As an established trial attorney, Ms. Culver Baker has a successful track record that has spanned nearly 20 years and various facets of the law, including complex commercial litigation, contract disputes, and real estate transactions. Ms. Culver Baker, who joined Sheehy, Ware & Pappas in 2020, has managed and served as lead counsel on hundreds of cases from inception to trial or resolution in both federal and state courts throughout Texas. She has represented both corporate and nonprofit defendants and plaintiffs in matters involving complex business litigation, contract interpretation, trademark infringement, construction defects, ad valorem taxation, landlord/tenant disputes (including defending Fair Housing complaints), insurance defense, land use disputes, fiduciary duty obligations and standards of care for both licensed professionals and nonprofit Boards of Directors. In addition to her trial and appellate experience, Ms. Culver Baker has served as counsel to corporations, government entities and individuals in the transactional arena. She has drafted and negotiated contracts, including land use, shareholder, buy-sell and stock purchase agreements. She has also formed corporate entities and provided counsel on business formation issues.
Patrick Buckley is a shareholder in the audit department with Harper & Pearson and director of the employee benefit plan services team. Pat leads the employee benefit plan audit group, including the full range of plan types. He brings more than 25 years of experience to Harper & Pearson. Pat received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Houston. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of both the Texas Society of CPAs and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Pat is also a Mentoring Program Volunteer at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston.
Phil Cool is a Vice President at Macquarie Group, an Australian Investment bank. Prior to joining Macquarie, Phil accumulated over a decade of experience working in industry, consulting, and banking for the energy industry. Phil earned a degree in Economics and Business Management from Ripon College, where he was a collegiate athlete on Ripon’s soccer team. After college, Phil received his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Houston. As a young adult, Phil also earned the rank of Eagle Scout, which sparked his interest in giving back to the community.
Anna Eastman is a committed leader in the Greater Houston community and a twenty-year resident of the Heights. She has served as Texas State Representative for District 148 and two four-year terms as District I Trustee on the Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees. During her time on the board Anna served in multiple leadership capacities most notably, Board President and Chair of the Audit Committee. She currently serves on Holocaust Museum Houston’s Board of Advisors, Teach for America’s Houston Region Board, Breakthrough Houston Advisory Board and Houston Grand Opera’s education and community outreach committee, HGOco. In 2002, Anna co-founded the 11 ½ Street Foundation which recognized outstanding veteran teachers and awards college scholarships to at risk children who have graduated from Heights and Northside High Schools. She received the 2012 GLBT Caucus Eleanor Tinsley Distinguished Community Ally Award, was the 2015 Ally Grand Marshall for Houston Pride, and the National Association for Social Workers 2016 State Elected Official of the Year. Anna is deeply committed to ensuring every child has access to opportunities so that they may live rich and deeply fulfilling lives. Anna and her husband Brad have three children. All of the Eastmans have a deep love of the outdoors and the arts.
Vean Gregg makes investments primarily in the energy, industrial and real estate sectors. He is on the board of directors for Approach Resources Inc., a publicly traded independent exploration and production company, where he serves as lead independent director, chairman of the Compensation Committee and as a member of the Governance and Nominating Committee. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of TWP, where he also chairs the Development Committee, he is a member of the board of directors at the Center for Houston’s Future, a think tank focused on the region’s toughest long-term issues, where he serves on the Executive Committee, as chairman of the Development Committee and as a member of the Budget and Finance Committee. He is a member of the Post Oak School board of trustees where he serves as treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee. Vean previously has 18 years of experience with J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, most recently as Managing Director and Group Head, North American Oil and Gas Investment Banking. In this capacity, he managed oil and gas investment banking in North America and was part of the global leadership team responsible for steering the business strategy and personnel in Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America. While at J.P. Morgan, he worked with clients across various sectors including exploration and production, refining and marketing, midstream and pipelines, oilfield services, petrochemicals, and integrated multinationals. During this time, he completed numerous M&A and capital raising projects with public and private companies. Vean also has three years of prior international work experience in strategic planning with Bellezza Club International, a manufacturing and merchandise trading company in Tokyo, Japan, working on business development projects in Asia, Europe and North America. Vean has a M.I.M. from Thunderbird – The American Graduate School of International Management and a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He and his wife, Jessica, live in Houston and have two daughters.
