2013 - University of Houston
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2013 Biographies

Alyce Alston 

Alyce Alston is the Chairman & CEO of Culturemap, a digital network of lifestyle sites and mobile tools and services.  In less than ten years as the CEO or President of portfolio companies of Fenway Partners Private Equity, Reader’s Digest Association, and De Beers/LVMH joint venture, Alyce led the launch, turnaround, or expansion of numerous companies, served as “chief innovator” of groundbreaking products and businesses, and delivered revenue and profitability in record time.  

Earlier, Alyce held senior executive publishing roles with Conde Nast, Fairchild, Gruner + Jahr/Bertelsmann, and Hearst.  During that time, she launched O, The Oprah Magazine, the largest magazine launched in publishing history and achieved record-breaking revenue and profits in the first year.   Alyce also grew W magazine 100% to its largest revenue in its history. 

Alyce holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a BA in Business from Southern Methodist University.  She regularly speaks at industry events on changing markets and the impact on company growth.  She also serves as an Advisory Board Member for The Eudora Welty Literary Foundation, the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame, Texas Women of Wall Street and The Odyssey Advancement Learning.


Joni Baird 

Joni Baird is manager of Policy, Government and Public Affairs for Chevron in Houston.  Over her distinguished career as a public affairs professional, Baird has earned a reputation for weaving together philanthropy, volunteerism, community relations, governmental relations, and strategic sponsorships to promote and advance corporate social responsibility.  She attributes her successes in driving achievement of high priority goals to leadership, innovation, creativity and business acumen. 

Her positive and inspiring leadership style is known for generating excitement and engagement, while motivating others to action and achievement. 

She is engaged with many civic organizations and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and master’s degree in Management from Regis University in Denver, Colorado.


Sophia Banu, MD 

Dr. Sophia Banu completed her Medical school at the University of Delhi in India and went on to complete a junior residency in Pediatrics. She completed her psychiatry residency at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University New York, followed by 2 fellowships in Psychosomatic Medicine at New York University/ Bellevue Hospital working at the Program for Survivors of Torture and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University New York. She was the Chief Resident in both the Adult Psychiatry residency program and Child -Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship program.

Dr. Banu has extensive experience working with torture survivors in Nepal as well as in the U.S.

After medical school Dr. Banu started working with Bhutanese and Tibetan torture survivors in Nepal. After moving to New York she continued her work at the Bellevue / NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, initially as a volunteer, followed by her fellowship and then later as an attending physician. Over the years she has treated survivors of torture from all over the world. She is fluent in many languages including English, Tibetan, Nepali, Urdu and Hindi, can communicate in Bengali and reads Arabic fluently. 

Dr. Sophia Banu is board certified in Adult Psychiatry and Child-Adolescent Psychiatry and is an Assistant Professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, working primarily in the Harris Health System & Ben Taub General Hospital. 

She started the Clinic for International Trauma Survivors treating refugees and survivors of torture here in Houston and was recently appointed to be the Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic at Ben Taub General Hospital.


Michelle Swain Barnes 

Michelle Swain Barnes is a Houston-based Artist, Educator, Pro-Activist, Administrator, Facilitator, wife, mother, and grandmother.  She is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Community Artists' Collective (The Collective). 

The Community Artists' Collective is a community-based organization that, since 1987, has led change in service to the community through the arts.  The mission of Community Artists' Collective is to create, preserve, promote and present for all people evidence of African American cultural traditions, values and aspirations in the natural and built environment.  This mission is accomplished through programs of excellence in Education, Exhibition, Community Development, and Entrepreneurship generally in collaboration with other individuals, agencies and organizations.  Through this work, services that engage people in generally underserved communities are bridged by the creative process to and result in meaningful experiences and authentic products. 

The Collective challenges local artists to make their own career decisions, to produce work, which truly reflects their unique vision, and to work with our organization or some other organized effort to give something back to the community from which we have emerged. 

Barnes endeavors to share her skills with other community-based entities, to improve the effectiveness of the provision of services, facilitate the improvement of the quality of the lives of residents of the Houston community and thereby instill hopefulness for the futures of the individuals and families in the greater Houston area.


Freda Wilkerson Bass    

Freda Wilkerson Bass joined Exxon Corporation in 1973 as a Financial Analyst in the Treasurer’s Department. Her thirty-year career has been spent predominantly in the finance and strategic planning functions of a variety of business segments including domestic and foreign oil and gas operations, frontier area oil exploration, chemicals, coal and minerals, as well as corporate headquarters. Following the Exxon Mobil merger in December 1999, Ms. Bass was appointed Treasurer for the Upstream with worldwide responsibility for financing and the Company’s Exploration, Development, Production and Gas & Power Marketing activities. Ms. Bass majored in economics, first at Stanford University and then at Cornell University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1971. Following that she attended Wharton, obtaining an MBA degree in finance in 1973. She was a certified public accountant, a member of the Financial Executives Institute, and has been a board member of St. John’s School, the Houston Zoo, Texas Children’s Hospital, and the ExxonMobil Foundation.


Katherine Cabaniss 

Katherine Cabaniss, Executive Director of Crime Stoppers of Houston, is a renowned leadership expert and specialist on the subjects of public safety, nonprofit organizations, legal issues, and more. She has been protecting and empowering citizens for more than two decades.  She was appointed by Governor Perry to the Texas Crime Stoppers Council for a term from 2009-2013. 

Ms. Cabaniss holds a Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law in California. She is licensed to practice law in both California and her native Texas. As well as practicing law, she has managed a nationally recognized nonprofit organization. She currently continues to lead the most successful and productive charitable cause of its kind in the country. 

She is the recipient of several national awards, including the 2008 Director’s Community Leadership Award from the FBI, and the Suzanne McDaniel Public Awareness Award from the bipartisan Congressional Victim’s Rights Caucus in 2009. She was also named one of the Fifty Most Influential Women in Houston in 2011. 

Katherine has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television shows. As a regular commentator on KHOU news, she appears weekly on Saturday mornings as a safety expert. She writes the weekly column “Living Safe” in the Examiner network of publications.


