As the new year begins, Our 2019 Board of Directors gathered in a conference room at AHBR for their Annual Mini-Retreat. The purpose of the retreat was to collect feedback on: the performance of the associations key functions, the benefits of membership, committees & initiatives, and the effectiveness of our events & marketing.
This year we’ve welcomed a few new members to our board including Peter Barnhart who transitioned off of the 2018 Advisory Committee. Alan Bauer who will represent the board seat for Newland Communities. Randy Corson who will be the board representative for Mischer Investments. Lee Lennard transitioned onto the Executive Board as an At-Large member, and Dan Naef who will represent Rise Communities. Welcome to all of our new members. We are excited to have you on the Board of Directors.
Serving on the 2019 Board of Directors is:
“We are excited that Heath will continue to grow one of the most effective advocacy organizations in Houston,” said Moody. “He represents a new generation of leadership that understands the how, why, and what’s next in terms of growth.”
Heath Melton joined Howard Hughes Corporation in 2015 as Vice President of Master Planned Communities, Residential, and is responsible for residential development for the award-winning master planned communities of The Woodlands, Bridgeland and The Woodlands Hills.
Prior to joining HHC, Heath was a General Manager for Travisso working for Taylor Morrison, Austin Division. He also worked for Sueba and KB Home in the Houston market. Heath is a West Point Graduate and served in the US Army as a Field Artillery Officer for five years where he deployed to Kosovo and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His notable awards and decorations include a Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device and Air Assault Qualification.
Melton joined the West Houston Association Board in 2016 and was selected to serve on the Executive Committee in 2017. He became the Vice Chair in 2018. “I am honored to lead the West Houston Association as we keep working to make our region more sustainable, resilient and a better place to live, work, and bring up a family,” said Melton.
“Marlene brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Board from her years of public service with the City of Houston and her planning expertise continuing at MetroNational. Marlene’s involvement in public infrastructure planning and written public policy will afford the Association to continue to properly influence officials and other area leaders in the mission to maintain quality growth” says Mark Kilkenny, Vice President of Development at Twinwood, L.P. and former Chairman of the Board 2006-2008.
Gafrick is a Past President of the Houston Real Estate Council and is First Vice Chair of Scenic Houston. While with the city, Gafrick was instrumental in getting a substantial update to the parking ordinance completed and Chapter 42 amended expanding the designated Urban Area. As Co-Chair of the West Houston 2060 Plan, Gafrick brought a planner’s forward-thinking perspective to the table and helped insure the vision of quality and sustainable growth would be carried throughout the document. The 2060 plan was just recognized with the Our Great Region Award in Diligence by Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC).
“West Houston really looks at the 2060 plan as something implementable. It’s not a plan that we are going to put on the shelf. West Houston Association sees it as a tool or a guide document that we start writing support letters for projects or might influence policies with counties and/or cities and even through Houston-Galveston Area Council,” says Gafrick.
Carolyn Wolff Dorros joined Wolff Companies in 2006 and is currently Executive Vice President. She works on the oversight and management of the company’s financial asset portfolios as well as strategic planning, marketing and communications.
Ms. Dorros graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1997 and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she earned honors in her second year. She has served as President of the Harvard Business School Club of Houston and as Chair of her class’s 10-year reunion.
Prior to joining Wolff Companies, Ms. Dorros was the Administrative Director of Neurosciences at Stanford Medical Center, where she also served as Director of Business Development. She also worked at Medsite, Inc., as a Product Manager and as APM/CSC Healthcare as a Research Associate.
Ms. Dorros serves as Chair of the Advisory Council of Breakthrough Houston and on the Boards of St. John’s School, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and New Hope Housing as well as the Leadership Cabinet of Texas Children’s Hospital and President’s Leadership Council of Houston Methodist Hospital. She is also on the Board of the Wolff Family Foundation.
Mr. Boone’s practice focuses on urban development, including representing as general counsel and bond counsel a great number of special districts that construct and provide water, sewer, and drainage infrastructure for new land development projects. Mr. Boone works with both private companies and public entities on construction, financing, and operational water, sewer, and drainage matters. He assists a broad range of developers on many complex, master planned community projects located in the greater Houston area, including the City of Houston, Pearland, League City, Alvin, Manvel, Richmond, Rosenberg, Texas City, Iowa Colony, and Katy, and has worked in the greater Austin area, including Bastrop, Bee Cave, Lakeway, Round Rock, and Cedar Park. Mr. Boone also is extensively involved in business development for the Firm and engaged in management of the Firm as Managing Partner.
