4th Annual Top 30 Influential Women of Houston Awards

Presented by d-mars.com Business Journal

By Connie Kwan-Wong   |    Date: August 1, 2016 


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d-mars.com Business Journal is pleased to announce the Top 30 Influential Women of Houston Awards Gala. Tenacity, discipline and diligence are just a few of the criteria for making the list. This year’s honorees have broken barriers in their respective fields and left an indelible mark on the face of Houston.


"At d-mars.com we feel it is our privilege to recognize and celebrate the success of influential women leaders. This is an excellent opportunity to offer them the accolades they deserve for their achievements in the various industries and communities they serve. d-mars.com’s mission is to strengthen the community and these women are definitely an inspiration to the generation of youth who undoubtedly look up to them and aspire to become influential leaders as well,” says Mr. D-Mars, President and CEO of d-mars.com.


Friends, family and colleagues will celebrate the accomplishments of these outstanding leaders during an awards dinner at The Houstonian Hotel, located at 111 North Post Oak Lane, on Friday, August 26, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.


Also being recognized for their extraordinary accomplishments are 5 ICON honorees that include Sallie Sargent, Yolanda Adams, Nathelyne Kennedy, Suzan Deison and Zina Garrison.


Special remarks will be given by Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner and San Antonio Mayor, Ivy R. Taylor.


Sponsors of the Top 30 Influential Women of Houston Awards are Porsche of West Houston, H-E-B, LaneStaffing, Anderson & Smith, P.C., Industrial Welding Academy, Houston Airport System, Texas Southern University, Amerigroup, Comerica Bank, Houston Community College, Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance, LAMIK, Marshall Wealth Management, Dr. Heather Brown Orthodontics, E-PIC Training Center, Inc., Troy B. Smith Professional Services, Joie De’ Linens, Not Jus’ Donuts, Subcontractors USA, Accurate Security and EbSax.com.


About d-mars.com:

d-mars.com is an advertising, marketing, media and communications company that has been in business more than 17 years, inspiring, informing and educating the diverse Houston community. d-mars.com provides an array of services that include design, printing, online and email marketing and public relations.              



2016 Top 30 Influential Women of Houston Honorees:


Icon Honorees:

Yolanda Adams – Grammy Award-Winning Gospel Artist

Suzan Deison- CEO/President/Founder, Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce

Zina Garrison – CEO, Zina Garrison Foundation & Former 4th-Ranked Tennis Player in the World

Nathelyne Kennedy – President, Nathelyne A. Kennedy & Associates

Sallie Sargent– President & CEO, Houston Super Bowl Host Committee



Victoria Ai Linh Bryant, PharmD – President, World Chamber of Commerce Texas & Founder, Ambassadors Caregivers

Farida Abjani – Co-Founder/CEO, Shining Nightingale, Inc.

Wanda Adams – Board of Education First Vice-President & District IX Trustee, Houston Independent School District (HISD)

Sehba Ali – Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent, KIPP Houston Public Schools

Jackye Alton – President, Almeda Travel

Erin Asprec – Regional President, Memorial Hermann Health System

Dr. Kimberly Beatty – Vice Chancellor of Instructional Services, Chief Academic Officer, Houston Community College

Mary Benton - Director of Communications and Strategic Projects, Harris County Precinct One

Marianna Brasel – General Manager, Porsche of West Houston

Carlotta Outley Brown, M.Ed. – Principal, Lora B. Peck Elementary School – Houston Independent School District

Frances Castaneda-Dyess – President, Houston East End Chamber of Commerce

Denise Castillo-Rhodes – Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Texas Medical Center

Marina Coryat – Senior Manager, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas - Southeast Texas Region

Katya Dow – Legal Program Director, Juvenile and Capital Advocacy Project & Adjunct Law Professor, University of Houston Law Center

Debbie Drury - President, MarketDoctors.com  

Amanda K. Edwards – Attorney & Houston City Council Member At-Large Position 4

Sameera Faridi – Director & Designer, Poshak Fashion & Style

Vicki Guster-Hines – McDonald’s Vice President, Operations and Franchising - Houston Region

Ana Hernandez - State Representative, District 143

Loren Lane - Key Account Manager, EMD Serono & First Lady, Texas Southern University

Nancy J. Li – Chair of the Board, Easton Resource Development, Inc.

Rania Mankarious, MA, JD – Executive Director, Crime Stoppers Houston

Dr. Saundra Montgomery – Life Coach/Author/Leadership Consultant & First Lady, Abundant Life Cathedral Church

Gigi Myung – President & CEO, GLM Energy, Inc.

Toni Pierre – Business Change Manager-NAIP, Amerigroup Community Care

Sonia Rivera - National President, National Hispanic Professional Organization & Owner/Consultant, Genesis Consulting, Inc.

