Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Houston for 2022. This group of esteemed individuals were selected for their exemplary achievements across industries. They follow in the footsteps of other great women of Houston, such as Barbara Jordan, who left her legacy as an attorney and the first Black woman elected to the Texas State Senate and US Congress, and Oveta Culp Hobby, the first Secretary of the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare and first Director of the Women's Army Corps. These women defied limitations and broke through glass ceilings, helping to change today’s landscape of professional women in Houston. We recognize this year’s awardees for their outstanding tenacity, discipline, and perseverance.
Among this year’s awardees is Kelly Oliphant, the Vice President of Organizational Learning and Development and Clinical Education at Memorial Hermann, who focuses on the identification, development, engagement, and retention of diverse organizational talent; Kindel Nuño, the Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Mattress Firm, who is responsible for the management of the legal, risk, compliance, and insurance for the nation's largest specialty mattress retailer; and Carla Mashinski, the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of Cameron LNG, who leads the organization using her 30 plus years of experience as an oil & gas industry operations executive.
These women have dedicated their lives to their profession and deserve acknowledgement for their achievements. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Houston for 2022.
1. Aylin Korkmaz
Aylin Korkmaz is a partner of EY. With more than 20 years of client experience covering all aspects of business transformation, Korkmaz is consistently engaged in complex and strategic engagements helping major corporations to identify performance improvement opportunities across their value chain. Working in Europe and the US, she has led complex business transformation programs enabled by technology for Fortune 500 firms in the technology, consumer products, advanced manufacturing, oil and gas, and life sciences industries. She is also a passionate champion of professional development and diversity initiatives.
During her career, Korkmaz has published numerous thought leadership papers. She is also the author of the award-winning book Financial Reporting with SAP and recently published her new book. She regularly presents at several world-renowned conferences sharing her financials and reporting/analytics knowledge. Korkmaz is building a better working world by helping her clients to position for the future by amplifying human performance with new technologies and an ecosystem way of working. Korkmaz graduated from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management MBA program, focusing on leadership, business strategy, finance, innovation, data and analytics. She has an industrial engineering undergraduate degree from Bilkent University.
2. Stacie Prescott
Stacie Prescott is the Head of The Hartford Insurance's Energy unit. The Hartford is an industry leading provider of property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. In her role, Prescott maintains full responsibility for the operation of The Hartford’s underwriting unit. Her focus is on helping establish the business unit’s primary marketing strategy, along with accountability for production, profitability, underwriting, and compliance. Additionally, she was in charge of building a technical underwriting unit specifically focused on meeting the commercial casualty insurance needs of their customers. The unit is now a $100,000,000.00 operating unit of The Hartford. Throughout her 30+ year career in insurance, she has gained extensive underwriting experience insuring the energy industry.
Before joining The Hartford, Prescott was a head of international programs at Zurich Insurance Company Ltd and before that a regional underwriting manager at ACE Risk Management. Earlier in her career she worked with AIG as a regional manager. Prescott graduated from Lamar University with an undergraduate degree in human resources management.
3. Jessica Meredith
Fidelity National Title Agency
Jessica Meredith is the Vice President - State Escrow Operations Manager of Fidelity National Title Agency. Fidelity National Title Agency provides insurance, underwriting, escrow and closing services to residential and commercial clients. Meredith accompanies a team of professionals at Fidelity National Title with years of experience that are ready and equipped to handle all aspects of the closing transaction throughout the State of Texas.
Meredith, a licensed Escrow Officer with Fidelity National Title, began her career with the company in 2001. In 2014, she received a Recognition of Excellence Award in Residential Escrow from FNTG for Top 10% Escrow driven in her market area. Most recently, she was the area escrow manager for Fidelity National Title of Houston and was previously the branch manager of their Champions branch. Her vast technical knowledge and aggressive approach to title curative matters, united with her focus on customer service, has afforded Fidelity National Title the ability to rise to a higher level of service in our ever-changing industry.
4. Paula Moore
Paula Moore began her professional career over 21 years ago. Today, she is the Senior Vice President of Consulting for JLL. JLL is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. They shape the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for their clients, their people and their communities.
Moore first got her start in 2001 as an educational specialist at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. From there, she went on to Baker Communications before eventually rising to become a senior manager at Deloitte, her most recent position prior to joining JLL. Moore graduated from the University of Phoenix with an MA in human resources.
5. Kelly Oliphant
Kelly Oliphant is the Vice President of Organizational Learning and Development & Clinical Education at Memorial Hermann. Memorial Hermann is one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare systems in Southeast Texas, comprised of 17 hospitals, over 270 care delivery sites, numerous specialty programs and services. With over 6000 physicians and approximately 30,000 employees, Memorial Hermann is an award winning and nationally acclaimed Accountable Care Organization that is redefining health care and focused on charting a better and healthier community now and for many generations to come.
Oliphant began her career in talent management consulting 17 years ago. From there, she went on to lead the design and implementation of talent and organizational strategies for large enterprises across many industries, including healthcare, engineering and manufacturing, and hospitality. She has led all aspects of the talent lifecycle and has worked closely with business leaders to provide thought leadership on strategic initiatives, cultural transformations, and workforce dynamics. Through her leadership in talent management, organizational strategy, learning, employee experience, and equity, diversity, and inclusion, Oliphant has established herself as a business partner, talent strategist, and people innovator. Oliphant holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, a master’s in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Houston, is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), an AGILE HR Practitioner (JLS), and holds many talent and leadership certifications, including Design Thinking from Stanford University.
6. Jessica Solera
Bain & Company
Jessica Solera is a Partner and Head of the Houston Office at Bain & Company, a global consultancy that helps the world’s most ambitious change makers define the future. A leader in Bain’s Technology and Customer practices, Solera has more than a dozen years of consulting experience and consistently strives to drive transformational change with her clients. In addition to her client responsibilities, Solera is passionate about developing and inspiring the next generation of leaders.
