Rice University elects 11 Houston business leaders to new entrepreneurship council

Rice University has named 11 successful business leaders with Houston ties to its inaugural entrepreneurship-focused council.

According to the university, Frank Liu, a Rice graduate and founder of the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Lilie) at Rice University, recruited entrepreneurs to the board, and each of them agreed to donate time and money to the university’s entrepreneurship programs.

Members of the council, known as the Lilies Leadership Council, or LLC, include individuals with experience in a variety of fields, from the industrial and automotive sectors to local government and public broadcasting.

“I owe much of my entrepreneurial success to the opportunities I gained at Rice University,” Liu says in a statement. I can’t imagine the heights today’s students can achieve with the resources Lilia currently provides. Over the past few years, as the nation’s No. 1 graduate entrepreneurship program, we have seen exponential growth in student engagement and witnessed life-changing technologies solving big problems in industries like energy and health care developed in Lilie’s classes and programs. I am grateful for the commitment of the Lilie Leadership Council to push these founders out of the classroom and into the community and build the next generation of Houston’s economy.

The inaugural LCC cohort includes:

  • Sandy P. Aron: president of Hunington Properties who served on the boards of St. Francis Episcopal Day School in Houston, Congregation Beth Israel of Houston and the Jones Partnership at Rices Jones Graduate School of Business
  • John Chao, vice president and managing director of Westlake Innovations and member of the board of directors of Westlake Corp. The Rice alumnus was previously chief operating officer of New York Public Radio and a partner in the strategy and finance practice at McKinsey & Co.
  • Shoukat Dhanani, CEO of Dhanani Group Inc. based in Sugar Land, a family-owned business conglomerate
  • Lorin Gu, founding partner of Recharge Capital and founding chair of the Global Future Council at the Peterson Institute of International Economics
  • Earl Hesterberg, former CEO of Group 1 Automotive and former group vice president of North American marketing, sales and service at Ford Motor Co., who currently chairs the capital campaign at Kids Meal Inc. in Houston.
  • Robert T. Ladd, chairman and chief executive officer of Stellus Capital Investment Corp., who also serves as chairman of Rice’s board of trustees and on the advisory board of McGovern Medical School at UT Health
  • Frank Liu, co-founder and co-owner of Lovett Industrial and founder and owner of Lovett Commercial, Lovett Homes and InTown Homes
  • Charlie Meyer, CEO of Lovett Industrial, who previously served as managing director of Hines Interests in Houston and director of construction and development at NewQuest Properties. He currently serves on the board of Generation One and NAIOP Houston.
  • Hong Ogle, president of Bank of America Houston and president of the Southeast/Southwest branch of Bank of America Private Bank, who serves on the boards of the Greater Houston Partnership and Central Houston Inc. and chairs the Bank of America Charitable Foundation in Houston.
  • Annise Parker, 61st Mayor of Houston, currently CEO of the Victory Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to electing pro-equality and pro-choice LGBTQ+ leaders to public office
  • Gary Stein, CEO of Triple-S Steel Holdings, serves on the Board of the American Steel Construction Institute and the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors

Over the summer, Lilie and Rice’s Office of Innovation also announced its 2023 list of Innovation Fellows. The program, open to Rice faculty and graduate students and postdocs, provides support in moving innovations from the lab to commercialization and funding of up to $20,000.

Earlier this year, Lilie also launched a new startup accelerator program for students called Summer Venture Studio, which ran from May to August.

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Image Source : houston.innovationmap.com

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