Alice L. Aanstoos, General Manager-External Affairs, SBC
Ms. Aanstoos worked her way through college at a small-town daily newspaper. After graduating with Honors from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Journalism degree, Ms. Aanstoos was publications editor at the national headquarters of Women in Communications, Inc. in Austin.
She joined Southwestern Bell in Dallas in 1981. Ms. Aanstoos held seven different assignments with Southwestern Bell in as many years with the company. She moved to Topeka, Kansas in 1988 as Director of Communications, graduated from the University of Houston, College of Business Administration Executive Development Program in 1990, and happily returned to Texas for good in 1994 when she came to her current assignment in Houston. As General Manager of External Affairs, Ms. Aanstoos directs community activities, state and local lobbying efforts, and charitable giving in Houston and Southeast Texas.
Ms. Aanstoos is Past Chairman of the Board of Leadership Houston and a member of the Executive Committee at the American Leadership Forum. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Houston Downtown Alliance, the Leadership Committee of the Center for Houston’s Future, the Advisory Board of the Children’s Museum of Houston, the local government relations committee for the Greater Houston Partnership, and the Community Recovery and Resources Inc. Board of Directors. She and her family live in Fort Bend County. At home, she is a Cub Scout volunteer and a Baseball Mom, with the shirt and bracelet to prove it.
Born in Houston in 1947 and graduated from the University of Houston in 1974, Ms. Black-Navarro is a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Mexican-Americans and has received many awards, including the Buchanan’s Excellence Award in 1990, the Hispanic Women in Leadership Community Award in 1991, and the Mayor’s Volunteer Award. Sher serves or has served on numerous not-for-profit boards in the greater Houston area, including: Talento Bilingue de Houston, the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County, th3 Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Girl Scouts of the San Jacinto Council, the Greater Houston Hispanic Coalition, the Park People, Second Ward Association, the East End Chamber of Commerce and Centro de Corazon.
She has been appointed by Houston mayors to the Metropolitan Transit Authority Board, the City of Houston’s Neighborhoods to Standards Committee, the Land Assembly Redevelopment Authority and the Houston Parks Board. Ms. Black-Navarro has served as president of the Navigation Area Business Association, a member of the Association for Historical Preservation, Imagine Houston, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and on the Speakers Committee, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. She is a senior Fellow of American Leadership Forum and was a finalist for Hispanic Businesswoman of the year in 1998. For 16 years she has been a part of Shoes for Kids, which provides new tennis shoes to children in Houston.
Yolanda Black-Navarro is retired from a successful management career with SBC Southwestern Bell Telephone. She has owned and operated Villa Arco’s Taquitos, a family business on Navigation St. for over 28 years.
Camille Cash, MD
A sincere focus on her patients and their needs distinguishes Dr. Camille Cash as a cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon. Her budding practice has prospered due to word-of-mouth endorsements from her patients and referrals from colleagues who trust and respect her work.
While a student at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Cash developed a strong interest in surgery. “I enjoyed being able to heal the body by using my hands.” However, it was while on rotation in Plastic Surgery during her internship that Dr. Cash found her true calling. “I fell in love with the field instantly. I was not only able to cure disease but restore beauty and function-through Plastic Surgery I am able to combine artistry and medicine.”
As a mother of three, Dr. Cash can relate to many of her patients. “As a woman, other women often feel more comfortable coming to me to talk about their bodies and what their expectations are.” Dr. Cash has a one-on-one approach that is refreshingly different. “You have to think of the patient as an individual with specific needs in order to provide exceptional care.” Dr. Cash is able to communicate with her patients directly, valuing the personal attention that she gives to all her patients, whether through preparative counseling about the surgery or direct callbacks by the surgeon herself.
Board certified in general surgery, Dr. Cash is a member of the Texas Society of Plastic Surgery, the Texas Medical Society, and the Harris County Medical Society. She is also on the teaching staff for the residents in plastic surgery at Christus St. Joseph Hospital and emergency medicine at Memorial Hermann Hospital. Dr. Cash performs a myriad of procedures and has extensive experience in breast augmentations, lifts, reductions and reconstructions, liposuction, body sculpting surgery, as well as facial rejuvenations through the use of surgery, soft tissue fillers and Botox.
Dr. Cash is active in the Houston community as well. She is an active member in her church and also devotes large parts of her time to nonprofit organizations such as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Twelve Days of Christmas, Inc.
Jacqueline Baly Chaumette
Jacqueline Baly Chaumette is President and CEO of BalyProjects, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in public policy, planning principles, and governmental affairs. Through BalyProjects, Ms. Chaumette has assisted numerous elected officials on transportation and infrastructure issues, as well as corporations and various entities on policy and public affairs practices. Ms. Chaumette is also a gubernatorial appointee to the Brazos River Authority.
With over 15 years experience, Ms. Chaumette has won many awards. They include: Honoree: Woman on the Move 2004; Outstanding Minority Public Official (COMPTA); Public Servant of the Year; Planning Volunteer of the Year; Civil Servant of the Year; Planning Leader of the Year; Outstanding Female Executive and Outstanding Business Owner in the Planning Field.
Before forming BalyProjects, Inc. Ms. Chaumette was VP of the Transportation/Infrastructure and Environment Division for the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston’s primary business advocate. In this capacity, MS. Chaumette developed a comprehensive assessment of transportation/ Infrastructure and environmental policy in the Houston region and worked with state and federal congressional leaders to create legislation pertaining to these issues. In addition, she worked closely with Governor Rick Perry and various members of Congress on developing pertinent transportation plans and programs for the region and state. Prior to joining the Partnership, Ms. Chaumette worked in a number of other capacities, including Director of Planning and Community Development for the cities of Seabrook and Sugar Land. She has also served several years as a transportation quality project manager for the Houston/Galveston Area Council and as a transportation/air quality planner for South East Texas Regional Planning Commission.
