Our Speaker for Thursday, August 16 is Dan Parsons

Joined the Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas in 1983; appointed President in 2002
Formerly served as: Director of Investigations
Vice President, Operations
Vice President, Government & Public Affairs Executive Vice President



TBD: Matt Curry

Bio: Matt Curry is a Vice President at Texas Citizens Bank. He has an MBA from the University of Houston–Clear Lake and over eight years of community banking experience. For seven of those eight years, Matt worked in every facet of SBA lending—servicing, closing, and approval. This provided him with a deep understanding of SBA lending and primed him for his current role in full-service business lending, where he helps connect local entrepreneurs with the commercial financing they need to grow.

Prior to joining Texas Citizens Bank, Matt worked in the SBA departments of Texas First Bank and Spirit of Texas Bank. During this time, he was involved in well over 100 SBA loan transactions. Now a vice president and relationship manager at Texas Citizens Bank, Matt helps business owners understand their options and constructs loan packages tailored to their specific business needs.

TBD: Rania Mankarious

Topic: The mission of Crime Stoppers

Bio: Boston native Rania Mankarious was chosen to head Houston’s leading public safety non-profit organization, Crime Stoppers, in March of 2013. Rania received a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence completed at the University of  Houston Law Center. She boasts an extensive resume with experience consulting for national companies, non-profit organizations and private public relations clients alike. Citing a personal mission to serve families and engage the public to better society, Rania began consulting with Crime Stoppers in 2006. 

In her four years at the helm and through working with her incredible team, Rania’s legacy has been well established. Described by some as “Crime Stoppers on steroids,” her footprint has elevated the organization to new heights. In addition to expanding the reach of the Safe School Program, the topics covered by the Safe Community Program, the launch of Parents Against Crime and the critically important Fallen Hero Program, Rania is most proud to have built the first-ever Crime Stoppers headquarters, anywhere in the world, right here in Midtown. The Dave Ward Building, Crime Stoppers of Houston was officially opened January 2017 and is the first public safety, crime prevention facility of its kind – bringing together civilians and law enforcement as well as students and community members from every corner of our great city. Additionally on this city block rests the first Harris County Sheriff’s Office Memorial Garden, a beautiful tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. In a short time, the ambitious mother of three has lifted a Houston institution to new heights.


2018 Past Speakers

Our Speaker for Thursday, July 19 is Louise Holden 

Topic: The coolest Diners you will have at your next event!

About DINE Catering: DINE Catering and Events is a Houston-based, owned and operated company by Mark and Louise Holden; a husband and wife team.

Mark and Louise are originally from the United Kingdom, and moved to Houston in 2011 after over 30 years combined experience in the corporate fine dining hospitality and events industry, both in the UK and beyond. Places of work include; London, Manchester, Paris, Abu Dhabi, and Switzerland. Mark spent his early years training in the Lake District Hotels, and has worked with some of the finest chefs in the industry, including Albert and Michel Roux. He later moved to Southern England where he managed a number of prestigious venues, including Wembley Stadium, Goodwood Racecourse, Silverstone, and the Royal Hospitality Box at racecourses around the country.

Since operating in Houston, DINE’s client list to-date includes Schlumberger, Memorial Hermann Hospitals, Total Oil & Gas, Bank of America, Matthews Daniel, Texas A&M University, Noah’s Event Venues and The Springs Event Venues. Mark has also appeared on TV for Eurodiet and KPRC2 News.

We also specialise in private dinner parties, cocktail parties and both large and intimate weddings.

Our Speaker for Thursday, July 12 is Wendy Buskop







Our Speaker for Thursday, June 21 is Chris Westfall

Topic: Leadership Language

Bio: How’s your elevator pitch? Chris Westfall has created multi-million dollar revenue streams for companies on four continents, with innovative new strategies on leadership communication. As the US National Elevator Pitch Champion, he’s helped clients to land on Shark Tank, Dragon’s Den, and Shark Tank – Australia. A consultant to financial leaders and Fortune 100 companies, he’s helped entrepreneurs to launch a broad array of businesses, and successfully re-branded products and services around the globe.  Working with thousands of business leaders, he’s helped launch over 50 companies, while raising nearly $50 Million in investment capital.  He’s coached teams to victory in the Intel Global Capital Conference, the Harvard Executive MBA Pitch Competition, and the Rice Business Plan Competition 2016 (the largest and most lucrative pitch competition in the world).

Chris’ clients include HPCiscoUnileverDISCOVER Card, Great American Insurance, The Jewish Federations of North AmericaAmerican General Insurance, Transwestern, EY and many more.

