We would venture to say that not a lot of serious business transpired in Houston at midday last Wednesday as the majority of men who make things happen in this city seemed to all be gathered in the ballroom of River Oaks Country Club. It was after all the seventh annual Men of Distinction luncheon and the honorees were, let's just say, awesome.
Taking bows for their leadership both professionally and civically were Rice University board chair Jim Crownover, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, automobile dealer and former Houston Rockets owner Charlie Thomas and Texas Heart Institute president and medical director Jim Willerson. Introducing these power players to the packed ballroom crowd was KTRK Channel 13 news anchor Tom Koch.
With Don Jordan, former Reliant Energy CEO, as Men of Distinction chairman and a heavy-hitter steering committee, the non-profit sailed through the luncheon. Total proceeds raised by the annual event since its founding reached the $7 million mark with funds directed to the Texas Medical Center. Expenses for the luncheon were underwritten by J.D. Fields and Co., represented on this day by Pat Burk. Houston Area Lexus Dealers served as presenting sponsor.
Consider just a few of the major players in the room — Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Baylor College of Medicine president and CEO Paul Klotman, Houston Symphony CEO Mark Hanson, Rice University president David Leebron, mayoral candidate Ben Hall, John Daugherty Realtors' John Daugherty and GP Natural Resource Partners CEO Corby Robertson.
Most of the 16-member steering committee members were there including Steve Mach and Harry Mach (the Mach family a key luncheon underwriter), Michael Mithoff, Tony Gracely, Ed McMahon, John Eads, Jesse Tutor, Paul Sommerville, Scott Evans and Leslie Bowlin Bennett.
And, yes, there were plenty of women in the gathering though clearly fewer than men, a rarity on the fundraising luncheon circuit. The ladies included Molly Crownover, Jeanie Kilroy, Pat Breen, Cora Sue Mach, Joella Mach, Patsy Fourticq, Janice McNair, Nancy Reynolds, Y. Ping Sun, Brenda Koch and Kittsie Thomas.