Provocative Luncheon Fare

Leading philanthropist stirs Center for Houston's Future luncheon crowd with take on justice system

Philanthropist stirs audience at Center for Houston's Future luncheon

Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, Laura Arnold
Laura Arnold leads the discussion at the Center for Houston's Future annual Future of Leadership Luncheon. Photo by Jeff Fitlow for Center for Houston’s Future
Center for Houston's Future luncheon,  March 2016,  Jonathan Frels, Layne Frels, Kelly Frels, Carmela Frels, Catherine Frels
Jonathan Frels, Layne Frels, Kelly Frels, Carmela Frels, Catherine Frels. Photo by Jeff Fitlow for Center for Houston’s Future
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, Michael Jhin, Joni Baird, the Rev. Frank Rossi
 Michael Jhin, Joni Baird, the Rev. Frank Rossi . Photo by Jeff Fitlow for Center for Houston’s Future
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, Alice Burguieres, Catherine Mosbacher
Alice Burguieres, Catherine Mosbacher. Photo by Jeff Fitlow for Center for Houston’s Future
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, Astley Blair, Michael Jhin, StanMarek, Preeti Verma, Umesh Verma, Y. Ping Sun
Astley Blair, Michael Jhin, Stan Marek, Preeti Verma, Umesh Verma, Y. Ping Sun. Photo by Jeff Fitlow for Center for Houston’s Future
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, Karen Otazo Hofmeister, Eugene Vaughan, Susan Vaughan, Stephen Klineberg
Karen Otazo Hofmeister, Eugene Vaughan, Susan Vaughan, Stephen Klineberg. Photo by Jeff Fitlow for Center for Houston’s Future
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, George DeMontrond, Michael Jhin
George DeMontrond, Michael Jhin. Photo by Jeff Fitlow for Center for Houston’s Future
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, Renee Logans, Laolu Davies-Yemitan
Renee Logans, Laolu Davies-Yemitan . Photo by Jeff Fitlow for Center for Houston’s Future
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016,  Owen Ralston, Beverly Kaufman, Julie Baker Finck
Owen Ralston, Beverly Kaufman, Julie Baker Finck. Photo by Jeff Fitlow for Center for Houston’s Future
Center for Houston's Future luncheon,  March 2016, Carole Nelson, Laura Arnold, Mary Olga Lovett
Carole Nelson, Laura Arnold, Mary Olga Lovett. Photo by Jeff Fitlow for Center for Houston’s Future
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, Laura Arnold
Center for Houston's Future luncheon,  March 2016,  Jonathan Frels, Layne Frels, Kelly Frels, Carmela Frels, Catherine Frels
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, Michael Jhin, Joni Baird, the Rev. Frank Rossi
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, Alice Burguieres, Catherine Mosbacher
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, Astley Blair, Michael Jhin, StanMarek, Preeti Verma, Umesh Verma, Y. Ping Sun
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, Karen Otazo Hofmeister, Eugene Vaughan, Susan Vaughan, Stephen Klineberg
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, George DeMontrond, Michael Jhin
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016, Renee Logans, Laolu Davies-Yemitan
Center for Houston's Future luncheon, March 2016,  Owen Ralston, Beverly Kaufman, Julie Baker Finck
Center for Houston's Future luncheon,  March 2016, Carole Nelson, Laura Arnold, Mary Olga Lovett

The 700 guests who gathered in the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom for the Center for Houston's Future luncheon received a dollop of serious discussion last week along with their luncheon fare.

As keynote speaker Laura Arnold, one of the city's leading philanthropists, challenged the coterie of regional influentials with her discussion of transformative giving.

Her thought-provoking address gave a call for philanthropy driven by evidenced-based, data-driven questions. She narrowed her talk to a re-examination of the criminal justice system. “Do our assumptions about who is in jail (the bad guys)," she asked, "keep us from looking at who is actually there?” Arnold called for strategies to ensure that the system of jailing pre-trial defendants operates as fairly as possible, no matter one’s income or ethnicity.

Antje and Harry Gee chaired the luncheon that honored Kelly Frels for his long service of leadership and presented an award to Chevron's Joni Baird for the company's eight years as major sponsor of the annual Future of Leadership Luncheon. Paying tribute to Frels were Deborah Cannon, Charles Duncan, Janet Horton, Jim Lester, and George Martinez.

The impressive turnout included Catherine Mosbacher, former Center for Houston's Future CEO; Michael Jhin, interim CEO; Umesh Verma, center chairman; Eugene Vaughan, center founder; Doug Foshee; Roxanne Neumann; Neil Bush; Astley Blair; Y. Ping Sun, Ed Wulfe; Annette and George Strake; Phoebe Tudor; Peaches and Shrub Kempner; and Beth Madison.

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