Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists
Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists

Board of Directors - Election 2017

Board of Directors

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Brandon Conrad 
Regional Laboratory Manager

Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory, Amarillo


Hello! My name is Brandon Conrad and I am honored to have been nominated for the Board of Directors.

Currently, I am the Regional Laboratory Manager of the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory located in Amarillo. Prior to arriving in management I was assigned to the controlled substance section as a Forensic Scientist. I have had the opportunity to not only perform casework but to also train new employees in the art of drug chemistry. I have also given lectures to law enforcement organizations on the production and dismantling of clandestine methamphetamine operations. I have been selected to serve on the controlled substance advisory board and I have served as chairman of the laboratory’s safety board.

I have been a member of SWAFS since 2003 and I have attended 13 of the last 14 training conferences. I have volunteered to serve on the SWAFS Website Committee and I have had the honor of serving as SWAFS President for two terms (2010-2011 and 2014-2015).

One of the reasons I am a member of SWAFS is the networking that is obtain from our training conferences. City, county, state, and federal laboratories from California to the Bahamas attend, allowing the analyst or managers to expand their knowledge beyond the office/bench. Our organization has always had many exceptional instructors covering the vast disciplines of the forensic community. It will be the focus of my tenure as a Board of Director to ensure the training conferences continue to maintain this high caliber of instruction for our members and guests. As a member of the Board of Director’s I look forward to representing the organization in a professional and dignified manner. I hope to see everyone in Fort Worth!


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Nick Grizzle
Forensic Scientist

Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory, Garland


I am a Forensic Scientist with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s crime laboratory in Garland. I began working in the Garland lab almost 11 years ago shortly after receiving a Bachelor’s of Arts degree with a major in chemistry from Texas A&M University in College Station in 2006. I have been an auditor for internal audits of other DPS system laboratories since 2010. I am currently the chair of the Health and Safety committee for the Crime Lab Service overseeing revisions to our Safety Manual and serving as the technical point of contact for safety related concerns and questions. I attended my first SWAFS conference shortly after gaining employment in Colorado Springs in 2006 and have attended half a dozen other conferences since. I was a member of the organizing committee when the DEA South Central Laboratory in Dallas hosted the annual SWAFS conference in Grapevine, TX in 2010 and presented a class during the conference in Oklahoma City in 2015. I have enjoyed the conferences I’ve attended and getting to know and network with my fellow attendees. I welcome the opportunity to serve SWAFS as a member of the Board of Directors and would be honored to do so.


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Eloisa Esparza 
Forensic Scientist IV, Breath Testing Technical Supervisor

Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory, Waco


I am a Forensic Scientist IV Breath Testing Technical Supervisor with the Texas Department of Public Safety and have been employed with Texas DPS since October 2007. I started my career with the Department as a Controlled Substance analyst in Tyler and was certified to conduct blood alcohol testing In June 2012. In November 2014 I made the transition to the Breath Alcohol Laboratory and with it a relocation to Waco. I am certified as an ASCLD/Lab assessor and have served on the DPS Controlled Substance Advisory Board. I have been a member of SWAFS since 2009 and served on the Membership Committee. I am also a member of the International Association for Chemical Testing and the Alcohol Testing Alliance. I am honored to be nominated to serve on the Board of Directors and would be glad to serve in this capacity if elected.


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Derek Sanders
Senior Forensic Analyst

Houston Forensic Science Center


My name is Derek Sanders and I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology. I have been in the field of Forensics for over twenty-five years. The areas in which I been privileged to share my expertise includes Controlled Substances analysis, Toxicology (blood alcohol, blood drug and urine drug), and Breath Alcohol Testing. In those twenty-five years, I have been privileged to work with many analysts that I respect a great deal. I think one of the things I learned from my time is how important it is to do a quality job. Doing a quality job requires not only a thorough understanding of your discipline but also being able to incorporate new ideas and processes if they present a valuable step forward. I do not believe in change for the sake of change unless the change benefits the discipline in real, tangible ways. If elected to the board, I will use my experience and values to properly assess the matters that are at the forefront of Forensics as we move forward in very uncertain times. I believe these include certification, getting more young forensic scientists involved in professional organizations such as SWAFS, consolidation of forensic services, competent and reliable examinations of novel submissions, and probably most importantly - practicing ethics, not just talking about ethics.