Demetra Liggins 2018

'Savvy Sister' Demetra Liggins
Demetra Liggins was honored with the 2018 Savvy Sister Award at Houston Woman Magazine’s 12th Annual HER Awards Luncheon on August 22 at the Junior League of Houston. The Savvy Sister Award is one of seven HER awards, all created to honor excellent role models in our community.

Yearly, the Savvy Sister Award is bestowed upon a woman who has made a significant career change, interesting business maneuver or an innovative change to her workplace.  

“My mother was a social worker, and my dad was a pastor. I definitely grew up feeling for those who were not as fortunate or did not have all the advantages that life may offer,” said Liggins.  

And, this attitude carries over in her work as an attorney and partner at Thompson & Knight LLP, where she primarily works with bankruptcy cases.

Some of Liggins’ major contributions in the bankruptcy process are her thoughtfulness, creative problem-solving abilities and the trusted advice she gives her clients.

Jordan Sanders Latham, a mentee and friend, nominated Liggins for the Savvy Sister Award. She gives accolades to Liggins for having had nearly two decades of experience in business finance and restructuring for both large and small public and private companies.  

Her clients include healthcare systems, retail corporations, financial institutions, oil and gas companies, partnerships and private-equity funds.
Latham has known Liggins for seven years and views her as an outstanding leader/mentor.  

“She is driven, charismatic and wildly talented,” said Latham. I’m thrilled to nominate her. She has truly been a blessing and inspiration to me and many of her other mentees. Because of this and much more, she is worthy recipient of the Savvy Sister Award.”  

The ability to speak well allows Liggins to talk to minority and female audiences - established professionals and students - on bankruptcy and finance-related topics.
Some of these topics include setting career goals, branding and mentorship. Liggins, along with her twin sister, Bemetra Simmons, is cofounder of Corporate Homie, an organization helping women and minorities advance in corporate America. Through the organization, she interacts with high-achieving women and minorities across the country via a weekly advice-based podcast.

Because various industries trust her to give sound insight and advice on achieving success in the workplace, they engage her to speak regularly to their employees.  
Liggins gives her parents credit for her success.  

“My parents were very influential, and they inspired me when I was growing up. And,  they still do today.”  

While growing up, Liggins spent many years in Memphis, Tenn., but she also moved about some because her dad was in the U.S. Air Force.

“Having been brought up that way, I was definitely exposed to a lot of different people, different cultures and different backgrounds,” Liggins said.  

In 1997, she earned a bachelor of science degree, with an emphasis on marketing, from Christian Brothers University in Memphis. (She attended on a full volleyball scholarship.)
Later, she earned her law degree from Cumberland School of Law - Samford University, Birmingham, Ala.  

When asked about the one big positive future thing she would like for her law firm, clients and Corporate Homie, she responded, “For Thompson & Knight LLP and our clients, I would want to make sure all of its goals are met.  For Corporate Homie, the goal is to make sure women and minorities come to believe they can succeed in the workplace." 

Liggins has great concern for the young Corporate Homie women she endeavors to help and inspire.  

“I strive to be benevolent and charitable. I want to make someone else’s path easier because they learned something from me,” she said.

In addition to her full-time job, public speaking and volunteerism, Liggins also has a number of civic and community affiliations. She is a member of the Women’s Business Alliance, Greater Houston Partnership and is a Fellow of the Houston Young Lawyers Foundation.

She was named to The Best Lawyers in America® by Woodward, White, Inc. (2018); Texas Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters (2016-2017) and Houston’s “Top Lawyers” by H Texas Magazine (2010-2013, 2015-2016).

Minnie Payne is a freelance journalist and staff reporter for Houston Woman Magazine.
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