A native of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Jacquie holds a Bachelor of Science in political science and a master’s degree in City Planning specializing in Public Policy. She is also a classically trained flutist. She and her husband David have two sons, Raphael and Alexandre, ages seven and four.
Iris Correa-Alvarez was appointed President of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in August 2004 after an exhaustive six-month search. She came to Houston from Odessa, where she was Executive Director of the Mexican American Network of Odessa, Inc. She has extensive experience in loan programs, grants and other efforts to develop small businesses. She worked previously as Marketing Director of the Hospice of the Southwest in Odessa, and began her career in the oil industry, working for Haliburton and Fina in Big Spring, Texas.
Iris Correa-Alvarez has been recognized by numerous organizations for her contributions and achievements. The impressive list includes Chairman’s Award by Texas Association of Mexican-American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC). Permian Basin Girl Scout Council’s Woman of Distinction Award, and the Brillante Award, Ms. Correa-Alvarez is a native of Roswell, New Mexico.
Franci Neely Crane
Franci Neely Crane graduated with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law and has been a business litigator for over twenty years. She was named by a Houston paper as one of the “women lawyers men feared.” She remains a partner at Susman Godfrey, L.L.P.
Ms. Crane spends most of her time these days as a community volunteer. She is an ardent champion of the arts, sitting on Executive Committees of the Boards of the Alley Theatre; the Houston Grand Opera; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: and Inprint, Inc. She chairs the Community Programs Committee and sits on the Strategic Planning Task Force of the Houston Grand Opera and co-chairs the Film Committee of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Her husband, James R, Crane, is CEO and President of Eagle Global Logistics, Inc. Ms. Crane’s son Andre E. Beck III lives in New York City where he is a Managing Director of D.E, Shaw & Co. Her stepchildren Jared and Krystal Crane attend college in California.
Cheryl D. Creuzot, CFP, JD, LLM
Cheryl Creuzot is President and Chief Executive Officer of Wealth Development Strategies, Creuzot graduated from the University of Houston with honors in 1981. In 1984 she earned the designation of Certified Financial Planner. She has been admitted to the Registry of Financial Planning Practitioners and holds the Series 24 (Registered Principal), Series 7, and Series 63 Securities licenses and Group 1 Life and Health and Variable Insurance licenses. She received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Houston Law Center in May 1992 and a Master of Laws degree in Taxation from the University of Houston Law Center in August of 1999.
In 1993 Ms. Creuzot was appointed by Governor Ann Richards to a six-year term on the Texas Public Finance Authority Board. She served as Vice Chairwoman of that board from 1995 to 1997. Ms. Creuzot participates in numerous political and charitable events, and serves on the Boards of Project Row Houses, the Houston African American Museum, and the University of Houston Alumni Association. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the Million Dollar Round Table, the American Bar Association, State Bar of Texas and the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum.
Ms. Creuzot has published many articles on financial planning and has been quoted in several national publications including MONEY Magazine, Mutual Funds Magazine and Black Enterprise Magazine. For several years, she co-hosted a financial radio program, which aired on KPRC, called “Organizing Your Life.” Ms. Creuzot was featured in the August 2000 issue of MONEY Magazine and was named financial planner of the month of October 2000 in Mutual Funds Magazine. Ms. Creuzot was recently awarded the 2001 Super Achiever Award by the Greater Houston YMCA and was selected as one of the top financial planners in the country by Mutual Funds Magazine in 2001 as well as 2002. She is married and has three children.
Gladys Inez Forde
The younger of two daughters of Dr. George P.A. Forder and Adelaide Fullmighter Forde, Gladys Inez Forde was born on April 1, 1920, in Ashdown, Arkansas. She attended Crawford Elementary School and graduated from Phillis Wheatley High School in 1936. A graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, she also holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Western Reserve Universityand has completed additional studies at the State University of Iowa, Carnegie Institute of Technology and New York University.
Ms. Forde began er teaching career in Speech and Drama at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and ended it at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. While at Fisk, she served as part-time instructor in the College of Dentistry of Meharry Medical College and was granted a two-year leave of absence to serve as Visiting Associate Professor in the English Department at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
Ms. Forde retired from teaching in 1985 and returned to Houston. She is a member of St. James Episcopal Church and a volunteer at Taping for the Blind and the Alley Theatre.
Irma Galvan is the owner/operator of Irma’s Restaurant located in downtown Houston. Ms. Galvan began her career in the furniture business at a very young age to help with family finances. After working in the furniture business for 35 years, she then opened a sandwich shop in 1989. The “sandwich shop” evolved to what is now one of the best Mexican restaurants in Houston, and Irma’s is patronized by many of Houston’s high-profile movers and shakers.
Ms. Galvan’s success is attributed to hard work and strong people skills. She is very dedicated to the community as well as her four children—Louis, Monica, Tony, and Ray, all of whom are crucial parts of her staff. She presently is on the Board of the East End Management District and the Houston Downtown District. In addition, she is a member of the East End Chamber of Commerce, the Houston Culinary Guild and the Greater Houston Chapter of the Texas Restaurant Association. She has been featured nationally in Bon Appetite, Gourmet, Southern Living, and Zagat. A native of Brownsville, Texas, Ms. Galvan enjoys gardening and spending time with her family.