Focused on the leaders of tomorrow, Chris has worked with a number of universities across North America, including SUNY, The University of Pennsylvania, SMU, The University of Chicago, and dozens of others.  An award-winning MBA instructor, his latest book is called Leadership Language (Wiley, 2018) the follow-up to the best seller, The NEW Elevator Pitch.  He’s the publisher of six other books – find out more at westfallonline.com

Speaker Introduction

Our Speaker for Thursday, June 7 is Barry Stiles

Topic: How to make our city more permeable before the next flood event.

Bio: Founder and CEO of TRUEGRID Pavers, The Houston based manufacturer that is disrupting the paving industry with the patented 100% permeable paving alternative to concrete and asphalt. Designed to combat flooding, handle heavy trucks and traffic, and provide 100% pervious cover, TRUEGRID absorbs storm water instantly and detains water below the surface. TRUEGRID has been used by Google, Whole Foods, NASCAR, Coca-Cola and other national brands. With more than 2 million square feet installed in the Houston area and more coming, developers and the COH are fighting back against flooding

The purpose-driven company’s mission is to give developers, engineers and architects green paving solutions to build a safer, cleaner, toxin free environment for our kids.

Barry has a long history of entrepreneurship and manufacturing in Houston. He was a partner in BRIK Toy Company, president of a injection molding firm and came to Houston as engineering manager at Igloo Corporation. He and his family are residents of the Heights.

Our Speaker for Thursday, May 24 is Richard Hendee

Bio: Richard Hendee is the owner and President of Horizon Associates, Inc., a small and mid-size business advisory and consulting entity. He has nearly fifty years of experience in the financial services industry and has successfully owned and operated two business ventures and launched five different brands on a national basis.

Richard has worked for large national financial institutions as well as regional and local community banks, where he has held positions as: Regional President; Senior Vice-President; Branch Manager; Department and Group Manager; and National Marketing and Sales Director. Financial services groups reporting to Richard have included: small business banking; international and domestic private banking; executive and professional banking; consumer banking; indirect auto; student lending, central credit; mortgage lending and community development.

Richard has a long history of serving in leadership capacities in the non-profit and community sectors and has held the positions of Director, Officer, or President with over 30 different organizations. Currently, he is the President of the Silver Fox Advisors and President of the Linda Lorelle Scholarship Fund. He was the first non-attorney to Chair a State Bar of Texas Committee and a local Houston State Bar Grievance Committee. He is also a life member of two public service entities. He has received numerous awards including the Independent Bankers Association of Texas President’s Award.

Our Speaker for Thursday, May 17 is Linda H. Kay

Topic: 4 Tips on Firing Employees with Grace and Class.

Bio: As the Managing Partner of Blue Apple Consultants, Linda has combined her experience in marketing goods and services with over 15 years of career consulting with Lee Hecht Harrison to deliver graceful methods to layoff or fire employees, career transition support for impacted employees, and delivering the messages to retained employees. 

Linda is a member of the Premium Seating Committee at the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo, the Professional Women’s Exchange Group of Houston, and the Professional Referral Organization for Women (PROW). 


Our Speaker for Thursday, May 10 is Renee McNiel

Renee McNiel spent ten years in the restaurant industry including managing the construction and opening of a restaurant. This experience was helpful to her success the relocation industry due to her experience with customer service and construction management. Ms. McNiel went to work for a relocation business in 1989 moving over 1,500 employees for CNG Producing in New Orleans. After 16 years working for a relocation firm starting out as a Project Coordinator and working her way to Vice President, Ms. McNiel decided it was time to start her own business.

Ms. McNiel started her business out of a desire to implement full scope project management services for corporations needing to relocate or restack their offices. Renee’s five step project management process has been implemented for over 700 clients since she began her business in 2005. Renee earned her PMP certification from the Project Management Institute in 2007.

Ms. McNiel prides herself in providing the solutions her clients are seeking for their relocation needs. At one of her client’s sites, Renee implemented the re-use of file cabinets (by having them painted to match the new color scheme) rather than purchasing new file cabinets in 286,000 square feet of space saving the client well over $200,000.00. At another client site, Ms. McNiel was the contact person for a client when FEMA decided to take over the space they were vacating. Renee ensured that this million dollar a day business met their schedule while assisting FEMA in getting in to the space to assist flood victims.

Ms. McNiel also is delighted that clients value CMCI’s expertise and hire us over and over again. In fact, CMCI was recently hired by one client at his fifth business – over a 25 year period.

In her thirteen years in business, Renee and her company have won Business Woman of the Year – 2010, 50 Fastest Women Owned Growing Businesses of the Year – 2010 and 2012, One of 500 Emerging Businesses in the Nation – 2010; HBJ Fast 100 – 2013, 2015, 2016; HBJ – Move of a Headquarters for Memorial Hermann – 2012.