Ingrid M. Robinson – President, Houston Minority Supplier Development Council

Kim Roxie - Creative Director, LAMIK Beauty

Graciela Saenz – Attorney at Law, Saenz Burkhardt P.L.L.C.

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz - ‎Board Secretary & District IV Trustee, Houston Community College

Sonya Stevenson – Executive Director, The Fort Bend Church

Tene’ Thomas, CPA - Partner -Tax Practice, McConnell & Jones LLP

Joi Venison – CEO/Co-Founder, Super Weave Xpress

Teana V. Watson – Principal Attorney, T.V. Watson Law, PLLC

Spring Williams-Cox - Director of Operations Southeast Texas, UPS

Kimberly J. Williams, JD – Deputy Chief Procurement Officer, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County



Sheila Jackson Lee Community Achievement Award

The Western Area of The Links, Incorporated - Roxann Thomas Chargois, Director



2015 Top 30 Influential Women of Houston Honorees:


Icon Honorees:

Dr. Selina M. Ahmed – Interim Chair, Department of Human Services and Consumer Sciences, Texas Southern University and Former Director,  Mickey Leland Center Texas Southern University;

Dr. Judith Craven – Past President, The United Way - Texas Gulf Coast;

Deavra Daughtry – Chief Executive Officer, Texas Women’s Empowerment Foundation;

State Representative Jessica Farrar - Texas House District 148;

Melanie Johnson, Ed.D. – President & Chief Executive Officer, The Health Museum: John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science;

Susan A. McEldoon – President & General Manager, KHOU-TV

Stephanie Nellons-Paige – Senior Director, Metro Engagement and Relations, USA Funds | Philanthropy & National Engagement;

Page Parkes – President, Page Parkes Corporation;

Wanda Thornton Mott, M.D.–  Board Certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Women's Specialists, TCH Pavilion for Women;



Devon Anderson – District Attorney, Harris County District Attorney’s Office;

Dell Braunsdorf, MD – Medical Director, Behavioral Health, Amerigroup;

Camille Cash, MD – Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Camille G. Cash, M.D.;

Dr. Jennifer Yen Clark – Author & Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Houston Medical School  & Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine

April Day – President, Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance;

Dr. Marla Fielder, R.Ph. – Director of Pharmacy, The Kroger Company – Southwest Division;

Samille Frazier-Savoie – Executive Director, BES Group;

Kim Gagne – Supervising Producer, The Steve Harvey Show;

Marian Harper – Vice President, Foundation Development, Houston Astros;

Tammy Harris – Founder & Trainer, Soul Grooves® Fitness;

Vernita Harris – Board Chair, The Greater Houston Black Chamber;

Winell Herron – Group Vice President, Public Affairs, Diversity and Environmental Affairs, H-E-B;

Heather Holland – Manager, Supplier Diversity & Local Participation, TransCanada;

Connie Kwan-Wong – Founder, Connie Kwan-Wong Charitable Foundation; President, CKW Collection Inc.; Publisher, CKW LUXE Magazine;

Raquelle Lewis - Manager, Communications/Public Information, Texas Department of Transportation - Houston District;

Petria McKelvey – Chief Executive Officer, Precision Medical Billing, Inc.;

Katie Mehnert – Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Pink Petro;

Dr. Felecia M. Nave – Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prairie View A&M University;

Dr. Krista Olson – Faculty Surgeon, Baylor Facial Plastic Surgery Center;

Erma Palmer – Chief Executive Officer, Autos R Us;

Crystal Perkins – Healthcare Manager, MD Anderson;

Letitia D. Quinones – Criminal Defense Attorney, Quinones & Associates, PLLC and Chief Operating Officer, Food For Growth, Inc.;

Dr. Kamala Raghavan, CFF, CGMA, CFP – President, Indo American Charity Foundation Houston and Associate Professor, Texas Southern University;

Liliana L. Rambo, CAPP - Director of Parking Services, Houston Airport System and Immediate Past Chair, International Parking Institute;

Nannette Ray, MBA - ‎Chief Performance Officer, AnesthesiaOS;

Mary Redmond – Owner/Operator, Redmond Management - McDonald's;

Theresa Roemer – Lifestyle Expert, Philanthropist & Chief Executive Officer, Theresa Roemer, LLC;

Lina Sabouni, AIA NCARB – Principal, AUTOARCH Architects, LLC;

Rhonda Skillern-Jones – Board of Education President, District II Trustee, Houston Independent School District (HISD);

Joyce Tyler-Williams – Senior Vice President, Community Development – Houston/Galveston, Frost Bank;


Unity Achievement Award:

 ICON Women’s Organization






2014 Top 30 Influential Women of Houston Honorees:


Icon Honorees:

State Senator Sylvia Garcia, Texas Senate;

Karen E. Jackson – Founder/CEO, Sisters Network, Inc.




