Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Future of Leadership Luncheon

This afternoon, I attended the Future of Leadership Luncheon at the Hilton Americas, a signature fundraising event of the Center for Houston's Future. As a graduate of the CFH's 2014 Fall Leadership Forum, it was a pleasure to be there to support the region's official Think Tank.

I truly enjoyed the "networking" time prior to the luncheon; the room was filled with many familiar faces from the business and civic communities. It was fun running into people I haven't seen in awhile and playing a quick round of catch-up. It was fun too when some of those folks introduced me to other interesting and highly engaged Houstonians. I exchanged business cards with several of those new acquaintances, and made plans to re-connect soon. Like I said, it was fun!
I enjoyed too being invited to sit at a table hosted by Rice University and my friend, Y. Ping Sun, attorney wife of Rice President David Leebron. There I got to chat with Ping, as well as several other old friends, including Houston City Council Member Ellen Cohen, Mandy Kao of Titan Management, Susan Boggio, Dr. Xifeng Wu of MD Anderson Cancer Center and Dr. Stephen Klineberg of Rice University. 
Laura Arnold

The featured highlight of the luncheon was the presentation by the keynote speaker, Laura Arnold -- philanthropist and co-chair of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. 

Arnold's talk centered on the need for reform in our criminal justice system and the work of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation's Criminal Justice Initiative. The project aims to "reduce crime, increase public safety and ensure the criminal justice system operates as fairly and cost-effectively as possible."

In order to achieve these goals, the Foundation "develops, incubates and spreads innovative solutions to criminal justice challenges. The Foundation assembles teams of experts from both inside and outside the criminal justice field to conduct research projects, create tools for practitioners and partner with local jurisdictions to pilot and test new policies and practices."
Another highlight of the day was seeing Kelly Frels receive the 2016 Eugene H. Vaughan Civic Leadership Award for his lifelong advocacy in education and quality of life. Frels is a retired partner and now senior counsel at Bracewell and Giuliani, LLP. He is also a former president of the Texas Bar. And, in my opinion, very deserving of this special recognition!

Sometimes, it's hard to get away from the office and the work at hand to attend a special event like this. However, when I do, I always benefit from the experience. Today was no exception!

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