Applause, applause for The Woodlands Development Co., which has continued through half a century to honor the gentle urban vision of founder George Mitchell. That was the focus of the Rice Design Alliance gala that was held at the Bayou City Event Center, where 1,000 architects, planners, designers and friends of RDA turned out to party.
RDA president David Harvey delivered accolades on the highly regarded master-planned community. Accepting honors on behalf of The Woodlands Development Co. was vice president Dan Leverett, who paid homage to Mitchell and recognized his associates including Robert Heineman, part of the original Mitchell team and a 38-year veteran of The Woodlands.
Taking lead roles in the gala were chairs Janna and Chuck Gremillion, fundraising chair Sandy Lynch (whose committee raised close to $500,000), auction chair Kristin Skarbovig and architect and environment chair Dallas Felder. The latter was responsible for the creative canopy that transformed the ballroom into a festive party space.
In a twist on typical gala fare, these guests dined on marinated rib-eye steaks and shrimp Damian from Frankie B. Mandola Catering, which received rave reviews for the dinner.
Among those bidding on the 100-plus auction items (heavy on designer items and artworks) were Rice University architecture dean Sarah Whiting and husband Ron Witte, Charlotte and Larry Whaley, Darlene Clark and Edwin Friedrichs, Kimberly Hickson and Greg Cunningham, Pamela Heineman, Dick Sylvan, Mikki Hebl and Sarah and Larry Barker.