STARS OF MERCHANDISING LIGHT UP UH AWARDS
Houston’s Vallone, Wilson Among Honorees Recognized at Jan.
26 Star Awards
HOUSTON, January 4, 2007 – Mavens of merchandising will
soon converge on River Oaks to salute a select group of their leading
luminaries during an event benefiting the University of Houston’s
Department of Human Development and Consumer Sciences (HDCS).
The 2007 Merchandising Star Awards (MSA) will be presented during
a luncheon ceremony at noon Friday, Jan. 26 at River Oaks Country
Club. This event honors members of the retail community for exceptional
contributions to the profession. Proceeds from MSA will support
the HDCS Consumer Sciences and Merchandising (CSM) program that
prepares UH College of Technology undergraduates for retail and
human resources careers.
KPRC-TV anchor and UH alumna Dominique Sachse will serve as the
event’s emcee. Roz Pactor, former fashion director for Foley’s
and UH alumna, is the MSA chairperson.
“This event spotlights prominent and worthy individuals
who have been a part of the local retail scene for some time,”
Pactor said. “It also helps generate funding for student scholarships
and for the development of an online degree program. It’s
a win-win for everyone, with UH students coming out as the biggest
The following recipients will be honored:
- Arlene Baranda, owner of Artisan Designs in Rice Village, will
receive the Merchandising Star Award. As owner of a fashionable
boutique, Baranda continues to be an innovator in Houston’s
fashion merchandising scene.
- April Hinkle, associate publisher and senior vice president
of sales and marketing for Texas Monthly magazine, is being honored
with the Media Star Award. A native of Dallas, Hinkle has spent
17 years at Texas Monthly cultivating close relationships with
high profile clients Neiman Marcus, Foley’s/Macy’s,
Ralph Lauren, Tiffany’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s and
- Donna Vallone, co-owner of Vallone Restaurant Group, will receive
the Community Service Star Award. A UH alumna and former music
educator, Vallone has long been an integral part of the success
of popular Houston eatery Tony’s. She finds time to serve
on the boards of the Galleria Chamber of Commerce, Theatre Under
the Stars and the Maxine Messinger Multiple Sclerosis Clinic.
She also volunteers at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and
St. Anne’s Catholic Church.
- George Wilson, retired vice president of Foley’s human
resources, is this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement
Star Award. Wilson’s distinguished career spanned 40 years
at Foley’s. Wilson is a longtime supporter of UH’s
merchandising programs and has recruited many students for internships
and full-time careers.
The Emerging Star Student Scholarship Award will be presented to
UH student and CSM major Chris Goins.
“This event is a retail celebration,” said Shirley
Ezell, associate professor of HDCS. “Every day our distinguished
honorees come to work and make an impact in their community and
the retail marketplace. UH merchandising graduates have the best
of all worlds – a retail community that embraces innovation
coupled with a professional education and limitless opportunities
for managing dynamic global retailers.”
The Merchandising Star Award Endowment was established in 2004
to provide funds for CSM undergraduate and graduate scholarships,
continuing education programs, program and student enrichment, and
the expansion of the first online merchandising degree in the nation.
Fashion designer Victor Costa and philanthropist Rose Cullen, both
UH alumni, shared the first MSA. To learn more about the event,
call 713-743-4920 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or contact Pactor at 713-526-4325 and email@example.com.
HDCS is a part of UH’s College of Technology. The multi-faceted
department offers a unique curriculum focused on merchandising and
human resources. Working with professionals in the retail communities
has provided the UH program with educational opportunities for students
to expand their creative retail intelligence. Students are challenged
to reinvent retail processes, to build entirely new markets that
meet untapped customer needs and to execute the right ideas and
bring them to market in record time.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research
and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers
and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate,
civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university
in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and
service with more than 35,000 students.
For more information about UH visit
the universitys Newsroom at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom.