All six Houstonians beamed as they each received a glass trophy and huge applause from the audience of family, friends and CultureMap readers who regularly attend the quarterly socials. The Houston honorees are Andyshea Saberioon and Ricky Johnson, co-founders of PledgeCents; Dr. Dakota Carter, founder of the Gay-Straight Alliance at the UTHealth McGovern Medical School; Decode Digital founder Kathleen Perley; Mariame Aana, supervising attorney for the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston; and KIPP Houston High School principal Mohamad Maarouf.
Top Texans Under 30, created by CultureMap to salute twentysomething trailblazers who are making things happen across the state — and, in some cases, the world — is honoring 26 individuals in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio in this inaugural celebration.
The party was so high-spirited that, while presenting the awards,CultureMap network editor-in-chief Jennifer Chininis had to good-naturedly shush the boisterous crowd to focus their attention on the honorees.
The CultureMap crew, led by network marketing director Jessica Baldwin, and the Tootsies team, led by Shelley Taylor Ludwick, gave the store an extra party vibe by removing the glass product cases in the middle of the store to create a open space where DJ Senega spun tunes while an instructor from Revolution Studio cycled to the beat of the music.
Flor, Azur West, Stash, Milk + Honey Spa, and other tenants from West Ave, which sponsored the event, provided displays as guests sampled light bites from Cru, Eddie V’s, and Del Frisco’s Grille and emptied the dessert bar, featuring champagne and cake balls from Ann Sacks. They also devoured treats from Petite Sweets, courtesy of Dr. Roth, and slaked their thirst with beer from Alaska Brewing Co. and a Woodford Reserve whisky tasting hosted by Suitsupply.
Guests also had the opportunity to have a session with numerology reader Melaine Hogan and go home with a custom-made terrarium, courtesy of Pop Shop America.
Red Bull Flying Bach, the high-flying breakdance troupe that will be performing at the Hobby Center on January 20-22, also thrilled the crowd with an impromptu performance that had the dancers spinning on the marble floor.
Tickets sales from the Social will be given to nonprofit charities selected by the Houston Top Texan Under 30 recipients.
Seen in the crowd were Holly Alvis, Kaitlin Saraguna, Maximiliano Degwitz, Sarah Baker, Tarra Gaines, Jessica Goldman, Krystal Finch, Ronke Amubieya, Meagan Thomason, Cary Pratka, Rebecca Lu, Nadine Chen, Natalia Cuenca, Sheila Shtephani, Whitney Wolff, Elizabeth Shafer, Sarah Baker, Ashley Trauer, Karena Zolner, and Zak Nave.
Also enjoying the fun were Zainab Ghwari, Kathy Baba, Ethan Cavender, Krysten Keffer, James Kelso, Bahiyyih Autry, Cooper Gouge, Maggie Gomez, Mallary Lattanze, Angie Jones, Nick Becraft, Kathleen Perley, Kelli Krenik, and Allyson Johnson.