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.

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.