Steve is Director Of District Support at Tomball ISD. Prior to this position, Steve was an HISD Principal at Stephen F. Austin High School from 2014 to 2020, and at Ethel R. Coop Elementary from 2012 to 2014. Steve earned a BBA in Business Administration and Management from Texas State University, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration from Sam Houston State University, and a Doctor of Education in Urban Education and Leadership from The University of Texas at Austin. Steve loves his family and the great outdoors.
Courtney Hoyt is the Manager of Volunteer Services at Ben Taub Hospital, part of Harris Health System, and serves on The Woods Project Board as an ex-officio member through The Junior League of Houston’s Outside Board Representative Program. A lifelong Houstonian, Courtney has served in leadership roles and as a volunteer in many non-profit organizations, including Community Vice President for The Junior League of Houston, Communication Chair and incoming Board President for Houston Association of Volunteer Administrators, and as Co-Chair for the Texas Medical Center’s Volunteer Services Committee. Courtney also enjoys volunteering as a docent with the Holocaust Museum Houston and at her son’s school. Courtney received a B.A. in English and a minor in History from The University of Texas at Austin. She deeply believes in the power of mentorship. She met her husband through summer camp connections, and understands how time spent in nature, challenging yourself, and developing deep relationships can create a life-changing and character-strengthening experience.
Michael Marsh is an Insurance Agent at Momentum Insurance. He was previously employed by ENGIE Gas North America, a Paris-based energy firm, in shipping logistics within the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) division. Mike worked in the natural gas industry from 2002 to 2019. Mike graduated from UCLA with a degree in History and a specialization in Business. He also has a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Houston and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Duke University. Previously, Mike spent several years as a world class sprinter and won two Olympic gold and one silver medal. He has qualified for seven U.S. Olympic and World Championship teams starting with the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. Mike was ranked in the top ten in the U.S. at 100 meters eleven years in a row from 1987 through 1997 and also six times in a row in the 200 meters from 1991 through 1996. Mike is married to Marna Marsh and has three sons, Wren, Asa and Maverick
Mark Mey is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Transocean Ltd, which he joined as CFO in May 2015. He previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Atwood Oceanics. Including his almost five years at Atwood, he has over 28 years of experience in the energy and financial services industries in both the United States and South Africa. Prior to Atwood, Mark was Senior Vice President and CFO and a Director of Scorpion Offshore Ltd. He also held positions of increasing responsibility during his 12 years with offshore driller Noble Corporation, including Vice President and Treasurer. Mark earned an Advanced Diploma in Accounting and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He is a Chartered Accountant and attended the Harvard Business School Executive Advanced Management Program.
Kathleen Milazzo Johnson is an Executive Director at JP Morgan Securities LLC, where she is a member of the firm’s leveraged finance team. She is a graduate of Rice University. Kathleen and her husband Travis live in Houston and have two children.
Jeremy Samuels is a Regional Vice-President at Victory Packaging. Victory Packaging is an architect of packaging solutions and one of the largest distributors of packaging supplies in North America with sales over $900 million a year with over 1500 employees. Jeremy is an active volunteer in our community serving on the executive committee of the ERJCC as well as the board of the American Jewish Committee, and Houston Achievement Place. An avid outdoorsman, Jeremy is an eagle scout and was a cub scout leader for several years.
Heidi Schwarzwald currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Aetna Better Health of Texas and Regional Chief Medical Officer for the Western Region of Aetna Better Health. Aetna Better Health of Texas is a state-wide Medicaid Managed Care Organization and part of CVS Health. Dr. Schwarzwald’ s career has focused on designing and implementing innovative care models for children and families in resource limited areas. Dr. Schwarzwald completed her undergraduate degree in Government at Harvard University. She received her Medical Doctorate from University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and completed her residency in pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. Further, Dr. Schwarzwald earned her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health. She is married, with two children Dori (16) and Daniel (15).