Dr. Lacey Brooks – Audiologist/Regional Manager Houston, Hearing Aid Express;

Latoya Bullard-Franklin – Chief Executive Officer, The Bulsard Group;

Marian Cabanilla, MBA – Vice President Marketing, UnitedHealthcare;

Shern-Min Chow – Anchor, KHOU 11;

Sonia Clayton – President & CEO, Virtual Intelligence Providers, LLC;

Pamela Ellis – Chief Executive Officer, Smahrt Solutions;

Sonia Guimbellot – Director/Secretary, World Chamber of Commerce, Texas;

Joanie Y. Hare, M.D. – Physician, Houston Perinatal Associates;

Nikki Elizabeth Hart – President & Owner, inMotion Marketing Group;

Miranda Horn – Vice President, Industrial Welding Academy;

Judge Maria T. Jackson – 339th District Court;

Justina Mann – Chief Procurement Officer, Houston Airport Systems;

CleRenda McGrady – TV Host, Thryv360;

Sharon Murphy – Founding Partner, McConnell Jones Lanier and Murphy;

Kim Ogg – Attorney, Ogg Law Firm;

Carrie Poole – Chief Executive Officer, Professional Career Training Institute;

Ronda M. Prince – Chief Operations Officer, Rap-A-Lot Records;

Maria Rios - President & CEO, Nation Waste, Inc;

Dr. Docia Rudley – Executive Director for Academic Assessment, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Neeta Sane –Board Chair/Trustee District VII, Houston Community College;

Thelma Scott – Founder & CEO, Barbara Jordan Endeavors;

Dr. Alison Scott Cuillier – Owner/Dentist, Lasting Impressions Dental Group

Sonya M. Sloan, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon;

Laurie Vignaud – Senior Vice President, Capital One Bank;

Barbara Walker-Green – Financial Advisor, Advanced Wealth & Retirement, LLC;

Reva Witherspoon – Vice President, Marketing, Amerigroup;

Mia K. Wright – Co-Pastor, The Fountain of Praise;

Carlecia D. Wright – Director, City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity;

Dr. Betty Young – Educator



2013 Top Influential Women of Houston Honorees:


Icon Honorees:

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee – 18th Congressional District of Texas;

Donna Cole – President & CEO, Cole Chemical & Distributing, Inc.

Dr. Patricia Brock – Founder & Chairman Emeritus, Medical Bridges;




Nargis Ahmed – Director, Muslim Democratic Caucus of Texas;

Maria Moncada Alaoui – General Manager, Momentum BMW West;

State Rep Carol Alvarado – Texas House District 145;

Rhonda C. Arnold – Director of Community Relations, Houston Airport System;

Lisa Ashley – Director, Corporate Communications, Port of Houston Authority;

Karen Becerra – Chief Operations Officer/Principal, The Principle Partnering Group, LLC;

Dr. Heather Brown – Owner & Orthodontist, Dr. Heather Brown Orthodontics;

Madeline Burillo, Ed.D. – Associate Vice Chancellor, Houston Community College;

Helen Callier – President, Bradlink, LLC;

Emelda Douglas –SVP and Chief Development Officer, Neighborhood Centers, Inc.;

Wilma J. Evans – President, North Houston Frontiers Club & Managing Partner, DeMand Staffing & Consulting, LLC.

Christina Robinson Grochett – Chief Strategist for Innovation and Research, Lone Star College;

Dr. Irishea Hilliard – COO & Pastor, New Light Christian Center Church

Carla Lane – President & CEO, Lane Staffing;

Shara McClure – Vice President Network Management, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

Catherine Mitchell – COO, Amerigroup;

Marlene Petry, RN, MSN – SVP, GP Industrial Contractors, Inc.;

Eva Pickens - Associate Vice President, University Advancement - Communications & Marketing, Texas Southern University;

Vanessa Reed – Assistant Vice President, South Texas CRA Manager Corporate Public Affairs & Community Reinvestment, Comerica Bank;

Susan Repka – Executive Director, Women Contractors Association;

Dr. Jonita Wallace Reynolds – Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Coast Community Services Association (GCCSA);

Kandice Rose – Founder, Pretty Girls with Cancer;

Jamilah Shami – Project Manager, Farouk Systems, Inc.;

Melinda Spaulding – Anchor, Fox 26 KRIV-TV;

Dr. Angela Sturm – Facial Plastic Surgeon, Facial Plastic Surgery Associates;

Dr. Ka-Ron Y. Wade, BS, RN, BSN, DDS – Cosmetic and Neuromuscular Dentist, Cosmetic Dental Texas;

Cynthia Wenz – President & CEO, The Source for Women;

Nicole C. West – President, NCA Investigations;

Dr. Anjanette Wyatt – Pharmacy Manager, President & CEO, Clinical Care Pharmacy, LLC;

Judge Mimi Yam – United States Immigration Court