Executive Leadership Team

Mike Arismendez Jr

Mike Arismendez Jr.

Executive Director

As Executive Director, Mike Arismendez is committed to leading the agency as the premier licensing and regulatory agency in the nation. Through his servant leadership philosophy, he is dedicated to serving the citizens of Texas.

Arismendez joined the TDLR staff as a Deputy Executive Director in March 2019 and became Executive Director on February 1, 2022. Prior to joining the TDLR staff, he served as Commissioner of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation from 2005 until 2019 and was appointed as Chairman by Governor Greg Abbott in 2014.

He currently is the chair of the Hutto Economic Development Corporation, Chairman of the Hutto Tax Incremental Reinvestment Zone #2, and Secretary/Treasurer for both the River Creek Development Corporation and Cottonwood Development Corporation for the City of Hutto. In November 2019, he was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to the Advisory Council on Cultural Affairs. He also serves on DIR Business Leadership Executive Committee, the Board for the Texas Coordinating Council on Veteran Services, and Board Member for the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.

He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas Tech University and attended St. Edward’s University in Austin in the Masters Program for Business Management. He is also a Certified Public Manager.

Christina Kaiser

Christina Kaiser

Senior Deputy Executive Director

As the Senior Deputy Executive Director, Christina Kaiser oversees the Field Inspections Division, the Regulatory Program Management Division, the Enforcement Division, the Information Technology Division and the Information Security Office.

The Field Inspections Division conducts facility inspections to protect the public’s health and safety while visiting licensed locations. The Enforcement Division resolves complaints against regulated populations and assesses each applicant’s fitness for licensure based on their criminal history. The Regulatory Program Management Division provides guidance to licensees and TDLR staff on how to achieve compliance with applicable laws, rules, codes and standards in each of TDLR’s 37 regulatory programs. The Information Technology Division maintains all of the agency’s software systems and technologies, while the Information Security Office evaluates cybersecurity risks and implements processes to keep TDLR computers secure. Before becoming Senior Deputy Executive Director, Kaiser served as the TDLR Director of Enforcement from 2002 to 2019. She originally joined TDLR as an Assistant General Counsel in 2000. Before joining TDLR, Kaiser worked for the Texas Real Estate Commission and a Brazoria County assistant district attorney.

Kaiser is a graduate of Texas A&M University and the University of Texas School of Law.

Steve Bruno

Steve Bruno

Deputy Executive Director

As Deputy Executive Director, Steve Bruno oversees the Licensing and Education and Examination divisions. The Licensing Division processes and reviews applications and issues licenses to qualified individuals and businesses in accordance with statutory requirements. The Education and Examination Division oversees requirements for examinations, continuing education, and pre-licensure education as established in law and rule for the professions and industries TDLR regulates.

Bruno has a total of 11 years with TDLR. He was hired as a Government Relations Officer in 2007, holding that position until he left in 2012. After four years in the private sector, he returned to TDLR and served most recently as Legislative Director. Bruno has many years of experience working in the Texas House of Representatives as legislative director and chief committee clerk. He graduated from St. Edward's University and has a Master's in Public Affairs form the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin.

Doug Jennings

Doug Jennings

General Counsel

As the General Counsel, Doug Jennings provides legal guidance for TDLR’s regulatory programs and the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, as well as the agency’s 31 advisory boards and committees.

His staff prepares and files all agency rulemaking, negotiates and reviews all interagency agreements, contracts and procurements and handles all open records requests. They also coordinate litigation response with the Office of the Attorney General. Jennings joined TDLR in 2016 as an assistant general counsel and was promoted to General Counsel in 2023.

Jennings received his Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University and a J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law, as well as an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from the New York University School of Law.

Jessica Escobar

Jessica Escobar

Chief of Staff

Jessica Escobar serves as the Chief of Staff for TDLR, providing guidance and direction to implement the department's special projects, programs and priorities in a manner that reflects its mission and values, while advising and supporting the Executive Director and Commission.

Escobar has practiced administrative law since 2008. In 2019, following 9 years with the Texas Department of Agriculture, she started at TDLR as an assistant general counsel and government relations liaison. In 2023, she was promoted to her current role with the agency.

Jessica serves on the Board of Directors for the Executive Women in Texas Government and is a member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin. She has a Bachelor of Arts from University of Texas at El Paso, and a Juris Doctor from Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University.

Kenny Wright

Kenny Wright

Chief Process Improvement Officer

As Chief Process Improvement Officer, Kenny Wright oversees TDLR’s Customer Service Division and the process improvement program. The Customer Service Division answers general questions about TDLR programs and processes and assists licensees and applicants with licensing issues. Office of Process and Project Improvement focuses on unique problem-solving and collaboration to help the agency respond quickly to changing responsibilities.

Wright joined TDLR in 2015 as a project manager. Before joining TDLR, he worked in the private sector as director of project and portfolio management for an IT-managed services provider.

He has a Master of Business Administration degree from Liberty University.