Andrea Georgsson joined the reporting staff of the Houston Chronicle in 1987 covering Houston schools, county government, and state civil district courts. Since 1995 she has been an editorial writer and a member of the Chronicle’s Editorial Board.
Georgsson is a member of the executive board of the Houston Area Women’s Center. She is also a board member of the Houston Press Cub and Houston Center for AIDS. Georgsson is a 2002 recipient of the YWCA’s “Women of Achievement in Media” award, and she is a 1998 recipient of the Junior Chamber of Commerce’s “Five Outstanding Young Houstonians” award. She was named ROAD Scholar in 1998 by the River Oaks Area Democratic Women.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Georgsson and her husband, Jonas Georgsson, live in Houston with their sons Zachary and William.
Gaelyn Godwin is a Zen priest and a Dharma successor in the Zen tradition. “Dharma successor” means fully ordained and authorized to teach. She began her Zen training in 1985 at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, a monastery in Carmel Valley, California. She lived and trained at the monastery for twelve years, serving in many roles including director of the monastery. Ms. Godwin also lived and trained at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, San Francisco Xen Center, and in Japan at Hosshinji. She also directed the Guest Programs at both Tassajara and Green Gulch for many years. Before beginning monastic training, Ms. Godwin attended UC Berkely and San Francisco State University, earning a degree in history.
Gaelyn moved to Houston in 2003 to serve as the resident teacher of the Houston Zen Center at its new location in the Heights. She has two stepdaughters: Jesse, an economist in Chicago and the mother of 3-year-old twins; and Sarah, a physician in San-Francisco and the mother of a 5-month-old. Both daughters are a continuing source of inspiration and delight.
Wife of University of Houston System Chancellor and President Jay Gogue, Susie Gogue was born in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up in Waycross, Georgia. The Gogues met while attending junior high school in Waycross, then married while they were students at Auburn University. Mrs. Gogue received her undergraduate degree in Sociology and her graduate degree in Family and Childhood Development. One of her main interests is early childhood development.
Susie is active in the Houston and University of Houston communities through her memberships on various boards and foundations. She is a member of the board of directors of the Houston Grand Opera and the Foundation Board of the University of Houston's chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She sits on the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing Partner’s Board and is a member of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary. The Houston Assembly of Delphian Chapters has honored her for her continued support of education.
The Gogues have three children and two grandchildren.
Jean McClung Goodwin, MD, MPH
Dr. Goodwin holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Radcliffe and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She earned her Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology from UCLA in 1972 and did post-graduate training at Georgetown University Hospital, the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, and the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute.
Dr. Goodwin is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for the Study of Dissociation. She is a member of the Surgeon General’s Task Force on Family Violence and the American Psychoanalytic Association. She has received the Esther Haar Award from the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and the Cornelia Wilbur Award from the International Society for the Study of Dissociation and has been named one of the Best Doctors in America by Who’s Who in America since 1992. Sr. Goodwin is licensed in New Mexico and Texas and is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry. She has taught at the Medical College of Wisconsin, the University of Texas Medical Branch and the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute. She is a founding board member of the Houston-Galveston Trauma Institute, and she has written/co-authored five books as well as publishing ninety-six articles and book chapters.
Irene Guenther, PhD
Dr. Irene Guenther received her M.A. in European History from the University of Houston and Ph.D. in Modern German History from the University of Texas, with a specialization in Third Reich cultural, gender, and genocidal policies. Presently, she teaches history at Houston Community College, Town & Country campus, where she also founded and directs the Women's Resource Center. The Center provides support services, such as mentoring, to aid in the academic success of non-traditional female students. Her book, Nazi "Chic"? Fashioning Women in the Third Reich, was published in the summer of 2004 and has been reviewed in the London Times, The Guardian, the Women's Review of Books, Zest Magazine's review of books, and the Houston Chronicle.
Janet Gurwitch is the CEO and co-founder of Gurwitch Products, the company that produces, manages, and markets Laura Mercier Cosmetics and Skincare, a global brand of high-end niche cosmetics, now celebrating its eighth anniversary. Gurwitch manages and oversees Laura Mercier's day-to-day business operations, as well as strategy development and retail negotiations.
Ms. Gurwitch joined forces with famed make-up artist Laura Mercier in 1996 after realizing the imminent paradigm shift in the beauty industry that propelled niche lines to the forefront of the cosmetics business. The combination of Gurwitch's business savvy and foresight coupled with Mercier's talent has provided a solid basis for a strong-growing business based on technique and a high-quality product. Now available in 387 stores in 17 countries, the Laura Mercier line includes an extensive color collection, a skincare line, a bath and body collection, and instructional video, and a website, which have cumulatively grossed $85 million at retail.
Prior to founding Gurwitch Products, Ms. Gurwitch was the Executive Vice-President of
Merchandising at Neiman-Marcus, where she set the strategy for and oversaw the ready-to-wear lines, accessories, shoes, and cosmetics departments from 1992-1995. She began her career at Foley's department store where she remained for eighteen years, the last five of which she was the Senior Vice-President of Merchandising, overseeing the merchandising of women's dresses, intimate apparel, junior sportswear, and children's wear.
In 1999, Gurwitch was named a finalist for Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur of the Year” Award for Houston and in 1994, Business Week included her as one of the “Top 50 Chief Executive Prospects in the Nation." Gurwitch is on the Board of the Houston Symphony and the Girl Scouts of America. She resides in Houston, where her company is based.
Justice Eva Guzman
The newest member of the 14th Court of Appeals, Justice Eva Guzman was appointed to fill an unexpired term in November of 2001, by Governor Rick Perry. She was elected to the post the following year and was re-elected to serve a full six-year term in November Before her appointment to the appellate bench, Justice Guzman served as Judge of the 309th District Court in Harris County, having been appointed to that bench by then Governor George W. Bush.
