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Bios

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Andrew Barth
Board of Directors

Andrew Barth is Partner and Co-Founder of CSD Energy Advisors, LLC, a national energy management firm that assists clients with the development and implementation of integrated energy solutions.  Based in Houston, TX, Mr. Barth has over 15 years of industry experience with an expertise in the planning and sourcing of commodity procurement strategies, risk management, and the development of sustainability and efficiency initiatives.

Andrew previously served as National Board President of The Energy Professionals Association (TEPA), and has held numerous other positions within the organization.  TEPA was founded to promote a standardized code of conduct among members, educate the community on energy initiatives, and act as an advocate for legislative policy for the advancement of competitive energy markets. 

CSD Energy Advisors is the proud recipient of the 2019-2020 Aggregator, Broker, Consultant of the Year award.

Andrew is a graduate of the University of Missouri - Columbia

 
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Jose Beceiro
Board of Directors

Jose is Senior Director, Global Energy 2.0 of the Economic Development Division at the Greater Houston Partnership. Jose joins the Partnership with 15 years of experience in business and project development, with a majority of his work centered in the energy and cleantech areas.


He recently served as the Director of Corporate Relations for Energy and Technology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he managed a portfolio of external industry partners representing the leading corporations in the energy, cleantech, automotive, and high-tech sectors. During his time at UT Austin, Jose worked with development teams and researchers across campus to engage companies in major interdisciplinary research initiatives. He also served as liaison for regional stakeholders, including cities, utilities, chambers of commerce, economic development corporations, nonprofits and other entities located in Central Texas. Jose spent seven years of his career at The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce as the Director of Clean Energy in the Economic Development Department. During this time, Austin’s cleantech industry grew from 30 companies and 3,000 employees to over 250 companies and 20,000 employees.

Jose holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Energy and Earth Resources from the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin.

He has served as the Founding Board President of the Center for Austin’s Future and the ATXelerator, as well as Board Chair for CleanTX. He is also a Founding Board Member of Pecan Street, Inc., which is the nation’s most advanced smart grid research consortium initiative. He is a recent winner of the Austin Under 40 Award for Energy, Cleantech, and Environmental Services.

 
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Renée D Cross
Board of Directors

A native of Houston’s East End, Renée Cross earned a bachelor of science degree in political science and psychology summa cum laude at the University of Houston (UH) and a master’s degree in political science from the University of St. Thomas.

 

She served as the district director for a state representative for two years before joining the Center for Public Policy at UH as a policy researcher in 1999. Her research experience includes formulating public opinion surveys, data compilation and statistical analysis, demographic analysis, writing reports and project management.

 

Now the senior director of the Hobby School of Public Affairs, Renée is a lecturer in the UH department of political science and also teaches as an adjunct professor in the department of social sciences at the University of Houston-Downtown.

 

Her academic interests include Houston and Texas government, politics, and history; civic engagement and voting; and urban politics.

 

She has been quoted in media such as the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, Bloomberg, CNN, the Chicago Tribune, the Houston Chronicle, the Texas Tribune, the Washington Times, the Austin-American Statesman and the Dallas Morning News, and has been featured on Texas Standard, KUHF and KUT radio as well as local television. Renée is also a regular political analyst for Houston Matters on the local radio affiliate for NPR.

 

Throughout her career at UH, she has also led external relations activities and has served on advisory boards and committees such as the White House Presidential Personnel Office’s Regional Referral Network, the League of Women Voters-Houston and the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County.

 
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Durg Kumar
Board of Directors

Durg Kumar is General Partner of Knightsgate Ventures, a Houston and New York City based Venture Capital firm that invests in socially responsible technologies and platforms while providing operations and fundraising support to founders.  As of mid-2021, Knightsgate Ventures had invested in 12 early-stage startups across two funds, in multiple verticals and industries, including EdTech, Supply Chain, MedTech, and Student Loans.

 

Prior to Knightsgate Ventures, Durg worked in Corporate Finance and Operations across multiple, multinational industries including Oil and Gas, Automotive, Electronics, and Consumer Goods.

 

Durg earned an MBA in Finance and a BBA in Supply Chain Management, both degrees from the University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business.

 

He previously served as Board Director and Treasurer for the University of Houston Alumni Association and is currently a Mentor at Capital Factory, an accelerator program for early-stage tech startups.

 
 
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Randy Romman
Executive Director

Randy currently serves as Executive Director of the HTXelerator, Founder of Walking Houston, and Realtor-Associate at Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty.

He has spent more than 10 years in oil and gas serving in Houston and abroad in Latin America.

 

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Chris Bell
Advisory Board & Mentor

Coming Soon

 
 
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Ellen Cohen
Advisory Board & Mentor

Ellen Cohen has lived and worked in the city of Houston for the past 44 years. She served for 10 years as the Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, and for 18 years as the CEO of the Houston Area Women’s Center, working with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. In 2006, she was elected as the Texas State Representative for District 134. After serving two terms in the Texas Legislature, Ellen continued her public service career at home. She ran for Houston City Council and was sworn in to office in January 2012 as the Council Member representing District C.

 

During her tenure on Council, Ellen championed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, the elimination of the former backlog of over 6,600 unrest sexual assault kits, the creation of a dedicated Human Trafficking Division within the Houston Police Department, the introduction of neighborhood-specific parking solutions for the Washington Corridor and Montrose, and many other initiatives to improve the quality of life of her constituents. Ellen was honored to serve as Houston’s first Jewish Mayor Pro Tem from 2016 through the end of her term on Council, when she was term-limited in December 2019.

 

Ellen currently serves on the Houston Forensic Science Center Board of Directors. A 50-year breast cancer survivor, she also serves on the Memorial Hermann Health System’s Community Relations Committee.

 
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Anh Mai
Advisory Board

Anh is Visionary and Co-Founder of Nomads Hospitality.

 

He is a disruptive social entrepreneur with clear vision and understanding of real life solutions. Anh is always challenging the status quo. Providing cross-functional leadership across business areas from ideation to operations, he specializes in developing and launching unique concepts and creating the space and infrastructure for continued growth.

 

He is the founder of the first food hall in Houston - Conservatory, the first chef hall in Houston - Bravery Chef Hall, and has just launched his newest concept - Railway Heights Market.

 

Anh is a dedicated Houstonian and graduate of the University of Houston.

 
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Mike Sullivan
Advisory Board & Mentor

Professionally, Mike is Director of Governmental Affairs and Corporate Partnerships for Group 1 Automotive, an international Fortune 500 company headquartered in Houston. He is responsible for the company’s federal, state, and local public policy and advocacy issues, and regularly interfaces with elected officials, agencies, and trade associations.

Mike has a long history of serving in elected office, as well as a director or advisory director of numerous non-profit, civic, and educational organizations. He was elected to a six year term on the Lone Star College System Board of Trustees in 2018. Previously, he served as Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector, on Houston City Council, and on the Humble ISD Board of Trustees.

He has also been appointed to a board or commission by governors Bush, Perry, and Abbott. One of his first appointments was to the Executive Committee of the Region H Water Planning Group. That was followed by service on Governor Perry’s Task Force on Unfunded Mandates, and then as a Commissioner on the Texas Military Preparedness Commission.

Rounding out Mike’s volunteer service has been with HCA Healthcare Houston Gulf Coast Division, The 100 Club of Houston, Camp Allen, and as Chairman of the Harris County Appraisal District board of directors.

Mike is looking forward to working with HTXelerator as it develops tomorrow’s leaders.

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Michael Conklin
Mentor

Coming Soon

 
 
 
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Graciana Garcés
Mentor

Coming Soon

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Angela Birch Cox
Mentor

Nonprofit executive whose strong interpersonal and communication skills and solutions-oriented approach to problem solving leads to productive working relationships and the achievement of results with integrity.

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Mark Jones
Mentor

Mark P. Jones, Ph.D., is the fellow in political science at the Baker Institute, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies and a professor in the Department of Political Science at Rice University.

Jones also serves as the faculty director of Rice’s Master of Global Affairs program. His research focuses on the effect of electoral laws and other political institutions on governance, representation and voting. He has received substantial financial support for this research, including grants from the National Science Foundation. His research has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies and the Journal of Politics, as well as in edited volumes published by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Penn State University Press, among others. He is a frequent contributor to Texas media outlets, and his research on the Texas Legislature has been widely cited in the media as well as by numerous political campaigns.

 

Jones regularly advises U.S. government institutions on economic and political affairs in Argentina and has conducted research on public policy issues in Latin America and Texas for numerous international, national and local organizations, including the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Texas Department of Agriculture and the city of Houston. He is a frequent commentator in local, state, national and international media on government, politics and public policy. He is currently working on two principal research agendas, one that examines the impact of political institutions on politics and public policy in Latin America, and the other that analyzes the evolution of partisan politics in Texas over the past 50 years. Jones received his doctorate from the University of Michigan and his bachelor’s degree from Tulane University.

 
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Dr. Stephen Klineberg
Mentor

Dr. Stephen Klineberg has been shaping local thought on the ongoing trends in Houston for forty years. As the director of the annual “Kinder Houston Area Survey” (1982-2021), he has tracked the shifts in economic outlooks, demographic patterns, life experiences, attitudes, and beliefs among successive representative samples of Harris County residents, during four decades of remarkable change. His book exploring the national implications of this research, entitled Prophetic City: Houston on the Cusp of a Changing America, was published in June 2020 by Simon & Schuster. Klineberg is the recipient of twelve major teaching awards at Rice and a much sought-after speaker in the Houston community and beyond. He is a graduate of Haverford College, with an MA from the University of Paris and a PhD from Harvard. He and his wife Margaret have lived in Houston since the early 1970s; they have two children and five grandchildren.

 
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David Robinson
Mentor

David W. Robinson is currently serving 2.3 million citizens of the City of Houston in his third term as City Council Member for the At-Large 2 position. David was appointed chair of the Transportation, Technology & Infrastructure (TTI) Committee of the Houston City Council in the spring of 2018. He was named vice chair of the Housing and Community Affairs Committee this year. Since 2014, David has served on the Houston First Corporation Board as chair of the Sales, Marketing and Tourism Committee. He was appointed by Mayor Sylvester Turner to represent Houston Galveston Area Council (HGAC) Transportation Policy Council and currently serves that 8-county regional authority as officer and first vice chair.

 

Early in his architectural career, David worked on the design of the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan. He later contributed to the master plan for the campus of Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital. Since then he has worked on various healthcare projects in the Texas Medical Center (TML), around Texas and beyond. In 1999, he started his own company as a sole practitioner with a broad, diverse portfolio that presents work completed on health care facilities, commercial businesses, individual residential projects and other related commissions. As a small business owner, David maintains a list of projects mostly located in the Houston area and has taught a graduate-level course for Texas Tech University in their Houston Practicum called "Infrastructure in the Urban Environment”, and currently serves on Rice Architecture’s William Ward Watkins Council.

 

Along with his architectural practice, David has been actively involved with neighborhood issues, serving eight years as an officer of the Neartown (Montrose) Association, including terms as vice president and president. With the nomination of civic club representatives from across Houston, he was elected to serve as chairman and president of the citywide Super Neighborhood Alliance (SNA) to a maximum two-year term that concluded in January 2013. Concurrently and while serving on the board of directors for the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, David 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 that commission since the 1970's.

 

David W. Robinson received a BA in Architecture from Yale College in 1988 and earned a Master of Architecture from Rice University in 1993. In 2018 he was inducted to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA). He is the proud father of 21-year-old Elissa, a college junior, and is an active member of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church.