The multiple facets of Houston's international community and the city's cultural diversity resonated through the ballroom and adjacent salons of Hotel ZaZa with a cornucopia of sights, sounds and tastes Saturday night when the Greater Houston Partnership hosted its annual gala, this year themed "Dream Big." And then there was the political element.
While the 600 cocktail-attired guests, a number in their national dress, strolled the various venues sampling the cuisines of Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, South America, Australia and the South Pacific, there was a certain amount of politicking to be done. Albeit divergent camps were involved.
Would-be presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz made his way through the throng while Mayor Annise Parker, her hat firmly in the ring for a third term, rubbed elbows with notables at the VIP reception.
The political mix played to the evening's theme of celebrating diversity and surely intrigued members of the Consular Corps, who were honored guests.
Taking bows for the event's success were gala committee chair Allison Esenkova, honorary chair Cindy Tayor and host committee chair Leisa Holland-Nelson.
Savoring the international flavors were Greater Houston Partnership president and CEO Bob Harvey, Direct Energy CEO Badar Kahn, PFK's Karen Love, Tina and John Beddow, Karen and Roland Garcia, Jenn Char, Masir Khan, Robin and Steven Murray and Sylia Gallegos with David Cordua.