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Community Community News, News, Business Business Reports Reports & & Politics Politics

Published By Houston Highlights Publishing, L.L.C. Proudly Serving The Houston Community Since 1998

• Email: • FEBRUARY 2007

Texas Business, Political, Community Leaders Endorse Senator Barack Obama for President


HBC Reports founders, left photo, and State Rep. HD146 Borris L. Miles, top right.

HOUSTON— Recently at the Reggae Hut located at 4814 Almeda in Houston’s historic Third Ward, a very prominent group of Houston business, political and civic leaders came together to announce their endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for presiSee OBAMA, P.27

Magnolia Opens Concierge Level The beautiful Houston Magnolia Hotel opened in 2003 in Houston’s most renowned downtown structure, the former Post Dispatch building


he Houston Magnolia Hotel recently opened the new Magnolia Concierge Level on the hotel’s 22nd floor, providing the ultimate in complimentary services and amenities to guests. “The Magnolia Concierge Level provides an exceptional level of privacy and exclusive services for guests,” said Chuck Castiglia, general manager. Guests of seven executive stu-

Gasper and Beckie Mir wearing large smiles at the Black Heritage Committee Western Gala.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ Black Heritage Committee Hosts Annual Western Gala Chuck Castiglia, “The Magnolia Concierge Level provides an exceptional level of privacy and exclusive services for guests.” dios, two guestrooms and the Ross Sterling Presidential Suite all have access to the benefits of the Magnolia Concierge Level and the Concierge Lounge. The Ross Sterling

Presidential Suite is a stunning 1,200square-foot suite featuring a black and white tile floor, a separate bedroom See MAGNOLIA, P.12

HOUSTON - The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo TM Black Heritage Committee recently hosted its 14th Annual Black H e r i t a g e The Westons at the gala Western Gala at Reliant Arena. Entertainment was provided by Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws, while Dinner included delicious Western fare by Harlon’s Barbecue. SEE PHOTOS ON PAGES 13-15.

Cornyn Backs Minimum Wage Increase that Includes Critical Small Business Protections WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a Member of the Senate Budget Committee, recently made the following statement regarding H.R.2, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which passed the Senate by a vote of 94 to 3. “This bipartisan legislation, which I supported, helps low-income workers while protecting small businesses and their employees from the conse-

quences of raising wages in the marketplace. Small businesses are the number one creator of new jobs in America and they deserve our support. By helping them with this important tax and regulatory relief, we’ll ensure that the economy continues to grow.” “I do believe however, that we should aspire to more than a minimum wage for the American people. Raising the minimum wage only puts a patch on the symptom of a larger problem. We should instead continue

to provide the training and educational opportunities that allow individuals to enter the work force and move up the economic ladder. It is critical that every American receive a quality education, and we must continue to pursue avenues to ensure this is not merely a dream, but a reality. I strongly believe that workforce training programs are critical to continuing the economic upswing in the U.S. and these issues See CORNYN, P.22


So what’s your Dream? Visit “On The Scene” to see what Craig Joseph and his customers at This Is It Soul Food had to say at This Is It Sundays. SEE PHOTOS ON PAGE 16.

Optical Entertainment Network Names Albert J. Estrada President & CEO As Company Readies Commercial Roll Out in Houston

Senator Cornyn

Optical Entertainment Network (OEN), the leading provider of IPTV and IP broadband services optimized for fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and the first company to launch in a major market, announced recently that it has named Albert J. Estrada, President and CEO of Optical Entertainment Network. Albert was promoted

from the position of Chief Marketing Officer. He will continue overseeing OEN’s Marketing and Sales division until a new marketing chief joins the team. “Albert originally joined the OEN team to lead our sales and marketing efforts,” said Robert S. May, Chairman, Optical Entertainment Network.

“He has done a fantastic job for us in our start-up phase and as we are about to enter full revenue generating mode, we believe that he will be the best person to run the company, a job that he has been performing to a large degree already. He has demonstrated the experience Estrada


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713.498.9348 View Our Slide Show By Visiting Our Website Today! We once worried that democracy could not survive if an undereducated populace knew too little. Now we worry if it can survive us knowing too much. — Robert Bianco

2 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735


MISSION STATEMENT To provide our patient population with quality podiatric care utilizing state-of-the-art technology. JENNIFER GALAWAY, D.P.M.

At Pinnacle Foot & Ankle Centers we treat anomalies of the foot and ankle. We offer treatment for athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, ingrown toenails, ankle sprains, hammertoe, fractures, bunions, flatfoot, and much, much more. Treatment options for our patients include pharmacological, biomechanical, therapeutic or a combination of the aforementioned. In cases where conservative treatment fails to provide relief, surgical treatment is also an option. We accept most types of insurance, including Medicare. Give us a call today and we will gladly assist you with your footcare needs. Call 713.526.PFAC (7322). Pinnacle Foot & Ankle Centers is the brainchild of Doctors Paul T. Sykes and Jennifer L. Galaway. We are podiatric physicians who can assist you with all of your footcare needs from athlete’s foot to flatfoot repair.

713.526.PFAC (7322) 5445 Almeda Road, Suite 206 • Houston, Texas 77004 The highest measure of democracy is neither the ‘extent of freedom’ nor the ‘extent of equality’, but rather the highest measure of participation. — A. d. Benoist

Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 3


HHP Houston Highlights Publishing, L.L.C. Mailing: 957 Nasa Parkway #251 Houston, TX 77058.

Aubrey R. Taylor, president and CEO of Houston Highlights Publishing, L.L.C., publisher of Houston Business Connections.

Share This Special Moment With Us! s always, I would like to thank you for picking up this edition of Houston Business Connections. As you very well know, February is Black History Month. It is also the month of love, as we celebrate Valentines Day. If you are the father of a little princes – why not join other like minded fathers at the “Daddy’s Little Girl” Valentine Dance taking place in the Sugar Land Ballroom? “One of the most important relationships built between a man and woman, is that of a Father and his Daughter,” says Shan Oliver, president and CEO of C3 Productions. And on Friday, February 9, 2007 you can join other fathers and serve as a model date for your little princess at C3 Productions first annual “Daddy’s Little Girl” Valentine Dance. This event is dedicated to improving the quality of father and daughter relationships. And it is designed to emphasize the importance of a father leaving an impression of what his daughter must look for in her future as far as the opposite sex is concerned. This will definitely be an event that neither of you will ever forget and neither will we. Houston Business Connections will be on hand covering the event for a story to be published in our March issue and we hope to see you there. If you plan on attending this event, please register today by visiting the website located at or call 1.877.437.9391 Extension 33 for ticket arrangements. Again, this event will take place at the Sugar Land Ballroom located at 869 Dulles Avenue in Stafford, Texas. And a percentage of the proceeds will help to support Fathers for Equal Rights, Inc. Enjoy this issue of Houston Business Connections!


Aubrey R. Taylor, Publisher Email:

ENTREPRENEURS CREDO I do not choose to be a Common man It is my right to be UNCOMMON...If I can I seek Opportunity - not Security I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the “Calculated Risk” to Dream and to Build, to fail and to SUCCEED. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of Life to the “Guaranteed existence”, the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of Utopia. I will not trade FREEDOM for Beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of “MY CREATIONS” and to face the world boldly and say: “This with God’s help, I have done. All this is what it means to be a ENTREPRENEUR” H OUSTON B USINESS C ONNECTIONS IS PUBLISHED BY H OUSTON H IGHLIGHTS P UBLISHING , L.L.C. ALL RIGHT RESERVED . N O ARTICLES MAY BE COPIED , REWRITTEN , PUBLISHED , OR OTHERWISE DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRIT TEN APPROVAL OF THE PUBLISHER . F OR SPECIAL REQUESTS EMAIL : AUBREY @ HOUSTONBUSINESSCONNECTIONS . COM SEND PRESS RELEASES TO: NEWS@HOUSTONBUSINESSCONNECTIONS.COM. FOR MORE INFO CALL: 832.212.8735

ANNOUNCEMENTS & NOTICES Andrews Myers Coulter & Cohen Adds Veteran Litigator, Two Associates op-ranked Texas construction law firm Andrews Myers Coulter & Cohen recently announced that Jeff Lefkowitz, an experienced litigation attorney, is joining the firm as senior counsel and attorneys Mason Hester and David Andrew Van Buskirk are joining as associates. “Jeff’s in-depth experience in real estate and construction litigation is a great asset to the firm as we expand to meet client needs,” said Eric Cohen, managing partner. “Adding talented young lawyers like Mason and Andy Lefkowitz enables us to continue our culture of service while we build for the future.” Most recently a shareholder at one of the largest business law firms in the Southwest, Lefkowitz brings 25 years of experience and extensive knowledge in handling a wide range of business disputes emphasizing real estate, lease, construction, structured settlement, municipal and contract litigation. For a number of years his practice included substantial transactional work, which gives him familiarity and experience with underlying documents not common to many litigators. He is also a mediator specializing in real estate and other business disputes. In 2006, Lefkowitz was named among “Houston’s Top Lawyers” by H Texas Hester magazine. He received his J.D. from University of Texas School of Law where he was a member of Law Review and a cum laude graduate. Hester is a recent honors graduate from the University of Texas School of Law and was a Texas Law Fellowship recipient. His practice focuses on construction-related legal matters including construction litigation, arbitration, employment law and environmental law. Van Buskirk is a recent graduate of South Texas College of Law where he was a member of the international legal honors fraternity Phi Delta Phi. His practice is concentrated on corporate, general commercial transactions and commercial real estate. Founded in 1990, Andrews Myers Coulter & Cohen is ranked among the top construction law firms in Texas and the nation by the prestigious legal directory, Chambers Buskirk USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2006. With a team of 14 attorneys, Andrews Myers Coulter & Cohen specializes in construction law, commercial real estate and corporate transactions for Fortune 500 companies, private investors and executives engaged in all aspects of the commercial development and construction industry.


