McALLEN, Texas – A new governmental affairs firm has just launched with offices in Austin and McAllen.

Phenix Saenz, LLC, is run by Billy Phenix and Jenn Saenz. Saenz, who will run the McAllen office, is well-known in the Rio Grande Valley having previously worked for state Sen. Juan ‘Chuy’ Hinojosa and state Rep. Veronia Gonzales.

“We can offer our clients ‘boots on the ground’ in the Valley and easy accessibility, as well as a strong and respected presence at the heart of the Capitol,” Saenz said.

Saenz said she is excited about the prospects of representing the Valley’s interests at the state Capitol in Austin.

“One of the reasons I moved to the Valley from Austin was the incredible potential this area has for enormous economic development and growth and my strong passion for ensuring the needs of the Rio Grande Valley are well advocated in Austin, particularly during the legislative session and in all aspects of state government and regulatory agencies,” Saenz said.

In an in-depth Zoom conversation with Rio Grande Guardian editor Steve Taylor, Saenz recalled the most significant legislation she worked on as general counsel for Sen. Hinojosa: the bill that created UT-Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine.

Saenz added: “I’ve developed a strong passion for the people and culture of the Rio Grande Valley and gained remarkable experience advocating for our seat at the table. It’s exciting to be living in the Valley now and creating a consulting and lobbying firm that will work on behalf of our clients to secure much-needed dollars from the state legislature and enact meaningful change in our communities.”

More information on Phenix Saenz LLC

Phenix Saenz, LLC is a government affairs firm providing lobbying, legal and consulting services in all policy areas of state government to a wide variety of clients. With decades of experience achieving actionable results at the Texas Capitol and throughout state government, Jenn Saenz and Billy Phenix have carefully built an impeccable reputation for honesty, hard work, and success.

A unique blend of Austin politics and South Texas hospitality, Phenix & Saenz features two office locations – one in Austin at the heart of the Texas Legislature and one in the Rio Grande Valley at the heart of Texas’ international commerce, economic growth and booming population. Lifelong Texans with deep roots in Austin and South Texas, they have a shared passion to put sound policies in place that strengthen our great state, our economy, our opportunities for growth, and our great outdoors for generations to come.

Jenn Saenz Bio

Known for her passionate advocacy, exceptional work ethic and sunny disposition, Jenn is an expert on the legislative process, budget negotiations and navigating all aspects of state government and regulatory agencies. Jenn most recently served as Deputy General Counsel and Policy Advisor for Natural Resources, Water and Agriculture for Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen. She served as chief advisor on natural disaster response, drainage, flood mitigation and all Hurricane Harvey related legislation and budget appropriations. Jenn also advised the Speaker and House members on compliance with the Texas Public Information Act and ethics laws.

Jenn Saenz

Previously, Jenn worked for six years as Deputy Chief of Staff and General Counsel for Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, Vice Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, where she served as the Senator’s chief advisor on all legislative and political matters, state budget recommendations and decisions, and local senate district issues. Jenn directed the development of the Senator’s public policy priorities, crafted legislation and facilitated negotiations between stakeholders and lawmakers on matters related to healthcare, Medicaid reform, natural resources, transportation, regulated industries, oil and gas, water districts, economic development and local government. She played a key role in successfully drafting and negotiating passage of Senate Bill 24 (83R), historic legislation that created the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the first medical school in South Texas.

Prior to the Senate, Jenn served as General Counsel for former State Representative Veronica Gonzales and State Representative Abel Herrero. She has also worked for a Fortune 500 healthcare company where she led state government relations initiatives for seven states in the Southwest Region, developed strategic policy and planning priorities and directed lobbying teams to advance legislative objectives.

In addition to her decade long public service, Jenn practiced law in Boston for several years focusing on civil and securities litigation before becoming an adjunct professor at New England Law teaching legal research, writing and appellate advocacy. A native Texan, Jenn graduated cum laude from New England Law, Boston and earned her BA in Political Science from Boston College. She is licensed to practice law in Texas, Massachusetts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Billy Phenix Bio

A 25-year veteran of Texas policy-making and advocacy at the national, state and local levels, Billy Phenix brings seasoned relationships, hard work, and a proven record of landmark legislative achievements to his current role as a consultant and lobbyist representing diverse interests in Austin, Texas.

A 1995 graduate of the University of Texas Law School, Phenix began his tenured legal and political career as special assistant to then-Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock. Upon Bullock’s retirement, Phenix went on to serve at the highest levels of Texas government, including chief advisor and later Environmental and Natural Resources Policy Director to then-Governor Rick Perry, legal counsel to the Senate Natural Resources Committee, and policy aide to then-Chair of the Republican Senate Caucus, Texas Senator J.E. “Buster” Brown.

Billy Phenix

Building on his legal experience in the private sector, Phenix also became an associate of the law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld, L.L.C., as a public finance attorney serving as bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel for water districts, tax increment financing districts, and other entities.

Today, Phenix serves as President of Phenix-Saenz, LLC, advocating on behalf of a wide variety of clients and industries including private businesses, state and national trade associations, local political subdivisions and others. With an impeccable reputation among key leaders and staffers throughout Texas government, Phenix is known for building solid relationships and achieving results.

A lifelong Austin resident, Phenix is deeply committed to supporting the Austin community through his work as a founding member of the Young Austin Steering Committee for the University of Texas Law School, the Eanes Education Foundation Board, the Austin Young Lawyers Association, and a life member of the Texas Ex-Students Association.

Phenix and his wife have four children and enjoy chaotic travels at home and abroad. When he gets a few moments of solace, Phenix can be found fishing or on the golf course. 

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