Solera holds an undergraduate degree in economics and history from Duke University, and she earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start as an associate consultant—an entry-level consultant—in Bain’s Boston office and has worked her way up to partner during her tenure at Bain.
7. Kindel Nuño
Kindel Nuño currently serves as EVP, Legal, General Counsel and Secretary of Mattress Firm, Inc., the nation's largest specialty mattress retailer operating over 2,400 retail stores across the country. She joined Mattress Firm in July 2012 as its sole attorney, in the role of Vice President and General Counsel. She was promoted to EVP in January 2014. Nuño is responsible for the oversight and management of the legal, risk, compliance, insurance and, until July 2020, internal audit functions. She regularly advises on strategic transactions and provides guidance and assistance in connection with acquisitions, marketing, merchandising, operations, safety, real estate and lease administration, commercial, corporate governance, intellectual property, employee relations, franchisee and financing matters.
Prior to joining Mattress Firm, Nuño worked with Fulbright & Jaworski LLP. She spent one year on secondment in Tokyo, Japan with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and advised on oil and gas matters involving North and South America. Since January 2016, Nuño has served on the board of directors and finance committee (currently, as treasurer) of Children at Risk, a Texas non-partisan research and advocacy organization dedicated to addressing the root causes of poor public policies affecting children in the areas of health and nutrition, early childhood education, parenting, human trafficking and immigration. Nuño holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and political science from Vanderbilt University and a JD from the University of Texas School of Law.
View the complete list of awardees.
8. Mary Ann Reynolds-Wilkins
Stewart Title Company
Dr. Mary Ann Reynolds-Wilkins is the Vice President and Senior Commercial Development Officer of Stewart Title Company. Stewart is an International Company with approximately 7000 offices and affiliates in the U.S. She enjoyed a 27-year successful career in academia where she ultimately led a school district of 50,000 students and 5,000 employees and served as an adjunct professor for HBU and the University of Houston.
Previously, Reynolds-Wilkins has served on 12 non-profit boards in Houston and was the first Chairman of the Board for Methodist Hospital in Sugar Land. She has been named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Houston, one of Ten Women of Distinction, and has received the only Lifetime Achievement Award awarded from the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the CoreNet Real Estate organization. Reynolds-Wilkins has been a national motivational speaker on the topics of “Teacher Heroes” “Manager Heroes” and “Selling Your Way to the Top.” She holds an undergraduate degree, two master’s degrees and a doctorate degree, and has completed post graduate seminars at the University of Houston, Harvard, and Columbia.
9. Lyda Akin
David Weekley Homes
Lyda Akin is the Vice President of Brand of David Weekley Homes. She first joined the company in 2015 as the VP of marketing. As one of the nation’s largest privately held home builders, David Weekley Homes continues leading the charge in home building. Since 1976, they have led the industry with award-winning designs, a multi-level warranty program that’s second-to-none, and energy-efficient building practices that were introduced before going “green” even had a name.
Previously, Akin was an SVP at The Point Group and before that a principal and executive vice president at The Hay Agency. Earlier in her career she worked with Trammell Crow Company as a director of public relations. Akin earned an undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
10. Sumera Khan
Norton Rose Fulbright
Sumera Khan began her professional career over 12 years ago. Today, she is the Partner of Norton Rose Fulbright. Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm. They provide the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. They have more than 3500 lawyers and other legal staff based in more than 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and CentralAsia. Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP and Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc are separate legal entities and all of them are members of Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss verein. Norton Rose Fulbright Verein helps coordinate the activities of the members but does not itself provide legal services to clients.
Khan graduated from the University of Houston Law Center with a JD and from Trinity University with an undergraduate degree in psychology, Spanish and political science.
11. Carla Mashinski
Carla Mashinski began her professional career over 37 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of Cameron LNG. Cameron LNG was developed to meet the growing demand for energy around the world with three liquefaction trains to safely process and load LNG supplies onto ships. Cameron LNG’s partners, Sempra Infrastructure, Mitsui & CoMitsubishi Corporation, TotalEnergies, and NYK Line, represent extensive LNG market and shipping experience and are committed to achieving operational excellence to ensure a safe and reliable workplace.
Mashinski first got her start in 1985 as a financial representative at Shell Oil Company. From there, she went on to Duke Energy International before eventually rising to become the CFO at SBM offshore USA, her most recent position prior to joining Cameron LNG. Mashinski graduated from Naveen Jindal School of Management with an MBA in international studies and from the University of Tennessee with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
12. Kelly Carlton
Kelly Carlton started her career with Randstad SourceRight over ten years ago as a Senior Talent Delivery Manager, was then promoted to Senior Director and last year was promoted to Vice President of Global Talent Solutions. With over 20 years of experience across multiple sectors, she is in a unique position to consult and partner with organizations to solve any talent acquisition challenges they may be facing, whether it's in the US, NAM or global.
Carlton has extensive experience in process review and improvement, program design, project management and implementation of technologies in complex talent acquisition solutions. She has vast experience working within highly matrixed Fortune 100 & 500 companies and through that experience she is able to quickly build trust, develop strong rapport, build relationships and leverage her strengths in technology, reporting and intelligence analytics to help her clients achieve their goals through a strong partnership. Carlton graduated from Sam Houston State University with an undergraduate degree in psychology.
13. Liz Dennett
Liz Dennett began her professional career over 13 years ago. Today, she is the Vice President of Data Architecture at Wood Mackenzie where she is helping slay data silos to fuel sustainable innovation, and hosts the Horizon Podcast, a candid take on the Energy Transition. She is a passionate technologist with over a decade of experience using data-driven approaches to solve pressing energy challenges. She has demonstrated success pioneering novel data types, architectures, and analytics solutions through the energy value chain.