Andrews Myers Coulter & Cohen Elects New Shareholders William (Bill) Davidson and Jason Walker have been elected shareholders at Andrews Myers Coulter & Cohen. “Both Bill and Jason have been instrumental in helping Andrews Myers Coulter & Cohen grow

into one of the premier construction law firms in the Southwest,” said Eric Cohen, managing partner. “We are delighted to recognize their outstanding contributions and welcome them as shareholders.” Davidson, who has practiced at the firm for eight years, focuses on the litigation/arbitration aspects Davidson of construction law. He represents private owners, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers on substantial construction projects, including power plants, chemical plants, gas processing plants, cryogenic plants, sports facilities, commercial properties, light rail, and production fabrication for the upstream oil and gas industry. Davidson’s experience includes the prosecution and defense of a variety of construction-related issues, including matters relating to mechanic’s liens, performance and payment bonds, differing site conditions, breach of contract, breach of warranty, and claims relating to project delay, compression, disruption and acceleration. He also participates in the firm’s appellate practice and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Davidson is a 1989 cum laude graduate of the University of Houston Law Center and is a member of the Houston Bar Association's Construction Law Section, Brazoria County Bar Association and Brazoria County Associated Builders and Contractors. Walker, who joined the firm in 1999, is a trial lawyer whose practice focuses on the trial and arbitration of construction law disputes including breach of contract, mechanic’s liens, bonds, collections, fraud, construction defects, contract termination, differing site conditions, bid protests, schedule compression and acceleration. He has represented owners, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers on construction projects of all sizes. His litigation experiWalker ence includes jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, injunctive proceedings and adversary proceedings. He also assists clients with drafting and negotiating contracts and claims. Walker was recognized as a “Rising Star” in Texas construction law by Texas Monthly in 2006 and 2007. He earned his J.D. from the Baylor University in 1997 and is active in a variety of legal and construction-related professional organizations including State Bar of Texas, Construction Law and Litigation Sections; Houston Young Lawyers Association; Associated Builders and Contractors; American Subcontractors Association, Attorney Council ; Houston Bar Association, Litigation and Construction Law Sections; Texas Association of Defense Counsel; Texas Young Lawyers Association; State Bar College; National Association of Credit Management and Texas State-Wide Construction Credit Group. More information is available at the firm’s Website located at: -------------------------------------------------------------

Earl Carl Institute for Legal & Social Policy, Inc. he Earl Carl Institute invites you to attend its Wealth & Taxation and Housing Task Forces Symposium, “The Path to Homeownership and Wealth in the Urban Community.” The symposium is being held on Thursday, February 15, 2007 at the Sterling Life Center on the TSU campus. Additional details are shown below. You can RSVP at or by calling (713) 313-1139.


Democracy is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequal alike. — Plato

4 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

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Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 5



Third-year law students Ryan Newman, Sammy Ford and Scott Keller (left to right) discuss the Supreme Court case with Professor Michael Sturley (second from right). Photo by Marsha Miller of The University of Texas at Austin.

High Hopes

Newly Formed Supreme Court Clinic Persuades U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case


select group of University of Texas at Austin law students has already accomplished something that few lawyers do over an entire career: they have taken a case “all the way to the Supreme Court” and persuaded the Court to hear it.

Last fall, the School of Law established a Supreme Court Clinic to give law students an opportunity to work on actual cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In the clinic, students are assigned to legal teams representing clients seeking review of lower court decisions. Although clinic faculty members retain the ultimate responsibility for a case, students take the lead in doing the legal research, develop-

ing the arguments that will be used and preparing the initial drafts of the briefs. In its first case, the clinic filed a “petition for certiorari,” which is the legal document asking the U.S. Supreme Court to agree to hear a case on the merits. On Jan. 5, the Court “granted cert”-meaning that it agreed to hear the case and make a decision on the merits. During its most recent term, the Court agreed to hear only 78 of the 8,517 cases that were filed. The students overcame odds that were greater than 100 to one against them. Clinic students and faculty have now begun preparing briefs that will be used during the argument on the merits scheduled for late March, when the clinic will ask the Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the court of appeals. As Scott Keller, one of the clinic students, explained, “Taking a case to the U.S. Supreme Court as a law student is kind of like making the BCS Championship Game or the Final Four. It’s a lot of hard work to get there and it’s an honor to have such an opportunity, but we want to win now that we’re there.”

UT Law School Dean Lawrence Sager said, “The Supreme Court Clinic offers our students a chance to understand how lawyers affect events on the national stage. The students work on real cases with real human stakes. It’s wonderful that we should succeed in getting the Supreme Court to hear the clinic’s first case. It’s also a great tribute to the combined skill of Professors (Michael) Sturley and (David) Frederick and their students.” This past fall, the clinic agreed to represent a Florida company that had a case raising a complicated issue of federal transportation law. The case is Altadis USA Inc. v. Sea Star Line LLC. “The legal issue is difficult and significant: Which federal legal regime provides the rules to determine a carrier’s liability for damaged cargo that is carried by both ship and truck?” said Michael Sturley, a law professor who directs the new Supreme Court Clinic. He noted that the answer to that question affects more than a trillion dollars in U.S. trade each year. But the amount of money at stake in this particular case was too small to justi-

fy the normal expense of “taking a case all the way to the Supreme Court.” As Sturley explained, the clinic made it possible for an important case to proceed that would otherwise have been abandoned. The client obtained the benefit of first-rate legal representation at no charge and the clinic obtained a perfect vehicle for the students to learn first-hand about Supreme Court practice, Sturley said. Only a handful of law schools in the United States have Supreme Court clinics. The oldest, at Stanford University, was established in 2003. This year, Yale University, the University of Virginia and Northwestern University established similar programs. The UT Clinic’s early success has gotten it off to a strong start, which will help to attract more good cases. Sammy Ford, one of the clinic students, said, “Future University of Texas law students will have the unique opportunity those of us in the first group did. I am proudest of this.” At UT, the Law School has an extensive clinical education program that pro-

Democracy is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequal alike. — Plato

6 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

See CASE, P.24


One of 100 Best Communities for Young People America’s Promise Alliance Names Houston and Harris County One of 100 Best Communities for Young People In Partnership with Capital One, Competition Recognizes Outstanding, Innovative Efforts That Benefit Children and Youth America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth has announced that Houston/Harris County is a winner of a national competition to identify the 100 Best Communities for Young People. In partnership with Capital One, the 100 Best competition honors communities ranging from small towns to urban neighborhoods across America - for their commitment to provide healthy, safe and caring environments for young people. Hundreds of communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands took part in the competition. “The Commissioners and I strongly believe that our children deserve to grow up in an environment that promotes their physical and spiritual well being,” said Harris County Judge Robert Eckels. “We are honored that Houston/Harris County has been recognized for the second straight year for its efforts that benefit our youth.” Houston/Harris County is one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People, in part, because of the “Be A Resource for CPS Kids” (BEAR) program. Funded by individuals, corporations, foundations, civic and faith-based organizations, BEAR is a unique public-private partnership wherein volunteers provided support for the caseworkers that protect children who must be removed from their parents. Over 1,000 children per month are served from the “BEAR Necessities” supply room, which provides food, clothing and toys to those served by CPS. BEAR Back to School provides uniforms, backpacks, shoes and school supplies to over 4,000 CPS children each year. “BEAR is an example of what happens when the community is given a specific way to help abused and neglected children either through volunteerism or a financial contribution. BEAR helps the children it serves and uplifts those who support BEAR whether it is with emergency assistance, holiday gifts, or back to school supplies,” said George Ford, Executive Director, Harris County Protective Services. “Nothing is more important than seeing that our children and youth have the resources and support systems they need to thrive and succeed,” said America's Promise Founding

Chairman General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.). “When a community provides all that its young people need to be healthy and secure, they deserve to be honored and showcased as an outstanding example of what it takes to successfully nurture this nation’s young people.” A complete list of winners can be found at 100 Best Communities for Young People was first launched in 2005 by

Judge Eckels

General Powell in partnership with Capital One Financial Corporation. Other members of America's Promise Alliance - including United Way of America, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Big Brothers Big Sisters, National Association of Counties and the American Association of School Administrators and many others took leading roles in encouraging communities to compete in the 100 Best competition. “It is truly an honor and a

privilege to have been selected a second time for this recognition,” said Sherea McKenzie, Executive Director of the Joint City/County Commission on Children, which applied on behalf of the Houston/Harris County community. “The recognition is an honor for all local youth serving entities that make our community a great place for young people. It is through See ECKELS, P.26

Crosby Hebert, III Director, Houston Branch

Houston Branch 1314 Texas Ave., #609 Houston, Texas 77002 Tel: (713)226-8485 Crosby Hebert, III

Dallas Branch 701 Commerce St., #302 Dallas, Texas 75201 Tel: (214)953-2233 Doug Clark

Fathers For Equal Rights, Inc. helps smooth out custody battles and puts children first Fathers For Equal Rights, Inc. is a non-profit organization serving Houston and surrounding counties. We are the oldest civil rights organization in the state, working on behalf of fathers, children and families of Texas. We believe children have a right to grow up with both parents in their lives. We offer education, support, mediation services, referrals to attorneys, and typing services to our members. The meetings and educational seminars that are held weekly help our members to become educated in family law while saving them thousands of dollars in attorneys fees. Our meeting and educational seminars focus on experience-sharing and self-education. We also help members resolve family and lifestyle problems. Our organization is committed to the idea that a child has the right to a meaningful relationship with both parents. Statistics show that a child without a father is more likely to commit suicide, run away, and demonstrate behavioral disorders, exhibit inappropriate sexual behavior, drop out of school, serve time in prison, and/or become a teen parent.