As a trial court judge, Justice Guzman disposed of more than 5,000 cases. Since her elevation to the appellate bench, she has ruled on hundreds of civil and criminal appeals from the thirteen-county area her court serves. She has authored both panel and en banc appellate opinions on a variety of legal issues. In 2003, she was selected as the "Appellate Judge of the Year" by the Houston Police Officer's Union and, in 2004, she was selected as the Appellate Judge of the Year by P.O.L.I.C.E., Inc. (Police Officers Looking Into Courthouse Excellence).
Justice Guzman holds a B.B.A. from the University of Houston and a law degree from South Texas College of Law. Though born in Chicago, Illinois, Justice Guzman grew up in Houston and has been a resident for more than 35 years. She began her professional career in the mid-1980's while working her way through law school as an Assistant Vice President in the Brokerage Division of a major downtown Houston bank. Upon graduation from law school in 1989, she embarked on a successful ten-year career as a civil lawyer, with an emphasis on domestic relations law. In 1995, she founded her own firm.
Justice Guzman has a long track record of volunteer service with organizations committed to children. She has served on the boards of Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Escape Center, Wesley Community Center, and the Chinquapin School, and the Advisory Council of the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Houston.
An active member of the legal community, Justice Guzman holds memberships in a number of professional organizations and has served on countless national, state, and local bar committees over the course of her career. She is a frequent presenter and panelist at educational seminars and conferences. For the past several years, Justice Guzman has served on the faculty of the American Bar Association's prestigious Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute.
She and her husband, Houston Police Sergeant Tony Guzman, have been married for 17 years and have a 12-year-old daughter, Melanie Alexis.
A native Texan, Judy grew up in Port Arthur and graduated from high school with Janis Joplin. She graduated from the University of Texas with a liberal arts degree. Her career experiences have included teaching French at Bellaire High School and working as a travel agent and computer programmer. For the last 25 years, she has concentrated on volunteer work, such as the PTA, Christian Community Service Center, and the Ronald McDonald House. She joined the League of Women Voters in 1997 where she served as newsletter editor and community relations vice-president before becoming president in 2002.
Judy's family includes 4 children, 4 grandchildren and a long-suffering husband who are all very understanding about missed meals and dereliction of babysitting duty. When she's not participating in some LWV project, she enjoys reading, church activities, and practicing her French.
Ann C. James
Ms. James has made a career in theatre for the past 15 years as an actor, director, producer, designer and educator. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has had the opportunity to travel around the globe performing for diverse audiences. Some of her favorite projects include: Bessie Smith and Zora Neale Hurston in When Harlem was in Vogue, (The Alley) The Laramie Project and Anton in Show Business (both at Stages Repertory Theatre), Unmerciful Good Fortune (Unhinged Productions), Proof (The Goodman Theatre), Topdog Underdog (Steppenwolf Theatre, The Alley, Hartford Stage and Dallas Theater Center), La Cage Aux Folles (Shawnee Repertory Theatre), Nunsense (Dutch Apple Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Carbondale Repertory Theatre), Once on this Island (Global Harmony Productions - Aruba), and Angels of the Night (CORE - Paris).
Ms. James was recently honored by the Houston Press as "Best Actress of 2004" for her portrayal of Woman in Christopher Durang's Laughing Wild (Unhinged Productions). She is also founding Executive Director of dAdA Productions, a local theatre company dedicated to the empowerment of women as well as founding producer of Urban Aphrodite.
This season marks her 4th year in the title role of the Alley's Education and Community Outreach production, Barbara Jordan: Texas Treasure, touring throughout the month of February.
Jill Jewett works for the City of Houston and Mayor Bill White as the Mayor's Assistant for Cultural Affairs. In this capacity, she is acting as an advocate for Houston's cultural community and working to improve public awareness of the breadth and diversity of the arts in Houston. Jill holds degrees in Art History and American Studies from the University of Virginia, and a Master's in Business Administration from Rice University with concentrations in Marketing and Finance. She has been active in the Core Program at the Glassell School of Art, Hermann Park Conservancy, and the Contemporary Arts Museum. She and her husband Dunham have 3 children ages 12, 14 and 16.
Kathryn M. Kase
Kathryn Kase is a Staff Attorney in the Houston office of the Texas Defender Service, a private, non-profit agency devoted to representing Texas death row inmates in post-conviction proceedings. She is licensed to practice law in Texas, New York, and the District of Columbia and has represented capital clients in New York, Texas, and in federal courts.
Her first capital case, People v. Cary Wayne McKinley,ended in a complete and total acquittal at trial in Schoharie County, New York. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is a past president of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Sara Kellner is the Executive Director of DiverseWorks ArtSpace. Since 1999, she has led the Board, Artistic Board, and staff of the organization through a successful strategic planning process and a 20th anniversary celebration. Previously, Sara was the Visual Arts Director at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, New York. She has curated and co-curated many exhibitions including William Pope..L.:eRacism, Erotic Drawing, and solo exhibitions by Laylah Ali, Hilla Lulu Lin, and Willie Birch among many others.
Sara has served as the Board President of the National Association of Artists Organizations (NAAO). She participated in the first year of the Co-Generate, a series of meetings around the country sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation designed to foster the leadership of artists and arts professionals under the age of 30. Other accomplishments include being selected as a National Finalist for a White House Fellowship and curating the 1999 Three Rivers Festival public art program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
She is currently serving as an advisory board member for the Aurora Picture Show, FotoFest, Glasstire, Creative Capital, the Rhode Island School of Design Alumni Association, the Film Department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
Yolanda Londoño is Senior Vice President, Manager of Public Affairs and Community Integration for JPMorgan Chase in Houston. She manages Corporate Contributions and Employee Volunteerism, Public and Community Relations and the implementation of strategic plans for constituent and client outreach within the Hispanic community.