Gina L. Carroll 

Gina Carroll began writing, blogging and speaking after leaving a large corporate law practice to become a stay at home mom to raise her five children.  She is now nationally recognized for her coverage of the parenting and family landscape, including relationships, digital fluency, parenting adolescents and getting into college. 

She is the author of “24 Things You Can Do with Social Media to Help Get into College” and co-founder of Inspired Wordsmith, a writing, educational and authorship services company. She is a passionate spokesperson and blogger for MomsCleanAirForce.org and the blogging board member for Communities in Schools of Houston. On her sites, Tortured By Teenagers, ThinkActParent.com and ThinkActEat.com, Gina also advocates for literacy, drop-out prevention and the importance of the family meal. 

With her new endeavor, AStoryThatMatters.com, Gina offers workshops and writing services that encourage and help women write their own stories. Her belief that “we all have life experiences to share that are important to our families, our communities and ultimately, ourselves,” is behind her desire to empower women to be the authors of their own stories. 

Gina is a graduate of Stanford University and UCLA Law School.


Drucie R. Chase 

Drucie R. Chase is a Community Volunteer in the Greater Houston area.  She has a B.A. in English from Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas.  She also completed 12 hours of Post-Graduate work in Elementary Education at Texas Southern University.  Chase was a teacher for HISD for 12 years.  She is a Board Member for the Houston Museum of African American Culture and the Houston Botanic Garden.  She is also a member of the Antioch Baptist Church.  She has three children and five grandchildren and resides in Houston. 


Danong Chen 

Danong Chen, Chief Executive Officer, MetronomX, is a seasoned executive with over two decades of experience in leadership, strategy and product development and commercialization.  MetronomX, Inc., co-founded by Dr. Chen in 2010, is focusing on developing and commercializing pharmaceutical therapeutics to address unmet medical needs, especially in pediatric cancer. 

Prior to co-founding MetronomX, Dr. Chen was from 2008–2009, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Theranostics Health, Inc., a biotech company founded in 2006, that focused on developing products for personalized treatments.   She also served from 2006-2007 as the President and CEO of Tanox, Inc., a Houston based—and one of the largest in Texas—publicly traded biotherapeutic company, engaged in the development of monoclonal antibodies that treat unmet medical needs related to asthma, allergy, inflammation, autoimmune disease, and other conditions stemming from defects in the immune system.  

A bronze medal recipient from the Chinese government for her work in developing immunoassay-based clinical diagnostics in Shanghai, Dr. Chen received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX and MBA from Arthur D. Little School of Management in Boston, MA. 


Dr. Lynda Chin 

Dr. Lynda Chin received her M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1993, and is a board-certified dermatologist. She conducted her clinical and scientific training at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she was appointed Chief Resident of Dermatology. 

For the first 14 years of her independent career, she was a member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School communities where she was Professor of Dermatology at the Harvard Medical School, member of the Department of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and a Senior Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.  Dr. Chin was one of the founding faculty members and the Scientific Director of the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  

In 2011, Dr. Chin joined The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where she launched and chairs the Department of Genomic Medicine, in addition to serving as the Scientific Director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science. Dr. Chin is actively involved in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).  In addition to being PI and co-PI, respectively, in two TCGA centers (the Genome Data Analysis Center at the Broad and the Genome Characterization Center at HMS), Dr. Chin also serves on its Executive Subcommittee and chairs the Analysis Working Groups in GBM and Melanoma.  She is also a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium. 

Dr. Chin is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and co-founded AVEO Pharmaceuticals in 2002, a cancer biotechnology company that emphasizes cancer biology and genetics to identify new cancer targets with tumor maintenance roles.  More recently, Dr. Chin also founded Metamark Genetic, a cancer diagnostic company that will develop function-based prognostic determinants that can guide customized management of early-staged cancer patients including melanoma and prostate cancer. Dr. Chin has three young children, ages 11, 10 and 8.


Ramona Davis 

Ramona Davis is Executive Director of Greater Houston Preservation Alliance.   

An active volunteer in several local community organizations, she served on the Board of MECA, Multi-ethnic Counseling in the Arts for seven years and on the Advisory Council for the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin for twenty years.  Additionally, she has served on the Mayor’s Committee for Preservation of City Hall and the Mayor’s History Task Force, the Selection Committee for redevelopment of several city owned historic buildings, the Texas Avenue Project, Phase II, the Historic Resources Committee of the American Institute of Architects, Houston Chapter, the Advisory Board for the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, the San Jacinto Museum Board of Directors, the Steering Committee for the Houston Metropolitan Survey, and the Houston Club Board of Directors as Vice President.  She currently serves on the Gulf Coast Journal Board of Directors, the Advisory Board for the Hobby Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston, and the Texas Southern University Mural Restoration Committee.  She is also a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas and the Houston Philosophical Society. 

Ramona and her son, Ben, enjoy fly fishing, biking, and reading novels aloud together.


Gayle Ross DeGeurin 

Gayle Ross DeGeurin was born in Corpus Christi Texas and currently lives in Houston.  Ms. DeGuerin graduated with an AA degree from Stephens College and a BS degree in Elementary Education and Sociology from the University of Texas in Austin.  She was a public school teacher in Lubbock, Austin and Houston between 1968 and 1991, and she also was the Director of the Montessori School of Houston from 1976 to 1982. 

Ms. DeGuerin continued her education over the years, studying Buddhist studies at Rice University, painting and drawing at the MFAH Glassell School and the Instituto de Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and art therapy at University of Houston. 

Ms. DeGuerin is the Chair of the Board of the Rothko Chapel.  She has served in this capacity since 2006.  She also serves as Vice President to the ArtBridge Houston board of directors and she formerly served on the board of Community Artist Collective and the Citizen’s Environmental Coalition.  Gayle also has volunteered at the Houston Zoo, Rice Design Alliance, Lawndale Art Center, the ACLU, the UN Human Rights Celebration Committee, Foto Fest and her neighborhood community. 