If liberty and equality are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost. — Aristotle

Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 7


Texas Taxpayers Need Real Property Tax Relief By Carroll G. Robinson, Esq.*

Promises of property

tax relief from Austin are starting to look a lot like a shell game intended to fool taxpayers while actually increasing taxes. Last year the legislature voted to cut our local school property tax burden. Now, it turns out that either the Legislature or we the voters will have to “bust” (increase) the state’s constitutional spending cap for property taxpayers to get the full benefit of the school property tax cut approved during last year’s Special Session on public school funding. If Texas voters are asked to approve a constitutional amendment to “bust” the state spending cap, we should also be allowed to vote on a constitutional amendRobinson ment to lower the state’s property tax appraisal cap from annual increases of 10 percent to a new 3 percent cap as proposed by State Senator Dan Patrick. The Legislature should also approve automatic property tax rollback elections when

property taxes increase by more than 5 percent from one year to the next. Even if the state spending cap is lifted so that property taxpayers can get the full benefit of the public school property tax cut approved last year, taxpayers may end OPINION up in the same position we are now (or an even worse one) if the state creates college tax districts that can levy property taxes for four year higher education institutions. What have these colleges done with all the money from their tuition increases of the past few years? Four year colleges should be fully funded by the state, student tuition, student fees, grants, contracts and their endowment. Before allowing four year institutions of higher education to collect property taxes, the state should require them to use more of their endowment funds to fund their needs. Additionally, the Legislature should allow all four year institutions of higher education to have access to funds from what is known as the Permanent University Fund (PUF). The PUF fund is funded by oil and gas royalties that the state receives and that are available only to the University of TexasAustin, Texas A&M University-College Station and Prairie View A&M. Why should property taxpayers have to pay more in property taxes when the PUF fund could be used to help all of Texas’ four year institutions of higher education? Property tax relief shouldn’t be a shell game See ROBINSON, P.26

NEWLY OPENED: Faith Village at 1580 Greensmark Drive

Faith Village Senior Living Complex Opens in North Houston ew Light Christian Center Church recently opened “Faith Village” a low-income senior living complex. The church received government funding for the project and oversaw the building phase. The funding provided was made possible through a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the city of Houston. With the successful completion of the project, New Light has realized one of its community outreach goals to provide safe, affordable and sanitary housing for low-income, elderly citizens. Pastors I.V. and Bridget Hilliard recently hosted a grand opening, tour, and ribbon cut-


ting ceremony for Faith Village at 1580 Greensmark Drive. Following the ribbon cutting, city officials made remarks in the main sanctuary located at 1535 Hilliard Greensmark Drive. Faith Village is a 71-unit multi-family housing development, and offers one-bedroom apartments with a number of interior and community amenities. Handicap accessible apartments are also available. ------------------------------------------For more information on Faith Village feel free to call 281.874.1191.

HOUSTON BUSINESS CONNECTIONS WILL PUBLISH SCENES FROM THIS EVENT IN OUR NEXT ISSUE —SO BE THERE! “One of the most important relationships built between a man and woman, is that of a Father and his Daughter.”

– Shan Oliver President and CEO of C3 Productions

CALL: 1.877.437.9391 Ext. 33 To Make Your Reservation!

If you plan to attend this event, please register today by visiting the website located at or by calling 1.877.437.9391 Ext. 33 for ticket arrangements. This event will take place at the Sugar Land Ballroom located at 869 Dulles Avenue in Stafford, Texas. A percentage of the proceeds will help to support "Fathers for Equal Rights, Inc.

If an individual agrees with everybody, he lacks conviction; if he likes everybody and is everybody's friend, he is indifferent to one and all. — Nikolai Dobrolyubov

8 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

BRIEFS ANNOUNCEMENTS & APPOINTMENTS New York Sales Person for GHCVB to Focus on the Eastern U.S. Market Dorothea H. Calabrese, CMP, has joined the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) as a national key account sales manager in the GHCVB’s first New York office. She will focus on Calabrese pharmaceutical accounts, as well as corporate and association accounts located in the northeast, southeast and southcentral U.S. Previously, Calabrese was national sales director at the Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (LBACVB). During her time at the LBACVB, she was asked to serve on the advisory board for the Clinical Laboratory Management Association and was selected to educate the American Express Corporate Meeting Planners on the importance of CVBs. Calabrese also served as director of sales for the Charlotte Convention and Visitors Bureau, where she consistently achieved 124 percent of her room night goal. She has served on the boards of the New York chapters of MPI and PCMA. “It will take a strong and savvy sales person to sell to the northeast client base, and Dorothea is just the person for the job,” said Ken Middleton, GHCVB vice president of sales. “New York is a very important market for us, and it will benefit Houston greatly to have a fulltime sales person there.”

background to re-energize Houston members, increase member-to-member interaction and encourage GHCVB involvement. Sibley has returned to her native Texas and looks forward to the opportunity at hand. She calls Houston “a totally different animal” than New Orleans, and she arrives armed with ideas to enhance GHCVB membership. She plans to add a more personal touch to membership, as well as conduct a member survey to determine the most valuable aspects of membership and what needs to be improved.

John Sibley Butler Reappointed to Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board John Sibley Butler, director of the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship and the IC Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, has been reappointed to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board by President George W. Bush. Butler, a management professor at the McCombs School

of Business, has served since 2004 on the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, which Butler supervises the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship program in international educational exchange operating in 155 countries. The 12-member Board serves three-year terms and selects the students, scholars and teachers whose academic pursuits are supported by the

Fulbright Program, which awards about 6,000 new grants annually. Since its inception in 1946, there have been more than 275,000 “Fulbrighters.” “For international politics I have found that this interchange is the best thing to help others understand our culture,” Butler said. “It’s good for our country. I'm happy to do it.” Butler is a distinguished academic, consultant and author in organizational behavior and entrepreneurship, specifically immigrant and minority entrepreneurship. See BRIEFS, P.23

You are Cordially Invited to The 3rd Annual Mardi Gras Fundraiser An Evening of Entertainment & Auction with the Friends of MHMRA

February 7, 2007 Westside Tennis Club 1200 Wilcrest • Houston, TX 77042



New GHCVB Membership Coordinator Works to Add Value for Members Sharon Sibley, former membership services coordinator at the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB), has joined the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Sibley Bureau (GHCVB) as membership services coordinator. Sibley, the only NOMCVB membership staff member retained following Hurricane Katrina, has experience in sales, collections, member consultations and client relations. She plans to use her

7011 Southwest Freeway • Houston, TX 77074 • Phone: 713.970.7667 • Fax: 713.970.7231 When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right. — Eugene V. Debs

Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 9



PHA Commission Delivers Banner Year


he Commission of The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) was briefed on yet another record-setting fiscal year by the port authority at its recent regular meeting held in January. Chairman Jim Edmonds presided over the meeting with Commissioner Steve Phelps, Commissioner Jim Fonteno, Commissioner Kase Lawal, Commissioner Jimmy Burke, Commissioner Janiece Longoria and Commissioner Elyse Lanier.

Record-Breaking Performance PHA Executive Director H. Thomas Kornegay delivered a presentation highlighting PHA’s 2006 record results in operating revenue, container volume and tonnage. For the seventh consecutive year and the 10th year over the past 11, PHA operating revenue reached a record high in 2006. Un-audited figures






show PHA earned $164.7 million, up from $154 million in 2005.

utility lines, a primary and secondary guard booth and other related infrastructure.

Cargo Bay Road Gate

Economic Development Matters

(Agenda item K1) Commissioners authorized the advertising and receipt of competitive sealed proposals (CSPs) for the Cargo Bay Road Gate. The estimated $1 million to $2 million project is related to the current secured truck entrance at Cargo Bay Road. The project will involve the construction of a six-lane truck gate, including paving, installation of water and

(Agenda item M1, M2) Commissioners approved respective one-year subscription service agreements with the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region for $40,000 and The Urban League for $25,000. The service agreements will help to promote economic development.

Memorandum Of Agreement



(Agenda item M3) The commission approved a Memorandum of Agreement with Buffalo Bayou Partnership to support the Buffalo Bayou cleanup and beautification program. PHA will provide $50,000 and other in-kind services toward the program. The overall goal of the program is to make the Houston Ship Channel and PHA’s Turning Basin cleaner, enhance the port’s image among visiting customers, officials and residents, and highlight the PHA’s contributions to ecological conservation.

PICTURED: Congressman Gene Green, PHA Managing Director Wade Battles and Congressman Al Green.

U.S. Reps Gene Green, Al Green Tour PHA Security Facilities


.S. Rep. Gene Green (District 29, TX-D) and U.S. Rep. Al Green (District 9, TX-D) focused on security measures in a recent briefing and tour of the Port of Houston Authority’s facilities. Al Green, a recent appointee to the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, came at Gene Green’s invita-

tion. Gene Green represents a majority of the Port of Houston. Both congressmen received briefings from PHA officials, a representative of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Portwide Strategic Security Council - on PHA’s port security strategies and the cooperation and integrated communications among federal, local and private partners.