Our Speaker for Thursday, April 26, 2018 is Matthew McKenzie

Bio: Ten years ago, roaster and co-founder Matthew McKenzie started a job for a large coffee corporation. He was fortunate enough to be trained and mentored by someone who truly had a passion for not only coffee but the farmers who grow it. After four years of working for the coffee “man” and developing his own passion for coffee, he left to work hands-on with farmers in China. It was here where he first worked alongside co-founder Jeff George. Matthew came back with an overwhelming heart for farmers and farming communities across the globe.

Our roasted coffee is grown by the same farmers that we hope to impact physically, economically, and spiritually. Our primary goal is impact, not profit. So that we might reach the marginalized, we are committed to giving an ever-increasing margin of our sales to this pursuit. Rather than saying that we’ll give money when we make money, we are committed to giving personally and professionally toward this goal from the beginning. We want to be constantly communicating and sharing our favorite avenues for giving back, so that you will know how your purchases are making an impact.

Our Speaker for Thursday, April 12 is Megan F. Salch

Topic: Where in marketing can you have the biggest impact on a limited budget?

Bio: Megan F. Salch has more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience. After working in the U.S. Senate as well as for a software company, Arthur Andersen and research firm APQC, Megan launched Tell Your Tale Marketing & Design in 2005 to help organizations communicate regularly and purposefully. Under her leadership, Tell Your Tale promotes companies’ products and services through graphic design, web development, PR and professional writing. Megan is also a published author, writing the book 100+ Activities for Houston Kids.

Megan earned degrees in journalism and politics with an emphasis on PR from Southern Methodist University, where she graduated with honors. Megan has also taken graphic design courses at The Art Institute of Houston. In May 2016, Megan also graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program.

 Our Speaker for Thursday, April 5 is Chris Hopper

Topic: Linkedin 2

Bio: Imperastaff’s innovative staffing solutions deliver critical resources that help our clients achieve their business and technology objectives. Imperastaff is dedicated to delivering staffing services to clients that make a difference. We deliver a level of commitment and satisfaction unlike anything you have experienced before from a staffing provider.

We have created a unique staffing approach that blends the best of retained search with the best of solution services. This allows us to deliver industry sought after resources, on a consistent basis, and at a fraction of the cost of our competition. Thus, delivering our clients measurable and increased value each and every time we are engaged.

Our full-service staffing offering includes project, just-in-time, direct-hire, and contract-to-hire staffing services. This service helps our clients tackle all of their staffing challenges and allows them to get the most out of their staffing dollars. Whether you are looking for that impossible to find project resource or impact team player, Imperastaff delivers!

Our Speaker for Thursday, March 29, 2018 is Kathy Garza

Topic: Employee Benefits

Memorial Financial Services is a family owned insurance and financial services company since 1987. My husband, Harvey started the business in 1987 and I joined him in 1999. I run the employee benefits side of the business. I work with companies from 2-300 employees and help them in structuring, planning and implementing their employee benefit program. This includes health insurance, dental, vision, life,

short term and long term disability and other supplemental lines of coverage.

Our Speaker for Thursday, March 22, 2018 is Mister R.W. McKinney 

Bio: Join Houston Historian R.W. McKinney as he talks about his series, Mister McKinney’s Historic Houston, which travels to HISD and La Porte ISD elementary, middle and high schools, educating and informing Houston’s future about its past.

Mister McKinney is an active member in the historical community, he lectures, gives weekly tours on board Houston’s only mobile history classroom, the Houston History Bus, and serves on the boards and commissions of numerous non-profit museums, libraries, educational organizations, including the Harris County Historical Commission, the Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park, the LaPorte Bay Area Historical Society, president of the Bellaire Historical Society and vice president of the Harris County Historical Society, the oldest area historical non-profit started in 1923.

Since 2008 Mister McKinney has served as the resident historian for the Emmy Award-winning KHOU Channel 11’s Great Day Houston with Deborah Duncan, appearing every two weeks with a segment on Houston History, and last August, Mister McKinney, chaired the City of Houston’s 180th Birthday Party at Sam Houston Park with Mayor Sylvester Turner and honorary chair Council Member Robert Gallegos.

McKinney will present his take on important historical facts every Houstonian should know, including his favorite “Top 10 Things about Historic Houston Every Houstonian Should Know” and his “Gone From Houston” series that features landmark buildings, places and experiences gone from the Houston landscape. LEARN about Houston history and important FREE local history events when you “LIKE” @ MisterMcKinneysHistoricHouston on Facebook and social media. Class is now in session as we take a trip into Mister McKinney’s Historic Houston!

Our Speaker for Thursday, March 15, 2018 is Eva Perez

Topic: Addiction in the workplace and the benefits of hiring someone in recovery. 

