Texas Watch

About Us

About Us

Texas Watch is a non-partisan citizen advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that insurance companies and other corporations are accountable to their customers. Since 1998, Texas Watch has fought for Texas families and consumers by advocating for laws that:

• Ensure accountability through our courts and guarantee our constitutional right to Trial by Jury;

• Improve safety for workers, patients, and communities; and
• Reform the insurance marketplace to ensure meaningful coverage at a fair price.

Our organization thrives on community engagement, providing a platform for Texans to preserve and strengthen their constitutional rights and protections. Take action for policyholder protections, patient safety, corporate accountability, and more here.  

Texas Watch Staff

  • Ware V. Wendell

    Executive Director

    Ware leads all phases of Texas Watch. He first began working for the organization in 2003 and has been privileged to serve the organization in multiple capacities through the years. 

    As Texas Watch’s spokesperson, he is dedicated to giving voice to the need for public safety and full accountability through our civil justice system. In the face of a sustained assault on our life and liberty by corporate lobbyists, he stands for the preservation of individual constitutional rights, specifically the right to trial by jury enshrined in the Seventh Amendment to our Constitution. He has been quoted in leading media outlets on issues important to consumers and working families. Ware monitors legal developments that impact Texans and helps craft policy proposals that focus on fulfilling the promise of “liberty and justice for all.”

    Ware has served as the Legislative Aide to a senior member of the Texas House and Chief of Staff in the Texas Senate, enabling him to work on legislation of statewide importance and giving him insights into the workings of the Texas Capitol. He has testified before legislative committees and state agencies more times than he can count. 

    He holds a degree in Political Science with departmental honors from Stanford University, where he was the recipient of the Thomas Barclay Endowed Scholarship. He is also a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law, where he was the recipient of the Albert P. Jones Endowed Scholarship, and has taught as an adjunct professor at the law school for eight years. He has twice been named a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star and is listed among the Best Attorneys of America. He served as a voice for policyholders at the national level as a consumer liaison to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and fought for the rights of Texas homeowners on a statewide task force on residential arbitration.

    Ware and his wife have one daughter. When he finds free time, he makes music.

  • Tara Lee

    Deputy Director

    As the Deputy Director, Tara manages all of the day-to-day operations of Texas Watch. Whether she's producing the annual development plan, planning fundraising events, building our family of supporters, collaborating with coalition partners, or organizing our activist base, Tara never forgets the reason why she fights.

    Tara always had a passion for rooting for the underdog. Her drive to help others grew even stronger during her studies at Middle Tennessee State University where she graduated Cum Lade with a degree in Sociology. Upon graduation, she accepted an assistantship with the College of Graduate Studies where she continued delving into the field, specifically focusing on systemic injustices and advocating for women, families, and children. After receiving an opportunity to spend a summer working on research in Austin, like everyone else, Tara fell in love with the city and never looked back.

    Tara began her professional career in education as the Director of a private preschool where she focused on building relationships with families, engaging with the community, and leading the school to educational excellence to receive national accreditation. Prior to joining Texas Watch, she was the Office Manager of a large law firm where she oversaw all human resources, administrative, and financial operations of the firm.

    During her time working in the legal field, she met numerous families who had been wronged by others and witnessed the struggles and hardships they faced as a result. Their countless stories moved Tara and she knew she wanted to do more to make an impact for all families across our great state. Tara found her calling at Texas Watch and couldn't be more proud to fight for justice, safety, and accountability for her fellow Texans each and every day.

    While much of the city is still sleeping, Tara prefers to start her day before the sun rises with an intense CrossFit workout. As a Nashville transplant, she appreciates the eclectic Austin music scene, Texas hospitality, and good southern cooking. Tara also enjoys the arts, a good book, crossword puzzles on the patio, exploring the great outdoors, and taking long walks in her South Austin neighborhood.

  • Christian Benavides

    Digital Content Coordinator

    As the Digital Content Coordinator, Christian Benavides oversees the creation of video, photos, graphics, as well as maintaining all social media channels for Texas Watch. He focuses on helping Texas tell their stories in order to protect their rights and families. 

    During his time as a student in the Radio-Television-Film Department at the University of Texas at Austin, Christian began to venture into films that grappled with the issues of the time. His most recent project, "States & Avenues," a documentary about a recent UT graduate going back home to run for city council, was awarded a grant from KLRU in the inaugural digital maker's lab. In his spare time, Christian held different leadership positions in student organizations, including the University Filmmakers Alliance, Students of the World, and Women in Cinema. 

    In his professional career, he's held different internships in places such as Sparksight & UT Austin's College of Natural Science. During that time, he learned the fundamental skill of condensing information so it could be easily understood by people on the other side of the screen. Projects ranged from corporate to non-profit testimonials, cancer research, and video assets that helped raise money for a new endowment at the College of Natural Sciences.  

    Hailing from Houston, he has has a great sense of pride being from a city rich with culture and diversity. His time spent in the city allowed him to find ways to connect with people from all walks of life, and he uses that as a base to inform the stories he wishes to pursue. He also enjoys a great taco truck, sitting down at a coffee shop to write up his latest film idea, and listening to the newest album that attracts his attention. Christian is deeply committed to finding new ways to communicate about issues that are important to him and the people of the great State of Texas.