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Houston's influential women well-known to CLASS

Just out is the 2010 list of the 50 most influential women in Houston compiled by Houston Woman Magazine.

This year's notables include City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker, celebrity chef Monica Pope, television news anchor Dominique Sachse, Houston Zoo President and CEO Deborah Cannon and UH's Shannon Buggs, director of communications for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

Each honoree was first nominated for inclusion on the "50 Women" list by a subscriber of Houston Woman Magazine and then selected by the staff of the publication. More than 400 women were nominated.

Since 2008, the magazine has celebrated women who use their expertise, professional networks and social connections to influence civic life in Houston and beyond. The magazine's previous lists of dynamic women included several others affiliated with the University of Houston: Chancellor and President Renu Khator, Regent Nelda Luce Blair, Assistant Professor Brené Brown in the Graduate College of Social Work and Professor Elizabeth Gregory, director of the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.

Beyond the magazine's subscribers' appreciation for UH's civic and academic leadership, another striking trend has emerged: convergence between the magazine list and an annual CLASS event.

Each year about a third of the list's luminaries are past and present conversationalists for Table Talk, an early spring luncheon benefitting the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.

In its 14th year, Table Talk has emerged as one of the premier networking events in Houston for women of various cultures, professions and experiences.

Conversationalists, who lead the luncheon discussions at individual tables, represent some of the most cutting-edge thinking, creative problem-solving and genre-defying work in Houston.

The fundraiser is organized and hosted by the Friends of Women's Studies, a guild dedicated to increasing the visibility and financial resources of the interdisciplinary studies program and the Women's Archive and Research Center.

This year's Table Talk will be from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 3 at the Hilton Americas Hotel in downtown Houston. To purchase a table or individual ticket, contact Amanda Moore at or 713-743-3214.

Copies of the special edition featuring Houston's 50 Most Influential Women of 2010 are now available for purchase for $10 each at Rover Oaks Bookstore or by calling Houston Woman Magazine at 713-780-2098.