Prior to joining Wood Mackenzie, Dennett was a lead solutions architect for energy data platforms at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and held various roles of increasing scope and complexity within AWS, Biota Technology, Hess Corporation, and the NASA Astrobiology Institute. A technology evangelist, Dennett has given over 100 invited presentations, received over a dozen awards, and written more than 10 academic and industry publications. Dennett holds an MS and PhD in geoscience from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and has completed executive education at the Haas School of Business.
14. Lily Mendiola Bain
Lily Mendiola Bain is the Associate Vice President of Client Services for HealthHelp. HealthHelp, a WNS Holdings company, is a utilization management partner that collaborates with health plan leaders and providers to improve care and realize sustained cost savings through evidence-based medicine and clinical decision support. Bain started at HealthHelp in 2014, and as an accomplished leader in business development and process improvement, has been able to triple the revenue of her organization while maintaining a +4:1 ROI for her customers.
Bain began her professional career 25 years ago at a start-up HMO and has worked her way up to being an integral force in the managed care industry. Before moving to client services, Bain was nationally recognized as an industry expert in managed care contracting specializing in converting fee-for-service contracts into bundled payment arrangements for specialty laboratories, national facilities, and IPA/PHO networks, and has successfully appealed and over-turned Local and National Coverage Determinations developed by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Bain graduated with an MBA in organizational leadership.
View the complete list of awardees.
15. Meredith Mouer
Meredith Mouer began her professional career over 26 years ago. She serves as Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Tellurian Inc., a Houston-based company developing a portfolio of natural gas, LNG marketing and infrastructure assets. She joined the company five years ago.
Prior to joining Tellurian, Mouer was a partner in the corporate securities section at the law firm of Andrews Kurth LLP since 2003. Mouer has been committed to the advancement of women lawyers for over 20 years. She is a founding member of the UT Center for Women in Law and, together with the managing partner of Andrews Kurth, served as co-chair of Andrews Kurth’s Women’s Initiative Team for over a decade. Since 2015, Mouer has served on the board of directors of SEARCH Homeless Services, a Houston-based non-profit organization leading the region’s fight against homelessness. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with an undergraduate degree in public policy and from the University of Texas School of Law with a JD.
16. Cydonii Fairfax
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County
Cydonii Fairfax is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. She first joined the organization in 2017. In 1978, Houston-area voters created METRO and approved a one-cent sales tax to support its operations. METRO opened for business in January 1979. The Authority has transformed a broken bus fleet into a regional multimodal transportation system.
Fairfax is an effective, business oriented legal executive with 20 years of broad legal experience, both in-house and in private practice, advising public and private company boards of directors and senior management on various legal matters, including corporate and securities law, finance, strategic planning, risk management, governance and regulatory compliance. She has also worked extensively with stakeholders on structuring, negotiating and documenting complex corporate finance and commercial transactions. Fairfax earned a JD from Harvard Law School and an undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Maryland.
17. Marcella Burke
King & Spalding LLP
Marcella is an environmental law partner at King & Spalding LLP, where she leads the Houston office’s Environmental Health and Safety practice. She served at the EPA as Deputy General Counsel, and at the Department of Interior as Deputy Solicitor for Energy and Natural Resources, where she managed the litigation docket and regulatory portfolio of all energy and natural resource permitting and project development on federal lands, including for the federal oil and gas, renewables, and carbon capture programs.
She leads her firm’s global Energy Transition initiative and is a board member of the Houston ESG Council. She was named by the Petroleum Economist as a global Top 100 Women of the Energy Transition 2021 and received the National Law Journal Energy/Environmental Law Trailblazer Award 2021. She is on the Executive Committee of the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the State Bar of Texas, the Institute for Energy Law Advisory Counsel, and is the Chair of the Environment & Natural Resources Program Committee of the Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law. She graduated from Texas A&M University and the University of Houston Law Center.
18. Gloria Sanderson
Pioneer Bank SSB
Gloria Sanderson is the Senior Vice President and Fair Lending Officer of Pioneer Bank SSB. She first joined the company in 2013. Pioneer Bank is a strong, well-capitalized community bank, locally focused and invested in the success of businesses and families within their communities. Over time they have grown with their clients and today are a $1.6 billion asset bank. Pioneer Bank’s hometown is Austin with a footprint that also includes Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and several communities in between.
Previously, Sanderson was a principal at Sanderson Solutions and before that a senior project manager at Bazilio Cobb Associates PC. Earlier in her career she worked with Resolution Trust Corporation as a managing agent. Sanderson earned an undergraduate degree from Texas Woman's University.
19. Sharon Birkman
Sharon Birkman was named CEO of Birkman International in 2002. As the daughter of the founder and influential industrial-organizational psychologist, Dr. Roger W. Birkman, Birkman cultivated her expertise in human perception and organizational behavior through her lifelong interest in the company.
Birkman has been recognized with EY's Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Women President's Organization's Economic Empowerment Award, Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, and Houston Business Journal's Women Who Mean Business Award. Women's Business Enterprise National Council named Birkman a woman-owned business. Birkman graduated from the University of Texas with a master’s degree in music and from Harvard's Owner/President Management program.
20. DeAndrea Washington
DeAndrea Washington is an experienced and well-respected labor and employment partner at Spencer Fane. She provides preventive counsel and litigates employment disputes on behalf of public and private employers in federal and state courts, arbitration, and before administrative agencies, such as the Texas Workforce Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the United States Department of Labor. She handles litigation matters at the pre-trial, trial, and appellate levels and represents management in employment discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, noncompetition, and wage and hour disputes. Her litigation practice also includes breach of contract litigation.
Perhaps most importantly, Washington has become a respected voice within the firm’s leadership, currently serving in the role of Diversity and Inclusion advisor to the Spencer Fane Executive Committee. She also serves on the firm’s rapidly expanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. Washington graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Houston Law Center.
