WHA’s Rising Leaders

The WHA Rising Leaders Program will create and grow a network of leaders and mentors within the West Houston Association who will be able to share information, enhance understanding, and  collaborate on issues of interest to the association in order to make positive changes across the Greater West Houston region and beyond.

Program Overview
The WHA Rising Leaders Program is designed for those who plan to be active with the West Houston Association for a sizable part of their career. The program provides an accelerated introduction to the topics and issues of interest to the association and its members as well as an opportunity for networking among others who aspire to be leaders (i.e. serve as committee chair, vice-chairs, or take on major projects) within WHA in the coming years. The program involves seven sessions which focus on topics in alignment with WHA Committees and the 2060 Plan. At these sessions participants engage with experts, industry leaders, and creative thinkers who are able to highlight opportunities to improve quality of life across the Greater West Houston Region.  The program is guided by past participants who provide insights to continuously improve the experience.

The program has four main goals: Introduce WHA’s Rising Leaders to established leaders in WHA and the broader community to work to further facilitate quality growth in the Greater West Houston region and beyond. Cultivate Rising Leaders’ participation in WHA’s committees, events, and initiatives. Provide the perspective of WHA Rising Leaders to WHA, its Board of Directors, and the public. Facilitate ongoing learning and leadership opportunities for Rising Leaders in the West Houston Association and other key organizations

There is no cost to participate as the program is generously underwritten by the Ted Nelson Educational Fund. As Chairman of the West Houston Association from 2003-2005, Ted Nelson brought the organization together to develop WHA’s 2050 Plan (since updated as our 2060 Plan), which has had a lasting influence on development and infrastructure planning. Ted also created WHA’s IMPACT award as a way to honor the exemplary life’s work of individuals who set high standards for quality growth and the pace for others to follow. Ted himself was a recipient of the IMPACT award in 2017.

Rising Leaders – Class 9

Oleh Bryndzia, Caldwell Companies
Jack Canfield, Grundfos
Leslie Cook, RBC Capital Markets
Bailey Cuadra
, Hillwood Communities
Nick Deacon, Johnson Development
Cristin Emshoff
, Baxter & Woodman
John Herzog
, IDS Engineering
Alec Luong, Project Luong
Abby Martines, LJA Engineering
Joshua Mueller, Howard Hughes Corporation
Kasper Musteikis, Hines
Gabriel Odreman, RPS Group | Tetra Tech
Brian Rabenaldt, R.G. Miller Engineers | DCCM

2024 Rising Leaders Schedule

4/26 – RL: Welcome, Demographics, Education, & Workforce
5/23 – WHA’s 4th Annual Rising Leaders Topgolf Tournament
5/31 – Sustainable Infrastructure
6/21 – Quality Planned Development
7/26 – Water, Wastewater, & Flooding
8/23 – Regional Mobility
9/27 – Parks, Recreation, & Open Spaces
10/25 – Development Policy & Governance
11/8 – Planning for 2025 Topgolf Tournament

Previous Rising Leaders

Class 8

Jennifer Brademan
Edgar Britt
Katie Carner
Vinay Goel
Hanna Hall
Christian Johnson
Everett Kennedy
Mark Landreneau
Andrew McKinney
Kathryn Parker
Madison Rice
Joey Sitzman
June Tang

Class 7

Andres Aranzales
Aaron Carpenter
Christine Crotwell
JT Gaden
Emily Heineman
Andrew Lang ^
Mackenzie Osborne
James Parker
Caleb Stone

Class 6

Lilian Baldwin
Sanjay Bapat
Brian Gates *
Diana Miller
Kent Milson
Karina Moreno
Monica Navarro
Taylor Reed ^*

Class 5

Adam Morris
Brad MacDougall
Harry Thompson *
Jason Robinett
Jennifer Hundl
Jesse Carrasco
Jordan Williams
Katie May


Class 4
Rima Adil
Sean Burch
David Colunga
Lizanne Douglas
Noe Escobar ^*
Tina Peterman
Steve Sams +
Lona Shipp ^
Linh Tran

Class 3
Tricia Brasseaux *^
Christina Cole *
Justin Wagner
Paul Lock *
Jarrod Payne
Adam Rinehart

Class 2
Todd Hamilton
Greg Lentz
Andy Palermo *
Jon D. Polley
DeKécha Shepherd +

Class 1
Colleen Castroman
Randy Corson ~
Destry Dokes
Mark Gehringer – ~
Ryan Harper
Carol Harrison
Nate Jackson
Martye Kendrick
Dustin O’Neal
Brett Walker +


* Current Committee Chair or Vice Chair
+ Current Board Member
^ Compass Award Winner
– Past Committee Chair or Vice Chair
~ Past Board Member