Rob Bamford, who has developed multiple, award-winning communities spanning more than 73,000 home sites, is General Manager of the west Houston master-planned community, Cross Creek Ranch.
A project of Johnson Development Corporation, Cross Creek Ranch ranked as one of the top 20 best-selling master-planned communities in the United States in 2011. Most recently, the community was recognized as Houston’s 2012 Master Planned Community of the Year by the Greater Houston Builders Association.
A veteran of more than 30 years of single-family land development, Bamford joined Cross Creek Ranch after serving as General Manager for Grand Lakes, the 1,250-acre west Houston master-planned community by Trendmaker Homes and a Gold Award Winner for Best Large Community in the National Association of Home Builders “Best of American Living” Competition.
“Rob is an impressive development professional with a deep understanding of the west Houston market,” says Doug Goff, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Johnson Development.
Bamford joined Trendmaker Homes and Development in 1992 as a Project Manager where he was responsible for all residential development activities in the company’s Houston portfolio. He launched his residential development career in 1983 with EDEN Corporation, the land development subsidiary of General Homes Corporation.
Mark Kilkenny is Executive Vice President of Development and Government Affairs at Mischer Investments, Chair of the City of Houston Planning Commission, Chair of the Texas Alliance for Responsible Growth, Environment, and Transportation (TARGET), President of the Utility District Advisory Corporation (UDAC), and past-Chair of the West Houston Association. He currently serves on WHA’s Executive Committee.
Kilkenny has been heavily involved with the Developers Council, Government Affairs Committee, and HOME-PAC for a number of years. He has served on many GHBA task force groups, as well as local commissions. When the EPA proposed its devastating Waters of the US rule, Kilkenny led the call to challenge the agency for its over-reaching and onerous actions by creating a local stakeholder group, TARGET.
“My mentor, Walter Mischer, Sr., always stressed the importance of being involved. Both in the business and personal communities. He felt that if you worked hard and stay involved that Houston had always been good to him in return. I have always embraced that idea. In business it is always good to have a seat at the table or you’re likely to be on the menu. “
Lee Lennard serves as President and CEO of BGE, Inc., a privately held consulting firm serving private and public clients in the planning, design and construction management of infrastructure programs and projects. BGE is headquartered in Houston, Texas with offices throughout the southeastern United States.
Lennard sets the direction for BGE. He is responsible for leading strategic initiatives, promoting a culture of empowerment, and encouraging employees to make a difference in their communities and throughout the world. Under his leadership, the firm continues to uphold the core values established by its founders, serves clients with value-added excellence, and creates a future filled with opportunity and vitality.
Lennard has more than 20 years of public works engineering experience and has developed specialized expertise in the area of hydraulics and hydrology. He earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University and was recently named Distinguished Graduate of TAMU Engineering.
In Moody’s tenure, the West Houston Association has spearheaded efforts to improve flood control, higher education, mobility, and public-private cooperation. Notably, Moody and the West Houston Association were instrumental in organizing the Fight Flooding PAC. The PAC advocated for a $2.5 billion Harris County Flood Control bond program, which was historic both in terms of size and margin of voter approval. Moody and the West Houston Association were also instrumental in securing the University of Houston—Katy Campus at its location at the northeast corner of I-10 and Grand Parkway.
Moody grew up in Houston and attended the St. John’s School. He currently serves as the chair of the St. John’s School Board. Moody received degrees from Stanford and the University of Texas School of Law before beginning a career in real estate law, founding a law firm, and then transitioning to a career in real estate.
“John is all-in on everything he does,” said Carolyn Dorros, Executive Vice President of Wolff Companies and Chair of the West Houston Association’s Education and Workforce Development Committee. “He actively learns and listens, seeking out good ideas and discussion. He has a talent for taking good ideas and discussions and turning them into reality. I’ve seen it at the West Houston Association, St. John’s, and in what he builds.”