Julie Vitek is Vice President of Communications for ENGIE North America. In this role, she is responsible for leading external and internal communications activities to promote all of the key activities of ENGIE’s energy and services businesses in North America to audiences including the media, customers, industry officials, financial analysts, community officials, and employees. Julie joined ENGIE North America in 1999 to work for the company’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) business as its chief spokesperson, state and local government affairs liaison, and community outreach director. Prior to joining ENGIE, Julie held a variety of communications positions in the high-technology, transportation, finance, and water industries, as a press spokesperson, financial and technical writer, and meeting and publicity event planner. Julie earned her Bachelor of Science degree (High Honors) in Mass Communications and Public Relations from Boston University. She is a member of the Forbes Communications Council, Global Forum, and Houston Public Media Affinity Council.
Whitney Walsh is a Community Volunteer and mother of three school-aged children. Whitney has served in various volunteer roles through The Junior League of Houston, Inc. for the past 14 years, including Membership Vice President, Charity Ball Chairman, Community Assistance Chairman and External Relations Chairman. She believes in the importance of mentorship and inspiring volunteers. She is also an active volunteer in her children’s school, The Post Oak School. She worked in Development and Donor Relations for Rice University and in Public Relations for Neiman Marcus. Whitney received a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Spanish from the University of Oklahoma. She spends her summers hiking in Colorado. She is a native Houstonian, who attributes the discovery of her leadership and teamwork skills through her early participation in the Outward Bound Leadership School.
Managing Director, Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group
Philip Wright is an expert on two fronts. As a seasoned community ambassador, he is adept at helping to achieve social responsibility and community development goals while reinforcing a commitment to clients, financial objectives and regulatory practices. As an accomplished economic development authority, he is an active advocate for strengthening the capacity of financially and socially disadvantaged families to improve their quality of lives and the communities they live in. Philip has mobilized people at all levels representing diverse interests and objectives to meet the goals of several nonprofit and for-profit institutions. He partnered with experts to transform a social service provider into a home builder for first-time home buyers. Through audit reviews, quality assessments and fieldwork, he brought a national homeless prevention organization into compliance, thereby sustaining housing for thousands of at-risk clients. And, he applied his communications, negotiations and outreach experience to develop and run four financial centers in two cities that kept more than 10,000 families in their homes during America’s housing recession. In 2013, Philip brought his impressive track record of operational, project and people management to the position of Community Liaison for the City of Houston Housing Authority. Reporting directly to the President and CEO, he works within the Authority’s 25 housing developments and among governmental and other key stakeholders to improve the quality of lives and increase self-sufficiency in the community. He achieves that goal by implementing an integrated strategy of grassroots community engagement, consultation, planning, local business development, skill building and employment. Philip is also the Managing Director for The Wright Enterprise Group where he provides real estate development consultancy for public and private projects, as well as, assists organizations with developing, implementing and managing compliance and engagement programs. A native New Yorker, Philip has resided in Houston since 2011. In his short tenure as a resident in Houston, he has been fully engaged both civically and in the community. He is a Senior Fellow for the American Leadership Forum. He currently serves on the City of Houston’s steering committee for My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative that prepares boys and young men of color for college and/or good jobs by providing them with mentorship, support networks and technical and soft skills. Philip is a graduate of the Center for Houston Future’s Business & Civic Leadership Forum and the Fort Bend Leadership for Nonprofit Excellence. Philip serves on the Center for Houston Future’s fund development committee and is a Committeeman for the Houston Livestock & Rodeo Western Art Committee. Additionally, Officer for the Candlelight Plaza Civic Club, the community where he resides. Philip earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the City College of New York, a Juris Doctor degree from The John Marshall School of Law and is a Texas Licensed Real Estate Agent.
Vic Samuels was an entrepreneur who owned more than 25 businesses over his adult career, including Victory Packaging, Leedo Cabinets and Houston Terminal Warehouse. In addition, he was a director of Whitney National Bank, Star Furniture, POP Broadcasting and Foundation Surgery Affiliates. His volunteer involvement included leadership roles with Harris County Children’s Protective Services Foundation, Houston A+ Challenge, Houston Achievement Place, HSPVA, Jewish Community Center, United Way, and the Houston Zoo. His awards were equally impressive, including Entrepreneur of the Year for 2007. We mourn Vic’s passing in 2020, and will always have the utmost gratitude for his profound impact as a trusted shepherd and charismatic supporter of The Woods Project.