21. Tracy White-Weeden
Neuhaus Education Center
Tracy White-Weeden is the President and CEO of Neuhaus Education Center. Neuhaus offers powerful reading support to help high school, middle school, and adult learners master difficult vocabulary. Learners come away with improved reading, spelling, and comprehension skills, and an increased ability to learn and understand new words for the rest of their lives. The courses are free for learners and can be taken individually without guidance or as part of a planned curriculum assigned by teachers. Neuhaus will be the premier source for solutions, support, and successful reading instruction for every educator.
White-Weeden is a seasoned leader dedicated to advancing literacy success for all and academic excellence for children. She brings 28 years of experience to a calling of shaping dynamic systems-change so that children are well prepared for the realities of a 21st-century knowledge economy. White-Weeden is also a relentless literacy advocate who frames literacy as a fundamental human right that transforms the family tree when evidence-based practices are scaled responsibly. Her life’s work has been to position literacy success for all as a moral imperative that creates a place at the table for every child and adult, regardless of zip code or country of origin. White-Weeden graduated from the University of Houston with an EdD and ME in administration and supervision.
View the complete list of awardees.
22. Donna Mikulecky
Donna Mikulecky is the Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Vision Source. She first joined the company in 2017 as SVP of professional development. Founded in 1991, Vision Source is a family of over 3,200 locally owned practices and more than 4,600 doctors collaborating to provide quality professional eye care and to support the long-term success of independent optometry. Vision Source clinicians treat an estimated 16 million patients every year.
Previously, Mikulecky was an independent healthcare consultant and before that a president at CHRISTUS Provider Network. Earlier in her career she worked with KPMG as a senior auditor. Mikulecky earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from The University of Texas at Austin.
23. Janelle Sam
How To Manage a Small Law Firm
Janelle Sam is a Fractional CEO Management Advisor with How To Manage (HTM). HTM is the leading, largest, biggest, and best provider of outside Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer services exclusively for the solo and small law firm (single-shareholder) market.
Prior to joining HTM, she consulted for top tier financial and legal firms and has over 20 years of experience in developing new technologies, strategic growth and business development, P&L management, financial analysis, and people management. Additionally, Sam is an award-winning public speaker, a social influencer, and a frequent guest on All Real Radio based in the third ward in Houston. She also volunteers as a mentor to first generation college students with the non-profit organization, America Needs You. Sam has an MBA from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree in corporate communications from Baruch College.
24. Debbie Drury-Tyrone
Market Doctors Direct
Debbie Drury-Tyrone is the founder and CEO of Market Doctors, a full-service marketing agency based out of Houston, Texas. Market Doctors was founded in 1998, is a woman owned business, and provides traditional and digital advertising services to more than 350 enterprises nationwide. She has been a trailblazer and pioneer in automotive marketing. The results of her work over the last 20+ years gave way to the success of hundreds of dealerships. In addition, she leads a team of automotive marketing experts that provide innovative strategies for their clients. Drury-Tyrone also mentors women and men, guiding them through career path options in dealerships and the marketing industry.
Drury-Tyrone has also received numerous awards over the years, including Enterprising Women of the year, WBEA's Star of the Year, and Vendor of the Year (for 5-10 million in revenue). In addition, Drury-Tyrone is a Top 30 Influential Women of Houston winner and Honoree for Woman of the Year Enterprising Women. Outside of her achievements, Houston Business Journal named Market Doctors the 4th fastest growing business. Drury-Tyrone graduated from San Jacinto College with an undergraduate degree in business, management, marketing and related support services.
25. Allison Allen
Orchard Global Asset Management
Allison Allen is an HR executive with 22 years of experience. She is currently the Chief Human Resources Officer for Orchard Global Asset Management (OGAM), a leading alternatives asset manager focused on structured credit, specialty lending and opportunistic fixed income investments. With Orchard Global offices in North America, Europe and Asia, Allen develops and executes upon global people programs and service delivery strategies, enhancing organizational decision-making and approaches for securing growth on a business-wide scale.
Prior to joining OGAMl, Allen was with EY (formerly Ernst & Young) for 19 years. As a director, she was the talent leader for the firm’s Southwest Region - comprised of 9 states, 12 major markets and approximately 6000 professionals providing assurance, tax, consulting and advisory services. Allen and her 45-member team were responsible for the ongoing advancement and implementation of the EY talent agenda as well as leveraging data analytics and diversity & inclusion to support business development and strategic priorities. She is also a member of the distinguished Forbes Human Resource Council. Allen earned an undergraduate degree in psychology and public relations from Southern Methodist University.
26. Holly Clapham-Rosenow
Houston First Corporation
Holly Clapham-Rosenow is the Chief Marketing Officer of Houston First where she leads the strategic direction for marketing and advertising for the company. Houston First Corporation focuses on offering information on the Houston tourism and travel places besides managing properties and buildings. Since assuming the role in 2003, Clapham-Rosenow has led the brand position for Houston and under her leadership the marketing team has received 80+ awards
Clapham-Rosenow is a member of the American Marketing Association and sits on the Theater District Association board. She served on the 2004 Super Bowl Marketing Committee, the 2016 NCAA Men’s Final Four Executive Team and 2017 Super Bowl Marketing Committee and is the Marketing Chair for the 2023 NCAA Men’s Final Four. She was inducted into the Houston Business Journal's "40 Under 40" class of 2013 and "Women Who Mean Business" in 2019. Clapham-Rosenow graduated with a degree in radio, television, and film from the Dan Rather School of Communications at Sam Houston State University.
27. Odette Christie
OEC² Solutions, LLC
Odette Christie is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of OEC² Solutions, LLC, a human capital consulting, corporate training, executive coaching, and executive recruiting firm. She is an organizational development practitioner with over 25 years of experience providing services to managers, business leaders, and executives striving for excellence and leadership in their fields. Her expertise includes organizational development, talent management, executive development & coaching, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Christie has a proven track record of leading organizations to success. As an executive in the field of organizational development, she has led and implemented a wide range of large-scale organizational transformational projects focused on performance improvement at the individual, team, and organizational levels in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East, and Africa, across a wide array of industry sectors and business functions. As a trusted advisor and coach to several business leaders and executives across the country, Christie utilizes positive psychology to create sustainable transformational change.
