PBT – Built Texas Tough

Michael J. Whitlock, Executive Vice President

I attended my first meeting of the Professional Bondsmen of Texas in 1989. The meeting was as I recall a well organized and well attended. PBT, like any association has faced its share of challenges. The trade group however demonstrated its toughness and resilience and has remained strong at its core. It is currently one of the strongest and most effective bail agent associations in the country.

PBT’s strength can be found in three specific areas: leadership, membership, and relationships. Their leadership starts at the top with President Mike Byrd and then funnels down through the standing committees. All the committees are strong, Legislative, Education and PR are the standouts. The Legislative Committee currently chaired by Scott Walstad was instrumental in getting SB6 passed into law in 2021. Working with the PBT lobbying team and parallel to the efforts of the American Bail Coalition, SB6 has proven to be groundbreaking legislation that will serve as model for the rest of the nation. The PBT Legislative Committee is already gearing up for the 2023 legislative session.

The Education Committee continues to be prolific in ensuring all license holders throughout Texas have an opportunity to obtain their required education. The key instructors are attorneys Randy Adler, Ken Good and Roger Moore, all longtime bail experts. Members of local law enforcement and the judiciary often attend these classes to obtain a greater understanding of bail law.

Then there is the PR Committee which does an excellent job keeping members informed about everything PBT is up to, from legislative updates, highlighting members doing charitable deeds in their respective communities and continuing education classes. PBT regularly produces a blog and a Podcast, as means of continuing to expound on the efficacy of bail bonds.

With respect to PBT members, they are some of the most committed and loyal members you will find, giving their time and money whenever called upon. They raise significant donations for their political PAC through various fundraisers like their golf outing and auction. This years auction raised nearly $100,000. It was quite remarkable to witness. The members are clearly engaged and have a personal interest in protecting their livelihoods and the constitutional right to bail.

Maintaining relationships is a critical component to PBT’s success. Whether it’s continuing to keep the surety companies involved through their sponsorships and contributions to legislative efforts or the relationships they have built over the years with legislators, the Attorney General’s office or the Governor, they all matter and PBT members regularly voice their appreciation.

American Surety Company has been a longtime supporter of PBT and will continue to support PBT and the organizations efforts to protect and preserve the bail bond industry in Texas. That’s a toughness we can get behind.

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