Additionally, the congressional members toured the PHA’s Port Coordination Center and Mobile Command Center. “I was impressed with the technology and sophistication of the security system at the Port Authority,” Al Green said. “But I was just as impressed with the personnel running the systems.” Each time I come to the Port of

Houston, I see improvement in the security system and each time technology improves, security improves at the port," Gene Green said. Both lawmakers pledged that - as funds are needed - they will work tirelessly to ensure the Port of Houston stays on the leading edge of security technology.

If an individual agrees with everybody, he lacks conviction; if he likes everybody and is everybody's friend, he is indifferent to one and all. — Nikolai Dobrolyubov

10 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735



Meridian Capital Arranges Financing for AT&T Call Centers In Texas


eridian Capital Group recently

arranged $10,200,000 in financing for two office buildings housing AT&T call centers. Located at 15100 FAA Boulevard in Forth Worth and at 3900 Dacoma Street in Houston, the properties total 125,046 square feet. David Fisher of Meridian’s New Jersey office negotiated to secure a rate matching the 10-year T-bill over a ten-year term. Both properties had leases that expired at the time of maturity of the loan and Fisher was able to structure a cash flow sweep at the end of the term.

J.W. Childs and Management Team to Acquire National Retailer Mattress Firm from Sun Capital Partners

Founded in 1991, Meridian Capital Group LLC is one of the nation’s largest mortgage brokerages serving the multifamily and commercial real estate sectors. The company is



private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates, L.P., together with members of senior management, have announced the acquisition of Mattress Firm, one of the nation’s leading specialty mattress retailers, from majority shareholder Sun Capital Partners, Inc. Sun Capital acquired Mattress Firm in October 2002. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Houston-based Mattress Firm has more than 350 stores in 32 markets spanning 19 states. The Mattress Firm management team, including CEO Gary Fazio


and President Steve Stagner, are co-investors in the purchase and will continue to lead the Company following the completion of the acquisition. “J.W. Childs is a great partner for Mattress Firm, as their

resources and vision for growth match our objective to become the nation’s leading mattress retailer,” said Gary Fazio, CEO of Mattress Firm. “Their track record with other leading retail and consumer brands, coupled with our deep bench of talent throughout our organization, are the ingredients we need to accelerate our efforts to open new stores and new markets. This ownership structure gives us capital for growth and the ability to continue the momentum we've established over the past several years.” Dana Schmaltz , President of J.W. Childs Associates, added: “Mattress Firm’s remarkable growth over the last few years has been the result of the Company’s strong market position, its highly talented and dedicated employees, and its ability to offer consumers what they want - multiple bedding brands at

convenient locations. These attributes have created a foundation for the Company to continue to grow in new and existing markets and continue its leadership in the mattress retailing category. We are excited to become partners with Gary and Steve and to help them realize their future growth plans.” ---------------------------------------Founded in 1986, Mattress Firm has grown organically and through acquisitions to become the nation's third largest retailer of mattresses and the leading specialty retailer of top-of-theline Sealy products. Mattress Firm stores typically offer more than 55 different models of mattresses from top manufacturers such as Sealy(r), Simmons(r) and Stearns & Foster(r), and feature the latest in mattress and sleep technology, including pressurerelieving mattresses from TempurPedic(r) and Select Comfort(r).

based in New York City with additional offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, California, and Texas. Working with a wide variety of lenders, Meridian finances transactions ranging from $500,000 to more than $500 million for multifamily, co-op, office, retail, hotel, healthcare, self-storage, industrial, and construction properties. Nationally, Meridian reported more than 2,500 transactions in 2006, totaling over $17 billion.

When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right. — Eugene V. Debs

Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 11


Chuck Castiglia, "We feel guests are going to want to experience the Magnolia Concierge Level, for convenience factors alone...The Magnolia Hotel strives to provide an exceptional level of guest service, and the new concierge level is entirely focused on guest service and comfort."

Houston Magnolia Hotel Opens New Concierge Level Continued from Page • 1 and living area, a fireplace and a dining room to seat 10. Upon check-in, guests will be escorted to the 22nd floor by a manager, since elevator key access is required. Reserving a guestroom on the Magnolia Concierge Level is optimum for guests who desire extra privacy, services and amenities.

The Magnolia Concierge Level special features: * Concierge Lounge with a 42-inch plasma screen television and a variety of reading material. The intimate, quiet setting is perfect for guests to relax and unwind. * Complimentary expanded continental breakfast provided in the lounge from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. * Complimentary evening cocktail reception provided in the lounge with wine, beer, soft drinks and appetizers from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. * Special guestroom features and in-room amenities,

COMFORTABLE FOR STETSONS OR STILETTOS: The Newest in The Magnolia collection, the Houston hotel warmly welcomes guests with an upbeat style that’s a vibrant part of this city’s downtown revival. This fine hotel is just one block from the light rail line and Bayou Place entertainment complex, near Minute Maid Park and the Convention Center. including: executive king studio rooms with a glass shower and soaking tub; valet stands; plush his and her Magnolia bathrobes and slippers; a bowl of fresh

fruit and turn-down service with a welcome gift. * Complimentary shoe shine service and complimentary pressing of two items of clothing each day.

“We feel guests are going to want to experience the Magnolia Concierge Level, for convenience factors alone,” said Castiglia. "The Magnolia Hotel

strives to provide an exceptional level of guest service, and the new concierge level is entirely See MAGNOLIA, P.22

If an individual agrees with everybody, he lacks conviction; if he likes everybody and is everybody's friend, he is indifferent to one and all. — Nikolai Dobrolyubov

12 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

ON THE SCENE BLACK HERITAGE WESTERN GALA This page made possible through contributions from BAYWAY LINCOLN MERCURY • For more info on this event visit

Cowgirls Tiffany R. Burks and Charlotte Bill

Randy Willis, Adriana Tamez, Cynthia Wilson and Vanesa Willis

Jacqueline Wallace and Beatrice Franklin

Cowboy Gasper with wife Beckie Mir

Cowgirl Tammy Labbe with husband Winston Labbe, Steve Brown, Norma Lopez, and Vel Brown

Cowgirls Joyce Greer Lewis, Connie Berger, Cynthia Ford, and Regina Evans Jones

Gary and Lily Rawls, with Shirley William and Ruth Jefferson

Cowgirls Daveeta Marcellin and Cheryl Marcellin

Jose Santos and Emilia Galeas

Cowgirl Clarease Rankin Yates with husband Cary P. Yates

Cowboy John Easton with wife Carmen

Cowgirl Cynthia Griffin, Christina Cantu with husband Alex Cantu with Felicia Hubbard

Cowgirl Siboney with husband Joseph P. Toth

Phyllis and David Gonzales

Cowboy Val Thompson

Phillis Ledet and Herbert M. Ware dancing

When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right. — Eugene V. Debs

Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 13

ON THE SCENE BLACK HERITAGE WESTERN GALA This page made possible through contributions from BAYWAY LINCOLN MERCURY • For more info on this event visit

The Riding Posse of Sabrina Savage, Tracy Murley, Harold Malveaux, and Chess Harrison with Bill and Cindy Wheeler Robert M., Charles Mayberry, and Judson Robinson

Cowboy Ernie Collins, Isiah Carey, Lee Hines, and Millette Scott

Dwight Boykins and Baley Davis

Cowgirl Gloria Thomas, Reggie and his wife Barbara Stephens with Grace Macklin

Cowboy Milton with wife Bonita Morgan, Cowboy Charles and wife Bridgett Holden Joe William & Tashemia Wallace, Fred and Alvina Washington

Felicitie Fisher, Shelia Edwards and Willie Burroughs

Cowboy Victor Washington

Remell and Wilford Glen with Art and Yevette Abernathy

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Green, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Hoyer

Laolu Davies, Jeffery Boney, and Ron Reynolds

Cowboy Micheal with his wife Rachel Smith Cowgirl Wondy and her husband C. Bernard Weston

Cowboy Lawyer Brown

Cowgirl Helen with husband Osbie Savage

The Riding Posse of Charles Medearis, Dr. Davetta Daniels, David and Regina Dickson, and Argelia Savory

Bad Boy Dave West and Pete Roberson

If an individual agrees with everybody, he lacks conviction; if he likes everybody and is everybody's friend, he is indifferent to one and all. — Nikolai Dobrolyubov

14 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

ON THE SCENE BLACK HERITAGE WESTERN GALA This page made possible through contributions from BAYWAY LINCOLN MERCURY • For more info on this event visit

Cowgirls Betty Price and Melba Ervin inside the VIP Room.

Cowboy Joel with wife Tammy Cowley

Charlie Price, C.O. Bradford and Gary Wade

Cowgirl Michelle Bowman, Dr. George C. Wright and Nelson Bowman

Cowgirl Dr. Laurette Byars, Dr. Kendall Harris and Mrs. Valerie Wright Buffalo Soldiers Bunch: P.J. Matthews, James Williams, Bobbie Matthews, Melissa Thibodeaux, Norma Burrell, Cleveland Burrell, Joe Glover, Laura Glover, Allen Grundy and Naomi Carrier are ready to saddle up and ride off into the sunset.

Cowboy Thomas with wife Rubye Randle, Dr. Karen Soehnge and Louis J. Garza

Cowgirl Sharon and Constable Rubin Davis and Wanda Davila

Judge Ronald E. Reynolds and Dr. Jonita Wallace

Cowboy William with wife Josephine Rice and Dale J. Deransburg

Nancy Fogarty, Authur C. Washington and Joe Fogarty

Veronica LaChapelle and Earline Montgomery

14th Annual Black Heritage Committee Western Gala.