28. Karee Laing
Studio Brand Collective
Karee Laing began her professional career over 22 years ago. Today, she is a Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Studio Brand Collective. Studio Brand Collective has been providing their service since 2013 in Houston. They focus on creating logos, and also provide web guidance from marketing and brand consultants. Some of their services are website development, inbound marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing and more. They started off wanting to create a company that was built on the premise of creating great brands.
Laing first got her start in 2000 as a marketing and return analyst at Federal-Mogul Corporation. From there, she went on to GWB Enterprises, before eventually rising to become the director of marketing and communications at Laura U Inc. Interior Design Firm, her most recent position prior to joining Studio Brand Collective. Laing graduated from Capital University Law School with a JD, from the University of Phoenix with an MBA in marketing and from Wayne State University with an undergraduate degree in business and political science.
View the complete list of awardees.
29. Lauri Goodman Lampson
Lauri Goodman Lampson is a business visionary who challenges executives to rethink their approach to how they communicate their purpose, how they gather, and how they work. Goodman Lampson frames business challenges as optimistic calls to action, leading her team and clients to adapt and thrive in a constant state of intentional evolution.
As PDR’s President and CEO, she is the mastermind behind the firm’s innovative business model and integrated approach to consulting, design, and brand services. PDR helps organizations simplify the complexity of workplace decisions, creating places and experiences that make people, businesses, ideas, and decisions better. As a designer, workplace strategist, and business advisor, Goodman Lampson has built PDR into the thought leadership platform and creative powerhouse it is today.
30. Pamela Radford
Pamela Radford is the President of Legal Media Inc. (LMI). LMI is a litigation support firm founded 40 years ago with a national reputation for being one of the premiere trial presentation companies in the country. LMI consistently delivers compelling presentations that produce favorable results for their clients, with over $150 Billion in wins. Through close collaboration with attorneys and the seamless integration of graphics and multimedia production they are experts in teaching the Court, juries, and litigation audiences the key facts and concepts. Their ability to present challenging, highly technical information to the layperson is important and highly valued by their clients.
With over 25 years of experience in the presentation of evidence, Radford has earned a national reputation for her skill both inside the courtroom and during trial preparation. She specializes in trial presentation, design and consultation in complex and large-scale litigation all over the United States. She has worked on numerous high-stakes and landmark cases including the Michael Jackson wrongful death case, Deepwater Horizon litigation, the ATT/Time Warner merger trial and most recently national Opioid trials. Radford graduated from the University of Houston with an MA in communications and from Lamar University with an undergraduate degree in communications. When not in the courtroom, she enjoys spending time on the lake with her wife and dog.
31. Melannie O'Connor
Melannie O'Connor is the Founder and Principal of Moonstone Consulting. She first joined the company in 2004. Moonstone Consulting was created to help people reconnect their head and their heart. Through her career and life coaching practice, O'Connor helps her clients rediscover what truly makes them happy, and how they can bring joy back into their everyday lives.
Previously, O'Connor was a weekday morning anchor and special assignment reporter at Time Warner Cable and before that a weeknight investigative reporter and special assignment anchor at Sinclair Broadcast Group. Earlier in her career she worked with 12 News (KPNX-TV, NBC) as a weeknight anchor, reporter, and producer. O'Connor earned an undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism and Spanish from Northern Arizona University.
32. Jessica Cannella
Oak Harvest Financial Group
Jessica Cannella is the Co-founder and President of Oak Harvest Financial Group, Co-host of the Retirement Income Show and Founder of the Go-Go Sisterhood™. Her goal is simple, to eliminate intimidation from the retirement planning process. A 15-year veteran within the financial services industry, Cannella is a holistic financial advisor, with expertise in investments, financial planning, and insurance strategies. Cannella focuses on educating and empowering retirees, with an emphasis on serving the unique financial needs of women and couples 50+
As a fiduciary, Cannella uses her client’s best interests and unique vision for retirement as the foundation of the planning process. Every customized plan provides a clear, goals-based path with built-in flexibility. Cannella presents women-only workshops throughout the greater Houston area covering financial topics including Social Security, tax planning, income planning, and her cornerstone events, “Women & Wealth” and “Suddenly Single.” Cannella graduated from Immaculata University with an undergraduate degree in marketing, education and psychology.
33. Silvia Flores
Silvia Flores is a Managing Partner of Alder Koten. She first joined the company in 2011. Alder Koten helps clients acquire, develop and transition leadership talent. Their approach to executive search is collaborative and based on a thorough understanding of the strategic, cultural, financial and operational issues its clients face. Their process is structured and systematic to help ensure that no stone is left unturned during a search.
Previously, Flores was an industrial and quality engineer at Vigobyte de Mexico and before that a member of the demand flow technology team at American Standard. Earlier in her career she worked with FRISA FORJADOS as an engineer. Flores earned an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Tecnológico de Monterrey.
34. Katie Mehnert
The modern architect of culture change in energy, Katie Mehnert is the Founder and CEO of ALLY Energy™. Her company is a SaaS technology platform accelerating connections, jobs, and skills to drive an equitable energy transition. Mehnert has held global leadership roles with BP and Shell in safety and environment during periods of financial crisis, spills, divestment, and globalization. Her early career included assignments with Duke Energy, Entergy, and Enron. Her corporate path drove her to entrepreneurship to help energy companies prepare for the looming talent shortage and workforce diversity needs to address energy poverty and climate change.
