Hittner Family Passover Seder Combines Faith and Politics
April 11, 2012

Faith and politics helped set the stage for a festive evening  during the 12th annual second night of Passover Seder hosted by the Hittner family.

George and wife, Erica, Judge David Hittner and  Dr. Helen Mintz-Hittner invited friends, family and associates of all faiths to read from the Haggadah and break bread during a traditional seder dinner of bitter herbs, eggs and wine.

The memorable moment of the evening happened when George, general counsel for American Traffic Solutions, presented souvenir red light camera signs to City Attorney Dave Feldman and Paul Kubosh, who led the successful fight to take down red light cameras in Houston.

With the Texas primary only weeks away, there were also plenty of political candidates and elected officials in the crowd including U.S. Senator candidate Ted Cruz, State Representative Candidate Gene Wu and City Councilwoman Ellen Cohen.

Other VIP guests: Public Relations Whiz Cindy Clifford, Jason Fuller, former Kemah Mayor Bill King, Grant Dorfman, Carl Davis, Bob and Carol Martin and many others.

I have enjoyed being invited to the Hittner’s annual tradition. George mentioned that the event could move to Phoenix next year, where he and Erica live.

Birthday Bash For Jason Fuller Brings Out Houston’s A-Listers
February 20, 2012

The number of  candles on the cake were in dispute,(25, 35, 41?) as the ever-fabulous and youthful looking Jason Fuller celebrated another birthday milestone Sunday night.

Family, friends,  political leaders and movers and shakers in Houston society feted the birthday boy, who is the regional director for U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)

The party was hosted by local PR whiz Cindy Clifford at the lovely Memorial-area home of   Marty and Parvin McVey.

A whose who of Houston helped Jason blow out the candles including, Margaret Alkek Williams, Melissa King, Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos, State Rep. Carol Alvarado, Bellaire City Councilman Corbett Parker, David Bray along with many others, including Jason’s twin brother, Jeff Fuller.

Jason Fuller Gets The VIP Treatment
February 15, 2011

He’s the go-to-guy in the local office of  Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison – answering daily calls from the media, community members and other elected officials.

 

But in honor of his birthday on Sunday, Jason Fuller enjoyed the spotlight and VIP treatment.

The party room at Ciao Bell0 on San Felipe was packed with Jason’s close friends, colleagues and loving family members who were invited to celebrate his 41st birthday.

Hosted by super party planner Cindy Clifford, the party featured a live band, dancing, great conversation and a lot of political gossip!

The menu, of course,  was Italian food while dessert consisted of  cupcakes decorated in the colors and logo of  University of Houston, Jason’s alma mater.

Faces in the crowd:  Judge Ed and Gwen Emmett, Russ Frank, Bill and Melissa King, Janiece Longoria, Corbett Parker, Judge Zinetta Burney, Nick Anderson and many others.

Happy Birthday Jason!

Supporters Celebrate Janiece Longoria’s Reappointment to Port
December 1, 2010

After a long and hard-fought battle to maintain a seat on the Houston Port Authority, newly reappointed commissioner Janiece Longoria took time on Tuesday night to thank her  many friends and supporters.

Dozens of people attended the festive party at Churrascos’ Restaurant;  former Port Commissioner Ned Holmes, State Representative Carol Alvarado, Houston city council members Anne Clutterbuck, Al Hoang, Wanda Adams Sue Lovell and C.O. Bradford, former council member Felix Fraga and countless other civic leaders. 

By now you know the background: Mayor Annise Paker wanted to appoint a representative from the labor community to serve on the seven member commission. But the Mayor’s choice, Dean Corgey,  would have knocked out Longoria,  who is one of two women and the only Hispanic commissioner.   Countless business, political and community leaders rallied behind Longoria. They stressed her experience and  committment to working for the long-term success of the port.  Longoria was reappointed by a 9-6 vote.

Back to the celebration. No one appeared to be gloating, rehashing the bitter politics or criticizing personalities. The focus was on Janiece’s reappointment and her desire to continue serving the port and Houston region for another two years.

(Click here to  learn more about the Port of Houston http://www.portofhouston.com/)

Longoria, a Houston attorney and businesswoman, is also a member of the University of Texas System Board of Regents.

Political Dish Spices Up Election Season
October 27, 2010

Some of  Houston’s savviest political minds and top-notch community leaders joined together Wednesday to dish about  the 2010 statewide and Harris County elections. 

The 4th annual pre-election analysis luncheon, sponsored by Klotz Associaties and Fulbright and Jaworski, was held at the Four Seasons Hotel.  The political analysts shared their thoughts on the upcoming election season and the current political climate.

The bipartisian menu included discussion of  the governor’s race (the esteemed analysts predicted Perry defeats White by 5-8 points), predictions about the outcome of  propositions 1-3 (RENEW Houston is in trouble and Red Light Cameras survive the challenge) and insight on the early voter turnout (Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats this election)

The panelists included: Jessica Colon, Franklin Jones, Richard Murray, Mustafa Tameez and Bob Stein.