Londoño began her career with the U.S. Agency for International Development as program manager for emerging businesses in Latin America. She then led the marketing services department for Logica Ltd., a multinational software development company based in London, England, Ms. Londoño also held numerous board positions with non-profit organizations in Quito, Ecuador and Harare, Zimbabwe. Upon returning to the U.S., she served as executive director of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for six years, more than quadrupling its membership, operating budget and corporate involvement. Londoño was later recruited as executive director of the Houston Image Group and executive director of Tourism for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau where she oversaw the implementation of multi-million-dollar marketing, media relations and advertising projects globally.
Ms. Londoño joined JPMorgan Chase in May 2000. She currently chairs the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation and serves on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations. A naturalized citizen of the United States, Londoño is a native of Bogotá, Colombia and is fully bilingual (English and Spanish). She earned her bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Houston.
G. Lord is the author of Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll, and the just-released Astroturf: The Private Life of Rocket Science. Since 1995, she has been a regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review and The New York Times Arts & Leisure section. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including ARTNews, Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Book Review, and The New Yorker. She lives in Los Angeles and is a frequent visitor to Houston.
Michelle A. Lyn, MD
Dr. Lyn has served as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and Attending Physician in the Emergency Department at Texas Children's Hospital since She was sub-boarded in Pediatric Emergency Medicine by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1996. She was awarded the Department of Pediatrics Award of General Excellence in Teaching at Baylor College of Medicine in 2000. Dr. Lyn has presented numerous lectures on topics of pediatrics related to children in crisis. In 2003, she became the Director of Ben Taub Pediatric Emergency Center and received the Fullbright and Jaworski teaching award. In 2004, she was appointed Chief, Child Protection Section of Emergency Medicine Service of Texas Children's Hospital.
Dr. Lyn earned her MD degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and completed her internship and residency training in pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. She completed a postgraduate fellowship in Pediatric Emergency medicine, Baylor College of Medicine in 1994 and holds a BA degree in Biopsychology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
Dr. Lyn is married to attorney Kurt Lyn and has three wonderful children named Kurt Jr., Michael, and Racquel. She is also active in the community. Her activities include mentoring high school, college and medical school students. Dr. Lyn also serves on the Board of Directors for several organizations in Houston.
Cynthia Macdonald was a Moores Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Houston's Graduate Creative Writing Program until she retired in 2003. In 1979, as a consultant, she helped develop and then directed the program for several years.
She is the author of six books of poetry with a seventh coming out next year. She also has published numerous articles, and has received many grants and awards for her work, including Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships, three National Endowment for the Arts Grants (one for a libretto), a National Academy of Arts and Letters Award and the O.B. Hardison Poetry Prize given by the Folger Shakespeare Library. Her book, Living Wills, was chosen as a “Notable Book of the Year" by The New York Times. She is also a graduate of the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute, a member of that faculty and a practicing psychoanalyst/psychotherapist/coach whose specially is treating those with writing blocks.
Sonny Messiah-Jiles purchased the Houston Defender in 1981 at the age of 27. She worked with the publication to promote positive images of African Americans, supply the "Black" perspective on issues impacting Houston, and function as a catalyst for progressive change. The Houston Defender is Houston's leading Black newspaper and continues to be a proud flagship of the African American community.
A 20-year veteran of newspaper, radio and television, Ms. Messiah-Jiles has built a reputation of journalistic respect and business savvy. She has worked at KMJQ-102FM Radio, KYOK-AM Radio, KRIV-TC, KHOU-TV, and the Houston Chronicle newspaper.
Service to the community is key and Ms. Messiah-Jiles has demonstrated her commitment by serving on numerous boards including: March of Dimes, NAACP, United Way of Gulf Coast, Greater Houston Partnership (Houston Chamber of Commerce), and Texas Commerce Bank board. She has received numerous awards including the National Newspaper Publisher Association's highest honor, Publisher of the Year.
Andrea Moore is the founder of Barmusic, a contemporary music concert series, and Artistic Administrator for Da Camera of Houston. At Da Camera, she is responsible for artist contracts and negotiations, music licensing, music and recording library maintenance, contract compliance and artistic research. She is also the outreach director, planning all outreach concerts and creating partnerships and residencies with community organizations and artists. Ms. Moore also develops master class formats for visiting artists and provides support for the artistic director in the season planning process.
Formally trained as a percussionist, Ms. Moore is a graduate of Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, where she studied with Richard Brown. Called "a vibrant percussionist" and "a much-needed champion of modern classical music" (Houston Chronicle), she continued her studies with the renowned new music ensemble, The Percussion Group Cincinnati. Ms. Moore is a regular performer for the contemporary music groups Musiqa and the Foundation for Modern Music.
Ms. Moore has also created scores for theater and dance, including The Crucible at the Alley Theatre and Herland al Texas Weekend of Contemporary Dance. She is the former principal percussionist for OrchestraX and has performed with the Houston Symphony, Grand Opera and Ballet. Ms. Moore has collaborated with composer/sound designer John Gromada on his scores for The Greeks at the Alley Theatre and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Baltimore’s CenterStage. She has also taught private lessons throughout the Houston area and was on the roster for Young Audiences of Houston and Texas Institute for Arts in Education.