She was appointed Ambassador to the United States Department of Energy and has testified before Congress on the clean energy workforce of the future. She is an Energy Institute Fellow and an advisor to Clean Energy for America. Mehnert is published in Scientific American, Forbes, The Hill, CNBC, CNN, and in 2020, she published her first book, Grow with the Flow, Embracing Difference, Overcoming Failure and Progress with Purpose. She’s co-author to Everyday Superheroes: Women in Energy, a children’s book focused on energy careers to be released in 2022. Mehnert appeared in Hot Money, a 2021 documentary produced by Academy Award winning actor, Jeff Bridges and Retired NATO General Wesley Clark on the financial complexities of climate change and finance.
35. Ingeuneal C. Gray
American Arbitration Association
Ingeuneal Gray is Commercial Vice President of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), a not-for-profit organization and the largest private global provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services. Ms. Gray engages with business executives and counsel on ADR initiatives; and oversees the administration of large complex cases, the regional panel of arbitrators and mediators as well as the AAA’s national energy panel.
Ms. Gray is an Attorney-Arbitrator-Mediator with over 20 years of legal experience. Before joining the AAA she was the principal of ICG Law Firm, which focused on transactions, compliance, conflict prevention and ADR in the areas of government contracts, commercial, construction, and employment-law related matters. Ms. Gray proudly serves as Co-Chair of the AAA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is a member of the distinguished Texas Bar College of Legal Scholars. In addition, she is an active member on multiple committees with the American Bar Association, the Texas Bar Association and the Houston Bar Association. She received her JD from Southern Methodist University School of Law and her BA in psychology from the University of Houston. A frequent speaker at legal and industry conferences, Ms. Gray is dedicated to educating on the benefits of ADR and increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in the field.
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35. Nicole Braley
Nicole Braley is the Chief Marketing Officer of Inception Fertility. She first joined the company in 2020. Inception Fertility is a family of fertility brands committed to helping patients build their own families. Built by patients for patients, Inception’s purpose is to achieve the highest bar in experience, science and medicine in an effort to enhance each patient's experience and achieve better outcomes. Inception’s medical experts are leading pioneers in fertility care. Its doctors are some of the first to use breakthrough assisted reproductive technologies including in vitro fertilization, pregenetic implantation testing and fertility preservation services and they continue to lead the industry by building on these technologies through development, research and thought leadership.
Previously, Braley was a VP, head of americas marketing at Wood Mackenzie and before that a senior director strategic marketing at Vision Source. Earlier in her career she worked with National Oilwell Varco (formerly Gammaloy Holdings, L.P.) as an HR manager. Braley earned a master’s degree from Rice University and an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University.
36. Shaina Glass
Computer Science Teachers Association
Shaina Glass has been in K-12 education for the last 17 years, educating students and teachers alike. She is currently a Professional Learning Manager with the Computer Science Teachers Association as well as a Code.org Regional Program Manager with the University of Texas-Austin while also serving as a Computer Science Fundamentals Affiliate. Prior to these roles, Glass served as a Technology Applications/STEM Program Director, where she worked to expand equitable access to STEM and computer science instruction to all over 65,000 school students. She led, supported, and implemented technology applications and STEM programs, instruction, and events for students PK- 12th grade in Aldine ISD. She also serves as a member of the Texas Computer Science Advocacy Coalition, the president of CSTA Greater Houston, as well as a writer for the CSTA K-12 CS Standards, and Texas’ K-8 Technology Applications standards.
Glass is a speaker for K-12 computer science and STEM, a CS advocate, and serves as an educational consultant for schools and educational systems in the Houston area, and across the country. Her impact on schools, districts, CS/STEM and educational technology communities are noteworthy. She has developed a strong personal learning network through social media, STEM, computer science and EdTech ambassador programs. Glass attends national, local, and regional conferences, and seeks out new technologies, and educational opportunities. She holds a master’s from Sam Houston State University in the field of curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in instructional technology. She is a graduate from Morgan State University, receiving an undergraduate degree in fine arts.
37. Jennifer Bagley
CI Web Group
Jennifer Bagley is the CEO, Speaker & Trainer of CI Web Group. CI Web Group is a digital marketing agency that bridges the past, present and future. Through strategy, creativity and technology, they develop multi-marketing campaigns that engage customers and build relationships. Bagley has over 29 years in the marketing & advertising industry. She began her career in 1993.
Before joining CI Web Group, Bagley was a digital marketing executive at Special Agents Realty and before that a master reseller at Mothernode CRM. Earlier in her career she worked with Lamonts Apparel as a manager of distribution, compliance and supply chain. Bagley graduated from Seattle Central College.
38. Debbie Simmons
Debbie Simmons is the CEO and Founder of Anchor Point. Anchor Point’s family network includes Obria Medical Clinic, Hope Family Center, Hope Counseling Center, Excellent Minds Academy and Hope House Maternity Home. This dream of walking alongside families and giving hope was birthed in her heart as a teen. She founded the company in 2010. The work of Anchor Point under her direction has impacted literally thousands of lives throughout Houston and the state of Texas for the better. Anchor Point is a beacon in Houston for families who are struggling with their child and just need hope.
Previously, Simmons was a business manager and marketing operations consultant at The Spine & Sports Center and before that an executive director at Prison Fellowship Ministries. Earlier in her career she worked with Exxon Company USA as a distribution plant engineer. Simmons earned an MA in organizational management from the University of Phoenix, an MA in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Seminary and an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Mississippi State University.
39. Emily Wilcox
The Blake Wilcox Group
Emily Wilcox is a Managing Partner and Realtor of The Blake Wilcox Group. The Wilcox Group specializes in residential home sales in The Woodlands, Tomball, Houston, Heights and more areas surrounding Houston and Montgomery County. Their powerful MLS search tool makes it easy to find just the right home for every family. Their realtors provide relocation counseling, personal attention, and market expertise. Wilcox has over 22 years of experience. She began her career in 2000.