Cowgirl Janett with husband Jim Wright

Keith Davis and Carl Davis

Cowboy Dick with wife Cheryl Hudgins with Naomi S. Hines and Lee Hines

Cowboy Charles and wife Linda Cade

When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right. — Eugene V. Debs

Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 15

ON THE SCENE THIS IS IT SOUL FOOD SUNDAYS This page made possible through support from THIS IS IT SOUL FOOD OWNER CRAIG JOSEPH • For more info on this event visit

The Dream Lives On At This Is It This Is It Soul Food Customers talk openly about their dreams,aspirations ith a little hope and a little initiative, dreams can come true,” says Craig Joseph, Sr., owner of This Is It Soul Food.


This segment of This Is It Soul Food Sundays, included the participation of many of the fine customers of This Is It Soul Food and was conducted on Sunday, January 14. Customers were not bashful and shared their candid (brief) thoughts with Houston Business Connections for this issue. Heck, even Sadell Hicks a more than 30-year employee of the restaurant shared her comments. Hicks says, “I’ve worked for Hicks This Is It Soul Food for more than 30 years, and I've enjoyed it. However, if I ever get a chance to retire, I will be happy. My dream is to settle down and simply be at home,” she says. Customers shared their thoughts and dreams with as we worked the large restaurant crowd. “I am pleased to say that the customers at this fine “soul food” establishment are the best,” says Turner Aubrey R. Taylor, president and CEO of Houston Highlights Pubishing, L.L.C., the publisher of Houston Business Connections. “There are no egos here, and this is a warm family atmosphere that I enjoy being in,” he says. Joseph Ramey and Michelle McIlveen shared thoughts as well. Ramey says, “My ultimate goal in life is to make all the money I can make... and to one day have my own business. In addition, my main goal Smith in life is just to be a very productive black male.” McIlveen shared, “I plan to continue to pursue the career I'm in right now – which is in the pharmaceutical industry, and to become more successful...and basically that is it.” The family of Sam Knight, John Knight, Faye Knight (mother), and Ethel Anderson (grandmother), shared their thoughts. Sam Knight wants to live a happy and full life as stress free as posAguirre sible and to enjoy every minute of it. John Knight says, “I want to be the best provider and lover I can be...and to just be as committed to my family as I can.” Faye Knight says, “I want to create a foundation for the elderly...a place where they can be comforted and taken care of. I also want to just be the best grandmother I can.” Ethel Anderson just wants to continue to

be committed to her family. Ava Campbell currently works with the Federal Aviation Administration; her dream is to get promoted to supervisor and then to work in management with the Federal Aviation Administration. Aubrey Campbell shared, “I would like to continue to serve God as a deacon at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church...and to retire within the next five years from the Federal Government after more than 40 years of service.” Also at the table with Campbell were Charles Land and Mullens his wife Carolyn, owners of the Cartair Boutique located at 8134 Eastex Fwy right here in Houston. The boutique has been around for more than 15 years. This husband and wife team attends Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, and owns an eighteen-wheeler. When Charles is not at the boutique helping his lovely wife, he is driving his truck across the country. Kedrick Sampson and Darian Andrus were also Smith with this group and couldn’t wait to share their thoughts. Sampson wants to become a Houston Rockets basketball player when he grows up, while Andrus wants to become a professional skater. Larietha Carter just expressed a sincere desire to please God. Bishop Maude Lewis and Katina Lewis, (with Carter) also expressed their thoughts. Bishop Lewis, pastor of Washington Perfected Faith Ministry, just wants to do whatever God has planned for her and to see the community become all God designed it to be. Katina Lewis’ dream is to become a paralegal. Sheryl Smith says, “My dream is to live of life of peace and prosperity and to have a healthy and happy family.” Michael C. Smith says his dream is to live a life that reflects his obedience and desire to serve his savior. Ginger Fabian simply wants to retire and enjoy the rest of her life. Jan Larson was a little shy...but she promised to share comments at another time. Roylett Turner’s dream is to reach the nations through the word of God. Monique Aguirre said she wasn’t feeling the best. However, she says she is actually living her dream and plans to continue traveling and speaking around the world helping people. The group of Kevin Jones, Jerry Johnson, Mary Briggs, and Rev. L. D. Fedrick, shared their thoughts. Jones would like to one day own his own business and is an associate minister at Rev. L. D. Fedricks’ church, where Fedrick just expresses a deep desire to see the church flourish, while he strives to follow God's guidance. In addition, Rev. Fedrick shared a deep desire to one day see all people

come together as one. Briggs and Johnson where just happy to be in the land of the living and wanted to continue enjoying their meal. Next up were Clifford Hall and Kim Ben. Hall shared his thoughts about becoming rich, while Ben was a little bashful and did not have anything to share. However, she did pose for the photo after being asked several times and held in place by Hall. Tammy Chavis says, “I want to own my own photography studio.” Krissta Shivers was just ready to get on to the eating part. Denise Parker-Bland and Raymond Chavis (also with Chavis and Shivers) both expressed a desire to obtain a Master’s degree in criminal justice. Parker-Bland would like to use her degree to become a parole officer. Next up was Pearl Washington who just wants to continue living a Christian lifestyle that is pleasing to God. Danny Lee and Laura Hsu, just wanted to continue enjoying their meal...they did however take a little time to pose for the Houston Business Connections camera. Finally, there was Tracie Mullins. Mullins was a little apprehensive about being on camera, but agreed to do it for Craig Joseph and the fine folks at This Is It Soul Food. She wants to become a flight nurse and expresses a desire to travel around the country assisting people in their time of need. That puts a wrap on this issue of This Is It Soul Food Sundays. ---------------------------------The next session will be conducted on Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 207 Gray Street, right here in Houston, Texas. Next time we will be asking customers, “How far have we really come as a society?” So be at This Is It Soul Food Sundays on February 18 and you could be chosen to be in the next issue of Houston Business Connections. For more information contact Aubrey R. Taylor at (281) 636-5174 or Craig Joseph at (713) 659-1608.

– Don't miss it!

Kevin Jones, Jerry Johnson, Mary Briggs and Rev. L.D. Fedrick

Ginger Fabian and Jan Larson Joseph Ramey and Michelle McIlveen

Danny Lee and Laura Hsu Charles and Carolyn Land

Clifford Hall and Kim Ben

Ava and Aubrey Campbell

Darian Andrus and Kedrick Sampson

Sam Knight and John Knight

Gwen and C. Alexander

Faye Knight and Ethel Anderson

Katina Lewis, Bishop Maude Lewis and Larietha Carter

Tammy Chavis, Krissta Shivers, Denise Parker-Bland and Raymon Chavis

If an individual agrees with everybody, he lacks conviction; if he likes everybody and is everybody's friend, he is indifferent to one and all. — Nikolai Dobrolyubov

16 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

ON THE SCENE FRONTIER’S CLUB ‘07 MLK BREAKFAST This page made possible through contributions from BAYWAY LINCOLN MERCURY • For more info on this event visit

Cindi Evans, Daniel Luciano, Craig Lindstrom, Mark Bebar and Deepak Doshi at the MLK Breakfast Therisa Callier, Akua Fayette, Dr. Stanford L. Simmons, Bernard Forrester, Edward Turner and Lorenza Butler, Sr.

Robin Crisp, Josh Young and Reginna Kelly at the Aetna Insurance table Je'Caryous Johnson, the Keynote Speaker, and John Fain, President of the North Houston Frontiers Club, Inc.

State Rep. House District 146 Borris L. Miles and Cydonii Fairfax

William Herron, Ernesta Washington, Altrivice Revis, and Winell Herron at the HEB Grocery table

Paul Annis at the Aetna Insurance table

Leonard Allen, Elliott Means, Robert Burch and Byron Cooley at the Miller Brewing Company table

Carolyn Scantlebury and LaTayne BruceSimpson listening to the Keynote Speaker

Eddie Henry and Brian Stevens

Wyman Farr, Ray Modeland, Jerry Kaiser and Brandon Barrow Dan Doty, Jayme Owens and Bill Rollins at the Borden Dairy table

Winell Herron, Cristina Block, Lacey Dalcour, and Cyndy Garza-Roberts at the HEB table

Jeffery Misher, Jr., Paul Jordan, Timothy Bryant, Jr., Jamespaul Bryant, Cameron Leonard and Jeffery Misher, Sr.

Jewell and Ernest McGowen listening to the Keynote Speaker

Sally Imig, and Jeff Bernard sitting at the Aetna Insurance table listening to Je'Caryous Johnson the Keynote Speaker

When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right. — Eugene V. Debs

Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 17



To have your event or function featured in HOUSTON BUSINESS CONNECTIONS email your press release to

Offshore Energy Achievement Awards III Names Industry Finest Houston companies win in eight categories at the Offshore Energy Achievement Awards III HOUSTON - Winners in 10 categories were announced recently at the highly-anticipated Offshore Energy Achievement Awards III black-tie gala, held at the Houston Museum of Natural Science Wiess Energy Hall. Eight out of ten awards went to Houston-based companies. Hundreds of leading industry professionals and supporters turned out to celebrate the offshore energy sector’s most notable achievements. Winners from each award category were presented with a handmade OEAA statuette designed by local Houston artist, Navid Ghedami. “The Offshore Energy Achievement Awards is one of the most anticipated programs in the industry because it recognizes achievements and technologies that have viability to change the offshore oil and gas business,” said Eugene Murphy, OEAA III selection committee chairman and senior investment manager for Shell Exploration & Production Company. “Raising visibility of these game-changing technologies through the OEAA increases the likelihood of rapid adoption, which in turn helps ensures consistent and environmentally-safe supply for consumers.” As part of the rigorous selection process, three finalists in each category were chosen from more than a 100 entries. A sub-committee comprising industry professionals with expertise specific to the category judged the entrants’ work to select finalists. The 30 finalists presented their project or innovation with supporting material to the judging panel on November 17, 2006. A cross-section of senior management and industry veterans who use and understand cutting-edge technology and its application in the field comprises the steering and judging committees, yielding an unbiased view of OEAA contenders. The OEAA eight-member steering committee is responsible for driving the program, building screening subcommittees from proposed subject matter experts for each award category, reviewing entries and overseeing selection of finalist recipients.

