Bi-Partisan Party

Houston celebrated as a gateway to the world: It's flags, swords and bigwigs for this international gala

Houston celebrated as a gateway to the world: Gala brings out bigwigs

Mayor Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard at the Consular Ball October 2013
Mayor Annise Parker, left, and Kathy Hubbard at the Consular Ball. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
223 Pablo and Adriana Leon, from left, Maria de la Paz Rio de Malpica and Dr. Luis Malpica y de Lamadrid at the Consular Ball October 2013
Pablo and Adriana Leon, from left, Maria de la Paz Rio de Malpica and Dr. Luis Malpica y de Lamadrid at the Consular Ball. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
50 Geoff Connor, from left, Cammie Jones, Joanne King Herring and Mica Mosbacher at the Consular Ball October 2013
Geoff Connor, from left, Cammie Jones, Joanne King Herring and Mica Mosbacher at the Consular Ball. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
238 Cemalettin Aydin, left, and Blake Samuel at the Consular Ball October 2013
Blake Samuel, left and Cemalettin Aydin at the Consular Ball.  Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
106 Nandita and Harish Parvathaneni at the Consular Ball October 2013
Nandita and Harish Parvathaneni at the Consular Ball. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
213 Mitch Little, from left, Domingo Esono and Sandy Little at the Consular Ball October 2013
Mitch Little, from left, Domingo Esono and Sandy Little at the Consular Ball. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
2 Michele and Gerald Seidl at the Consular Ball October 2013
Michele and Gerald Seidl at the Consular Ball. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
290 Dr. Loius Browne, from left, Natalie Young and Cathy and Kirk Wardlaw at the Consular Ball October 2013
Dr. Louis Browne, from left, Natalie Young and Cathy and Kirk Wardlaw at the Consular Ball. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
73 Gemma Allman, from left, Diane Miller and Heather Browne at the Consular Ball October 2013
Gemma Allman, from left, Diane Miller and Heather Browne at the Consular Ball. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
54 Jorge Valdés, from left, Mrs. Patricia Nuñez and Stephanie and Rod Nelson at the Consular Ball October 2013
Jorge Valdés, from left, Patricia Nuñez and Stephanie and Rod Nelson at the Consular Ball. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
Mayor Annise Parker speaking at the Consular Ball October 2013
Mayor Annise Parker speaking at the Consular Ball. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
10 members of the Ross Volunteer Company of Texas A&M at the Consular Ball October 2013
Members of the Ross Volunteer Company of Texas A&M at the Consular Ball. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
Mayor Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard at the Consular Ball October 2013
223 Pablo and Adriana Leon, from left, Maria de la Paz Rio de Malpica and Dr. Luis Malpica y de Lamadrid at the Consular Ball October 2013
50 Geoff Connor, from left, Cammie Jones, Joanne King Herring and Mica Mosbacher at the Consular Ball October 2013
238 Cemalettin Aydin, left, and Blake Samuel at the Consular Ball October 2013
106 Nandita and Harish Parvathaneni at the Consular Ball October 2013
213 Mitch Little, from left, Domingo Esono and Sandy Little at the Consular Ball October 2013
2 Michele and Gerald Seidl at the Consular Ball October 2013
290 Dr. Loius Browne, from left, Natalie Young and Cathy and Kirk Wardlaw at the Consular Ball October 2013
73 Gemma Allman, from left, Diane Miller and Heather Browne at the Consular Ball October 2013
54 Jorge Valdés, from left, Mrs. Patricia Nuñez and Stephanie and Rod Nelson at the Consular Ball October 2013
Mayor Annise Parker speaking at the Consular Ball October 2013
10 members of the Ross Volunteer Company of Texas A&M at the Consular Ball October 2013

The national government would be wise to take a few cues from the bi-partisan spirit felt at the Houston Consular Ball. The event celebrated Houston’s Consular Corps, represented by the 92 countries that have consulates in the city, while highlighting Houston with the theme “Houston: Gateway to the World.”

It’s not easy to transform the vast non-descript concrete spaces of the George R. Brown Convention Center into a grand ballroom, much less the interior of an airplane, but as guests ascended the GRB, the gala decor didn’t disappoint.

Flags of the world served as colorful backdrops on each floor leading to the gala. Blue velvet curtains parted to reveal a ballroom that looked like the interior of an airplane with curved concave floor-to-ceiling video screens lining the walls.

The Consular Ball blended innovative decor with tradition, pomp and circumstance. Each consul general and guest were introduced by the evening’s host KHOU Channel 11’s Greg Hurst as they walked through Texas A&M’s Ross Volunteer Company saber arch salute. Leading the way was gala host Mayor Annise Parker, accompanied by her partner Kathy Hubbard. Serving as event chair was Ric Campo.

The Mayor's Office of Protocol and International Affairs and the newly formed Houston International Initiatives office created an elegant evening with video messages from former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, Consul General of Italy Fabrizio Nava and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.

The Mayor addressed the audience and invited guests to stand and join her for a champagne toast honoring the consulates. Parker informally mingled throughout the night, stopping to chat and pose for pictures.

The airplane theme really took flight during a video presentation on the curved walls and a video screen in front of the ballroom showcasing the Texas Medical Center, the Museum District, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Port of Houston and other defining landmarks.

Even though the ball was formal and the dress code white-tie and decorations, the mood was lively. Between courses of cheeses, champagne mousse pate, herb-roasted tenderloin, pan-seared sea bass and chocolate caramel cake, gala-goers flowed from the tables to the silent auction and onto the dance floor where the Richard Brown Orchestra played all night.

The heady guest list was a potpourri of local, national and international names including Geoff Connor, Cammie Jones, Joanne King Herring, Honorary Consul General of Iceland Mica Mosbacher, Jorge Valdés, Patricia Nuñez, Rod Nelson, Stephanie Nelson, Renu and Suresh Khator, Jorge Valdés, Edward Sanchez and Kim Padgett.

ADVERTISEMENT
Learn More