Before joining The Blake Wilcox Group, Wilcox was a specialty sales professional at Sanofi-Aventis and before that a buyer and merchandising at CompUSA. Wilcox graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with an undergraduate degree in marketing and communications.
40. Misti Jeter
Black Pearl Technology
Misti Jeter is the President of BlackPearl Technology & Innovation, and Vice President of BlackPearl Engineering Management and BlackPearl Security. Co-founder of three BlackPearl companies, her background in Chemistry, pursued her Master's in Engineering Management from Purdue University and is fascinated how science and technology can solve problems.
From developing a patented multiple-effect water distillation system to supporting cancer research and awareness, Jeter is invested in finding solutions. Jeter is no stranger to adversity and brings a sense of tenacity and determination to all areas of her life. This has resulted in numerous awards and accolades for her over 20 years of work in many industries. She currently sits on the American Cancer Society Gulf Coast Regional Board.
Always focused on innovation, Jeter worked on the first downhole survivable RFID tag, enabling readable data at temperatures of up to 200℃. Her valuable experience includes leading development teams and bringing a startup company onto the Inc. 5000 list twice. On top of acting as President of the company, Jeter is key in ideating hardware solutions through BlackPearl and the Interceptor product line. Her goal, whether through cancer awareness or role as Executive, is to make a difference for those around her.
41. Sarah Tamilarasan
Sarah Tamilarasan began her professional career over 17 years ago. Today, she is the CEO of SOTAOG. SOTAOG is an intelligent enterprise software solutions provider, delivering comprehensive smart technology for the energy and heavy industrials. They are focused on maximizing operating cash flow by analyzing real-time data with AI, ML and cloud computing. They're passionate about tech driven profits.
Tamilarasan first got her start in 2005 as a project engineer at Marathon Oil Company. From there, she went on to work in operations with Carrizo Oil & Gas, her most recent position prior to founding SOTAOG. Tamilarasan graduated from Calvin University with an undergraduate degree in electrical and computer engineering.
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42. Nicolette Daniel
Patrick Daniel Law
Nicolette Daniel is the Chief Strategy Officer of Patrick Daniel Law and an expert in strategic brand positioning, marketing and development for progressive businesses. Patrick Daniel Law serves the Houston area, focusing on personal injury litigation. They are dedicated to ensuring that their clients receive the compensation they deserve at the time they need it most.
Daniel holds over eighteen years of professional experience in the television, retail, legal, and medical industries with specific skills in managing, strategic planning, communications, branding, and marketing. She has guided growth and expansion of luxury brands and subsequent divisions and directed successful business operations by increasing revenue systematically from original startup to stimulated profits that exceeded $20million annually. She successfully developed marketing strategies including sales programs, website direction, and visual collateral. Daniel received an undergraduate degree in business, summa cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago as well as a master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine.
43. Ursula Henry
Ursula Henry is the VP, Managed Care and Operations at ExEm Foam where she supports the advancement of women’s health by providing innovative solutions for healthcare providers and their patients, focusing on enhancing the fertility journey through commitment to patient access, safety, and convenience.
Henry has participated in numerous industry events and discussion panels at several healthcare conferences such as PCCA’s Quality Symposiums, National Council for Prescription Drug Programs, Compounders on Capitol Hill, and various Compliance and Healthcare Programs. Prior to ExEm Foam, Henry served as a director of business development for Pharmacy Management Services and has spent nearly 13 years in various roles at organizations within the pharmacy and managed care fields. Henry earned a master’s degree in healthcare innovation and an undergraduate degree in organizational leadership with a concentration in operations management from Arizona State University. She is a member of multiple healthcare organizations including the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.
44. Theresa Ford
Village Paws Transport
Theresa Ford is the Founder and Managing Partner of Village Paws Transport, LLC in Houston and has a long-standing reputation in Houston’s animal rescue community. Ford’s business interests have always centered around what motivates people, and how to assist them with their professional interactions to enhance their professional careers and overall goals. As a longtime Agile Project Manager, she is continuously looking at ways to improve processes and increase value.
Born and raised in Denver, CO, Ford moved to Houston in 2011. She has made philanthropy a cornerstone throughout her life focusing her efforts on victims of domestic violence and animal rescue. In addition to her roles with Village Paws Transport, Ford is a senior full desk talent consultant with ARTEMIS Partners. She holds a degree in communications with an emphasis in business psychology from Regis University, a private Jesuit university.
45. Chantell Preston
Facilities Management Group
Chantell Preston is a seasoned healthcare professional with 20 plus years' experience in operations and in the healthcare innovation ecosystem as an investor, advisor, and strategist. Today, she is the CEO of Facilities Management Group. Facilities Management Group is a leader in management consulting for specialty hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and urgent cares and combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, and organizational transformation.
Preston is also a Lead Partner for Port folia's Active Aging and Longevity Fund. Portfolia designs investment funds for women backing the innovative companies they want to see in the world, for returns and impact. The Active Aging and Longevity fund is specifically focused on the aging experience for millions of women. Before joining Facilities Management Group, Preston built and exited several companies. Early in her career, Preston co-founded Mentis Neuro Health, an industry leader in the field of residential neuro-rehabilitation services, before exiting to a group of Private Equity investors. Preston holds an MBA from Sam Houston State University and an undergraduate degree in business administration in marketing from Texas A&M University.
46. Tiffany Hughey
Tiffany Hughey is the Founder and Managing Principal of HCFO Group. HCFO provides outsourced CFO services at a fraction of the cost of a full-time CFO to organizations with annual revenues of $3M to $15M. Hughey has 20 years of extensive experience providing CEOs invaluable insight. She brings a unique perspective as a CPA and CFO because of her diverse, first-hand executive management experience. She has led businesses that ranged in revenue sizes from $1 million to $35 million and teams of 6 to over 200 people.