The Offshore Energy Achievement Awards III winners in each category are:

individual or corporate effort that demonstrates the best impact and resourcefulness in helping a local community entity

Contribution to the Community - Honors either an


John Samuell Sr., President/CEO, AtBalance Americas accepts Field Life Extension Award

The Law Office of

Percy C. Singleton, Jr. 2626 SOUTH LOOP WEST SUITE 511 HOUSTON, TEXAS 77054


Percy C. Singleton, Jr.

If an individual agrees with everybody, he lacks conviction; if he likes everybody and is everybody's friend, he is indifferent to one and all. — Nikolai Dobrolyubov

18 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

ON THE SCENE ‘07 “WE ARE THE DREAM” RALLY This page made possible through contributions from BAYWAY LINCOLN MERCURY • For more info on this event visit

HD- 27 State Representative Dora Olivo

Tony Smith, Nicole Sparks, Tayla Paynter, Ruth Rodriquez and Jorge Ramirez at the MLK Rally

The Texas Caribbean Steel Drum Band

Njeri Shakur, Gloria Rubac, Janne, Gavin and Leeatris Greenwood

Rally participant Deb Shafto DeLoyd Parker, founder of Shape Community Center Lockhardt Elementary School Choir performing on stage at the “we Are The Dream” rally

Jean Johnson-Honoré, Keisha S. Johnson, and Lois Lynn

Rafael Lopez, Francisco Cedillo and Carlos Mora Leonarda Johnson, Sandra, Bill and Pamela Gordon enjoying the MLK Rally

Abundant Life Cathedral Church Choir

Kim Davis and Ryan Korsgard

J. Xavier performing on stage

"We Are The Dream" attendee giving praise as the Abundant Life Cathedral Choir performs on stage

Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Thompson

Members of the Cricket Brigade and Dance Group and Styx performing on stage

Karen Harris, Ray Akefin, Ralph Ward, Jr., Covondra Lewis, and Tonja Jones, with Cricket Wireless

Bill Crosier and Dr. Evelyn Bethune

Rudy Rincon and Michelle De la Garza

Dr. Stanford Simmons and Lorenza Butler Clarence R. Dember Sr., Hattie B. Owens and Emiel Ownens

Anita English and Alexandra

Dr. Paul Sykes, Tomika Thomas, Dr. Jennifer Galaway and Dr. Chester Williams

Briana, Monique Henry-Gonzales and Juan

Jacquie Henderson, Steve Warshell

Sariah, Joshua, Jeffrey (Dad), and Jasmine Boney

When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right. — Eugene V. Debs

Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 19



To have your event or function featured in HOUSTON BUSINESS CONNECTIONS email your press release to

Offshore Energy Achievement Awards III Names Industry Finest Continued from Page • 18

application of FPB sets an example for further developments in the region.

* Houma Oilman’s Fishing Invitational, Energy Partners Ltd., New Orleans, LA Started in 1994 by a handful of oilfield salesmen to gather industry personnel for fun, fellowship and fishing in Cocodrie, Louisiana. Now in its thirteenth year, the HOFI has generated over $650,000 in total donations; 16 charities receive funds and 26 individuals have received HOFI's medical donations.

Field Life Extension - Honors mature assets that have had extraordinary uptimes, as well as the safe and efficient abandonment of fields that are no longer viable

HSE (Health, Safety & Environment) - Honors proactive efforts and sustained performance that have a demonstrable effect in the areas of health, safety, and environment

Eugene Murphy, Shell Exploration & Production Company, 2007 OEAA III Steering Committee Chairman, announces winners

* Noble Corp. Environment, Health, Safety Program 2006, Sugar Land, TX Despite high levels of drilling activity in recent years, Noble Corporation is recording the best safety performance, and the highest work hours, in its history. From January 2006 through August 2006, Noble experienced only one lost time incident (LTI) for a record-low LTI rate of 0.02 in the company’s 85-year history. Noble has outperformed the drilling industry in terms of LTIs for 13 consecutive years.

Emerging Innovation/Technology Honors technologies or new procedures that are on the verge of making significant and measurable improvements in capabilities of the industry to meet new and existing challenges, enhance safety and/or improve performance or cost-effectiveness * The IntelliServ Network, IntelliServ/ A Grant Prideco Company, Woodlands, TX Through the ability to transmit data bi-directionally at high speeds using a wired drill string, the IntelliServ Network unleashes the potential of rotary steerable tools and enables the real-time data delivery of strategies of the drilling industry, amounting to millions of dollars in timesavings per year.

Geosciences - Honors outstanding technology and performance in the area of geology, petrophysics and geophysics for field exploration * R3M, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, Houston, Texas R3M remotely detects and images reservoired hydrocarbons offshore and provides a new method to identify and derisk prospects, delineate fields and monitor production. Since 2001, R3M has acquired 40 proprietary surveys in numerous basins, more than any other oil and gas company, including firsts in Nigeria, Brazil, Colombia, Canada and the US.

Carol Frazer, Ross Frazer, Vice President of Engineering, ATP Oil & Gas Corporation

* Hydro Troll Olje H-2 Well Re-entry with Halliburton's ReFlexRite(R), Hydro & Halliburton, Tananger, Norway The ReFlexRite system, used to reenter producing wells, sidetrack and recomplete with a pressure and mechanically sealing TAML level junction, increased daily production in a North Sea well by 300 percent. Typical multilateral work results in a 50 percent increase.

* Triple-zone Intelligent Commingled Production, Schlumberger, Sugar Land, TX Implementation of a novel combination of seal technology, extensive qualification-system integration, and solid project management structure that accelerates production and client cost reduction.

Project of the Year - Honors exceptional achievement by a new project started within the last year, focusing on the teamwork and accomplishments that were instrumental in the project's success * Mars TLP Recovery Project, Shell Exploration & Production Co., Houston, TX Successful completion of the hurricane re-construction was ahead of schedule, under budget and with no recordable injuries - returning to production the highest rate structure in the Gulf of Mexico. This was achieved while doing complex tasks with a large number of internal and external contractors, staff of multi-nationalities, high-risk work area of damaged equipment and a densely staffed physical environment.

Well Construction - Honors operators, service companies or drilling contractors for well construction, including considerations such as speed, efficiency, difficulty of programs and amount of feet drilled, weighed against safety, costs and environmental impact

Production - Honors field personnel in categories that include engineering, operations, development and reservoir management with an emphasis on interface management, efficiency, safety, up-time and scope-of-work that has improved systems operability

* Dynamic Annular Pressure Control, At Balance Americas, Houston, TX The Dynamic Annular Pressure Control (DAPC) system is an automated choke and pump system used to reenter mature fields, and drill depleted reservoirs, unconventional gas reservoirs, and conventional oil sands from offshore deepwater platforms. The technology reduces drilling costs and enables operators to increase production from depleted fields by drilling wells to target depth impossible to reach with conventional overbalance drilling.

Industry Champion - Honors champions in both academia and the industry that play an important role in promoting careers in petroleum engineering

Kerric Peyton, Manager - HSEQ, Noble Corp accepts Health, Safety & Environment Award Facilities - Honors design and construction in the oilfield, open to engineering, operating and service companies for best-in-class performance in design, construction and/or integration of surface facilities, subsea facilities and/or pipelines * Structural Platform Solutions for Seismic Artic Environments, AMEC

Paragon, Houston, TX With no track record of large platform solutions in the new frontier environment of Sakhalin Island, the project presented extreme design challenges due to the remote location, harsh arctic environment and significant seismic activity. AMEC Paragon developed the first technical solutions to overcome these challenges using Friction Pendulum Bearings (FPB). This

* Offshore Energy Center, Houston, TX The Offshore Energy Center (OEC), with its Drilling Rig and Museum in Galveston and Education Outreach program, educates kindergarten through high school students about the oil and gas industry and encourages their desire to seek career opportunities within the industry. The program has grown to encompass “facilitator” training and teacher workshops. Within the next 10 years, the OEC anticipates reaching over 700,000 people per year by expansion of these programs throughout the United States.

