When Judy Zaffirini ran for the Texas Senate in 1986, her campaign materials described her as “articulate, organized, hard working.” Those skills helped her become the first Hispanic woman to serve in the Texas Senate and as Texas Governor for a Day, and those are the skills she shares professionally through her consulting, writing, and educational programs in communication, customer service, marketing, diversity, and leadership.

Many Texans think of Judy as a senator and perhaps forget or don’t know that Dr. Judith Zaffirini is an award-winning communication specialist with more than 30 years of experience in public speaking at the local, state, and national levels, and with 13 years of teaching experience, including at junior college and university levels. She brings that experience to Zaffirini Communications, her business through which she offers professional communication services, including consulting, writing, coaching, seminars, and workshops. Because of her success as a businessperson and in promoting Junior Achievement, she was inducted into their Business Hall of Fame.

Dr. Zaffirini is still adding to the more than 530 awards she’s won for professional, civic, and public service work. These include more than 90 awards that she and her staff won for communication projects, including speeches, brochures, and other print and audiovisual media. The Texas Public Relations Association, for example, presented her with a “Best of Texas” award for her publication, 20 Dozen Tips for Better Communication and Leadership Skills, and the Texas Professional Communicators honored her with numerous statewide awards, including first place for several keynote speeches such as From Scholarship to Leadership; If Judy Pappas Can Do It, Anybody Can!; and her speech at the inauguration of Senator Judith Zaffirini Elementary School.

An outstanding Texas leader, Dr. Zaffirini also excels in her professional capacity. Her expertise is reflected in her publications, including the Protocol Handbook and Priority Procedures for the City of Laredo. Her presentations are original and tailored for each audience-never canned. They are different because of her unique combination of education and experience as an educator and in the political, professional, and business arenas. A passionate reader, her messages are research-based as well as informative and persuasive, empowering and motivating.

Dr. Zaffirini holds bachelor of science, master of arts, and PhD degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, each with a 3.9 grade-point average. She earned all three degrees while married and working her way through college. She and Laredo Attorney Carlos Zaffirini Sr. have been married 41 years and have a 24-year-old son, Carlos Jr.

Those who have heard Dr. Zaffirini speak know she's always prepared, always says the right thing, and never uses notes. Many have wondered, "How does she do it?" She shows us as she effectively blends her educational expertise with her impressive "real world" experience. More important, she's a passionate champion of communication, especially in empowering us to interact more effectively in all of our arenas. This is an opportunity to learn from a distinguished leader, educator, and award-winning communication specialist-and don't call her senator!-Dr. Judith Zaffirini.
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