Board of Directors

Board Chairman

David M. Mincberg

David Mincberg is chairman of Houston First and chief executive officer of Flagship Properties Corporation.

Since 1977, Mr. Mincberg has been directly involved in the development and construction of more than 30,000 multi-family units in Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Georgia. Additionally, as managing partner of Flagship Capital Partners and a member of its investment committee, he has helped provide commercial lending for middle market real estate transactions.

A longtime public servant, Mr. Mincberg has been involved in numerous civic initiatives. He is considered a leading authority on the housing industry and real estate lending. He served as the Mayor’s Special Assistant for Multi-Family Housing Policy in 2006-2007, coordinating policy and implementation for the three housing agencies of the City of Houston. From 2009-2012, he chaired the board of commissioners for the Houston Housing Authority.

From 1994-1998, he was chairman of the Harris County Democratic Party.

Mr. Mincberg currently serves or has previously served in board and leadership capacities for many local organizations, including Houston  Museum of  Natural  Science,  University of Texas  Health Science Center, Jewish Family Service Foundation, Houston Child Guidance Center, DePelchin Children's Center, Jewish Community Center, American Jewish Committee, Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas, and Houston Southwest 2000 (founder).

Among the honors he has received include Jewish Federation of Greater Houston's Young Leadership Award in 1991, NAACP Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award in 1994, University of Texas Tejas Club Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001, American Jewish Committee (Houston) Max H. Nathan Human Relations Award in 2003 and Planned Parenthood Award for Outstanding Service in 2006.

In 2015-2016, he was selected to chair newly elected Mayor Sylvester Turner’s transition team, an endeavor that engaged the participation of 300 community members.

Mr. Mincberg is a graduate of the University of Texas (BA, 1971; JD, 1975).

Board of Directors

KATY CALDWELL

Katy Caldwell is executive director of the Legacy Community Health Services, Inc., Houston, a not-for-profit community health care clinic. Ms. Caldwell has expanded the agency from an exclusively HIV clinic to the largest federally qualified health center in the Houston area. Prior to her joining Legacy, Ms. Caldwell served as the elected treasurer of Harris County and as a partner in a government relations and political consulting firm.

Ms. Caldwell currently serves on the board of directors for AIDS Action Council, Harris County Health Care Alliance, National Coalition for LGBT Health and is an alumna of American Leadership Forum, Leadership Houston, Texas Lyceum.

Ms. Caldwell received a bachelor of science from the University of Houston and completed her post-graduate studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She chairs the board's Audit and Finance Committee.

SOFIA ADROGUÉ

A native of Argentina and business litigator for over 25 years, Sofia Adrogué is a Partner at Diamond McCarthy LLP, resident in Houston, Texas.  Diamond McCarthy is a national litigation boutique firm with offices in New York, San Francisco, Dallas, and Los Angeles, practicing in complex and high-stakes business cases.  Sofia leads complex commercial litigation and multi-party proceedings in state and federal courts, as well as in ADR proceedings throughout the United States and abroad.  She has obtained favorable judgments and settlements on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in a myriad of complex business cases in state and federal courts and in ADR proceedings.  She represents clients in all industries, ranging from entrepreneurs in rural Texas to multinational conglomerates with diversified worldwide business holdings.

Sofia is a frequent speaker (over 125 speeches) and publisher (over 120 articles) and creator and editor of the Texas Business Litigation treatise. An alumna of the Harvard Business School OPM, she served as the first female U.S. Keynote Graduation Speaker for HBS OPM as well as U.S. Class Representative.  She is a graduate of Rice University and the University of Houston Law Center, with high honors, both on full academic scholarships.

She is one of "The 25 Most Influential Hispanic Lawyers" and "Top Latino Partners in the U.S.,”  Latino Leaders Magazine; a "Woman of Influence," National Council of Jewish Women Greater Houston Section; a "Texas Super Lawyer";  a Texas Lawyer Top "40 Under 40"; a National Diversity Council "Most Powerful and Influential Woman of Texas"; a Greater Houston Women's Chamber Hall of Fame Inductee; a Texas Executive Women "Woman on the Move"; a Houston Chronicle Channel 11 "Texas Legend"; a Houston Jaycees "Outstanding Houstonian"; a Texas Jaycees "Outstanding Texan"; and  a U.S. Jaycees "Outstanding Young American"; among other recognitions.

Sofia has chaired numerous events for diverse non-profit entities and serves and/or has served on a number of non-profit Corporate Boards, including the Houston First Corporation and the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board.  Sofia is the Co-Founder & Co-Chair of the  Youth Leadership Forum, held at Rice University with the motto of Engage, Educate, Empower: By Service We Lead.   Sofia is Co-Host & Co-Producer of Latina Voices: Smart Talk.  Sofia has been recognized for her public service by, among others, the City of Houston with July 10, 2004 as “Sofia Adrogué Day.”

Alex Brennan-Martin

Alex Brennan-Martin’s entire professional career has been spent in and around the kitchen. In fact, he and his family are members of the Culinary Institute of America’s Hall of Fame.