Ms. DeGuerin is married to Mike DeGeurin. They have three children and seven grandchildren who all reside in Houston.


Grace Davis England, PhD 

Currently a professor of education at the University of St. Thomas, Grace’s professional life has been chiefly dedicated to establishing and conducting vital educational services for children with disabilities. She previously worked as a school administrator to develop those special education programs and related services necessary to benefit students--especially those with profound disabilities--in public school settings. 

Under her direction, in 1982 the Klein Independent School District initiated the first Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program in Texas to serve high risk children from birth to age 3 with critically needed therapies, family interventions, and case management services. 

During the 1983 to 1984 school year, she served as an educational consultant to the US Department of Defense by working with DoD schools for dependents in Germany. Their mission was to establish or improve special education services for the children of military personnel.  Early delivery of services and family support have become standards in her life, resulting in successful outcomes for exceptional youth and the engaged families they represent. The recently established Grace England Early Childhood / PreKindergarten Center (Klein ISD) now fulfills her early dreams of being a teacher who reaches beyond the classroom to the lives of children and the hearts of their families.


Diana Espitia 

Diana is the managing partner of a Houston-based consulting firm that focuses on supporting and advancing the philanthropic and business agendas of a diverse clientele. With fifteen years of experience in fund raising, branding and public relations she is ideally positioned to guide both startups and established organizations. Ms. Espitia’s portfolio includes Shell Oil Company; CITGO Petroleum; Newcoast Entertainment, the MLK Memorial Foundation; John Hofmeister, author of Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Energy Insider, the not-for profit, Citizens for Affordable Energy; Texas Southern University, and the National Urban League.  

Prior to opening her firm Diana worked for the American Red Cross, JPMorgan Chase and the Association for the Advancement for Mexican-Americans (AAMA).  A passionate advocate for the Dream Act and full immigration reform, Ms. Espitia is the Producer of the documentary, Illegal, which premiered last year at the LA Film Festival.  She is also an Executive Producer of the soon to be released HBO documentary Ann Richard’s Texas.  Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, Diana graduated from the University of Houston.


Marilyn R. Fountain 

Prior to relocating to Houston from Pennsylvania and joining Star of Hope as Executive Director, Marilyn Fountain held many positions in the field of communications, including Director of Public Relations with a Pennsylvania art center; Head Writer and Creative Director for a Philadelphia film and video firm; Creator, Producer and Host of a Philadelphia radio talk show; and national award winning feature writer and correspondent for a variety of city and national newspapers and magazines. 

She is the 2010 recipient of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science’s EMMY Award, and the 2011 Hope Award.  Additionally, she is the author of the recently published book: Un-Break Your Heart.  In the fourteen years that she has been with Star of Hope, she has brought all her experiences in media together for the benefit of the homeless of Houston.  She believes her work here is the perfect culmination of many years of communicating with the public and a wonderful opportunity to use her abilities in the service of others, for a God-inspired purpose.


Ellie Francisco 

After spending over 20 years in the oil and gas business traveling extensively, first with Union Texas Petroleum, and then with Halliburton, Ellie founded francisco+co eight years ago to provide strategic community positioning and introductions for corporations and non-profits as well as event consulting and management in both Houston and Dallas.  Ellie combines expertise in fundraising, development and event planning, with her hands-on corporate experience in strategic planning, finance and communications with Fortune 200 companies. 

Ellie's honors include 2008 Houston’s Most Influential Women by Houston Woman Magazine; 2007-2010 Houston’s Dynamic Women by Houston Modern Luxury Magazine; 2004 recipient of Mary Jo Peckham Award by the Assistance League of Houston; 2002 Woman of Distinction by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America; 2001 Robert Cruikshank Volunteer of the Year Award by the American Heart Association and was a “Hat’s Off to Mothers” United Cerebral Palsy Foundation Honoree in 2000.  Ellie and her husband, Michael, were honored in 2003 as a pacesetter couple for the Cancer League.  This year she was named a Houston Treasure by the Social Book and inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber Hall of Fame. 

Ellie and Michael have two incredible sons Gregg and Joseph. She has a BBA degree from the College of William and Mary and an MBA degree from the University of Houston.


Valerie Gibbs

Valerie Gibbs is President of the Houston Region for Bank of Texas.  A 25 plus year banking veteran, Gibbs has experience in the Corporate, Commercial and Business Banking Groups. Prior to joining Bank of Texas in 2005, Gibbs delivered impressive results at well-respected institutions such as Wells Fargo, Amegy Bank, Sterling Bank and Bank of Scotland. 

As President of the Houston Region, Gibbs utilizes her sales and management experience in all facets of banking to grow market share for Bank of Texas under the leadership of the Houston Chairman. In addition to a primary focus on Commercial Banking, Gibbs works with all areas of the bank, including Treasury Management, International Banking, Private Wealth Management, Trust, Healthcare Banking, Corporate Banking, Energy Lending and Commercial Real Estate. 

Gibbs is a current member of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Business Retention and Expansion Initiative and the Executive Women’s Partnership Steering Committee. She is a Board Member for the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, American Red Cross of Greater Houston, Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce and is an Advisory Director for the Women’s Global Leadership Conference on Energy and Technology. Gibbs is an active member of the Women’s Initiative for the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of the United Way. 

In 2010, Gibbs was named a Breakthrough Woman by the Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She received her BBA in Accounting from Auburn University.


Laura Gibson 

Laura Gibson is a founding partner of Ogden, Gibson, Broocks, Longoria & Hall, L.L.P. in Houston.  She is Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston Bar Association.  She served on the State Bar Advertising Review Committee from 2004 – 2010, including serving three years as Chair.  She has also served as President of the Association of Women Attorneys in Houston and the Houston Lawyer Referral Service.  In addition to handling employment matters, Ms. Gibson is an experienced commercial litigator with an active trial practice with a concentration on financial services litigation.


Bethany Haley 

In addition to leading a team of 30 as President at Savage Brands, Bethany works with clients to clarify their vision and develop purpose-driven brand strategies. Working closely with clients including The American Heart Association, FlexSteel, FMC Technologies and Weir Oil & Gas, she maintains strategic, long-term relationships. 