Bio: Eva Perez graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio (92) with a BA in Political Science. She began working on political campaigns while in school and continued after graduation. Her political interests took her to San Antonio City Hall as the Chief of Staff for the District 1 Councilman where she stayed for four years. Upon leaving, she took her love of helping others and began to do communications, marketing and public relations for a variety of non-profits serving the arts, health, and economic development programs and services. She landed at Santé in January 2017 and continues on her path to be of-service to others in her career. Eva is married with two step-sons, loves to cook, and is a Boston marathoner. 

Our Speaker for Thursday, Febuary 22, 2018 is Geetinder Goyal, M.D.

Topic: Direct Primary Care – Liberating Doctors, Empowering Patients.

Bio: Dr. Geetinder Goyal is the Founder of First Primary Care. At First PrimaryCare their mission is to champion a care model that liberates health providers toensure that you and your loved ones receive care that is Convenient & Accessible,Affordable and Transparent, Respectful and Engaged.

Dr. Goyal is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. He has practiced medicine in India, New Zealand, The United Kingdom, Uganda, and for last 12 years in the U.S. Additionally, Dr. Goyal serves as Chief Medical Officer for Aliere Advisors. Aliere partners directly with employers in designing HR and Benefit Strategies aimed at reducing healthcare spend by average of 30%, improving retention, and decreasing absenteeism.

Dr. Goyal is also the Co-Director of the Houston Chapter of the Free Market Medical Association, an organization with 22 nationwide chapters. The goal of the FMMA is topromote transparency in healthcare through uniting and strengthening the benefits of free market healthcare.

He is married to Dr. Le Vo, who is a practicing Internist at Houston Methodist Hospital in the Medical Center. Geetinder and Le have two adorable daughters, Avni, six and Saya, two.  When he isn’t caring for patients, Dr. Goyal enjoys working out, watching sports, traveling, and having great conversations with friends.

Contact Info:
Geetinder Goyal, M.D, Founder
First Primary Care
Phone: 713.280.7991
8582 Katy Fwy; Ste 110
Houston, TX 77024

Our Speaker for Thursday, March 1, 2018 is Patrick Nguyen

Topic: Impact of Strengths-based Development

Bio: Patrick Nguyen serves as a Regional Business Consultant at Gallup, working with local Houston businesses to solve their most pressing workplace challenges by leveraging Gallup’s 80+ years of experience to provide analytics and advice on Hiring, Employee Engagement, Leadership Development, and Workplace Culture.

In his spare time, Patrick serves as a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters and also enjoys training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Patrick holds a BS in Finance & Marketing from Trinity University.



Regional Business Consultant
Houston, TX


Restorative | Competition | Learner | Futuristic | Individualization

2017 Speakers:

  • May 11 – Meeting at LeTourneau Interests for a vendor presentation- Anthony Martinez arranged with his vendors
  • May 18 – Dennis Long, CPA
  • May 25 – Sandy Newton – The College Resource Center, College Coach – referral from Sandy Botticelli
  • June 1 – HBN Business Meeting
  • June 8 – Nick Nicholson – Movie Critic, Malaka Motion Pictures – referral from Michael Harris
  • June 15 – Richard Gomelsky – President , The Flying Locksmith, door security and access control experts
  • June 22 – Austin Tenette – Business Coach with Focal Point Coaching
  • June 29 – Rodney S. Jones – Topic: How To Present With Charisma
  • July 6, Lydia Navo, (2 part) Topic: Promoting your Business wth LinkedIn
  • July 13, Lydia Navo, Marketing Manager with Action Coach
  • July 20, Donna Fruge’ – Executive Director of Summerhouse
  • July 27, Jamal Randle – BitCoins
  • August 3, Chris Ochoa – The Future of Transaction & Travel
  • August 10, Micah Granger – Technology Solutions Our Customers Love
  • August 17, Joshua Evans – The Coat Hanger
  • August 24, Callie Teegardin – Send Out Cards
  • September 14, Charles Alverez – Business Development Expert
  • September 21, HBN Leads Exercise
  • September 28, Shalena Martinez – Chase Bank Business Relationship Manager
  • October 5, HBN Quarterly Business Meeting
  • October 12, Aaron Javener-Director of Development, SER Ninos Charter School
  • October 19, Rick Vowell
  • October 26, Ashley Johnson
  • November 2, Ann Arthur
  • November 9, George Elam
  • November 16, Sandy Botticelli
  • November 23, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
  • November 30, Christine Marie Pizzuto
  • December 7, Kathryn van der Pol or Bill Gilmer
  • December 14, Nick W. Nicholson
  • Decamber 21, James Morrison