Society / The Seen

Houston’s Most Powerful Men Gather in River Oaks to Salute Their Own

A Who’s Who That Controls the City

BY // 05.13.17

It has been 11 years since a group of earnest power brokers and business leaders gathered in a River Oaks home to discuss the need to recognize the city’s top gents while raising funds for the Houston Medical Center. Stealing a page from the Ladies Who Lunch for Charity playbook, the annual Men of Distinction luncheon has been a remarkable success.

In its decade of honoring an impressive group of civic leaders, Men of Distinction has raised more than $3.85 million, with the 2017 luncheon at River Oaks County Club bringing in $530,000. That figure thanks, in no small part, to Pat Burk and J.D. Fields & Company, which for three consecutive years has underwritten the cost of the event.

Eleven years in the running, Men of Distinction continues to honor the top tier of Houston citizenry. The 2017 luncheon feted Berdon Lawrence, Mike McLanahan, Richard Mithoff, and Dr. James Pool. Also in the spotlight were the three doctors who each received a $100,000 check for their research — Dr. Michael Belfort of Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, Dr. Penelope Bonnen of Baylor College of Medicine, and Dr. Matthew Grieves of Children’s Memorial Hermann and UTHealth.

Many in this enviable fraternity of men who have distinguished themselves through their leadership as businessmen, volunteers and philanthropists attended. Among them were Paul Loyd, Holcombe Crosswell, Harry Mach, Jim Crownover, John Riley, Ernie Cockrell, and Don Jordan.

Key to the successful event were chair Joe Cleary and Men of Distinction steering committee leader David Wuthrich. Kudos also to KTRK Channel 13 news anchor Tom Koch, who kept the program lively and fast paced.

So impressive was this who’s who crowd that it’s difficult to name only a few, but here we go. Among the 450 guests packed into the country club ballroom were Mark Wallace, Mary and John Eads, John Havens, Dr. Paul Klotman, Cathy Cleary, Ric Campo, Ann and John Bookout, J.P. Bryan, Rodney Ellis, Cora Sue Mach, Lilly and Thurmon Andress, Mark Hansen, Trini Mendenhall, Scott Evans, Melissa and Michael Mithoff, Steve Mach, Jeff Early, and Wezy and Bobby Dees.

Featured Properties


Like PaperCity Dallas on Facebook

Beyond the magazine. Get more of Dallas’ top restaurant, real estate, society, fashion and art in your news feed.