Bethany is an alumna of The University of Arizona and received her MBA from Rice University. She currently serves as the President of the Houston Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute and has served as a board member of the Association of Professional Design Firms. She is an active member of Vistage, a CEO leadership organization and the recipient of The Houston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” Award.


Margo Hilliard Alford, MD, MPH 

Margo Hilliard Alford, MD, MPH is Senior Vice President of Community Health & Wellness for the Harris Health System in Houston, Texas. Dr. Hilliard Alford began her career with the Harris County Hospital District in 1988 as Administrator of Jefferson Davis Hospital. In June 1989, Dr. Hilliard Alford was named Administrator of Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, where she served for seventeen years. Notable accomplishments during her tenure include opening one of the nation’s first free-standing clinics for the treatment and support of HIV/AIDS patients, and securing designation of LBJ General Hospital as the first Level III Trauma Center in Texas. 

More recently, Dr. Hilliard Alford was instrumental in creating community-wide coalitions, Gateway to Care, and IMPACT Collaborative (Impacting Maternal and Prenatal Care Together), for the purpose of increasing access to care for all uninsured residents, pregnant women and infants. For these efforts, she received the 2012 Kathryn S. Stream Award for Excellence in Women’s Health from the Texas Medical Center Women’s Health Network.


Mae C. Jemison, MD 

Dr. Mae C. Jemison is currently leading 100 Year Starship (100YSS) an initiative seed funded by DOD’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to assure the capability for human interstellar space travel to another star is possible within the next 100 years. She also is founder of the technology consulting firm, The Jemison Group, Inc. that integrates the critical impact of socio-cultural issues when designing and implementing technologies, such as their projects on using satellite technology for health care delivery in West Africa and solar dish Stirling engines for electricity generation in developing countries. 

Dr. Jemison, the first woman of color in the world to go into space, served six years as a NASA astronaut. She flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-47 Spacelab J(apan) mission in September 1992 and was NASA’s first Science Mission Specialist performing experiments in material science, life science and human adaptation to weightlessness. 

A strong, committed global voice for science literacy, in 1994 Jemison founded the international science camp The Earth We Share™ (TEWS) for students 12-16 years old from around the world, and founded and chairs the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence.  As an environmental studies professor at Dartmouth College, Jemison taught sustainable development and technology design and ran The Jemison Institute for Advancing Technologies in Developing Countries. She was an A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. 

Dr. Jemison is an inductee of National Women’s Hall of Fame, National Medical Association Hall of Fame and Texas Science Hall of Fame. Among many honors, awards and honorary degrees she received the National Organization for Women’s Intrepid Award, the Kilby Science Award and in 1999 was selected as one of the top seven women leaders in a presidential ballot national straw poll. 

Dr. Jemison is a highly sought after speaker on issues of health care, social responsibility, technology and motivation and has provided commentary for the BBC, McNeil Lehrer Report, ABC Nightline, NPR and CNN. She appeared on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, hosted the Discovery Channel’s series World of Wonder and was chosen one of People Magazine’s “World’s 50 Most Beautiful People” in 1993. Dr. Jemison resides in Houston and loves cats.


Sheila Kahanek 

As Chief Financial Officer of Sun Coast Resources, Inc., Sheila Kahanek has been instrumental in numerous process improvement initiatives.  Sheila has over 20 years of experience in working with public/private domestic and multi-national companies in financial and operational performance improvement, M&A, corporate restructurings, cash flow and working capital management, including technical accounting, compliance and reporting.  She earned her MBA from Rice University and a BS in Accounting from the University of Houston.  She is a licensed CPA in Texas and a member of the AICPA and Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.


Dr. Saleha B. Khumawala 

Dr. Saleha Khumawala is Professor of Accounting and Director, Nonprofit Management and Microfinance at Bauer College of Business, University of Houston.  She is a CPA and obtained her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She teaches and does research in the field of Government and Non-Profit Accounting, has widely published in prestigious journals and made numerous presentations at national and international conferences.  Dr. Khumawala has developed and conducted a very successful Study Abroad India Program for students since the summer of 2002. She is also the coauthor with Michael Granof (UT-Austin) of the sixth edition of Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting: Concepts and Practices, John Wiley & Sons and Governmental Accounting: Fundamental Principles (coauthored with Eric Berman) for the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA, Tax & Accounting), Accounting Policy & Practice Portfolio Series.  She is an active member of the American Accounting Association and served as the President of the Government and Non-Profit Section in 2008. 


Melaney Linton 

Melaney Linton is President and Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC).  Melaney started her career with Planned Parenthood in 1988 as a Health Center Assistant. In January 2012, Melaney was selected to lead the $25 million organization that provides reproductive health services, education and advocacy for 35 counties in Southeast Texas and the state of Louisiana. 

Throughout her 24 year career with PPGC, Melaney has provided leadership in a variety of roles. She played a pivotal role in the expansion of PPGC’s service area as well as the range of services provided to our clients, including the opening of two new health centers in Houston and New Orleans.  On the national level, Melaney served as a consultant to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) Consortium of Abortion Providing Affiliates from 1996-2000.  She chaired the PPFA National Patient Services Council from 2001 - 2005.  She served on the PPFA National Medical Committee from 1998-2005. 

A 1985 graduate of Texas A&M University, Melaney also completed graduate studies at The University of Texas Houston Health Science Center School of Public Health.  Melaney enjoys traveling and experiencing foreign locales, cultures, and cuisines.  She has visited Mexico, Spain, France, and Italy repeatedly and is a perennial student of the Romance languages.