Laura Morris was named Senior Vice President & Market General Manager for Infinity Radio Houston in August 2000. As the GM, Laura oversees all aspects of four radio stations (Country 100.3 KILT-FM, Smooth Jazz 95.7 KHUZ-FM The Wave, Sports Radio 610 KILT-AM, Business Radio 650 KIKK-AM and the Houston Texans Radio Network). In 2002/03, Laura led the effort to launch one of Houston's newest radio stations, Smooth Jazz 95.7 KHJZ-FM The Wave, taking it from 17th to 4th in just 2 Arbitron ratings books.
Ms. Morris was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2004, joining the ranks of legendary Texas broadcasters as the first female inducted in the management category. Morris was also named Radio General Manager of the Year in 2004 when she received the Houston Star Award from American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT). Laura is included in the "Most Influential Women in Radio" lists for 2003 and again in 2004. She was also included in Radio Ink's 2003 list of "Best of Managers in Radio" in the Major Market category in 2003.
Morris served as the president of the Texas Association of Broadcasters (1999-2000) and chairperson of the Better Business Bureau of Houston (1994-1996) and currently serves as active Board member of both organizations. A member of the Board of Trustees of the Houston Museum of Natural Science (1988-2002), she chaired the Communications Committee (1994-97) and was a member of the Executive Committee from 1994-99.
Prior to Infinity, Laura took a short detour from radio as the Vice President of Administration & Broadcast with the NFL expansion team, the Houston Texans, and was instrumental in creating and hiring the team's front office staff, establishing PSL and suite sales efforts, formulating team brand identity and strategy and leading the initial effort to secure the 2004 Super Bowl event for Houston.
From 1988 to 1999, Laura was the Vice President and General Manager of NewsRadio KTRH and KBME-AM. She was a principal architect of the NewsRadio format at KTRH in 1984 and launched Adult standards KBME in 1998. Laura joined KTRH in 1981 as Executive Producer for talk programming and was the Director of News & Programming from 1983 until being named in VP/GM in 1988. She worked for the Rusk Corporation until the stations were sold to Evergreen Media in 1993 and participated in the investment capital IPO-road show as Evergreen took the company public. She remained with Evergreen Media as it grew via acquisition and transitioned from Evergreen to Chancellor to AM/FM and was ultimately acquired by Clear Channel Communications.
Laura is a New York City native and, prior to radio, worked off and Off-Off Broadway in NYC professional theatre as a designer & director. Laura lives in Houston with her photographer graphic designer husband and two young sons.
Kim Ruth is President of the Houston Region for Bank of America. She is also the Market Executive for the Gulf Coast Region Middle Market Banking Group, which is responsible for managing the bank's market presence in the Greater Houston area, Southern Gulf coast, and the Rio Grande Valley. This includes managing a team of client managers engaged in business development and management of middle market client relationships in general industry, energy, institutional and healthcare.
Ms. Ruth joined Bank of America in 1994 as a Senior Vice President. She was promoted to Market Executive of Middle Market Banking, Gulf Coast Region in 2000. She was appointed President for the Houston Region in early 2004. Ms. Ruth graduated from Bucknell University with a B.A.
Active in the Houston community, Ms. Ruth is on the board of the Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston READ Commission and Central Houston. At the bank, she also has been involved with multiple in-house task forces and has co-chaired the Houston area March of Dimes campaign for the bank. She is also a member of the Center for Houston's Future.
Sehba Sarwar grew up in Karachi, Pakistan. Presently based in Houston, TX, Sehba is the Founding Director of Voices Breaking Boundaries, a non-profit multi-media arts organization that aims to create social change through art.
Ms. Sarwar serves on the Board for the National Association of Arts Organizations (NAAO) an advocacy group for artists' rights, and on the Advisory for Daya, Inc., a South Asian women's organization that deals with domestic violence. She has extensive teaching, performance and activist history in both Houston and Karachi, and currently co-hosts a weekly radio show that explores connections between local art and politics on Houston's Pacifica station, 90.1 FM. Her first novel, Black Wings, has won several awards through Houston's Cultural Arts Council and was published in June 2004 by Alhamra Press.
Ms. Sarwar earned her bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College and a graduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Lynn Schroth is Executive Vice President of the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, a 920+ bed tertiary care facility located in the Texas Medical Center. The Methodist Hospital has received three awards from the National Research Council since 1997 for being most preferred for overall health services in Houston. The hospital has also recently been recognized as a top 100 hospital for orthopedics and stroke treatment as well as consistently being ranked by U.S. News and World Report in multiple specialties.
Prior to joining Methodist, Ms. Schroth served as CEO of Memorial Southwest Hospital, Vice President and COO for Hermann Hospital, and CEO of Memorial Hermann Hospital. Before going to Hermann, she served at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as Vice President for Clinical Services.
Ms. Schroth received her Diploma in Nursing, her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston, Master of Science from the University of Texas in Houston, and a Doctorate in Public Health from the School of Public Health at the University of Texas. Ms. Schroth has been honored as recipient of the Houston "Women on the Move" award and profiled in the book Wind for New Wings by Dr. Bertie Simmons.
Myrtle Alice Sims
The daughter of a schoolteacher and a social worker, Myrtle Sims grew up in Chattanooga and earned her undergraduate degree in journalism at the University of Tennessee. She then left home, school, and the South for eight years, heading to New York City, where she worked briefly for publishing giant Charles Scribner & Sons and then landed a job as a bank officer for Citibank. The banker's pace and numbers suited Ms. Sims but she yearned for something more—for dusty chalkboards, starry-eyed kids, and fun-filled lesson plans.
She returned to school and the South, her roots. She earned a master's degree in Education from the University of Houston and taught at three different Houston public schools. On the verge of becoming an elementary school principal, she opted instead to venture into private education and began teaching math at St. John's School eighteen years ago.
Since 1992, she has also served as St. John's Director of Admissions, overseeing the school's marketing efforts and extensive application processes. Splitting time between the boardroom and the classroom, between admission spreadsheets and long-division lessons, between navy suits and plaid skirts, Ms. Sims has fused her two lives: businesswoman and teacher.
Claire Smith, a Houston native, recognized her passion for cooking in her teens and began a pursuit of her goal of becoming a chef/owner. After graduating from Rice University, Claire moved to San Francisco and completed the Culinary Arts program at the California Culinary Academy. While living in the San Francisco Bay Area, she worked at San Francisco's legendary vegetarian restaurant, Greens, as well as at the highly acclaimed Oliveto Restaurant in Oakland.
Ms. Smith returned to Houston in 1994 and opened the Daily Review Café, where she received national recognition and numerous awards, including, "Best Up and Coming Chef of 1997 in My Table Magazine, winner of the First Annual Dinner and a Movie Super Chef Cook-off hosted by Cooking Light Magazine and TBS Superstation, and Esquire Magazine's Best New Restaurant list.
Ms. Smith's latest venture, SHADE, opened to rave reviews in December 2003. SHADE has provided the historic Houston Heights neighborhood with its first serious dining destination. The restaurant is in a completely renovated classic commercial building in the heart of the 19th Street Business District. It is a contemporary comfortable eatery that highlights a new level of what has been described as “global home cooking." The menu of well-crafted seasonal dishes is attracting supporters to the Heights from all over Houston and beyond.
Liz Conces Spencer
Liz Conces Spencer earned her art degree from the University of St. Thomas in 1975. Since that time, she has shown her work extensively in galleries, alternative spaces, festivals and competitive exhibitions. Since a major commission for MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1997, Mother Dog Studios in downtown Houston has been her workspace. Spencer's current work is a combination of drawing and painting on both canvas and paper. Prototypes of wood relief sculptures are also in development, as well as two book projects.
Ms. Spencer has also been a product designer and art director in the infant industry; her designs have been marketed internationally. She is a published illustrator; her most recent work has been included in a text by Oxford University Press, published in 2004. She has taught throughout her career and currently teaches at Project Row Houses, River Oaks Elementary, and T H Rogers Elementary in projects funded by the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and City Artworks, respectively. She also works as a Broadcast Business Manager for J. Walter Thompson Houston.
Sally Sprout has been an active member of the Houston art community since the early
1980s. An in-house curator for Transco Energy Company for ten years, she then represented contemporary Texas artists for five years as the owner and director of the Sally Sprout Gallery. She has served on the boards of DiverseWorks, Inc., the Houston Center for Photography, and the Advisory Committee for acquisitions for the Houston Area Women's Center, as well as jurying numerous exhibitions and scholarship competitions. Currently, as the principal of Sally Sprout Fine Art, she consults with corporations on acquisitions and curates the exhibition program for Hines Interest at the Williams Tower Gallery. Sprout holds a BFA from the University of Arizona.
Nadia Stein was born in Alsace, France, and grew up in a little village close to Saverne, in the foothills of the lower Vosges. Nadia moved to Paris in 1951 where she lived until she married and moved to Switzerland. She had her first daughter there before moving to Buenos Aires. There a son was born, and the family moved to Caracas, Venezuela, where another daughter was born.
Nadia's interests have always been in women's lives. She has had the good fortune to participate in the first important study out of which the doulas originated. Doula is an old Greek word that has come to mean mothering the mother. The research took place at Jefferson Davis Hospital on Allen Parkway between 1983 and 1989. Besides her travels to Europe and South America, Nadia has visited India, Bhutan, Azerbaijan, and lately China. She speaks French, German, Spanish, and English.
Nadia started a private practice in the late 80's while working at Jefferson Davis. In 1992, she was able to coordinate and supervise a second study on the impact of doulas for Baylor University and Case Western University. She started the non-profit Community Doula Program with an initial grant from the March of Dimes in 1996. The purpose of this program is to educate, nurture, and support expectant youth in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Karen Stokes danced in NYC and abroad with David Gordon, Larry Clark, and Stephan Koplowitz. Since 1988, Stokes has choreographed numerous original works in the contemporary genre, which have been performed locally and nationally. Stokes has also choreographed musicals and plays, including the Alley Theatre's "A Christmas Carol." In 1997 Stokes co-founded Travesty Dance Group with Kimberly Karpanty and Rebecca Malcolm-Naib.
In June 2003, Travesty Dance Group premiered Stokes' evening length dance theater piece "HOMETOWN" at the first annual Big Range Dance Festival. Since 1997, Travesty Dance Group has performed works by Karen Stokes in New York City, Toronto, Philadelphia, Seattle, Houston, and Cleveland.
Stokes has received numerous grants for her dance-based projects, including a 2002 Individual Artist Award from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston. In 2003, she received the Outstanding Teacher Award from American Continuing Higher Education and the University of Houston for her Distance Education course on choreography. Stokes has been the Assistant Director for several site-specific projects by Stephan Koplowitz including an international project in Essen, Germany.
In 2000, Stokes founded the Center for Choreography at the University of Houston. In 2003, Stokes co-founded Big Range Dance Festival with Louie Saletan and Jennifer Wood of Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex. Stokes has a B.F.A. from Ohio State University, an M.F.A. from UCLA, and is a graduate of HSPVA in Houston. She has served on the faculty at Connecticut College and at Kent State University. She is the Director of Dance in the School of Theatre at the University of Houston.