Prior to founding HCFO Group, Hughey was a JPMorgan Wall Street investment banker, private wealth manager, and general manager of Target Corporation. She is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas and a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Houston Chapter of the Texas Society of CPAs. She serves on the Grant Committee of the Melton Global Foundation. Hughey earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a finance degree from Dillard University.
47. Heather Murphy
Heather Murphy is the Owner and Operator of Texas Doghouse near The Woodlands, TX, a family owned and operated dog daycare and boarding facility, since September 2011. Murphy developed the business platform with her husband of 25 years and together they facilitate and oversee all operations, while she independently produces and manages all of her own business marketing, graphic designs, and website design. The mission of Texas Doghouse is to provide dogs with a fun, safe, clean and caring place to stay and play in a family environment. Murphy and her husband created the company at a time when access to such a resource for pet boarding was limited in location, and the services provided were limited in value. Texas Doghouse was the first non-traditional, social daycare and boarding facility in the north Houston area. They have been consecutively awarded Best of The Woodlands since 2016, as well as Texas Best Dog Daycare of Houston since 2017.
Murphy spent the previous 15 years supporting her husband’s Allstate property claims business as administrative assistant for catastrophe insurance adjustments while raising and full-time teaching their 3 children. She grew up locally in The Woodlands area before moving to Cleveland, TX in the 9th grade.
47. Tiffany Curry
BHHS Tiffany Curry & Co.
Tiffany Curry is the Broker/Owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Tiffany Curry & Co., REALTORS® in Houston, Texas. She ranks in the top 1% specializing in Global and Luxury real estate. A trailblazer, Curry is the first solely owned African American owner of a Berkshire Hathaway HS franchise in the world. She is also the first wholly-woman owned franchise in Houston. Her firm is built on innovation, a supportive environment and family feel that builds on relationships, collaboration, and expert service.
Curry is the recipient of many top honors including the 2022 Swanepoel Power 200 WATCHLIST, Houston REALTOR® of the Year, GPT Houston Woman of the Year, Houston Business Journal 40 Under 40, Houston REALTOR of the Year '11 and has been inducted into The National Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2018. She is a supporter of The Sunshine Kids, Susan G. Komen and founder of #FURever MyHome.
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48. Bridgette Chambers
Bridgette Chambers is an entrepreneur, educator, investor, growth strategist, and successful business author. In 2021, she co-founded 2B Associates, which accelerates ventures and acquisitions. Chambers’ past executive appointments include CEO of Constellation Research, CEO of Americas’ SAP Users Group, and Chairman of BGBC Management. Chambers is an expert in change and transformation, having led over a billion dollars in change and transformation related projects and initiatives.
Chambers is a faculty member with Mays Business School within Texas A&M University. Additionally, she serves as an advisor or director to leading growth firms where she works with other board members, investors, and key stakeholders on strategic initiatives. Chambers is a well-known keynote speaker who has shared the stage with Colin Powell, Lisa Leslie, Seth Godin, Michael Eisner, and other notable personal brands. Chambers is a proud Aggie and Executive Professor with the Management Department of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and a frequent guest lecturer with Tulane University and Prairie View A&M University. Chambers received her undergraduate degree from the University of Houston, her MBA from Texas A&M, and her PhD from NorthCentral University. She proudly began her leadership career in the US Army Reserves and later the Texas Army National Guard.
49. Alaina Benford
King Benford Law Firm PLLC
Alaina Benford is a Managing Attorney of King Benford Law Firm PLLC. She first joined the company in 2022. For more than 20 years, King Benford Law Firm has been providing advice, counsel, strategy, negotiation, and advocacy to businesses, corporations, governmental entities, and individuals across industries.
Previously, Benford was a partner at Jordan, Lynch & Cancienne PLLC and before that a energy infrastructure litigation partner at Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. Earlier in her career she worked with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP as a senior associate. Benford earned a JD from Thurgood Marshall School of Law and an undergraduate degree in marketing from Texas Southern University.
49. Connie Coulomb
Coulomb Strategy Consulting, LLC & Biopharma Capital LLC
Connie Coulomb is a Managing Partner at Coulomb Strategy Consulting, a boutique strategy consulting firm serving the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries in the US and internationally. She also serves as Vice President at Biopharma Capital, LLC, a life sciences-focused investment banking firm. With almost 25 years’ experience, Coulomb has held leadership roles in the areas of finance, strategy, business development, commercial leadership, and general management in large, medium, and small biopharma companies, including Merck & Co., Amgen, Biogen, and Onyx Pharmaceuticals. She has also advised some of the most successful biotech companies in the world.
Coulomb started her career in life sciences at Merck in 1998. From there she went on to Amgen, before eventually rising to become a VP and Divisional General Manager at Biogen, where she managed a $1.5 billion business. Throughout her career, Coulomb has launched and/or been responsible for the commercial success of over 30 products in more than 40 countries, including the US, Canada, Latin America, Australia, Turkey, and Africa. Coulomb has led diverse, multi-cultural teams in five continents and across multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, multiple sclerosis, cardio-metabolic, autoimmune diseases, COVID, stem cells, and medical devices. A native from Argentina, Coulomb graduated from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business with an MBA, and from the University of Buenos Aires with undergraduate degrees in administration, management, and accounting.
50. Breccia Demartini
Demartini The Label
Breccia Demartini began her professional career over 9 years ago. Today, she is the Designer and CEO of Demartini The Label. Demartini, known for being an entrepreneur, speaker, mother and creator, is building a brand that empowers people through fashion, art, travel and in all areas of life. Having grown up in personal development, Demartini has integrated what she’s learned from her personal development journey. Her mission is to make an impact in the fashion industry and let everyone know that they are works of art. The body is the canvas and the clothing is the paint so individuals can express themselves through clothing and presentation.
Prior to founding Demartini The Label, Demartini was a sales and marketing assistant. She graduated from The Art Institutes of Fashion Merchandising and from RMIT University.
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