Society / Featured Parties

Houston Innovators Inspire in River Oaks

These Six Women and One Man Understand the Power of Retail

BY // 04.28.18
photography Jacob Power

University of Houston College of Technology students could be nothing less than inspired at the biennial Salute to Retail Innovators luncheon at River Oaks Country Club. Six business women and one man, each with an inspiring success story, were honored at the event that raises scholarship funds for the college’s Retailing and Consumer Science program.

This was the seventh such fundraiser that drew a ballroom full of fans of the honorees and supporters of the college. Taking bows both on stage and via video presentation were honorees Betty Newton, owner of trés chic boutique à bientôt;  Tina Davis, owner of retro retail store Cheeky Vintage; Regina Garcia, owner of luxury gift emporium Events; Christina Mitchell, owner of hip fashion spot Abejas Boutique; Holly Moore, PaperCity editor in chief; Cyndy Garza Roberts, H-E-B public affairs director; and John Sheehan, Target group vice president.

Honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award was Joe Williams of the Texas Retailers Association while Taylor Harris and Blake Mudd were honored as Rising Star Award scholarship recipients.

Equally interesting were the stories of chairs Chris Goins and Tony Bradfield, who shared chairing duties with Kevin Black. UH Retailing and Consumer Science program grad,  Goins allowed that her first experience in retail was at her father’s hardware store in East Texas where she would sort nails, make change for customers and serve as her dad’s right hand. Goins, today general manager for retail at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, worked full time while earning her degree and was the first recipient of the Rising Star Award Scholarship.

Bradfield, Tenenbaum Jewelers owner, shared that his mother was a retailer throughout her life in Australia, where he was born. The siren call of the cash register and beautiful jewels that he was introduced to at an early age defined his business path.

Assisting the chairs in their roles were host committee chairs Amber Elliott and Christina Stith. Joining in the program were digital publisher Roz Pactor of My Red Glasses fame, who is chair of the Retailing and Consumer Science Program Advisory Board, and college dean Tony Ambler. 

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Who: Department chair Marcella Norwood, associate professor Shirley Ezell, emcee Dominique Sachse, Rose Cullen, Jim Kastleman, Kelli Cohen Fein, Ceron, Jeff Shell, Greg Fourticq, Lauren Taft and Libby Cagle, Jeff Gremillion, Phyllis Williams, Vicki Rizzo and Monica Bickers. 

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