Mr. Brennan-Martin has been president of the acclaimed restaurant Brennan’s of Houston for more than two decades, earning numerous accolades in the process. He grew up in the revered New Orleans establishment Commander’s Palace, which was owned and run by his mother, Ella Brennan, and where he interacted with such celebrated chefs as Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse.

Mr. Brennan-Martin attended Louisiana State University before graduating with honors from the La Varrene culinary school in Paris.

ELIZABETH GONZALEZ BROCK

Elizabeth Gonzalez Brock is director of local relations for CenterPoint Energy. Her story starts in Monterrey, Mexico where she was born, however. she was raised in Texas and considers herself a proud Houstonian. 

Her career in government has taken her from congressional intern to legislative aide in Houston and Austin, then on to becoming district director for the Dean of the Texas Senate. Ms. Gonzalez Brock is recognized for her ability to develop strategic solutions to achieve public policy goals. She has successfully coordinated legislative agendas, community activites and campaign strategies. 

Ms. Gonzalez Brock is a dedicated community leader serving on the boards of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Greater Houston Area Women’s Chamber, Montgomery County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievement. 

She is married to Andy Brock and they have two boys, John and Owen.

 

NICKI KEENAN

Nicki Keenan is a recognized and respected leader in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Ms. Keenan who is senior vice president of sales for Landry’s, Inc. has built a reputation as a top performing sales and marketing professional. Her impressive skills include identifying and capturing market opportunities, revenue management, strategic planning, and improving profit contributions.

She has provided strategic direction for the Landry's Inc. Hospitality Division which includes: The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center, Galveston Island Hilton, Holiday Inn Resort on the Beach, The Westin Houston Downtown, The Post Oak at Uptown Houston, Golden Nugget Las Vegas, Golden Nugget Laughlin, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Golden Nugget Biloxi, and Golden Nugget Lake Charles. In addition, Ms. Keenan delivers valuable sales leadership for Landry's Inc. group sales/private dining services, which includes such highly acclaimed concepts as Morton's Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick's, Mastro's, Bubba Gump, Oceanaire, Rainforest Cafe and Landry's Seafood House.

Prior to joining Landry’s, Ms. Keenan was director of sales and marketing at The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center. She is a former board member of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau serving from 2005 until 2017. In 2014, she was named one of the Top 25 Business Women in Houston by the National Diversity Council. She is an active member of the Executive Women Partnership of the Greater Houston Partnership and serves on the Executive Leadership team of the American Heart Paul Bear Bryant committee.

DESRYE M. MORGAN

Desrye is the Vice chair for Houston First Corporation.  As a member of Houston First board of directors, Desrye also chairs the theater and operations committee, a member of the joint entrepreneur committee and previously served on the finance and operations committee.   As a board member for over 8 years she has been integral in the development of the Theater District master plan, Miller Outdoor Theater master plan, the recently unveiling of the Jones Plaza re-design, Super Bowl 51 and Harvey recovery, among other initiatives.  Her strong leadership has been integral with Comicpalooza, LAUNCH boutique for emerging designers, and the activation of Avenida Houston.

Desrye is a managing director with the Southwest Public Finance group of Wells Fargo Securities.  She is an accomplished lawyer and investment banker with over 18  years of experience, advising and structuring over $9 billion of municipal financings for housing, transportation, airport, water and sewer systems and other public benefit projects.  Desrye has served as the lead banker on bond financings for the City of Houston, Harris County, Harris County Metro, City of Dallas, New Orleans Rapid Transit Authority and Texas Water Development Board, among others.  At Wells Fargo, Desrye also serves on the Houston Leadership Reputational Council and the Diversity and Inclusion Council. As a lawyer, her area of practice consisted of public finance, corporate and business transactions with concentration on business acquisition and regulatory compliance.

A native of New Orleans, Desrye moved to Houston to attend the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Political Science.  She went on to earn a Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law.  In addition to the Houston First Board, Desrye currently serves on the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston and the South Texas College of Law Alumni Boards.  She has previously served as a board member of the Super Bowl 51 Host Committee, Houston Are Urban League, Project Row Houses and the Contemporary Arts Museum. She is a member of National Association of Securities Professionals, Lupus Research Alliance, a 2010 graduate of Center of Houston’s Future, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, and the Missouri City, Texas Chapter of the Links. 

Ryan Martin

Ryan Martin is a Principal and Counsel at LDR, a management, investment, and innovation advisory firm and an affiliate of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. In his role, among other things, he focuses on design and implementation of advanced planning and solutions with respect to strategy and operations for corporations and financial investors, both domestic and international and ranging from early-stage to multi-billion dollar valuations. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University Honors College and Harvard Law School and practiced as an attorney with Vinson & Elkins LLP where he focused on mergers and acquisitions, including large-scale transactions with private equity, publicly-traded and private companies.  On the Houston First board, he serves as Vice Chairman of the Procurement Committee and sits on the Governance, Audit and Finance and Joint Tourism committees.

Mr. Martin is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has spent significant time in China for business initiatives and academic research. While President of the Harvard Asia Law Society, he led delegation trips to several cities in East Asia, including Hong Kong, Seoul and Taipei for meetings and collaboration with senior leaders in business, government, law and non-profits. He is a staunch advocate for strong U.S.-China relations and continues his advocacy through a number of affiliations, including participating in the largest U.S. trade mission delegation to China which was led by VisitHouston, the City of Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership. Further, he is actively involved in the international initiatives of the City of Houston and is also a member of the Houston Committee on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Martin and his wife, Elizabeth, are both passionate about public service. Mr. Martin’s passion for public service began in the U.S. Senate in the office of Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and volunteering for gubernatorial campaigns in Virginia. His wife provides legal representation to immigrant children as a Senior Attorney at Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. In his spare time, Mr. Martin volunteers as a mentor for high school students through EMERGE, and for college students through South Central Scholars.

Paul J. Puente

Paul J. Puente is the executive secretary and a delegate of the Houston Gulf Coast Building and Construction Trades Council representing construction local unions.

He began his career in the electrical industry in 1990 in chemical refineries along the Gulf Coast. He earned a degree in electrical technology from  San  Jacinto  Junior College.

Mr. Puente is also a delegate for the Harris County AFL-CIO Central Labor Council and the Houston Construction Industry Council and a member of the Houston Business Roundtable, the Greater Houston Partnership  and numerous other business organizations.

He has also served on committees for Pasadena Independent School District, San Jacinto Community College and was co-chair of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s executive transition team.

Jay Tatum

Jay Tatum serves as management principal for the Texas practices of the global architecture firm HOK.  He is responsible for the strategic director of HOK’s Gulf Coast region, including operations in Houston, Dallas and Tampa and serves on the company’s management board and board of directors. 

Throughout his career, Mr. Tatum has worked on projects around the globe for corporate, healthcare, government, education and research/development industries. He is a member of the American Institute of Architecture, and on the advisory board of his alma mater, Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture. 

Mr.Tatum is a strong community advocate, demonstrating his leadership abilities by serving on several local building committees and community boards, including Preservation Houston.

GERALD WOMACK

For over 30 years, Gerald Womack, President and Chief Executive Officer of Womack Development & Investment has served the Houston and surrounding communities through its full-service commercial and residential brokerage firm. The office located at 4212 Almeda Road, is in the heart of the redeveloped business district in the historic "Third Ward."  Mr. Womack, a native Houstonian who attended Texas Southern University, was one of the first investors in the legendary neighborhood.

He has an extensive record of community service and recognition for his commitment to Houston. Mr. Womack has served as the immediate past president of the Houston Black Real Estate Association; Harris County Housing Authority, board member; Mental Health and Mental Retardation, board member; Houston Association of Realtors, member; 2014 D-MARS Top 50 Black Professionals & Entrepreneurs, honoree; 2013 Texas Southern University Legends & Leaders Business Trendsetter, honoree; and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., to name a few.

Mr. Womack has consistently worked with inner-city neighborhoods to improve the “quality of life” for its residents by focusing on community development, revitalization, and economic development. 

Bobby V. P. Singh

Bobby Singh is a founding principal of Isani Consultants, a Houston-based firm that provides civil engineering design, construction management and inspection services for public- and private-sector projects.

Mr. Singh has served as a liaison between the Sikh and other Indian/Asian communities. He has worked with the Houston Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in outreach programs and was regional director of the Sikh American Legal Defense Fund. He is a founding board member of Fire Fighters Foundation of Houston, a non-profit that provides non-governmental funding to Houston fire fighters.

Mr. Singh served on Mayor Sylvester Turner’s executive transition team and on Mayor Lee P. Brown’s advisory board for international affairs and development (1998-2004).

Jay Zeidman

Jay S. Zeidman is a Managing Partner at Altitude Ventures, a Texas based healthcare venture capital firm. Mr. Zeidman serves on the non-profit boards of the following organizations: Houston First Corporation, Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, The Small Business Advisory Task Force for the State of Texas, and the Emancipation Park Conservancy. Before joining RVP, Mr. Zeidman was the Director of Business Development for U.S. Capital Advisors and served as an aide to President George W. Bush at the White House. Mr. Zeidman was named to the Houston Business Journal’s “40 under 40” class in 2014. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science from TCU, where he also served as Student Body President, and his M.B.A. from the Jesse Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.

He is married to Anat, and they have one young daughter, Ayelet. 

City Council Ex Officio Directors

DAVE MARTIN

Representing District E, Dave Martin was first elected to Houston City Council in November 2012. He considers public safety, fiscal responsibility and economic development his cornerstone priorities.

Mr. Martin, a graduate of Louisiana State University, serves as a managing director of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., and previously worked for two large “Big Four” accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, and Ernst & Young, LLP.

DAVID W. ROBINSON

An at-large (Position 2) member of Houston City Council, David Robinson was appointed to the City of Houston Planning Commission by Mayor Bill White in 2007 and re-appointed by Mayor Annise Parker in 2009 – becoming the first licensed architect to serve the city as a commissioner since the 1970s.

Mr. Robinson received a bachelors degree in architecture from Yale College and earned a master of architecture degree from Rice University in 1993. In 1999, he started his own company as a sole practitioner with an emphasis on building large commercial and institutional buildings.