Representatives, Laney was widely praised for demonstrating principle, integrity, and character in his leadership of the House. He was cited by Republican Governor George W. Bush as a model of legislative bipartisan co-operation. Laney was named by Texas Monthly magazine as one of the Top Ten legislators of the 73rd Texas Legislature.
George Thomas Cook:
George Thomas Cook, spent the early part of his professional career in Illinois, but the greater part of his professional life developing various businesses centered in The Lone Star State. Mr. Cook is a graduate of St. Ambrose University and the University of Iowa with degrees in Business Administration and Accounting. Additionally he holds the professional accreditation Certified Public Accountant, (CPA). He has spent a large part of his professional career in the logistics, transportation and warehousing business. He is currently the chief executive officer of Frontier Logistics LP, who performs various services to major global companies, however the core base of operations and development originates throughout the great State of Texas. Frontier has many interrelated businesses involved in a variety of things including, rail and truck transportation, petrochemical product handling and warehousing, international documentation and logistical consultation. Mr. Cook believes that his organization should participate in many community events and organizations, including endeavors that focus on youth sports, FFA events, specialized health organizations and quality of life issues for his employees.
Dan Leddy currently lives in Bluff Dale, Texas. He was born in South Dakota into a family that was heavily involved in ranching, farming, construction and politics. At the age of sixteen, he attended Greggs Auctioneer School in Plainview, Texas, which led to a lifelong dedication to the cattle industry in Texas. Dan has been specializing in marketing and the development of superior genetics, utilizing the most innovative technology including embryo transplant and cloning. His involvement has led to the development of many successful cattle operations throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico. Progeny from Leddy's 200 head cow herd have produced many breed and reserve breed champions as well as champions at numerous county fairs in Texas.
Clark Willingham - Chairman, Dallas
Capt. David Byrnes - President, Kaufman
George T. Cook LaPorte
Sr. Capt. Maurice Cook, Alvin
Chester Davis, Buda
James E. “Pete” Laney, Hale Center
Dan Leddy, Bluff Dale
John H. Moon, Sr., Pasadena
David Parks, Austin
Sr. Captain Earl Pearson, Austin
Roland Russell, Director Emeritus
James Blackstone *
Jack Davis *
Lt. Robert Madeira
J. Neal Miller*
Leon Simmons *
Dick DeGuerin, Houston
Spike Dykes, Horseshoe Bay
Lt. Robert Madeira, Houston
Jim Schwertner, Austin
John Sharp, Austin
J.B. Williamson, La Porte
Former Texas Rangers:
The Texas Ranger Law Enforcement Association (TRLEA) wishes to honor the memory of three former Texas Rangers who have recently passed away:
Leo G. Hickman
Sgt. Jesse J. Priest Jr.