Governance, Inc., specializes in finding new sources of revenue as well as access to capital previously untapped by local and state government. The challenge met by our company is to find these financial resources without adding any tax or other burden on the voters/taxpayers/businesses in the client community. Decades of success stand as proof that this seemingly impossible task is considered the "ordinary" by our firm.
Why is the Yin Yang of the Tree of Knowledge / Tree of Life the symbol of our company?
We could say it is because:
There are two foundations to our success: Research & Analysis.
Every challenge must be evaluated and satisfied from two perspectives: Raison D'état and Rasion D'être.
We are driven to make sure that every solution is equally fair and of benefit to both parties.
Each reason is correct, for each is a principle that is ingrained in our DNA.
Chief Operating Officer
Ray Watson has principal responsibilities for the management of the Governance initiatives. He has spent his lifetime working for or with government - Federal, state and local - with a focus on activities to further economic and community development. He brings a wealth of inside knowledge and experience to the company, having previously led economic incentives for local governments in Texas and Louisiana. Ray's extensive knowledge together with his easy going personality makes him a favorite among clients and governments alike. In the public sector, Mr. Watson has served as the Executive Director of the Kerrville Economic Development Corporation, the Executive Director of the Windcrest Economic Development Corporation, the Executive Director of the Ruston and Ouachita Louisiana Economic Development Corporations, as well as a legislative director for the U.S.D.A. in Washington, D.C. At Windcrest EDC, Mr. Watson was the architect and leader of the project team that succeeded in attracting Rackspace's HQ and its 6,000 employees, causing him to be named one of San Antonio Business Journal's 40 Under 40 winners in 2007. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Texas A&M, and is a CEcD and member of the Texas Economic Development Council, the International Economic Development Council as well as Rotary International.
Oscar Gonzalez has been a dedicated public servant his entire life. From being highly decorated in serving our Country in Vietnam (where he was critically wounded multiple times), through his post-military life serving as a County Commissioner, City Councilman, School Board member, and a board member of numerous other community organizations, Mr. Gonzalez has put others so far first that his own personal interests seem to never make "the list". It should have been expected, as public service seems to be in the family genes. His brothers have also been public servants - elected as District Judges and as District and County Attorneys. Even his wife serves the public - as a professor at Sul Ross State University. Never one to clamor for credit, Mr. Gonzalez has for decades worked quietly and successfully to bring jobs and economic opportunity to the disadvantaged communities in West Texas which his family has called home since the time when West Texas was part of the Louisiana Territory.
Paul Khanton founded Governance in 2002 and remains active as the Chairman Emeritus today. His concern for the people has been a constant in his life, first manifesting when he was in high school (see "Our History"). He has vast, successful experience negotiating significant financial benefits for both private and public sector clients. His skills and knowledge were forged throughout his adult life. Mr. Khanton began his career as a manufacturing executive with Fortune 500 companies, rising to full general management P&L responsibility for a $ billion unit of a Fortune 100 company before he was 40 years old. During the course of his career, he has functioned as both internal and external consultant to icons of international business, and has negotiated and delivered significant discretionary financial benefits to Honeywell, Frito-Lay, Sun-Chemical, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Wang, SmithKline Beecham, American Hospital Supply, the Dial Corporation, Nestle, Nabisco, Hunt-Wesson (ConAgra), Del Monte and others. Additionally, he has served as an ad hoc advisor to various state and local governments, helping them secure unconventional funding as well as retain major employers. He has always embraced a simple principle: terms of a negotiation must be fair for all parties. As a result, non-adversarial negotiations steeped in research, raison d'état and raison d’être characterize the Governance approach. Mr. Khanton holds an MBA with Highest Distinction (summa cum laude) from Pepperdine University and had a dual major in history and philosophy as an undergrad at Northwestern University. A native of Chicago, he currently resides on a ranch outside Dallas and is a member of the Petroleum Club of Midland (Texas) and MENSA. His donations are the principal funding source for several charities.
Martin D. Topper, Ph.D.
Dr. Martin D. Topper is a consultant at US Consults and the owner of Martin D. Topper, Ph.D. Consulting, LLC. in Daytona Beach, FL. Previously he spent twenty years at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. While at EPA he served in the Office of Criminal Enforcement and Training where he was the Quality Manager and conducted training and had responsibilities in the areas of media relations, Indian Affairs and firearms, ammunition and tactics. Prior positions at EPA included service as a Federal Agency Liaison and as the National Coordinator of the EPA American Indian Program. Prior to working at EPA he was the Assistant Director of Mental Health Services for the Navajo Area of the U.S. Indian Health Service and an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University. His awards include two EPA Silver Medals and five EPA Bronze Medals. He has co-edited two Special Issues of scientific Journals, approximately twenty scientific articles on American Indian Mental Health and on Media Relations and over three hundred articles on hunting and firearms related issues.
Lindora Baker has dedicated her life to serving the community. She served as an elected Caddo Parish Commissioner (District 6) for 12 years, serving 35,000 constituents. During that time, she was Caddo Parish Board President as well as the 1st Economic Development Committee Chair. Additionally, Ms. Baker served as the Community and Economic Development Committee Chair for the National Association of County Officials (NACo) for 5 years. That position afforded her the opportunity to lobby Congress and Congressional Staff to appropriate funding for both general capital and economic development local projects. She represented NACo in meetings with federal and international entities including the German Embassy and also represented NACo and Caddo Parish in Japan at the Government Exchange Economic Development Seminar. Ms. Baker is currently the SBDC Regional Community Business Advisor for Northwest Louisiana. Immediately prior to her appointment to this position, she served as the Community and Government Affairs Executive for University Health Shreveport bridging the gap between the community and the hospital. In addition, she has over 25 years of experience in educating the community at all levels of healthcare where she served as the Program Development Coordinator. Ms. Baker has a BA in Business Administration and her most recent community awards are recipient of the Excellence in Leadership Award, Community Leaders of the Year, Impact Family of Covenant Churches, Senior Ministry Service Award and Community Service Award.
James is a career entrepreneur – he experienced early success in real estate investing while serving clients investment objectives through project financing. James brings over 30 years of experience in identifying and developing new niche opportunities for good investment across multiple industry sectors. James consolidated his business acumen by founding IDC Companies in 2006 – A Project Development Company providing project development and project financing services to both domestic and foreign clients, and capital growth opportunities to qualified investors. But more than an entrepreneur, Mr. Ogle is a poster child for the American Dream, having emigrated to the U.S.A. from then socialist Guyana as a young adult with but $15 in his pocket - yet finding opportunity and success through intellect and resolve. He has a Graduate Diploma (1985) New York University – Real Estate Investment Analysis.
Jerry Patterson joined the company following his retirement from public service in 2014. Mr. Patterson is a graduate of Texas A&M, and is a Marine Vietnam veteran, retiring as a LtCol from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1993. In the Marine Corps, he served as an infantry officer, an artillery officer, and as a Naval Flight Officer in Marine fighter squadrons. Mr. Patterson was elected in 1992 to the Texas Senate and served for 6 years representing Harris, Galveston, and Brazoria counties. He is the author of the Texas concealed handgun law, and other legislation reinforcing property rights and protecting the Texas coast. In 2002 Mr. Patterson was elected to the office of Texas Land Commissioner, and served in that office for 12 years. The Texas Land Commissioner is the Chief Executive Officer of the Texas General Land Office (GLO), the largest owner of land and mineral interests (oil and gas) in the state. The GLO does not operate wells, but is a prolific lessor of working interests – generating billions of dollars in revenue for the State of Texas. The funds generated not only provide the working capital for the GLO, but also fund the schools as none of that revenue is used by the State for any other purpose. In addition to being a Vice President of Governance, Mr. Patterson is involved in producing documentary movies about little known aspects of Texas history. He serves on several nonprofit boards, and is past president of the Texas Navy Association, a 501c3 dedicated to preserving the history of the 1835-1846 Texas Navy. Of additional note: in 2014 Mr. Patterson was awarded the “Buen Vecino Award” from the Binational Board of Directors of the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce (USMCOC). USMCOC issued the award to him because “… throughout your tenure as Texas Land Commissioner, you made important contributions to the U.S. and Mexico relationship, fostering mutual understanding and collaboration, and in particular, we would like to highlight the success of the Border Energy Forum, which celebrates this coming October 21 years of existence, and has become an essential forum for the public and private sectors of the energy industry in the border area”. Mr. Patterson’s family continues the tradition of public service: his daughter recently returned from Kosovo where she was an attorney monitoring the judicial system in various Balkan countries, and his son, Travis, is a Marine attack helicopter pilot who just completed his 5th overseas tour and has recently been assigned to HMX-1, the Marine helicopter squadron in Quantico, VA, that is responsible for flying the President of the United States. Travis is the 5th consecutive generation to have served overseas during wartime.
Director: Business Development
Toni Field is a Partner in Consulting Associates and a Director of Business Development in Governance, focused on Mississippi and Alabama. A native of Mississippi, Toni is an excellent advocate for her clients, utilizing her extensive successful experience as a paralegal, successful entrepreneur, and manager of an established medical practice. She majored in psychology at Alabama, with a minor in marketing - skills also of high value in negotiations.