Linda Sylvan is the executive director of the Rice Design Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of architecture, urban design, and the built environment in the Houston region through educational programs, the publication of Cite, and active programs to initiate physical improvements. By sponsoring lectures, seminars, symposia, exhibits, and tours, RDA attempts to create a public forum to stimulate discussion, involvement, and cooperation among the many groups of citizens who can improve the quality of life within Houston and its environment.
Prior to becoming RDA executive director, Linda was managing editor of Cite, senior editor at Houston Home and Garden, and managing editor of Houston City Magazine.
Helen Terry, M.Ed.
As a Mind and Body Fitness Specialist, Helen Terry has presented internationally, including venues in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand. She is a certified Black Belt Nia Trainer and brings 14 years' experience to her students. Her business, Lionheart Motivation, offers personal assistance, classes, and presentations with a holistic focus. Ms. Terry also teaches such holistic methods for stress management within businesses, hospitals, churches and schools. She was instrumental in bringing Nia to Houston's Saint Luke's Episcopal Hospital, where she adopted the technique as the prescribed exercise for cardiac rehabilitation patients. She is also a representative for Masai Barefoot Technology ® shoes.
Ms. Terry's philosophy is that "fitness should be pleasurable and never feel like punishment. By treating our bodies with respect and harmony, our bodies will respond to our needs and demands in better and better ways. The only limitations within the boundary of our possibilities are the ones we create." She loves to connect with others and her enthusiasm for movement has an infectious effect on those who attend her classes, workshops and intensive training. "I love what I do, and the best part is sharing it with others."
Tina Thompson was the number one draft pick in the first ever WNBA draft in 1997. She has averaged 15.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and .85 blocks in 232 games with the Houston Comets. Thompson has been named to the All-WNBA First Team on three occasions and the All-WNBA Second Team four times. She was the MVP of the 2000 WNBA All-Star Game and was the second WNBA player in history to reach 3,500 points last season.
Thompson was a key member of the gold medal-winning 2004 USA Women's Olympic Basketball team, leading the team with 18 points in the 74-63 win over previously unbeaten Australia. A native of Southern California, Thompson received a B.A. in sociology with a minor in Psychology from USC and would like to go to law school when her basketball career is over.
Vu Thanh Thuy
Vu Thanh Thuy is the Vice President and CEO of Radio Saigon Houston 900 AM. She was the only female war correspondent during the Vietnam War to be awarded the Silver Star for Valor in War and the Best War Report by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in After enduring years of turmoil after the fall of Saigon in 1975, Thuy's family fled her beloved homeland aboard a raft and endured horrifying dangers in the South China Sea, including sea pirates.
Although grateful to be free at last, Mrs. Thuy could not remain silent about the plight of the refugees and became internationally known for her lead role in the Boat People SOS Committee whose missions rescued more than three thousand freedom-seeking refugees in the 80s and 90s. For her humanitarian contributions, Mrs. Thuy was recognized in international and national media and received numerous prestigious awards. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston American Red Cross.
Thuy and her husband founded Radio Saigon Houston in 1997. Today, fueled by creative, consistent and informative programming, Radio Saigon is Houston's leading Asian radio station in Houston. Radio Saigon Houston's popular programs are simulcast to Dallas, Texas, Orange County and San Jose/Bay Area, California.
As Director of Asia House Project, Ms. Wong is responsible for strategic planning and management of a $30-million capital campaign for Asia Society Texas to build Asia House, a new cultural beacon in the Museum District where Asians and Americans of all heritages will convene to enhance intercultural understanding, share and enjoy the rich Asian cultures through the visual and performance arts, host visiting dignitaries and forge economic, educational and social collaborations for a better tomorrow.
Ms. Wong accepted this challenge in May 2000 after a 25-year career in academics. While she was at the University of Houston, she set the UH event fundraising record (with gross revenue of over $3 million) for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) Alumni Association gala. Ms. Wong also served Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, and UH in contract and grant administration, fund accounting and department and college management.
Ms. Wong is committed to civic and community services. She is President of the Post Oak Lane Community Association, a member of the Board and Development Committee of the Mental Health Association of Greater Houston (MHA), Treasurer of the Texas Lee Federal Credit Union, Secretary of the Lee Association of Texas, President Emeritus of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Association, and active in many Leadership Houston task forces and committees. Ms. Wong's honors include a Women on the Move Award by Texas Executive Women in 2003, a Staff Excellence Award from the University of Houston in 1988, a Merit Award for service above self from the Westchase Rotary Club in 1984, and a Management Award for outstanding individual contributions from General Electric Company in 1973. Ms. Wong is currently a Fellow in the American Leadership Forum, Class XXII. She is a graduate of Leadership Texas 2000, Leadership Houston Class XIII ('95), and was a selected participant of the General Electric Company's Financial Management Program in 1973.
Rosie Zamora is President of Houston Wilderness, a broad-based alliance of business, environmental, and government interests that acts in concert to protect, preserve, and promote the unique biodiversity of the region's ecological capital. She was President, CEO, and founding partner of Telesurveys Research Associates, which provided comprehensive social, market, and political research consulting services to government agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations, and the media for the past 25 years. Active in social and community based-issues, Ms. Zamora serves on the boards of directors of Houston Endowment, the Greater Houston Partnership, United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, and the Houston A+ Challenge. She also serves on the Houston Regional Advisory Board of JP Morgan Chase Bank. Rosie previously served on the boards of the Council of Foundations, the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Women's Museum.