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Houston Disaster Relief Experts Throw an Over-the-Top Appreciation Party After a Trying Year

Lavish Decorations, a Country Music Star and Plenty of Power Players

BY // 06.21.21

When CEO Pete Bell first envisioned the 25th anniversary celebration of the international disaster relief firm he co-founded with Daryn Ebrecht in 1996, he probably never imagined that the fête would come on the heels of two major calamities that necessitated the firm’s expertise. COVID-19 and the Texas deep freeze were in the tail lights for Cotton Holdings Inc. when the curtain rose on the silver anniversary bash at the Post Oak Hotel.

During 2019, Cotton Global Disaster Solutions worked to mitigate COVID-19 risks, disinfect facilities and find temporary solutions in order to keep businesses operating as normally as possible after the outbreak. Following the February freeze, Cotton jumped into action with its winter disaster response services that provided emergency power to a diverse set of commercial buildings, assisted with burst water pipes and took on roof repairs caused by heavy snow loads.

For certain, it was time to celebrate when more than 260 guests in black-tie attire poured into the ballroom for a gilded night of wining, dining and dancing. Short videos of the company’s history spotlighted its major accomplishments in  recovery and restoration efforts stemming from the world’s most damaging catastrophes of the past two decades, including high-impact weather events and other natural disasters, wildfires, terrorism, vandalism and environmental mishaps.

“In addition to celebrating 25-years in business, we wanted to thank the incredible supporters and friends of Cotton we’ve made over the years. Our journey to success could not have been possible without our first investors, bankers, partners, families and everyone who took a chance on us in the ’90s,” Bell tells PaperCity. “The Cotton Ball was an evening of honoring and thanking them for believing in us and helping us achieve our vision.

“We look forward to growing with them and our Cotton team for the next 25 years.”

For the milestone occasion, the ballroom was draped in shimmering champagne-colored coverings and hung with masses of white florals which cascaded from the ceiling. This decorative work of Flora & Eventi included tables covered in mirrored cloths and black sequined cloths and topped with profusions of flowers.

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Country star Clay Walker provided after-dinner entertainment while the rocking Spazmatics came on stage later. Providing a burst of energy for the late-night dancing were servings of pizza, French fries and cookies. When the party closed down, guests were gifted with hand-painted bottles of Moët with the Cotton25 logo by DTLAcustom.

Franco Valobra, Kristen Cannon, Faith and Lee Majors; Photo by Jenny Antill
Franco Valobra, Kristen Cannon, Faith & Lee Majors

Cotton Holdings Inc. execs joining the party included COO Randall Thompson, CFO Bryan Michalsky, executive vice president of construction Chris Sneck; president James Scaife, executive vice president of Cotton Logistics Johnny Slaughter, and executive vice president Russell White.

PC Seen: Quanta CEO Duke Austin, Midway CEO Brad Freels, Allegiance Bank senior vice president Margaret Vandever, retired Navy SEAL and founder of Lone Survivor Foundation Marcus Luttrell, Landry’s executive vice president and COO Keith Beitler, Landry’s senior vice president of sales Nicki Keenan with husband Evan, Faith and Lee Majors, Valobra Master Jewelers Franco Valobra’ Lane Ware and Emma Willingham, and KHOU Channel 11 meteorologist Chita Craft and husband Lane Craft.

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