University of Houston Alumni Association Announces 2015 Honorees

Recipients to be Honored at 61st Annual Awards Gala

The University of Houston Alumni Association (UHAA) has announced its 2015 Alumni Awards recipients, which include nationally and locally prominent leaders in their fields—from CEOs to radio and television personalities— as well as individuals who have a history of service to the University and community.  Honorees will be recognized at the 61st Annual Awards Gala on May 2, 2015, at the Westin Houston, Memorial City.

Distinguished Alumni Awards are given to individuals whose professional accomplishments bring prestige to the University. Five people are being honored in 2015:

  • Aylwin Lewis (‘76, M.B.A. ‘90) is the president and chief executive officer of Potbelly Corp. and is a board member at the Walt Disney Co. and Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
  • Bill Worrell (‘69) is in his 32nd season as the play-by-play announcer for the Houston Rockets. In 2011, he was honored with a Lone Star Emmy for best play-by-play announcer.
  • Rushion McDonald (‘83) is the executive producer of the Emmy-winning “Steve Harvey Show.” He is a co-founder of the Neighborhood Awards show (formerly the Hoodie Awards), a tribute to the best leaders and organizations in local neighborhoods throughout the nation. McDonald was listed as one of Showtime Network’s top 50 U.S. comedians for three consecutive years.
  • Ken Bailey (‘69, J.D. ‘72) is a founding partner of the civil litigation law firm Bailey Peavy Bailey, PLLC. While at the University of Houston, he was the starting quarterback during the 1967-1969 seasons and, in 1968, was a recipient of the Charles Saunders Award for an Outstanding Athlete. He has held numerous volunteer positions, which include serving on the UH Law Center’s Law Foundation Board and co-chairing the UH Athletics Director Search Committee in 2009. 
  • Dominic Ng (‘80) is chairman and chief executive officer of East West Bancorp Inc. and East West Bank. His numerous volunteer positions include director and former chairman of the Committee of 100 Inc., member of the University of Southern California’s board of trustees, committee member on the Resnick Institute advisory council at the California Institute of Technology, member of the Bowers Museum board of governors, and board member of the Southern California Asia Society Inc.

The 2015 UHAA Distinguished Service Award recipient is Laurie Rutherford (‘86, M.B.A. ‘91, M.S. ‘04), director of Enterprise Risk Management at CenterPoint Energy. This award is given to UHAA Life Members who are set apart by a history of service to the association and University.  Rutherford serves as president of the UH CenterPoint Energy Alumni Association and is a former member of the Houston Cougars women’s basketball team.

John T. McNabb and Drue DaSilva (‘93, M.S. ’99) have been named Outstanding Volunteer Award recipients. The Outstanding Volunteer Award recognizes alumni and University supporters who exemplify a spirit of volunteerism to advance UHAA’s mission. McNabb is chairman and chief executive officer of the Willbros Group, as well as senior advisor and former vice chairman of corporate finance at Duff and Phelps Corp. He is a former member and chairman of the dean’s advisory board at the University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer College of Business, where he developed and taught a course in leadership. DaSilva is manager of inside sales at ShoreGroup and is an active volunteer with many alumni organizations including Moores School of Music, the University of Houston’s College of Technology and Chi Omega.

Sports journalist and ESPN anchor Robert Flores (‘92) has been named UHAA’s Rising Star, which honors motivated young alumni who have excelled beyond the norm early in their careers. Flores hosts ESPN2’s “Fantasy Football Now” and is co-host of SportsCenter’s “Top 10 of the Month” on ESPN.

In 2015, the University of Houston Alumni Association will recognize the extraordinary efforts being made by the current student body. The student body has been named the 2015 Chairs Award recipient, which honors non-alumni who have consistently and voluntarily given extraordinary support to the University of Houston. UHAA is awarding the student body the Chairs Award for the significant role students have played in making improvements to the University’s culture, diversity, experience and external profile over the past five years.

The Outstanding Volunteer award is nominated and selected by the UHAA/alumni relations staff. All of the other honorees are nominated by alumni and the general public and presented to the UHAA awards committee, which selects the honorees and presents them to the UHAA Board of Directors. 

For more information on UHAA or any of its programming, please visit or call 713-743-9550. 

For more information on the 61st Annual Awards Gala, please visit