South Texas 2020 Mid-Winter Seminar


TALI 2020 Charting the Course

February 28, 2020   Friday
8am – 5pm

Registration Desk opens at 7am

Embassy Suites by Hilton Houston Energy Corridor

11730 Katy Freeway, Houston Texas 77079



TALI Members $190:  click here to Register. 

Non-TALI Members $210:  click here to Register.

Members of the Law Enforcement Community $190: contact [email protected] for discount code

 Students $150:  contact [email protected] for discount code

To be a Vendor at this seminar only, click here

To be a Sponsor at both the North & South Seminars and the Annual Conference, click here

FREE - Parking in adjoining covered parking  
FREE - Wifi

7 hrs Continuing Education
Networking Opportunities


TALI 2020 Charting the Course



Legacy Purchasing Group





Patti James
Certified Legal Investigator, Texas Board Certified Investigator

 Board Rules

Patti currently serves as the Executive Officer of the Public Safety Commission Advisory Council. Prior to that, she served as the Chairman of the, Governor Abbott appointed, Texas Department of Public Safety Private Security Board. Her goal has always been to work diligently to promote professionalism in the private investigations industry. When first entering the investigations field, she observed private investigators conducting business in the area of ethics and even legalities in a manner that concerned her. As a way to work toward her goal of improving the overall image of investigators she became involved in TALI. She served as TALI Secretary, Vice President, President then Chairman. Patti’s had a vision of a first-rate, top quality association magazine, and under her tenure as president the Texas Investigator was born. Additionally, under her term as president, and another vision she had for TALI, she worked with other members and the state to pass continuing education requirements for private investigators. Patti was one of the few female Certified Legal Investigators at time when there were under one- hundred CLIs in the nation. She also served on the first Texas Certified Investigator Committee and helped develop the criterion for the TCI designation, and along with other committee members wrote the first TCI exam. Patti served as TALI School Director for fifteen years. She has received many awards including the Article of the Year in PI Magazine, Editor-Publishers Award in The Legal Investigator, and the TALI sponsored Hudgins Sallee Award. She is a life member of TALI. Although she has been blessed with a vast clientele and a successful business, for which she is grateful, she strives to maintain a low profile and prefers to work behind the scenes rather than solicit attention, partially due to her penchant for discretion and respect for her clients. Patti served on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Committee for thirteen years before moving to the Cutting Horse Committee where she served for three years, and is now a Life Member of HLS&R. She is an active member of Houston’s Second Baptist Church. Her hobbies include Cutting Horses, penning cows, love of the outdoors, sharing life with her beloved Black Mouth Cur cow-dog, Ruger and her two horses Mike, and J-boy. She enjoys studying Texas History and  Civil War History.



Mark Gillespie
Texas Board Certified Investigator, TALI School Director

 ALIVE Active Shooter Survival Training

Mark Gillespie is President of Gillespie Security and Investigations located in Austin, Texas. With 34 years of investigative and forensic science experience and a master’s degree in forensic science from George Washington University, Mark combines extensive first-hand field experience with cutting-edge forensic technical expertise. Mark spent a career as a special agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) where he commanded a number of OSI investigative units in the U.S. and overseas. Upon retirement from the Air Force, Mark became the Director of Forensic Science for the Austin (Texas) Police Department where he was responsible for directing and managing the department’s Forensic Science Division (Crime Laboratory). Mark has the distinction of introducing forensic science to St. Edwards University (SEU) (Austin, Texas) in 2002 which led to the creation of their forensic science undergraduate degree program. Mark served on the SEU faculty where he was an Instructor of Forensic Science, crime scene investigation and criminal investigation. In 2016 Mark created the Texas Institute of Investigation (TII) offering PI training and continuing education. Mark is a past president of the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators, TALI (2012-2014) and TALI Board member (2007-2012). Mark currently serves at TALI’s School Director. Mark is the Region 4 Director for the National Council of Investigation and Security Services (NCISS). Mark is licensed in Texas, Alabama and Louisiana and is a member TALI, FALI, CALI, FAPI, LPIA, NCISS, NAIS, INTELLENET, WAD, ASSIST and NAMEC.



Gerald Fry
Attorney at Law, Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

 Working Criminal Defense Cases in Harris County

Jerry graduated from The University of Florida in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, BSEE.  He worked at Texas Instruments from 1969 till 1971 as an Electrical Engineer working with a Top Secret Clearance on the F111 Aircraft.  Jerry graduated from South Texas College of Law in 1975 and was an Assistant District Attorney in Harris County from 1978 till 1981.

During his first year as an Assistant District Attorney, he tried the most jury trials in the office, 52 jury trials.  He has been practicing criminal law in Harris County from 1981 till the present.  Jerry is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and he is certified for first degree felonies on the Harris County Appointment list.    Jerry is on the Federal Southern District of Texas appointment list and he has tried about 300 criminal jury trials.  He a Fellow of the College of The State Bar, is licensed to practice in the Southern District of Texas, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and The Supreme Court of The United States and has filed two Writs to the Supreme Court, Filed many appeals to the Fifth Circuit and Texas appellate courts.



Emily Shelton
Attorney at Law

 Working Criminal Defense Cases in Harris County

Emily Shelton is a seventh generation Texan. After getting her Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice at Texas State University, she graduated for the University of Houston Law Center.  Since that time, she has handled over a thousand cases.  Emily Shelton has worked at three District Attorney’s offices in Texas. She was an intern in Harris and Travis (Austin) Counties during law school. She then went on to be a felony prosecutor for the Midland County District Attorney’s office. This experience has given her a valuable insight into how the other side thinks and operates.  She opened her own practice in 2009.  She only practices criminal law. This means she is more knowledgeable about criminal law than other attorneys who practice in multiple areas.   She handles all level of offenses, and has experience with everything from marijuana to murder.   She specializes in violent and sexual offenses.  She is a born trial attorney. Jurors love her, and she has great presence in the courtroom.  



Sgt. Louis Carballo
Houston Police Department Vice Division, Human Trafficking Unit

 Investigating Human Trafficking Cases

Bio coming soon


Jeff Wax
Mitigation Specialist and Licensed Investigator


Jeff Wax earned his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts and his Master of Fine Arts degree in theater from Virginia Commonwealth University.  He began his career in law enforcement with the Maine State Police.  Subsequently, Jeff founded Atlantic International Associates and specializes in mitigation life history and fact investigations for defendants facing capital punishment and juveniles facing life sentences.  He is licensed as an investigator by the Departments of Public Safety in Maine and Texas and works as a member of the criminal defense team for attorneys in both states throughout the year.  His office in Texas is located in Houston and he is available for both court-appointed and retained capital and non-capital cases throughout the state of Texas.  During Jeff’s career he has worked on numerous death penalty cases at the trial and appellate levels. Jeff has also investigated non-capital criminal cases, including matters pertaining to “white collar crimes”, conspiracy, murder, drug trafficking, domestic assault, assault with a deadly weapon, child molestation, sex abuse and pornography.


For Additional Information, Contact:


Region 3 Director William Ferguson at [email protected]