Umesh Verma, Chairman of the Board, Center for Houston's Future; President and CEO, BLUE LANCE
Russell Richard joined Center for Houston’s Future as Director of Leadership and Engagement in September 2009, where he serves as a key member of the executive team responsible for managing and allocating CHF annual operating budget. Russell also manages the Audit, Finance, Leadership, and Graduate Engagement Committees and is responsible for the Center’s accounting and financial management. He organizes, plans and executes the Center’s biannual Business/Civic Leadership Forum (the Center’s oldest ongoing program) where business, political, and community leaders discuss and find solutions to critical issues facing the region.
Prior to joining Center for Houston’s Future, Russell worked as a public affairs executive for The Kroger Company. In this role, he planned and directed all aspects of the company’s public affairs policies, objectives and initiatives, including public relations, community relations/corporate philanthropy, crisis management, government affairs, and customer service, in Texas and Louisiana markets.
Russell received his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana Tech University. He earned his Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University.
John Wilburn, Director, Strategic Initiatives
John Wilburn joined the Center for Houston’s Future in August 2013 as Director of Strategic Initiatives. In that role, he oversees the organization’s strategic planning process and has a hand in a variety of related activities, from community outreach to event facilitation. He directs the Center’s research initiatives, including the preparation and publication of indicator reports, and managed the launch of houstonindicators.org, CHF’s online research platform. He has been deeply involved in the Center’s communications and media planning, particularly as it relates to promoting the Center as a resource for policy development, long-range planning, community indicator research, and scenario thinking.
John’s earlier career spans print, broadcast, and online journalism, primarily in Houston. He spent a decade at the Houston Chronicle, serving five years as managing editor and four years as opinion editor. Before joining the Chronicle, he piloted newspapers and magazines in all three of Texas’ big cities: as managing editor of Houston City Magazine, creator and editor of Viva (the Sunday magazine of the San Antonio Light), managing editor of Dallas Life (the Sunday magazine of the Dallas Morning News) and founding editor of the Houston Press.
Following his tenure at the Press, John spent four years as a reporter and producer for Talking with David Frost, a PBS television interview program. He then enjoyed a five-year sojourn in new media, first as founder and executive producer of Microsoft’s MSN Sidewalk/Houston, then as news and operations manager of KHOU.com.
John holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William & Mary and a master’s in history from George Mason University.
Steven Scarborough, Manager, Strategic Initiatives
Steven Scarborough began his role at the Center for Houston’s Future as Strategic Analyst in October 2013, and was quickly promoted to Manager of Strategic Initiatives at the beginning of 2014. He is primarily involved with overseeing the research and outreach aspects of the Center’s community Indicator program. He first worked at the Center in 2009 as an intern conducting research for CHF’s Scenarios 2040 project and supporting the Strategic Initiatives Team.
Prior to assuming his current position at the Center, Steven was with the Greater Houston Partnership for nearly two years as a Public Policy Analyst. At GHP, he conducted public policy research and helped assemble their 2013 legislative agenda. Steven was also a registered lobbyist and managed the Public Policy Division’s weekly Executive Leadership Report for GHP’s Board of Directors and Executive committee.
Steven holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Wesleyan University, with a focus on 20th century political history and economics.
Founding Chair: Eugene H. Vaughan, Chairman and CEO, Vaughan Investments, LP
Scott Ballard, VP, Human Resources, U.S. Operations, Shell Oil Company
Brent A. Benoit, Vice President, Internal Audit and Chief Compliance Officer, National Oilwell Varco
Astley Blair, Chief Financial Officer, Marine Well Containment Company
Chip Carlisle, Retired Regional Banking Executive for the Southwest Region, Wells Fargo
William Clayton, VP Mass Retention Sales, Reliant, an NRG Company
Craig Cordola, Senior Vice President, President of the Central/West Region, Memorial Hermann Health System
George A. DeMontrond, III, President, DeMontrond Automotive Group, Inc.
Vean J. Gregg
Karen Otazo Hofmeister, Ph.D., Managing Director, Global Leadership Network
Jonathan Homeyer, Executive Vice President and Division Manager, Commercial Banking, Wells Fargo
Harris “Shrub” Kempner, Jr., President, Kempner Capital Management, Inc.
Stephen Klineberg, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Rice University; Founding Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research
Stan Marek, President and CEO, Marek Companies
Scott McClelland, President - Houston Division, H-E-B Grocery Company, LP
Wayne McConnell, Managing Partner, McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy, LLP
Ruthanne Mefford, Executive Director and CEO, Child Advocates of Fort Bend
Perry Ann Reed, Director, Ethics and Palliative Care, Texas Children's Hospital
Y. Ping Sun, University Representative, Rice University and Attorney at Law, Yetter & Coleman, LLP
Robert Harvey, President and CEO,
Greater Houston Partnership
Rick Jaramillo, SVP Regional Executive, Global Marketing
Corporate Affairs, Bank of America
Jeff Shellebarger, President, Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company
Marc Watts, President, The Friedkin Group
E. William Barnett, Retired, Baker Botts, LLP
Dan Bellow, JLL
Leslie Blanton, Community Volunteer
James Calaway, Calaway Interests
Richard Campo, Camden Property Trust
Phil Conway, JPMorgan Chase Bank Texas
Rufus Cormier, Baker Botts, LLP
James Dannenbaum, Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation
Bill DeLaney, SYSCO Corporation
Irma Diaz-Gonzalez, Employment & Training Centers, Inc.
The Honorable Ed Emmett, Harris County-Texas
C. Richard Everett, Everett Interests
Kelly Frels, Retired Partner now Senior Counsel, Bracewell, LLP
Roger Galatas, Roger Galatas Interests
Harry Gee, Jr., Harry Gee, Jr. and Associates
George Y. Gonzalez, Haynes and Boone, LLP
Thomas D. Gros, Retired, NRG Energy and NRG Solutions
John Hofmeister, Citizens for Affordable Energy
Ned S. Holmes, Parkway Investments/Texas
Lynne Humphries, Allen Boone Humphries Robinson, LLP
Reneé Logans, Access Data Supply, Inc.
George Martinez, Allegiance Bank
John Mendelsohn, M.D., Khalifa Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy
Steven Miller, SLM Discovery Ventures
John L. Nau, III, Silver Eagle Distributors, LP
James R. Royer, AECOM Technology Corp.
Walter Tomlinson, Statesman Business Advisors, LLC
Bruce Coulson Tough, Tough Law Firm, PLLC
The Honorable Sylvester Turner, City of Houston
The Honorable Bill White, Former Mayor - City of Houston now Senior Advisor and Chairman of Houston Banking, Lazard Freres & Co
Rosie Zamora, Retired, Houston Wilderness
Check our latest Future Matters posts
We created “Future Matters” to expand and advance the powerful conversations that arise in our work. Center for Houston’s Future‘s core mission is to think and act strategically for the future of the greater Houston region. We invite stakeholders – leaders from business, government, the community, philanthropy and academia – to share their knowledge and opinions in reasoned, analytical (and entertaining) essays or posts that address issues and concerns that require our attention today for tomorrow’s prosperity.