Jack Miller, is managing principal of R. G. Miller Engineers, and specializes in the design and completion of master planned communities, as well as the complete development of unimproved land into residential and commercial property. He has more than 35 years of professional civil engineering experience in planning and design, construction management, project management, coordination of master-planned land development projects, utility district projects, roadway facilities, public utilities and major capital improvement projects.
Mr. Miller is a member of the Board of Directors and Past President of the American Council of Engineering Companies-Houston and a member of the American Council of Engineering Companies-Texas, the American Society of Civil Engineering, and the Houston Engineering and Scientific Society, where he serves on the Board of Directors. He is also an Ex-Officio board member of the West Houston Association, where he chairs the Water Resources Committee. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Chris Patterson has nearly two decades of experience in planning and design, and has led the Houston office at Rvi Planning since joining the firm in 2008. Under his leadership, the Houston office has experienced tremendous growth and established a solid client base in the Houston market. His projects include Cane Island, Meridiana, Tavola, Whole Foods Montrose, Ida Gaye Gardens, and many more. He is actively involved in a variety of community and professional organizations including his current role as Committee Chairman for the West Houston Association’s Parks, Recreation & Open Space Committee.
As Development Partner at Caldwell Companies, Peter Barnhart brings a very successful history of acquiring, developing and selling large residential and commercial development projects. Peter’s financial, construction and marketing skills combined with a unique blend of experience in commercial and community development, allows Caldwell Companies to plan and create environments where people like to live, work and play.
With Caldwell Companies, Barnhart plays an integral role in identifying, acquiring and developing land tracts for future master planned communities as well as well as commercial projects. Peter is also the key team member to handle the negotiations related to the acquisition of prospective properties.
Peter’s 20 years of real estate experience includes six years with RealtiCorp Commercial Investment Fund in Greenville, SC. Beginning as Director of Sales and Marketing and moving up to Regional Partner, where he handled complex land development transactions in seven different states and involving more than 4000 acres of land. Peter also has experience with Byzance, Inc. and Plantation Homes.
Raised in Houston, Peter earned his bachelor’s degree in Construction Science and his master’s degree in Land and Real Estate Development – both from Texas A&M University. He is a past president of the Houston Real Estate Council, board member of the Greater Houston Builders Association, member of the Urban Land Institute, member of the Real Estate Development Association Professional Advisory Board, and an Adjunct Professor to the college of Architecture at Texas A&M.
Outside of work, Peter likes golfing, fishing, hunting, flying and many other outdoor activities. Residing in Northwest Houston, Peter and his wife Debra enjoy spending time with their daughters, Jordan and Grace.
Alan Bauer, a 25-year veteran of Houston’s real estate development industry, is Senior Vice President and Division Manager for the Houston division of Newland Communities, which developed Katy’s 7,600-acre Cinco Ranch community along with three other Houston area projects.
Before joining Newland, Bauer was vice president of land for the Houston division of Pulte Homes, and prior to that he has director of development for KB Home in Houston. He has also worked for General Homes Corp. and Amvest Properties in Houston.
A licensed professional engineer, Bauer is a graduate of the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio.
Mr. Corson has been with MISCHER for 27 years. Randy is a third generation member of the Mischer family. He started his career at Mischer managing the operations of Lajitas Resort.
In 2000, Mr. Corson moved to the Land Development Division. He managed the RiverPark West development, as well as being the Marketing Director for MISCHER. Currently, he is working on the Cypress Creek Lakes commercial land opportunities.
Apart form the various real estate partnerships within Mischer, he has partnered with Cheryl Perry (Boe Creative Service) on a digital website company, Crescere Digital (CRE-SARAH).
Mr. Corson received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Houston, Conrad N. Hilton School of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
He has been a member of various real estate organizations: GHBA Developers Council, Association of Water Board Directors, and the West Houston Association.
Mr. Corson is married and has two boys. When not working, he enjoys time at the family ranch in central Texas, as well as the great outdoors in White Fish, Montana.