Karen Love 

Karen Love, Director of Practice Growth for PKF Texas, found the accounting marketing world in the mid 90’s, when business development was a word rarely heard in our industry.  Karen has played a tremendous role in the strategic direction of the firm for the past 12 years, and in 2005, became a director/owner. Her innovative practice growth strategies and inside-out approach to practicing what she preaches has enabled the professionals at PKF Texas to infiltrate strategically key organizations in international Houston. Karen is a strategic advisor to PKF Texas President, Kenneth Guidry on marketplace initiatives. Karen has mentored and blazed the trail for other accounting marketing professionals in her more than 16 years in the industry, and has been recognized as one of Accounting Today’s 100 Most Influential People, a Marketer of the Year by the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM), and was inducted into the AAM Hall of Fame in 2009. She was recently named one of the 2011 Women on the Move by the Texas Executive Women and Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women by Houston Woman Magazine. Her passion for corporate social responsibility began early in her career with her work on the Texas State Board of the American Heart Association, and continues to be an essential element of her leadership at PKF Texas. Under her direction, PKF Texas was a founding sponsor of the FastTech 50 award program, the 40 Under 40 award program and the Greater Houston Partnership’s (GHP) Houston Young Professionals Endeavor (HYPE).


Regina Mayor 

Regina Mayor is a Principal in KPMG’s Advisory Services practice, specializing in Business Performance Improvement.  Regina serves as the National Oil & Gas Advisory Leader and the Houston Advisory BU Principal-in-Charge.  In both these capacities, she determines the strategy and investment for the firm to better serve the Energy industry as well as optimizes the delivery of our services in the South.  

Regina has over 20 years experience delivering large scale business and technology changes to major oil companies around the world.  She has significant depth and expertise in business transformation, process redesign, organizational design and change management.  She has provided advisory services across the entire oil and gas value chain from wellhead through to retail.  

Regina is a sought after speaker, having spoken at industry forums like the World Energy Conference, National Petroleum Refiners Association, and the Argus Americas Crude Conference.  Additionally, she has published many thought leadership articles on performance improvement demonstrated through tangible, financial results. 

Regina holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and a Master of Public Policy from Harvard.  She was a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve (and interned with SHAPE at the Pentagon).  She was born and raised in Pearl City, Hawaii.


Susan McEldoon 

Susan McEldoon is a 20-year veteran of television management with an emphasis on sales and business development. Her experience includes leadership roles at network-owned stations as well as other media groups. McEldoon joined KHOU-TV, a Belo Corp. subsidiary and CBS affiliate, in 2004. She held positions as director of sales and station manager before being promoted to president and general manager in November 2007. McEldoon’s leadership during Hurricane Ike led her to be named GM of the Year 2008 for markets 1-25 by Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. Prior to joining KHOU, she held posts with NBC in Denver, CBS in Chicago and the Dispatch Broadcast Group in Columbus, Ohio. She is active in the Greater Houston Partnership Executive Women’s Partnership and is a board member of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the Houston Chapter of the American Red Cross. She also is a member of the board of trustees for United Way Houston.


Amy L. McGuire, JD, PhD 

Amy L. McGuire is the Leon Jaworski Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine. She was awarded the Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Faculty Excellence Award for Education Leadership and the Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching and Evaluation, is a member of the BCM Academy of Distinguished Educators, and is a member of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research at the National Institutes of Health. 

Dr. McGuire received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude, her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center, summa cum laude, and her Ph.D., with distinction, from the Institute for Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch. 

Her research focuses on legal and ethical issues in genomics. She is currently studying participant attitudes toward genomic data sharing, investigators’ practices and perspectives on the return of genetic research results, ethical issues in human microbiome research, and ethical and policy issues related to the clinical integration of genomics. 

She is an alumnus of the Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics, and her current research is funded by the NIH-NHGRI and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.


Barbara McKnight 

Chef Barbara Friedel McKnight was called to the profession at the early age of 4, learning basic cooking skills from her grandmother, an organic hobby gardener and renowned home cook.  She continued her interest in all things culinary throughout her school years, completing an undergraduate degree in German at the University of Texas at Austin and a 3-year culinary apprenticeship program at the Baden-Wuerttemberg School of Hotel and Restaurant management in Southern Germany, from which she graduated with honors. 

After an 18-month stage at the five-star Savoy Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, Barbara was offered a position as sous-chef at the prestigious catering firm of Jackson and Company in Houston, Texas.  After several years there, she left to start her own catering company, CULINAIRE – Inspired Cuisine and Events.  CULINAIRE quickly gained a reputation as one of Houston’s premier caterers, and has been recognized by the Houston Business Journal every year since 2007 as one of Houston’s fastest-growing women-owned businesses. In 2010 Culture Map chose Catering by Culinaire as one of the top six high end caterers in Houston. In 2011, Barbara was chosen as one of ten recipients of the Women on the Move award from Texas Executive Women. 

Chef McKnight is also active in the community with several organizations including Recipe for Success, and was invited by Michelle Obama to attend launch of her initiative, “Chefs Move! to Schools”, at the White House in August 2010. 


Lori McNeil 

Born in San Diego, California, Lori McNeil moved to Houston when she was 11 years old. She spent all of her formative years on the tennis court at MacGregor Park alongside her close friend, Zina Garrison, guided by American Tennis Association champion John Wilkerson. Lori attended Oklahoma State University on scholarship where she became an All-American collegiate player with three Big Eight Championship titles. 

McNeil captured 12 WTA tour singles titles, 40 career doubles titles, including the mixed doubles championship at the French Open. Lori scored a stunning first-round victory over defending champion Steffi Graf at Wimbledon in 1994, eventually reaching the semi-finals. Lori was ranked as high as #5 in the world during her career. 

After a 17-year successful professional career, Lori retired in 2002 and went on to be the Assistant Coach of the U. S. Olympic Women’s Tennis Team in 2004 and 2008.  She was awarded the WTA Mentor Appreciation Award in 2006 and served as coach for the women’s team in the World University Games in 2005. Lori was inducted into the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in 2000 and coached tennis star Amanda Coetzer from 2001-2004. In July of 2012 McNeil joined the Zina Garrison Academy as Director of Tennis and will continue to coach, mentor and inspire future generations of tennis players.


