Alumna Genora K. Boykins ’85 Elected Chair-Elect of South Texas College of Law Houston Board of Directors
South Texas College of Law Houston (STCL Houston) is pleased to announce the election of alumna Genora K. Boykins ’85 as chair-elect of the board of directors for the nearly 100-year-old law school. Confirmed by her fellow board members, Boykins has served on the school’s board of directors since March 2012.
Boykins is the first woman and African-American to win election to this key leadership position at Houston’s oldest law school.
As STCL Houston board chair, Boykins will serve a five-year term.
“I am humbled and excited by this opportunity to provide leadership for STCL Houston during this important period in the history of our law school and the legal profession,” said Boykins. “I look forward to building on the solid foundation established by my predecessors and working with the board and Dean Barry to increase the endowment and financial resources needed to ensure the success of our students and future leaders as we innovate, transform, and adapt in the rapidly changing landscape of legal education.”
Boykins served as regional assistant general counsel of NRG Energy, Inc. and Reliant Energy for 31 years. In this role, she provided critical legal counsel to regulated and competitive retail electricity businesses supporting markets operations, regulatory and legal compliance, product development, advertising, marketing, brand-management, and commercial transactions. In 2018, Boykins retired from a full-time position with NRG, but she continues in a part-time role supporting the Reliant Charitable Foundation, Community Relations, and Sports Marketing team.
“I am delighted at the election of Genora Boykins as chair-elect of the South Texas College of Law Houston board of directors,” said Michael F. Barry, president and dean of the law school. “This is a momentous occasion for STCL Houston, as one of our distinguished graduates — esteemed both in the legal and philanthropic communities in Houston — takes the helm of our board on the cusp of the school’s 2023 centennial celebration. As the first woman and African-American to hold this important leadership role, she is a true trailblazer and inspiration for South Texas’ diverse and forward-thinking community.
“Equally, I am deeply grateful for the wise counsel and deft leadership of our alumnus and board chairman emeritus, Ken Johnson,” Barry noted. “Throughout his six-year tenure as board chairman, Ken has helped foster STCL Houston’s growth and success during a time that saw numerous law schools across the nation close their doors due to flagging admissions and financial stress. I appreciate Ken for always putting our students first and for helping to successfully usher STCL Houston to its second century of excellence in legal education.”
Boykins is committed to diversity, which is an important component of STCL Houston’s mission. During her career at Reliant Energy and its predecessor companies, she served on the Reliant Energy Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Advisory Council and the Diversity Council, and worked to ensure continuous improvement in the areas of contracting opportunities for MWBEs, and in the hiring, advancement, and retention of a diverse workforce. A member of the Texas Bar Association and the Houston Bar Association, Boykins has devoted her time and talents to Texas Bar Association activities with a specific emphasis on opportunities for minorities and improving diversity within the bar. She previously served as co-chair of the Texas Minority Counsel Program, designed to expand and increase opportunities for women and minority attorneys who provide legal services for corporate and government clients.
“The STCL Houston board was blessed by strong, capable leadership before my tenure, and there is no doubt Genora will continue that legacy of outstanding leadership,” said J. Ken Johnson ’86, chairman emeritus of the STCL Houston board of directors, and of counsel at Martin | Walton LLP. “She is the right person to lead the board at this important time in the law school’s history.”
Boykins is a nonprofit leader in the Houston community. She helped found the faith-based Pyramid Community Development Corporation and has served as president and board chair since its inception in 1992. With the mission to improve the quality of life for underserved communities through housing, economic and business development, and educational and social services, Pyramid CDC developed The Power Center, a 21st-century, service-delivery model of private and public partnership that serves more than 11,000 families a month. In 1997, under Boykins’ leadership as board chair, Pyramid CDC established a related nonprofit corporation, the Pyramid Residential Community Corporation, which completed development of a 103-acre residential subdivision of affordable homes known as Corinthian Pointe. This project is the first and largest development of its kind by a nonprofit minority developer in Houston, and has received regional and national acclaim.
Based on the successes of the Pyramid entities, in July 2002, Boykins participated in a trans-Atlantic dialogue on “The Role of Volunteerism and Faith-Based Organizations in Society” in Berlin, Germany, sponsored by Daniel R. Coats, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany.
Boykins is a board member of the Downtown Management District, a community board member of the board of trustees of the Women’s Hospital of Texas, and Advisory board member of Dress for Success Houston, and she is the 2005 recipient of the “Women on the Move” award from the Texas Executive Women organization. From 2004 to 2012, Boykins also was a board member of the Houston Area Urban League, where she served as vice-chair. From 2009 to 2016, Boykins was on the board of the Houston Area Women’s Center, serving on the Executive Committee and vice chair of the Nominating Committee.
In 2010, Boykins applied her legal skills — alongside business partner, Sharon Owens — as an entrepreneur with the launch of La Maison in Midtown, an upscale bed-and-breakfast offering travelers a unique “escape in the city.” The B&B — hailed by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of “11 amazing black-owned hotels around the world” — offers seven elegant guest rooms in a New Orleans-inspired, three-story building in the heart of the city.
A native of Prairie View, Texas and a magna cum laude graduate of Spelman College with a bachelor’s degree in English, Boykins earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from STCL Houston in 1985.
Boykins and her husband, Dwight — a former member of the Houston City Council, District D — are active in the city’s political and social communities and donate their time and resources to their shared passion: helping others reach their full potential in life.