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2019 HYPE Impact Award Business Leader Nominees
October 21st, 2019
By Melissa Fox

Young professionals from multiple industries throughout the Houston region will be recognized for their contributions to the Houston business community at the third annual HYPE Impact Awards on Thursday, November 14. 

The 2019 HYPE Impact Award nominees in the category of Business Leader are distinguished leaders and entrepreneurs that strive for excellence and have made an impact through innovative and ground-breaking ideas. This award recognizes an exceptional professional, between the ages of 31-40, who has built a successful career within their field while inspiring a new generation of young business people. 

The Partnership's HYPE (Houston Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs) program is honored to announce this year's Impact Award nominees for Business Leader. 

LaTeri Alexander, Software and Intellectual Property Licensing Manager, HP Inc.  

LaTeri is an emerging leader within the HP Supply Chain Operations organization leading contracting processes and assisting in mitigation strategies. She also serves as the HP Houston Intern Coordinator. Through her leadership and dedication, LaTeri was able to help propel the Houston HP office's summer intern program into one of the best in the nation. She also established a legal practice that assists members of the community with family, business and employment legal matters and often offers her legal counsel on a pro bono basis. 

Alfredo Arvide, Deployment Lead, Accenture 

During his career at Accenture, Alfredo has played crucial roles in moving the company forward, including bringing the Accenture Houston Innovation Hub to life. Under his leadership, the Chevron Crane Safety project was also deployed successfully; the results were so positive that many industry awards have recognized the project. In his spare time, Alfredo co-founded Nsperart, LLC. The organization's flagship prototype helps address one of the world's most significant humanitarian issues, water shortage.  

Cara Baez, Director of Mobility and Software Solutions, HP Inc.

Within her role at HP, Inc., Cara leads five core areas within the Device as a Service (DaaS) product management function, from program management of strategic partnerships to customer onboarding into HP DaaS platforms. She also is the co-lead for the Houston Site Council's Steering Committee. Through her leadership on the committee, the Houston HP site has been recognized as one of the top HP sites worldwide. 

Sean Brennan, Youth Program Manager, BakerRipley

Sean has dedicated his career to providing meaningful and impactful education programming to children from across the Houston region. He encourages the youth in the programs he manages at BakerRipley to think creatively and pursue their talents. Sean works with them in developing and executing new ideas, including a youth podcast and an annual small business pitch competition. 

Kristin Cobb, CEO, EZ Exit Now

Through Kristin’s leadership, EZ Exit Now, a company that she launched and co-founded, has grown by 20% year over year. Kristin has created company strategies focused on increasing volunteerism.  Her commitment to collaboration, serving others, and the community was instrumental in her company receiving the Award for Excellence this year. 

Jake Donaldson, Managing Partner, Method Architecture

In his role at Method Architecture, Jake has transformed the firm into a team of over 60 people, three market locations and $9 million in revenue per year. Jake's commitment to architecture and personal achievements do not stop at his firm. He has served on numerous boards for organizations such as the Houston Food Bank’s FRESH Group, Texas Society of Architects and Architecture for Humanity. 

Erin Erb, Vice-President of Quality and Patient Safety, HCA Houston Healthcare

In her role, Erin plays an integral part in driving clinical quality at HCA Houston Healthcare forward through creating partnerships and implementing best practices. Erin also is committed to bringing talent to the healthcare industry. She is often a featured speaker and attends recruiting engagements. Erin also works with independent school districts to show students the different career paths that are available in healthcare. 

Brian Gendron, President and CEO, NocserV

An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Brian leverages his knowledge of cloud-based technology to better both the corporate and nonprofit sectors of Houston. In addition to running his technology consulting company, NocserV, Brian is also an instructor with the University of Houston's Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  As an instructor, he frequently develops new workshops on cutting-edge topics. Brian serves on multiple boards of charitable organizations throughout Houston, including serving as President of Casa de Esperanza's Young Professional group. 

Estella Gonzalez, Assistant Director of Economic Opportunity, BakerRipley

Within her role at BakerRipley, Estella assists small business owners in growing their businesses and reaching economic stability. Through her leadership, BakerRipley continues to develop new and innovative entrepreneurship courses and opportunities for the local community, including a first-of-its-kind annual fully Spanish-language business pitch conference.  

Saeid Halvaeian, Founder, The Freelance Creatives

By creating the website-based meetup group, Houston Freelance Creatives, Saeid has empowered freelancers and entrepreneurs throughout the region. The meetup allows for freelancers to exchange ideas, resources and even collaborate. Thanks to his dedication, the community has grown to more than 1,000 members and has expanded to other cities. 

Judson Juden, Process Architect, HP Inc.

As a process architect in HP's Device as a Service (DaaS) division, Judson works cross-functionally with business groups to build and implement new processes. He is passionate about creating value for customers through products and business services. 

Carey Kirkpatrick, Founder and CEO, CKP Communications Group, LLC

Under her leadership, Carey's fast-growing marketing and communications agency, CKP, has been recognized both regionally and nationally by peer and industry organizations. Carey is also a member of the Forbes Agency Council through which she contributes articles and best practices about the industry.

Karee Laing, Principal and CEO, Studio Brand Collective

In just over three years, Karee has grown her company, Studio Brand Collective, from a one-person startup to a leading digital and design agency. The agency has received over 80 marketing and advertising awards. In her spare time, Karee provides one-on-one coaching for small business owners and entrepreneurs through a variety of methods, including social media and group training.

Shannon Sealing Maddox, Employee and Executive Engagement Manager, HP Inc.

Shannon has led partnerships amongst resource groups, site councils and the HP Foundation to create annual events that bring hundreds of volunteers out into the community. She has also led efforts to donate thousands of dollars annually to local charities. 

Robert Marmerstein, COO, HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood

Robert is an inspiring mentor who challenges his employees to push through obstacles to achieve operational success. He is known for his commitment to a high quality of care and incredible patient experience. He holds himself and his team up to very high ethical standards and strives to embody the HCA Houston Healthcare mission statement “above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life,” it is for this reason that under Robert’s leadership, patient, employee and physician satisfaction have increased exponentially. In his free time, Robert is actively involved in the community serving both as a volunteer and board member.

Jayco McCowan, Training/Project Manager, University of Texas Medical Branch

Jayco serves as project manager for the FDA and UTMB educational program that tackles data quality in non-clinical and clinical vaccine research for high pathogens, such as Ebola. Jayco is also the co-founder and executive board member of the EMERGE Resources Group, a program that gives the next generation of leaders the tools they need to be successful within their careers at UTMB. 

TaShauna McCray, Chief Nursing Officer, HCA Houston Healthcare West 

TaShauna has an unrelenting commitment to providing the best care to the patients of HCA. TaShauna is an active member of the HCA Houston Healthcare Diversity and Inclusion Council and serves on the Women in Healthcare Employee Resource Group (ERG). Also, under her mentorship, several females and people of color were promoted into leadership positions within her organization. 

Alecia McGuire, Area Sales Manager, Enterprise Holdings, Inc.

During her career with Enterprise Holdings, Inc., Alecia has held numerous leadership positions thanks to her hard work and dedication. Her success with these roles led to multiple achievement awards. Dedicated to giving back to her community, Alecia spearheaded the 2019 Juice Box Campaign with Kids Meals, Inc. Through this campaign, her company was able to collect 15,000 juice boxes for the local nonprofit to help combat childhood hunger in Houston. 

Philip Morris, COO, HCA Houston Healthcare West

Philip has worked hard to ensure that the west Houston community has access to exceptional healthcare. In 2018, he oversaw HCA Houston Healthcare West's surgical expansion to increase its capacity for more complicated procedures. This expansion allows the local community to stay closer to home for medical care. Philip also works closely with the Barbra Bush Literacy Foundation. He created a program where babies born at his hospital are sent home with books, encouraging an early start to a lifelong love of reading. 