Catherine Clark Mosbacher 

After working as an attorney, public affairs consultant, and community volunteer, Catherine Clark Mosbacher joined the Center for Houston’s Future as President and CEO in October, 2008.  She previously served as Board Chair of the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services in Austin (child and adult protective services, child care licensing, and prevention and intervention).  Additionally, Catherine was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston Law Center for eight years, Legislative Counsel to Texas Eastern Corporation in Houston, and Assistant Counsel to the United States Senate Legislative Counsel in Washington, D.C.  

She is the founder of BEAR, Be a Resource for CPS Kids, a nonprofit that provides help and hope to abused and neglected children, and has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including the Houston Area Women's Center, St. Luke’s Health Charities, Houston Metropolitan YMCA, and The Alley Theatre.  A graduate of the Center for Houston’s Future Leadership Forum, Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum, and a former Trustee of St. John's School, her honors include Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2010, the Depelchin Award for Community Leadership, the Anti-Defamation League’s Torch of Liberty Award, and the Center for Public Policy Priorities Legacy Award. 

Catherine has three children, Peter, Jane and Meredith, daughter-in-law, Lucy, twin grandsons, James and Bobby, and son-in-law Nate.


Antonya Nelson 

Antonya Nelson is the author of four novels, including Bound (Bloomsbury, 2010) and six short story collections, including Nothing Right (Bloomsbury, 2009).  Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, Redbook and many other magazines, as well as in anthologies such as Prize Stories: the O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. She is the recipient of a USA Artists Award in 2009, the 2003 Rea Award for Short Fiction, as well as NEA and Guggenheim Fellowships, and teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program, as well as in the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program.  She lives in Telluride, Colorado, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Houston, Texas.


Jacqueline R. Northcut 

Jacqueline Northcut joined BioHouston as its President and CEO in December 2002, creating an organization that is the foundation for what BioHouston has become today. She is passionate about building the life science industry in the state of Texas and over the last 25 years has assisted the governor and two mayors of Houston in their efforts to create a sustainable industry in the state.  She is also the CEO of Texas BioAlliance, an organization affiliated with BioHouston. 

Prior to joining BioHouston, Jacqueline was a partner with Arthur Andersen. For 18 years, she worked with emerging businesses from the initial start up phase through maturity in various industries including biotechnology, venture capital, medical device and several service industries including numerous initial public offerings and rollups.  While at Arthur Andersen she led several biotechnology industry initiatives including the national Association for Biotechnology Financial Officers.  

She received her BBS from Harding University in 1984.


Ellen Ochoa 

Dr. Ellen Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993.  Ochoa is an astronaut, engineer, research scientist, and an inventor.  She is presently serving as the deputy director for NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.  An astronaut since 1991, she has flown four times and logged nearly 1,000 hours in space. She also is a co-inventor on three patents for optical systems and has presented numerous papers at technical conferences and in scientific journals.  Ochoa is honored to have two schools named for her, the Ellen Ochoa Middle School in Pasco, Washington, and the Ellen Ochoa Learning Center in Cudahy, California.


Diane R. K. Osan, FAIA, ACHA 

For 30 years, Diane R. K. Osan has helped the nation’s top health care institutions translate their visions into reality. As Chairman of the Board and Chief Visionary Officer of Houston-based FKP Architects, she is one of few women in the country to lead a large architecture firm — a firm she has helped build into an international design leader. A frequent expert lecturer at health care business and design forums, Diane’s award-winning work for children’s hospitals, women’s health facilities and cancer care centers is often benchmarked among the world’s best patient care environments. Most recently, she led the design of Houston’s premier women’s center, the new Texas Children’s Hospital Pavilion for Women.


Mayor Annise Parker 

A second generation native Houstonian, she attended Rice University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. In the private sector, Ms. Parker spent 20 years working in the oil and gas industry, including 18 years with Mosbacher Energy Company. She also co-owned a retail bookstore for 10 years. 

Mayor Parker is Houston’s 61st Mayor and one of only two women to hold the City’s highest elected office. As the City's chief executive officer, she is responsible for all aspects of the general management of the City and for enforcement of all laws and ordinances. Parker has spent many years in service to the people of Houston, with six years as a City Council member and six years as City Controller. She is the only person in Houston history to hold the offices of council member, controller and mayor.  Mayor Parker has been the recipient of numerous awards during her career, including the 2011 Guardian of the Bay Award from the Galveston Bay Foundation, Scenic Houston’s 2010 Scenic Visionary Award and the 2010 Guardian of the Human Spirit Award from the Holocaust Museum Houston. 

Despite her duties as mayor, Ms. Parker remains active in the Houston community, currently serving on the boards of the Texas Environmental Research Consortium and Houston Galveston Area Council, and as an advisory board member of the Holocaust Museum, Center for Houston’s Future and Montrose Counseling Center. Parker and her life partner Kathy Hubbard have been together for more than 20 years and are advocates for adoption, with two adopted daughters and a son.


Carrin F. Patman 

Carrin F. Patman has practiced trial law at Bracewell & Giuliani for 30 years, where she has handled all types of commercial litigation and was the first woman elected to serve on the firm’s management committee.  She has regularly been named a Texas SuperLawyer, and was the first woman to receive the Anti-Defamation League’s Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award, which recognizes professional accomplishments combined with community service.  An active community volunteer, she currently serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the University of Texas School of Law Foundation, Texas Appleseed, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, and the Legacy Community Health Services Endowment.   In the past she has served on the boards of Girls Incorporated of Greater Houston, Sheltering Arms Senior Services, and the Society for the Performing Arts, and has chaired many fundraisers benefitting non-profit organizations and candidates for public service.  She has been named a Woman on the Move by Texas Executive Women and the Houston Chronicle.  Carrin graduated with honors from Duke University in 1978, and attended the University of Texas School of Law, where she was on the Texas Law Review.  She is married to Jim Derrick. 


Dr. Monica Perales 

Monica Perales is associate professor of history at the University of Houston.  She received her Ph.D. in history from Stanford University in 2004, and holds a B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in history from The University of Texas at El Paso. Her book, Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community, received the Kenneth Jackson Award for Best Book in North American Urban History from the Urban History Association.  She is also co-editor of Recovering the Hispanic History of Texas.  Her 2008 article “Fighting to Stay in Smeltertown: Lead Contamination and Environmental Justice in a Mexican American Community” received the Article Award from the Oral History Association. 

