Amazing what Houstonians can do in a crunch. Consider Monday's Kinder Institute for Urban Research luncheon. Originally scheduled for April 19, area floods resulted in a rescheduling of the event. Yet, more than 1,200 of the city's top leaders filled the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom for presentation of the Kinder Houston Annual Survey.
The luncheon celebrated 35 years of the survey and honored its founder Rice University professor Stephen Klineberg.
Even as OTC was bemoaning low oil prices, this event set a record with gross revenues of $562,000 and an uptick in ticket sales of 800 over last year. Among the leaders of business, law and politics that packed the room were Mayor Sylvester Turner, philanthropist Nancy Allen, H-E-B's Scott McClelland, Bracewell's Pat Oxford, Chevron's Joni Baird, and Tudor Pickering's Bobby Tudor.
Kinder Institute director Bill Fulton emceed the event that included presentation of the inaugural Kinder Urban Visionary Award to Klineberg, presented by Rice University president David Leebron.
"It takes two things to accomplish change," Leebron told the gathering. "One is passion and the other is knowledge . . . We hope that Rice University and the Kinder Institute will be one of the most important places where passion and knowledge are brought together to solve the problems that you have heard about."
The impressive turnout included Nancy and Rich Kinder, Ann and Karl Stern, Aliyya and Herman Stude, Jeff Beauchamp, Divya and Chris Brown, Anne and Dr. John Mendelsohn, Anne and Charles Duncan, Marty Goossen, Antje and Harry Gee, Dan Dubrowski, Phoebe Tudor, Patti and Richard Everett, Y. Ping Sun, John Mingé, Anne and Albert Chao, and Jim Crownover,