David W. Hightower serves as executive vice president, development, at Midway. Prior to joining Midway, David was executive vice president and chief development officer with Wolff Companies, a Houston-based investment and land development firm, where he was involved in ownership, development, and/or management of more than 6,000 acres of commercial, residential and agricultural land investments and development. He had primary responsibility for marketing, sales, project planning and development for the firm’s real estate assets and new investment acquisitions. He also was responsible for more than $100 million of municipal infrastructure improvements, as well as regulatory and government-related activities.
Prior to joining Wolff Companies, Mr. Hightower was a practicing civil engineer, consulting on municipal engineering projects for public and private-sector clients.
A founding member and director of the Harris County Improvement District #4, (The Energy Corridor Management District), David has served in leadership positions in the West Houston Association, the
Urban Land Institute, the Greater Houston Partnership’s Real Estate Advisory Committee, and the Houston Real Estate Council, as well as numerous industry and civic organizations. He is a life member of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and past Vice President of Leadership Houston Association.
David earned his B.S. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University, and his MBA from the University of Houston.
Dr. Zachary Hodges has been president of Houston Community College System’s Northwest College for 20 years. In early July he started a new position as the acting Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the HCC system. That position is the chief academic officer for the system and serves as the director of all instructional programs, both academic and workforce. Hodges is also charged with the task of developing new programs and improving those that exist to best meet the needs of local communities and industry.
Dr. Zachary Hodges, was named the 2013 Entrepreneurial President of the Year by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE).
In 2007, Dr. Hodges partnered with Newspring, a faith-based organization aimed at the economic development of the Spring Branch area of Houston, to launch the area’s first business plan competition with prize money awards.
Taking progressive steps by testing small projects and building successes that fueled support for the next phase of growth in entrepreneurship, Dr. Hodges made another first step in developing HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurship in 2009 by committing start-up funding to hire a director for the Center. Continuing success and commitment to both programs, the college also won and spearheaded the HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in 2011, which offers Greater Houston small business owners access to a practical business and management education.
Bob Jones formed Jones Engineering Solutions, LLC, after serving as president, CEO and founding partner of Jones & Carter, Inc., a 350-employee, Texas-owned, civil engineering company, for many years. His expertise includes municipal, land development and transportation infrastructure; master planning; political coordination; finance and cost evaluation; program development and management; and regulatory assistance. He works with local, state and national entities to enhance transportation and transportation funding.
Jones is president-elect of the Texas Council of Engineering Companies and serves on the boards of the North Houston Association and West Houston Association. He is a former commissioner of the Texas Building and Procurement Commission and a member of the Texas A&M University Dwight Look College of Engineering Advisory Council.
Brandon Kerr, manager, Facilities Engineering for ConocoPhillips, has joined The Energy Corridor District’s Board of Directors, bringing with him multifaceted expertise in global corporate real estate strategy, transactions, compliance and legal matters.
For the international energy company, Kerr oversees real estate strategy and compliance for a portfolio in excess of 10 million square feet.
As a generalist corporate attorney, he also brings a broad range of experience to The District’s board, including expertise in real estate law, corporate real estate transactions and strategy, tax planning and corporate policy compliance, along with project management.
At ConocoPhillips, Kerr provides functional leadership to the global Facilities Engineering function within the company’s Real Estate and Facilities Services Organization. There, he manages the execution of building projects; management of global facilities’ engineering policies, compliance, business controls and processes; and management of an annual capital spend in excess of $50 million.
Mr. Edwin H. Knight manages Harrison Interests, Ltd., a privately held Texas limited partnership whose lines of business are oil and gas exploration and production, real estate and cattle ranching. He has managed Harrison Interests, Ltd. for fourteen years and holds a Bachelors Degree from Louisiana State University and is a CPA. He serves as a Director of North American Technologies Group Inc. Harrison Interests has recently changed their name to DJH Ranching LP.
Kyle Lippman brings 20 years of legal real estate knowledge and experience to NewQuest Properties. As a partner, he is responsible for coordinating legal affairs, and participates in all aspects of new projects including land acquisition, creating structure of ownership/development entities, solving development issues, negotiating tenant leases, and negotiating construction and permanent financing for projects.
Prior to NewQuest Properties, Kyle joined Quest Properties in 2001 as Senior Partner focusing on all legal aspects of the firm’s real estate transactions. Before joining Quest Properties, Kyle spent nine years at the Houston law firm of Nathan, Sommers, Lippman, Jacobs & Gorman as a Partner, and prior to that worked in the Houston office of the Dallas based law firm of Winstead, Sechrest & Minick under the sametitle.