The recipient of various fellowships including the 2006-2007 Summerlee Fellowship in Texas History at the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University, her research and teaching interests include Chicana/o labor and social history, memory and history, immigration, race and ethnicity in the American West, Borderlands, and oral history.  She serves as a member of the boards of the Labor and Working Class History Association, the Recovering the Hispanic History of Texas Project, and Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  She is currently working on a book manuscript exploring the intersections of ethnic Mexican women’s labor and local food customs in the U.S. Southwest from 1900 to 1960.


Leila Perrin 

As vice president of marketing for the Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas since 1999, Leila Perrin is responsible for increasing public awareness and visibility of the 8,300-member Bureau within an 18-county service area.  Her team of ten assists in the implementation of marketing, advertising and co-branding initiatives; the development of value-added membership programs and services; and coordination of outreach programs within the business community, including several advisory boards in surrounding counties. 

A graduate of Newcomb College of Tulane University, Ms. Perrin is a former business owner with more than 35 years of experience in the areas of marketing, sales, management and customer relations in both the staffing and investment industries.  She currently serves as chairman of the board of Passages for Women, Inc., is on the board of the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber, active with the Greater Houston Partnership’s Business Leadership Council and the Center for Houston’s Future, and is a member of the Junior League of Houston.  She also speaks to chambers organizations and civic groups on such topics as customer service, marketing for small business, and ethics in the marketplace.


Dr. Diana Pino 

Dr. Diana Pino serves as the Vice Chancellor for Student Services at Houston Community College. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds licensure as a professional counselor (LPC). 

Dr. Pino has served 17 years in various capacities within student services both at the community college and university. Dr. Pino currently serves on the board of the Houston Hispanic Forum, chairs the education committee of the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and most recently became a member of the advisory board of the James Scott Academy with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. 

Dr. Pino’s passion is leading initiatives to enhance the educational opportunity and degree attainment of underrepresented populations.


Cheryl Plummer 

Cheryl Plummer, Director of Admission at St. John’s School, Houston, has 15 years of experience in K-12 independent school admission. She has worked at some of the country’s leading independent boarding and day schools, including Colorado Academy in Denver, CO and The Madeira School in McLean, VA.  Ms. Plummer has served on several boards and committees dedicated to establishing best practices in independent school enrollment management, financial aid administration, marketing, and public relations. 

Driven by a strong sense of social justice and equity in education, Cheryl served on the selection committee for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program; a program dedicated to providing scholarships for high achieving students with financial need. Cheryl served as the Manager of High School Placement and Alumni Support for the KIPP Foundation, a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools. An advocate for women and girls in sport, Cheryl has coached field hockey and lacrosse for over twenty years. 

Ms. Plummer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College and a Master of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Claudia Schmuckli 

Claudia Schmuckli is director and chief curator of Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston where she spearheaded a major renovation designed by the acclaimed Work Architecture Company. Recent exhibitions and publications she has organized and authored for Blaffer include Tony Feher (2012), Johan Grimonprez: It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards (2011), Okay Mountain (2011), Gabriel Kuri: Nobody Needs to Know the price of your Saab (2010), Jacco Olivier: Moving Paintings (2010), Jon Pylypchuk (2009); Existed: Leonardo Drew (2009); Chantal Akerman: Moving Through Time and Space (2008); Amy Sillman: Suitors & Strangers (2007); Katrina Moorhead: A Thing Called Early Blur (2007); and Urs Fischer: Mary Poppins (2006). Before joining the Blaffer Art Museum in 2004, Schmuckli served as assistant curator at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2000-2003), and as curatorial assistant at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1997-2000).


Dr. Jennifer M. Segal, MD 

Dr. Jennifer M. Segal is a board-certified dermatologist with extensive professional experience working with leading dermatologists across the country. Through her established clinical practice, Dr. Segal provides scientifically proven treatments in the fields of skin health and skin aging in a highly personal environment. 

Dr. Segal is an accomplished author and orator, having published and lectured both nationally and internationally in the fields of cancer research, surgery and dermatology.  

Passionate about cancer research, therapy, and prevention, she has conducted basic science and clinical cancer research at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University Medical Center, and University of California San Francisco.  In addition to serving as a member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Advance Team, she regularly educates young children about sun protection. 

Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and San Francisco, California, Dr. Segal received her undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Pennsylvania and her medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine, where she also performed her residency in dermatology.  She is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and a member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons and the Women’s Dermatologic Society. 

A proud mother of two young sons, Dr. Segal enjoys travelling with her husband and her family, and making a difference in her community and field of practice. 


Donna Stahlhut 

Donna Stahlhut, founder of the Epilepsy Foundation Texas, has served as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer for the past 23 years. She leads an organization providing a multitude of services to people with epilepsy in 176 counties of Texas. Those services include three, one- week overnight free camps offered annually to 320 children with epilepsy, free or low cost specialty epilepsy medical services to the uninsured in seven locations across the state, and a host of educational programs. These programs have all been recognized nationally with the Epilepsy Foundation Program Excellence Award. 

Stahlhut has received both the Epilepsy Foundation Volunteer of the Year and Executive Director of the Year awards for her services and commitment to helping people with epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation Texas was recognized as the Affiliate of the Year in 1990, 2001 and 2007 and is one of only five affiliates to have attained National Standards of Excellence. 

Stahlhut was appointed by Governor George W. Bush, and reappointed by Governor Rick Perry, to the Rehabilitation Council of Texas, which oversees the state agency responsible for assisting Texans with disabilities in their job searches. She serves nationally as one of nine executive directors on the Epilepsy Foundation National Management and Operations Team.


Lois Farfel Stark 

Lois Farfel Stark’s career began with NBC Network News, as a Producer/Writer of documentary hour specials. Working out of Washington, DC and New York City, she filmed in Abu Dhabi, Israel, The Trucial Omans, Liberia, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Cuba and throughout the USA. Upon returning to Houston, she produced features for NBC nationally and locally. Her Houston documentaries covered medical research, the internationalization of Houston, how architecture reflects and injects a city’s character. Awards for the films include an Emmy, two CINE Golds, two Golds for the International Film Festival of the Americas, and the American Bar Association Silver Gavel award. 