If an individual agrees with everybody, he lacks conviction; if he likes everybody and is everybody's friend, he is indifferent to one and all. — Nikolai Dobrolyubov

20 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735


Jewel Johnson talking to Joseph Jefferson in front of her booth

Robert “Praise Man” Washington, Ada Edwards, Dr. Eric S. Tait, Marcus Davis, Dr. Jacqueline Jones, and Kimberlee Grant on the set of Fish, Grits & Politics with Ada Edwards

Fine Artist T. Ellis

Pastor JaMail T. Johnson, Pastor Felicia P. Medlon, Pastor Ray Williams, and Bishop E.L. Ursher

Karen Hobbs

Cynthia A. Johnson, Marilyn Grant, Dr. Jennifer Galaway

Mary Hodge

Yolanda Green with showing off her products

Russell Lehrman

Reverend Roy Washington, Jr

Girl Scouts USA Group 28055

Anthony Watkins, Nadia Naawu, Theresa Thomas and Rosaland Thomas

Robyn Troup performing for the Fish, Grits & Politics audience


Mark Your Calendar for March 1, 2007


"A KnockOut Affair" 2007 Gala he Prince Complex, Inc., will raffle off a 2007 Mercedes C230-WZ at its "A KnockOut Affair" Gala to be held at the Westin Galleria Hotel located at 5060 W. Alabama in Houston, Texas


on Thursday, March 1, 2007. The cost for the chance to win this fine driving machine is only $100 per ticket. This year the annual fundraiser will honor Yolanda Adams, Debbie and Rudy Festari, Bernard Hopkins, Karen Jackson, Congresswoman

Sheila Jackson Lee and Cheryl McNair. Special Guests at the event will be the Honorable Mayor Bill White and his lovely wife Andrea. If you plan to attend the event (Individual) tickets are $150 each, (VIP) tickets are $300 each, and the highly

sought after (Ringside) tickets are $500 each. _______________________ This is one event you will not want to miss. The Gala CoChairs are Rhonda Jordan and Kesa Guest. For more information call (832) 655-0859.

When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right. — Eugene V. Debs

Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 21

continued from P.12 focused on guest service and comfort.”

For rates and availability, call 1-888-915-1110. The beautiful Houston Magnolia Hotel opened in 2003 in Houston’s most renowned downtown structure, the former Post Dispatch building. The Magnolia Hotel offers high-speed wireless Internet access; an on-site fitness center offering new, high-tech equipment; a rooftop pool and Jacuzzi; a luxurious Club Room lounge and billiards area with plasma televisions; a lavish complimentary breakfast bar and complimentary late-night cookies and milk. The Magnolia’s prime location is close to Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, and the Toyota Center, home of the Houston Rockets; the Houston Aquarium; Bayou Place and the theater district. The Magnolia Hotels are upscale boutique hotels catering to t h e s o p h i s t i c a t e d t r a v e l e r. Magnolia Hotels are owned and operated by the Stevens Holtze Corp., a Denver-based real estate development and hotel management company concentrating on the redevelopment of historic properties into elegant hotels in central business districts. The company currently owns and operates Magnolia hotels in Denver, Dallas, Houston and Omaha. Magnolia Hotels is currently exploring other markets for additional growth opportunities. ----------------------------------------For more information, visit


continued from P.1

• Exec. Gift Baskets • Weddings • Funerals • Landscaping • Interior Plants • Hospitals




Of all base passions, fear is most accursed. —William Shakespeare

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hen you reach for the stars you may not make it, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either. —Leo Burnett


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will remain a priority for me in the Congress.” Background: Small businesses employ half of all private sector employees and created between 60 and 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade, according to the Small Business Administration. However, small businesses are more vulnerable to the impact of increased costs. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the minimum wage increase would impose $4 billion in new costs on the private sector in 2009 and $5.7 billion in 2010, with the increased costs extending at roughly $5 billion each year. Small businesses would incur the bulk of these costs, and they could be forced to lay off workers if offsets are not provided.


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BUSINESS SHOWCASE is a monthly inspirational platform sponsored by the businesses showcased. All advertisements are accepted at the discretion of the publisher. Although Houston Highlights Publishing, L.L.C. makes every effort to check the authenticity of our advertisements, we accept no responsibility or liability for the contents therein. The advertiser assures that advertisements will not contain any matter that is libelous or violates any person's right of privacy or constitutes copyright infringement or is otherwise contrary to law. The advertiser assumes all responsibility in connection with the advertisement placed in this publication. Houston Highlights Publishing, L.L.C. shall be held harmless from any claim, loss, damage (including reasonable attorneys' fees) that may be incurred or suffered for any reason including but not limited to a breach of any kind associated with advertisers included in this section. To include your business in this section call 832.212.8735 or email your request to:



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Whatever field of human activity one may take, only those trends that are in harmony with the needs of society show rapid progress. — Nikolai Chernyshevsky

22 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735



Call 832.212.8735 to Advertise!

continued from P.9

State Agencies to Host Historically Underutilized Business Forum The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) will present the 7th Annual Purchasing and HUB Connection, a forum for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB), on Thursday, February 15, 2007. The forum will be from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Texas Workforce Commission, 1117 Trinity St., Room 304 A&B, in Austin. There is no charge for this event. The event will inform vendors about the purchasing needs of TWC and TRS, enhancing opportunities for vendors to obtain contract awards. Representatives from both agencies will discuss contracting opportunities in the areas of commodities and special trades. Additionally, representatives from six other state agencies will be on hand to discuss their respective contracting opportunities. Networking sessions are scheduled to allow vendors to meet with purchasing staff, key agency decision makers, and potential partners and subcontractors. The forum also will include information on state of Texas MentorProtégé program resources available to foster small businesses. A HUB is defined as at least 51 percent owned by an African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian-Pacific American and/or American woman residing in Texas. The owner must demonstrate active participation in the operations and management of the business. TWC is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in unison with local workforce development boards, call (512) 463-8556 or visit TRS delivers retirement and related benefits that have been authorized by the Texas Legislature and manages a trust fund established to finance member benefits. More than 1 million public education employees, higher education employees and retirees currently participate in the system. For additional details on TRS, visit For registration information, contact: Ardra Alexander the TWC HUB Program Manager at (512) 463-2284 or Mike Labinski the TRS Purchasing and Contract Manager/HUB Coordinator at (512) 542-6312.

OLIVET MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH The Olivet Missionary Baptist Church family of believers would like to invite you to come out and worship with us. We believe you will have a Spirit-filled encounter with the Almighty God. If you do not have a church home we would like nothing more than for you to consider Olivet Missionary Baptist Church.

Prepared To Praise...

The U.S. Small Business Administration and Unlimited Services Systems Management and Consultants (USSMC)will be offering a free business workshop designed for the accountant, contract administrator, business manager, cost or pricing specialist, or anyone else involved in the See BRIEFS, P.25


...Motivated To Minister “Over 73 Years Of Service”

Reverend Robert L. Thomas, Jr., Pastor

3115 Lyons Avenue • Houston, TX 77020 Email comments or suggestions to Pastor Thomas at: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths”

Committed to your needs The role of a real estate agent is to guide you through the buying or selling process, taking the time to make sure you understand every step of the transaction. I am absolutely committed to fulfilling your needs with the highest level of professionalism, expertise and service. My commitment to your satisfaction is the foundation from which a solid business relationship is built. I realize that people do business with people they trust. I am interested in what is best for you, the client, and am committed to establishing a long-term relationship based on trust. I pride myself on being knowledgeable and staying current with changes in the industry that will affect the success of your transaction. You have worked hard to be able to purchase the home of your dreams. I feel the responsibility to make those dreams a reality and pursue the right solution enthusiastically. THE TREADSTONE REALTY GROUP


12830 Willow Centre Dr., STE A Houston, TX 77066 Direct: (832) 229-4380 Alternate: (281) 580-0898 Email:

“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” – Words of wisdom from the good book

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Attention Small Business Owners Mark Your Calendar for Feb., 13 through 15

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Democracy cannot be forced upon a society, neither is it a gift that can be held forever. It has to be struggled hard for and defended everyday anew.—Heinz Galinski

Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 23


Case continued from P.6 vides opportunities for students to integrate substantive law, theory, strategy and skills by working on legal issues in real-world settings. The goal of these experience-based courses is to build a bridge between the classroom and the practice of law. There are 14 clinics covering a range of legal issues, and seven internship courses in non-profit organizations, the legislature, government agencies and courts. The Supreme Court Clinic is directed by Sturley and Washington lawyer David C. Frederick. Sturley, whose specialties include maritime law, commercial law and Supreme Court practice, joined the law faculty in 1984. Previously, he’d clerked at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. While on the faculty, he’s written about the Court and participated in more than two dozen Supreme Court cases. His cases have covered a wide range-from multi-million dollar admiralty disputes to Atwater v. Lago Vista, the 2001 case in which a local woman challenged her arrest for failing to wear a seat belt. Frederick is a 1989 graduate of the Law School, where he was Sturley's student and research assistant. After graduation, Frederick clerked for Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White and spent five years in the office of the Solicitor General of the United States, which represents the federal government in the Supreme Court. He is now a partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C., where he regularly represents private clients in the Supreme Court. He has personally argued 19 cases at the Supreme Court, making him one of the nation’s most experienced oral advocates before the Court. He has “written the book” on the subject: Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy (2003). Sturley and Frederick are assisted by Brendan J. Crimmins, a 2003 graduate of the Law School (where he was one of Sturley’s students), a former Bristow Fellow in the U.S. Solicitor General’s office, and now an associate at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel (where he works with Frederick). To get the clinic established, six students were selected last fall through a special application process to participate. They are Keller, Ford, Elizabeth A. Hardy, Ryan D. Newman, Esther H. Sung and Benjamin H. Wallfisch. After graduation this spring, five of the students will begin work as law clerks to a federal judge in this country. Hardy will be a law clerk for a justice on the South African Constitutional Court. Sturley will begin meeting with some of the students during the week before classes begin to discuss how they will persuade the Court to reverse the decision of the court of appeals. The students will complete any necessary additional research and prepare the first and second drafts of the brief. Sturley and Frederick will supervise this work and complete the final version of the brief before it is filed. Frederick will argue the case at the end of March, marking his 20th appearance before the Court, but See CASE, P.25

When you reach for the stars

Call 832.212.8735 to Advertise!



