Men & Women of Year

Houston's Men and Women of Year candidates are revealed — and now the young professionals party hard

Party time! Houston's Men and Women of Year candidates are revealed

Nina Gutierrez Garcia, from left, Sam Governale, Nick Stefanakis, Hasti Taghi and Katie Tipper McWhorter at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Top fundraisers for 2014 — Nina Gutierrez Garcia, from left, Sam Governale, Nick Stefanakis, Hasti Taghi and Katie Tipper McWhorter. Photo by Jacob Power
Sheldon Kramers, left, and Jenny Pallais at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Sheldon Kramers, left, and Jenny Pallais. Photo by Jacob Power
Scott Sanders, from left, Kyle Dutton and Mike Mahlstedt at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Scott Sanders, from left, Kyle Dutton and Mike Mahlstedt. Photo by Jacob Power
Robyn Crowley and David Murphy at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Robyn Crowley and David Murphy. Photo by Jacob Power
Bert Jennings III, from left, Melinda Spaulding, Arthur Bryan and Netosha Kennerson at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Bert Jennings III, from left, Melinda Spaulding, Arthur Bryan and Netosha Kennerson. Photo by Jacob Power
Jentry Kelley, from left, Johnathan Paull, Sheena Garner and Andrea Simmons at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Jentry Kelley, from left, Johnathan Paull, Sheena Garner and Andrea Simmons. Photo by Jacob Power
Sarah Pepper, left, and Lauren Finkelstien at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Sarah Pepper, left, and Lauren Finkelstien. Photo by Jacob Power
Nina Gutierrez Garcia, from left, Inez Moriarity, Chelsea Moriarity and Hasti Taghi at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Nina Gutierrez Garcia, from left, Inez Moriarity, Chelsea Moriarity and Hasti Taghi. Photo by Jacob Power
Melinda Spaulding, center, with Dana and Luca at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Melinda Spaulding, center, with Luca and Dana. Photo by Jacob Power
Megan Davies, from left, Shannon McPartland, Ashley McGee and Jay Seelye at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Megan Davies, from left, Shannon McPartland, Ashley McGee and Jay Seelye. Photo by Jacob Power
Jenee and Nick Stefanakis at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Jenee and Nick Stefanakis. Photo by Jacob Power
Hasti Taghi, from left, Dana, Luca and Rosie Murphy at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Chair Hasti Taghi, from left, Girl of the Year Dana, Boy of the Year Luca and chair Rosie Murphy. Photo by Jacob Power
Ashley Henry Wynne at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Artist Ashley Henry Wynne. Photo by Jacob Power
Angela Nolan, from left, Angie Guiberteau and Stephanie and Scott Sanders at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Angela Nolan, from left, Angie Guiberteau and Stephanie and Scott Sanders. Photo by Jacob Power
Group photo at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Eighteen candidates have signed on for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society challenge. Photo by Jacob Power
Nina Gutierrez Garcia, from left, Sam Governale, Nick Stefanakis, Hasti Taghi and Katie Tipper McWhorter at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Sheldon Kramers, left, and Jenny Pallais at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Scott Sanders, from left, Kyle Dutton and Mike Mahlstedt at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Robyn Crowley and David Murphy at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Bert Jennings III, from left, Melinda Spaulding, Arthur Bryan and Netosha Kennerson at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Jentry Kelley, from left, Johnathan Paull, Sheena Garner and Andrea Simmons at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Sarah Pepper, left, and Lauren Finkelstien at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Nina Gutierrez Garcia, from left, Inez Moriarity, Chelsea Moriarity and Hasti Taghi at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Melinda Spaulding, center, with Dana and Luca at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Megan Davies, from left, Shannon McPartland, Ashley McGee and Jay Seelye at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Jenee and Nick Stefanakis at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Hasti Taghi, from left, Dana, Luca and Rosie Murphy at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Ashley Henry Wynne at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Angela Nolan, from left, Angie Guiberteau and Stephanie and Scott Sanders at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015
Group photo at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Kick-off April 2015

Let the parties begin! The fundraising parties that is for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's rocking series of events surrounding the annual Man & Woman of the Year competition.

More than two months of revelry will culminate on June 5 for the big reveal of which young professional candidates raise the most dinero for the non-profit. The 18 candidates, 10 women and eight men, were introduced recently at a kickoff bash at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Enthusiastic supporters turned out more than 300 strong for the cocktail reception including top earners from the 2014 competition. Last year, the 19 candidates raised a record $900,000. Among them was Hasti Taghi, who this year chairs the effort along with Rosie Murphy.

The fundraising has already begun for the 2015 team who can bring in dollars through third party events, corporate sponsorships, online fundraising, networking and utilizing their talents to create their own fundraising events.

Signing up in the female division are Lindsay Clark, Lauren Finkelstein, Dr. Sheena Garner, Lissa Goldsmith, Jentry Kelley, Imrana Manzanares, Shannon McPartland, Inez Moriarty, Alla Nowowiejski and Stephanie Sanders.

Gents taking on the challenge are James Brock, Arthur Bryan II, Eric Donaldson, John Hite, Chris Mastrangelo, Edward Sanchez, Paul Simmons and Andrew Taleghany. The candidates were introduced by Fox 26's Melinda Spaulding.

Top earners from last year, who were recognized with crystal awards, were Nina Gutierrez, Sam Governale, Nick Stefanakis, Hasti Taghi and Katie Tipper McWhorter.