Kyle received his Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist University in 1977, specializing in Real Estate Finance, and received his J.D. degree from the University of Texas Law School in 1980.
As a former practicing lawyer, Kyle is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas and the Houston Bar Association. In addition, he is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, as well as past President and member of the Board of Directors for Lakeside Country Club.
Sara Montenegrois the Assistant Vice President of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. Montenegro joined Texas Children’s Hospital team in 2009 and led a variety of subspecialty medical services as well as being Director of Pediatrics before transitioning to Assistant Vice President. She has recently joined WHA’s Education & Workforce Committee for 2018 and graciously hosts our committee meetings/working groups at the Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.
Mr. Naef’s distinguished career includes the development of over 17,000 acres of award winning, masterfully-planned communities in Nevada and Texas. He is responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations. Currently, he is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Katy Economic Development Authority and the West Houston Association.
A graduate of California State University, Chico, Mr. Naef earned his Certified Public Accountant designation in 1989.
Rise Communities LLC is a preeminent developer and manager of creative, masterfully-planned, large-scale communities. Formed in 2011, the executive team includes all the senior professionals previously associated with American Nevada Company’s Master Plan Community Development Division. These executives include the former President and CEO of American Nevada Company as well as the Community Development Division President, Vice President, and other key executives and employees. During their tenure with American Nevada Company, which collectively includes over 50 years of service, the executive team was responsible for all aspects of the development and construction of several award-winning communities totaling over 14,000 acres and now home to over 100,000 residents. These communities include Green Valley, Green Valley Ranch, Seven Hills and Aliante.
Dick Phillips is responsible for the management of operations at both UHS system teaching centers (at Sugar Land and Cinco Ranch).
“The UH System is dedicated to delivering higher education that complements and further enhances the growing recognition of Sugar Land, and Fort Bend County in general, as one of the nation’s best places to live and work. As our Sugar Land and Cinco Ranch operations continue to expand, I’m pleased to be afforded the opportunity to help strategically guide that growth in cooperation and unison with the visionary leaders of Fort Bend County and the surrounding region,” said Phillips.
Phillips had been serving as associate vice president for university advancement at UHS Sugar Land since 2005. In this new role, Phillips will be responsible for coordinating academic program delivery, planning new academic programs, facilities planning and construction, governmental relations, marketing and all general administrative matters at the two teaching centers. He will continue to oversee development operations at the UH-Victoria campus as well.
Craig Rhodes is the Regional Manager, Economic Development at CenterPoint Energy. Rhodes started at CenterPoint Energy in 2014. Before CenterPoint, Rhodes worked at the Greater Houston Partnership for 7 years, the last four focused on economic development. Rhodes has been involved with WHA as a member of the Regional Mobility Committee.
Jim Russ is the Chief Executive Officer at EHRA Engineering. He oversees the Construction Phase Services, Mapping and Surveying Services, Business Development and Marketing Services for the company as well as being the Senior Construction Project Manager. Russ has been Chair of WHA’s Sustainable Infrastructure Committee, which created the Sustainability Stars Award, and serving as an Ex Officio Board Member.
A proud Aggie and fourth generation Principal, Jim Russ is one of the hardest working people you will ever meet. Growing up in this business, Jim discovered early on he had a liking for building things. It was the satisfaction he received knowing he was instrumental in building something for others to enjoy. As Principal, Jim oversees the Construction Phase Services, Surveying and Mapping Services, Business Development and Marketing Services. He understands the importance of producing quality products with honesty and integrity; something he has committed himself to do on a daily basis.Jim enjoys spending time with family and friends, and giving back to his community. His greatest passion in life is making sure others are well accommodated for and well taken care of. He is a proud supporter of Texas A&M University, and would hands down win their “Biggest Fan Award” should they have one. Gig ‘Em!
The 2019 Advisory Board is:
Fred Caldwell, Caldwell Companies
Brad Freels, Midway Companies
Jim Jard, MetroNational
Jay Neal, University of Houston
Ted Nelson, Newland Communities
David Ramsey, NewQuest Properties