Arcy Munoz, Community Relations Manager, Houston First Corporation

Arcy exemplifies leadership through service and leads efforts within her organization to improve Houstonians' quality of life and advance economic development with the region by social investments, corporate in-kind opportunities and outreach efforts. Apart from her work at Houston First, Arcy is actively engaged in Houston's philanthropic community.  

Yannick Pivot, Gaming Experience Product Manager, HP Inc.

Yannick has been instrumental in delivering user experience on some of HP's most innovative gaming products, including OMEN, one of the fastest-growing gaming laptop brands in the world. He understands how important being a listener is to being a leader. He reaches out to customers to gain feedback on critical product decisions, as well as provides guidance and direction across multiple divisions within his organization. 

Brent Richardson, Director of FabLab, BakerRipley

Brent played an integral part in the design and development of BakerRipley's FabLab maker space program. Brent has also taken his passion for innovation to new heights by implementing multiple unique learning programs for youth and adults. These programs help build their fundamental skills, as well as impact the middle-skills labor gap. Brent has also served as a guest speaker at various national conferences around the importance of technology in the future workforce. 

Brad Rossacci, Creative Director of Houston Innovation Hub, Accenture

As creative director of the Accenture Houston Innovation Hub, Brad blends art and science into every endeavor. He is on a mission to simplify how humanity lives, works and plays, and he’s undertaking this mission from the front porch of Houston, TX. Brad designs experiences that solve the world’s hard challenges, speaks around the country on how we get our humanity back, advises corporations and start-ups on the power of creativity and imagination as a tool for innovation, and also lectures at Tier 1 universities on the power of design. In his free time, Brad is a bold advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM), where he advocates for youth on the board of multiple STEAM forward organizations.

Katie Scott, Senior Director of Dementia and Caregiver Support Services, BakerRipley

Katie has dedicated her career to changing the paradigm of dementia and is a champion for focusing on the abilities of those with the disease. While at BakerRipley, she has developed new programs that focus on improving the quality of life for people with dementia and helped secure federal grants for dementia training and education initiatives. She has also trained and counseled numerous organizations around how to identify and best serve the people they work with that are living with dementia. 

Jessica Schwartz, Global Program Manager, Device as Service, HP Inc.

Since Jessica joined HP, her passion for teamwork and collaboration have drawn recognition. Her reputation as a leader has grown to include requests from top executives to have her lead priority projects, and she has become an expert in multiple complex areas. 

Annvi Utter, Senior Director of Community Initiatives, BakerRipley

As the senior director of community initiatives, Annvi oversees six community centers and five program areas in the Houston region, serving over 17,000 people. She strives to continuously improve the quality of service for all community members that BakerRipley serves, as well as elevate the footprint of the nonprofit throughout the region. 

Yin Wang, Business Analyst III, HP Inc.

As a member of a very new team involved in a complex area of the business, Yin has helped in every aspect that he could to ensure the team's success. He has worked cross-functionally to develop the next generation of metrics that will help drive strategic decisions for the DaaS Organization in the future. Yin has fostered a culture of openness, friendship and collaboration, not just the DaaS Organization but the entire HP Houston site. 

Daniel Williamson, Managing Director, OpenStax, Rice University

As the managing director, Daniel has helped raise upwards of $50 million in funding for OpenStax, a Rice University-based initiative that gives free textbooks and low-cost courseware to students around the world. Those funds have not only directly affected students but were instrumental in the first market-wide decrease in textbook prices in more than 50 years. Daniel also has a passion for Houston parks and bayous and co-chairs The Currents, the Buffalo Bayou Foundation's Young Professionals group. 


Learn more about the 2019 nominees in the categories of Emerging Leader and Start-Up Superstar.

Click here to purchase your tickets for the 2019 HYPE Impact Awards. 


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