Freese and Nichols Adds Jace Houston and Ian Taylor in Key Leadership Roles

Veteran public water agency executives Jace Houston, JD, and Ian Taylor, PE, have joined Freese and Nichols, bringing decades of experience managing water supplies for Texas communities. Both will have strategic leadership roles within the company and add valuable insights to our work supporting water systems.

“Jace and Ian have walked in our clients’ shoes, so they can help us understand even better how to meet their needs,” said Jeff Payne, Freese and Nichols Chief Operating Officer. “We’re fortunate to add them to our leadership team. Their combination of legal, management, engineering and communications skills will bring unique depth to the services we can offer.”

Jace Houston, Freese and Nichols General Counsel and Risk & Compliance Director

Jace Houston is Freese and Nichols’ new General Counsel and Risk & Compliance Director. As a licensed attorney and former general counsel for a public agency, Jace has significant risk management and policy expertise. He also spent 16 years in leadership positions at San Jacinto River Authority, the last 11 as general manager.

He has extensive experience in implementing major water supply projects involving numerous wholesale customers, complex permitting and financing, sophisticated communications strategies, and multiple legal, political and financial hurdles.

Jace’s professional involvement has included service as a Texas Water Foundation board member; Texas Water Conservation Association board member, executive committee member and TWCA Risk Management Fund board member and chair; Region H Water Planning Group board member and officer; Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers and Galveston Bay Basin and Bay Area Stakeholder Committee board member; and Greater Houston Partnership Water Issues Committee chair.

He received his JD and BS in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas.

Ian Taylor is Freese and Nichols’ new Strategic Services Director, where his experience that spans from water/wastewater engineer to project manager to utility executive will help guide our internal planning and continuous improvement efforts.

Ian Taylor, Freese and Nichols Strategic Services Director

Ian led New Braunfels Utilities as chief executive officer for seven years, after spending 11 years in other roles, including chief engineer of water systems. Managing the water provider for one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, he gained critical experience in capital program expansion, strategic planning, asset management, technology and financial resilience development, and functioning through extraordinary challenges, including Winter Storm Uri, COVID-19, supply chain shortages and rate pressures.

His professional involvement has included service as a Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce board member and former chair; Braunfels Foundation Trust board member; Texas Public Power Association board vice president; New Braunfels Economic Development Foundation board vice chair; Headwaters at the Comal board member; and Region L Water Planning Group board member.

Ian received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer.