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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.