Some of the people in the crowd talking politics included:  Wayne Klotz, Neil Thomas, Cindy Clifford, Jason Fuller, Judge Zinetta Burney,  Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufmann, Constable Mae Walker, Adrian Patterson, Russ Frank, Sonia Soto,  Anthony Hall, Craig Washington, Mini Timmaraju, Argentina James and many more.

Emmett Fundraiser Attracts Diverse Crowd
September 23, 2010

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett is campaigning for re-election as a staunch republican, but a political fundraiser on his behalf  Thursday night seem to live up to its billing, “Everyone’s for Emmett”

Dozens of  people , representing a cross-section of  the community  and political spectrum, showed their support for the incumbent judge who was appointed to the position in March 2007   and elected to fill the unexpired term in November 2008.

Emmett is facing  democrat Gordon Quan, a prominent immigration attorney and former three term member of the Houston city council.

During his brief remarks to the crowd assembled at Americas Restaurant in River Oaks, Judge Emmett confidently declared, “I’m way ahead in the polls and the campaign is going well.” 

However, Judge Emmett  also admitted that the ballot position for the county judge’s race could prove rather challenging. 

 The county judge position will be listed in the middle of  one of the longest ballots in Harris county history.

Voters will have to wade through dozens of  judicial races before reaching the spot where they can cast a ballot for either Emmett or Quan.

Emmett urged his supporters to encourage their friends, neighbors and business associates to vote for the important seat, so that he could continue the job of  making Harris County a, “dominate region in North America, not just in transportation and the economy, but on juvenile justice issues as well.The fundraiser was organized and hosted by Cindy Clifford of  the Clifford Group and attorney Adrian Patterson of  the law firm Fulbright and Jaworski.

New Director of Aviation Officially Lands In Houston
August 25, 2010

Dozens of  people gathered at the Museum of  Fine Arts on Tuesday night to officially welcome  Mario Diaz, the newly named Director of  Aviation for the Houston Airport System.

(Or, in the words of  the fun invitation, it was an event  “introducing the new captain of your in-flight crew)

Diaz, who last held the number two job at Hartfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport,  mingled with community and political leaders, including special guest  Mayor Annise Parker.

He hit the ground running back in June, but this was his first opportunity to gather with some of  the city’s top movers and shakers under one roof.

Speaking briefly during the reception, Diaz says he has ambitious plans to make Houston’s two major airports more competitive with airports across the country,  He’s determined to increase revenue by attracting  more business and traffic from around the world,  including desirable destinations like China.

The welcome celebration was sponsored by several local companies including  The Clifford Group, Continental Airlines, Fulbright & Jaworski and Klotz Associates. 

Faces in the crowd included:  Cindy Clifford, engineer Wayne Klotz, Jason Fuller (Regional Director for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison) , attorney Felix Chavalier,  METRO’s Russ Frank and Raequel Roberts, publisher Francis Page, former City Attorney Anthony Hall and State Representative Carol Alvarado.

The Ensemble Theatre Celebrates The Arts.
August 15, 2010

Houston’s Ensemble Theatre, one of the oldest and largest African-American theatres in the country,  honored  several talented performers  at its annual gala Saturday night. 

“A Spectacular Evening of Energy, Honor and Celebration”  recognized the outstanding contributions of   Lifetime Achievement Award winner Margaret Avery (The Color Purple, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins) Actor of  the Year  T.C. Carson (Living Single, Five Guys Named Moe)  and Actress of  the Year Sheryl Lee Ralph (Dreamgirls, Sister Act 2).

The event also recognized the contributions of  Houston’s energy industry which has given more than $1.8 Million to the Ensemble Theatre over the past three years, according the board chair Argentina James.   For example, BP America Inc, supports the Ensemble’s youth programs and Shell Oil has contributed to the board’s leadership,  stage support and volunteerism.

James also announced that the Houston Endowment has awarded the Ensemble $500,000 for facility upgrades.

You can learn more about the Ensemble by visiting its website : http://www.ensemblehouston.com/

KPRC Local 2 Anchor Jerome Gray served as the evening’s emcee. Mayor Annise Parker, along with her life partner Kathy Hubbard, joined hundreds of community and corporate leaders at the sold-out event. 

 I had camera issues and had to rely on my phone, but other faces in the crowd included:  Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Controller Ron Green and Judge Hillary Green, council member Jolanda “Jo” Jones, Cindy Clifford of  The Clifford Group, METRO’s Terence Fontaine and Deirdre Fontaine of Continental, Former Judge/ Attorney Levi Benton and Janis Jefferson-Benton, Sylvia and Gordon Quan, who is running for Harris County Judge,  James and Carolyn Campbell and former Congressman Chris and Allison Bell and Robert Ross.