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you may not make it, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either. —Leo Burnett

• • • • • •

Mr. Ron Wright Barber/Owner

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In actual fact those who do not care for politics and sit on the fence do indeed side for a political party: The ruling party. — Max Frisch

24 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735


10235 Hirsch Rd. Houston, TX 77016


Case continued from P.24

Call 832.212.8735 to Advertise!

Attention Small Business Owners Mark Your Calendar for Feb., 13 through 15

the students will play important roles in preparing him for oral argument. And the students will be flying to Washington to attend the argument. Meanwhile, a new group of second- and third-year law students has been admitted to the Clinic. As soon as classes start, they will begin the process of researching and writing their own petition for certiorari in another case - hoping that they, too, will persuade the Court to hear oral argument and decide their case on the merits.

Briefs continued from P.23 day-to-day financial or cost activities of your firm. The workshop will be held at the U.S. Small Business Administration Alliance Tower Federal Building (The IRS Building)

located at 8701 S. Gessner Drive, on the 3rd Floor here in Houston, Texas 77074. If you plan on attending the event, the parking entrance to the garage is located on the north-bound side of Gessner Drive, on the top floor, and is absolutely free. On Tuesday and Wednesday, February 13-14, 2007 from 8:30

a.m. through 4:30 p.m. the (Basic C.E.O. Development Training Workshop) will take place. And on Thursday, February 15th, 2007 from 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. the (Cost and Pricing Workshop) is scheduled. Participants do not have to attend the Two-Day Basic C.E.O. Workshop training in order to attend the Cost and

Pricing Workshop Training, but the firm must meet the eligibility criteria as set forth by the SBA. Note: There are only have 45 seats available for this class, so you should contact Cleveland Baker at the SBA's Houston District Office immediately. Cleveland Baker can be contacted at (713)773-6541.

“Specializing in Total Home Remodeling”

Estrada continued from P.1 needed to launch and manage the day to day operations of our cutting edge triple play service from his notable experience in the entertainment and communications sector. It made good sense at this time for the board to look for the right person to lead us into our next phase of business and we were fortunate to have him internally to draw on.” Albert Estrada has been in and around the entertainment industry for almost 20 years, with great successes as a key executive in marketing and sales assignments. Albert began his career with HBO in cable and satellite sales. At DIRECTV, he was a key member of the original team that successfully launched the company in the United States and Latin America. Albert has held key sales and marketing positions with leading satellite companies SATMEX and Space Systems Loral. “I am excited to take over the helm at OEN as the company enters the commercial deployment stage,” said Albert J. Estrada, President and CEO of Optical Entertainment Network. “We have been getting a tremendous response from customers and sales agent partners alike, and we look forward to our next phase of very rapid growth both in Houston and across the country.” OEN’s FISION™ is the first and only integrated service for IPTV, Internet, Voice, Video-On-Demand (VOD) and other broadband applications, designed specifically to take advantage of the benefits of FTTH. OEN has acquired programming agreements for IPTV distribution from popular cable television networks and will deliver 400 plus television and audio channels, including over 50 channels of High Definition Television (HDTV) to subscribers. In addition to featuring popular television networks, FISION’s programming line-up showcases new and innovative programming such as NFL Network, The Anime Network, MTV Urge, HDNet, HBO HD, The Africa Channel, Discovery and Discovery Health in addition to offering channels in 13 foreign languages. FISION will also deliver over 50 channels of Hispanic TV programming.

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Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 25



Call 832.212.8735 to Advertise!

continued from P.7 cooperation, collaboration, strong will and determination that Houston/Harris County as a community strives to address the needs of our youth and provides for their healthy development.” The 2007 100 Best Communities for Young People competition opened in September 2006. Houston/Harris County and the other winners applied for the honor and were chosen by a distinguished selection panel of civic, business and nonprofit leaders, including United Way of America President Brian Gallagher, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, NBC News Washington Bureau Chief and Moderator of Meet the Press Tim Russert, CEOs for Cities' President and CEO Carol Coleta, and former Denver mayor Wellington Webb. The selection panel evaluated 100 Best entries that required detailed information about each community's efforts to fulfill the Five Promises the fundamental resources our children and youth need to succeed: caring adults who are actively involved in their lives; safe places in which to learn and grow; a healthy start toward adulthood; an effective education that builds marketable skills; and opportunities to help others. “We held this competition to appeal to America’s competitive spirit to encourage communities to become great places to grow up,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, President and CEO of America’s Promise - The Alliance for Youth. “Our winners’ outstanding efforts to deliver the Five Promises are shining examples of what it means to keep America’s Promise for our young people.” “Capital One believes that every family should have the opportunity to provide for their children in ways that ensure future success,” said Capital One President of Global Financial Services and America’s Promise board member Larry Klane, a member of the 2007 selection panel. “Through the 100 Best competition, we can recognize communities that foster the type of environment where children and families have opportunities and resources to realize their potential.” For more details about the 100 Best competition and the winners, please visit



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* Robinson is Associate Dean of External Affairs at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University, a former At-Large Member of the Houston City Council and Chairman of the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce.


LL .



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continued from P.8 where as public school taxes are being reduced a new college property tax is being created. The more property taxes that have to be paid, the more damage we do to homeownership opportunities for low and middle income Texans, especially African-Americans and Hispanics. Homeownership and owning a business are the greatest sources of wealth for AfricanAmericans and Hispanics. Property tax increases diminish these opportunities to acquire and accumulate wealth. Texas taxpayers need real property tax relief and a real voice in setting property tax rates and policies.


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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.— Margaret Mead

26 • FEBRUARY 2007 • Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735


Texas Business, Political, Community Leaders Endorse Senator Barack Obama for President Continued from Page • 1 dent. T h e g r o u p a l s o u n v e i l e d, a website designed to serve as a major catalyst to spur Senator Obama to victory in the Lone Star state. Among those endorsing Senator Obama at the press conference was: James Robertson Jr., Founding Chairman of BLACKDEMS (largest African American Political organization in Texas), Vice President and Chairman of Government Relations of the Houston Citizen’s Chamber of Commerce, the oldest African American Chamber of Commerce in Houston, Pct 113 Chair, 2005 Young Democrat of the Year, and former Young Democrats Region 10 Director. Ron Reynolds, President of the Missouri City NAACP, 2006 Pinnacle ward Winner, Brown and Reynolds Law firm partner, BLACKDEMS member, and board member of the Houston’s Citizen’s Chamber of Commerce. Carroll G. Robinson, Chairman of the Houston Citizen’s Chamber of Commerce, a former General Council of the Texas Democratic Party, a former member of the Democratic National Committee, Founding Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council’s Local Elected Officials Network and former At-Large member of Ho houston City Council. Dena Gray, Leading HIV/ IDS advocate, City of Houston Housing Department, Co-Chair for Houston’s Prevention Community Planning Leadership Summit.

LEFT PHOTO: Francis Page, Jr. publisher of Houston Style Magazine, left, Lorenza Phillips Butler, Jr., publisher Emeritus of The Informer & Texas Freeman Newspapers and Radio Stations, RIGHT PHOTO: Marlon Barabin, Lorenza Phillips Butler, Jr., A.J. Jones, Jr., and Booker T. Holbert were all present at the endorsement press conference for Senator Barack Obama. Estelle Stewart, Chief of Staff for Houston City Council At-Large 2, K

graduate chapter member, BLACKDEMS secretary, and GLBT Caucus Officer.

Marlon Barabin, President and CEO of the Houston Citizen’s Chamber of Commerce and Mortgage Broker with New Community Mortgage. Val Thompson, an Executive Director of the Houston Citizens’ Chamber of Commerce. Jeffery Boney, a Vice President of the Houston Citizens’ Chamber of Commerce. Alysia Minor, Founding Vice Chairwoman of BLACKDEMS. Terrance Shanks, State Senate District 13 Chair (Democratic Party) and former Chairman for the South Macgregor Super Neighborhood Council The group was quick to notify the public that their endeavor was an independent volunteer effort on behalf of Senator Barack Obama.

Rep. Ellen Cohen assigned to Public Health & Urban Affairs Committees After receiving confirmation from Speaker Tom Craddick’s Office last month, Rep. Ellen Cohen (D-Houston) has been assigned to the Public Health, Urban Affairs, and Rules & Resolutions Committees. “Speaker Craddick and I met and spoke about what expertise I can bring to the Legislature, and I thank him for appointCohen ing me committees where I feel I can do just that,” Cohen said. Those assignments include: * The House Committee on Public Health, which includes oversight of the Health and Human Service Commission. This assignment is of importance to the residents of District 134, home to the world renowned Texas Medical Center. * The House Committee on Urban Affairs, which oversees the governing laws of Texas municipalities and other local government entities. This appointment will allow Rep. Cohen to work closely with the smaller cities of Bellaire, West University, and Southside Place. She also is expected to work closely with the City of Houston and Mayor Bill White. For more information on committees or any other issue, Rep. Cohen encourages interested individuals to contact her office at (512)463-0389, e-mail her at or visit the Texas House of Representatives website at The well being of democracies regardless of their type and status is dependent on one small technical detail: The right to vote. Everything else is secondary.— Jose Ortega y Gasset

Houston Business Connections Printed Edition • • 832.212.8735

• FEBRUARY 2007 • 27


Thinking of a Lincoln or Mercury? Thinking about buying from the

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February 2007 Houston Business Connections Newspaper  

This is the February 2007 edition of Houston Business Connections Newspaper published by Aubrey R. Taylor Communications. Houston Business C...

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