In civic life she has served on the Boards of Texas Children’s Hospital, The Alley Theatre, St. John’s School, Sarah Lawrence College, The Harry Ransom Center, Humanities Texas, Texas Commission on the Arts, Houston Cinema Arts Society, Center for Performing Arts Medicine. She was in the American Leadership Forum and the Center for Houston’s Future, also serving on Houston 2040 Scenarios. She received St. John’s School Distinguished Alumni Award and was elected to the Philosophical Society of Texas. On Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board, she made recent study trips to Syria, Jordan and India.  Currently she writes and gives presentations on The Web and the Ladder: How We Shape the World, a visual tour from migratory to modern humans.


Aliyya Stude 

Aliyya Stude was born in Beirut and moved to the States in 1979.  She has an undergraduate degree in Business and an MBA degree from the University of St. Thomas. She worked with Yellowstone Capital from 1994 to 2000, and since 2006 has been the Houston Consultant to Sotheby’s.  She is currently involved with MFAH, and her past involvements have included CIS, SPA, the Baker Institute, the Menil Collection, and Da Camera of Houston.  She and her husband, Herman, have two children, ages 10 and 12.  


Eloise Dunn Stuhr 

Eloise Dunn Stuhr, the University of Houston’s chief fundraising officer, has worked for Tier One universities, including Vanderbilt and Penn State, and has served in leadership roles at health care organizations and as a philanthropic consultant to major universities, including The Ohio State University, which is in the midst of a $2.5 billion capital campaign. 

She has planned and managed large, billion-dollar campaigns and implemented strong development programs grounded in best practices. 

Before to coming to UH, Stuhr was vice president for development at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She has also served as vice president and managing director at Grenzebach Glier & Associates, the well-known philanthropic management organization for universities and non-profits. 

From 2004 to 2008, she was associate vice chancellor for university development and alumni relations at Vanderbilt University. She held executive development positions at Penn State University from 1995 to 2004. 

At the University of Oregon, she served as assistant dean in the School of Law from 1991 to 1994 and as the executive director of the university’s foundation from 1987 to 1991. Prior to that, she held the position of director of development at Whitman College. Stuhr studied at Carleton College and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Vanderbilt.


Diana Untermeyer 

Diana C.K. Untermeyer lived in Qatar from 2004-2007 as the wife of the U.S. ambassador, where she served as an active volunteer and participated in numerous equestrian sports, particularly endurance horse racing. Qatar: Sand, Sea and Sky is her first book. She is currently participating in a World Affairs Councils of America, Engage America Speakers Series. Born in Wyoming, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia in 1984. After graduation, she became an avid whitewater kayaker and worked in the White House.  She currently resides in Houston, Texas, with her husband Chase and their daughter Elly. 


Molly Voorhees 

Since joining the Houston-based restaurant Becks Prime, Inc. in 2007, Molly Voorhees has overseen the concept's expansion from eight stores to the February 2013 opening of its 14th store. As President, she does a little bit of everything: site selection, financing, market research, marketing, vendor negotiations, construction management, reporting, and systems management. 

Molly graduated from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in June 2006. Prior to graduate school, Molly was a Product Manager for Telephia, Inc., where she helped launch a longitudinal wireless bill panel. Prior to Telephia, Molly worked for AT&T Wireless in Marketing for voice dialing services and Tellme Networks in voice recognition. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Middlebury College in 1998, where she played field hockey and softball. 

Molly is the Chair of the Advisory Council for Breakthrough Houston, and works for two start-up Houston non-profits: HeartGift Houston and Evergreen Urban Farms. She is married to Coert, founder of Grammaropolis and a young adult author, and has two children, Annie 3 and Dayton 6.


Dr. Alvia Wardlaw 

Dr. Alvia Wardlaw is Professor of Art History and Director and Curator of the University Museum at Texas Southern University, Houston. She was previously Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Dr. Wardlaw is also a member of the Scholarly Advisory Council of the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and a co-founder of the National Alliance of African and African American Art Support Group. 

One of the country's leading experts in African American art, Dr. Wardlaw is well known for her exhibitions on Houston artist John Biggers and "Black Art Ancestral Legacy: The African Impulse in African American Art," furthering appreciation and recognition of the African American accomplishments in the visual arts. Her exhibition on "The Quilts of Gee's Bend," a collection by outstanding Alabama quilters, claimed the 2003 International Association of Art Critics Award. She earned her BA in art history from Wellesley College, an MA in art history from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, and became the first African American to receive a PhD in art history from the University of Texas at Austin.


Marcie Zlotnik 

Marcie Zlotnik, Co-Founder of StarTex Power, has more than nine years of experience in the energy industry.  From StarTex Power’s inception through September 2010, Marcie was Chief Operating Officer responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations of this $400 million company. Currently as Executive Vice-President, she now directs her attention to the company’s legislative and regulatory affairs and has been an invited speaker for both the Texas House and Senate Committees overseeing retail electricity markets. In addition, Marcie lectures frequently on corporate culture and its effect on employee enthusiasm and customer satisfaction. 

A recognized and respected leader in the industry, Marcie is the proud recipient of many professional and community awards including the 2008-2010 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, the Texas Women’s Chamber of Commerce 1996 Texas Business Woman of the Year, and the1995 Houston Area Women's Center Volunteer of the Year. Most recently Houston Woman Magazine recognized Marcie as one of Houston’s Most Influential women of 2010 and she was named one of the “Top 100 Professionals in Houston” by H Magazine.   

Marcie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.  She serves on the Board of the Association of Woman in Energy (AWE) and Girls Inc. of Houston. Marcie also donates her time to Longfellow Elementary a Houston school StarTex Power adopted beginning in 2009. When Marcie is not working, she enjoys snow skiing and spending time with her husband and three boys watching or participating in sporting events.


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