Hall of Fame Logo 2021 Chamber Blue w date

Greater Houston Women’s Hall of Fame

The Gala recognizes outstanding women who have contributed significantly to the advancement of women and improved the quality of life for future generations of Houstonians.

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Winell Herron

Group Vice President of Public Affairs,
Diversity and Environmental Affairs, H-E-B 

Winell serves as Group Vice President of Public Affairs, Diversity and Environmental Affairs for H-E-B.  She is personally active in the community in many non-profit organizations; serving on the boards of the Ensemble Theatre, March of Dimes, Texas Cultural Trust, Houston Museum of African American Culture.  Additionally, she is a Texas Lyceum Alumnus.

Houston has recognized Winell’s professional and personal efforts by selecting her as a 2019 Woman of Power and Presence; presenting her with both the Houston Woman of Substance and Houston Woman on the Move awards; inducting her into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame; naming her among the Top 25 Most Influential Women in Houston and Houston’s Women of Distinction; and awarding her the Alumnus of the Year from the University of Texas San Antonio.

Her personal passions include family, friends, community involvement, travel, technology, music and reading.  Winell and her husband William (Doug), reside in Houston.

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Ann Al-Bahish, Ph.D.

Partner, Haynes and Boone, LLP

Dr. Ann Al-Bahish is a partner at Haynes Boone, LLP, and graduated from Harvard Law School with a Ph.D. in public health at UT Health Sciences Center. She is recognized by legal peers including Chambers USA and the inaugural Lawdragon, 500 Leading Environmental and Energy Lawyers edition. 

Dr. Al-Bahish has been recognized by the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas.  She contributes to the Texas Environmental Law treatise published by Thomson Reuters, and she speaks on legal and environmental topics She is a Haynes Boone Wellness Champion and serves on their Pro Bono and Public Service Committee.

She serves on the Board of The Rose, the HAWC and is a founding/current board member of Doctors for Change and Bloomsday Literary.  She is the Chair Emerita of Healthcare for the Homeless – Houston.   Given her appreciation of music, art, and fiction, Dr. Al-Bahish supports creatives and the fresh approaches they bring to solving problems.

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Nelda Luce Blair

Attorney, Blair Law Firm 

Nelda Luce Blair is the founder/CEO of The Blair Law Firm. She possesses a particular passion to help shape the future of Texas by serving in chairmanship positions including three terms on The Woodlands Township Board; Founding Chair of The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau; The Woodlands Area Chamber; and State Bar of Texas Regional Grievance Committee. Other board service has included Baylor’s Truett Theological Seminary Advisory Board; UH System Board of Regents; her gubernatorial appointment to the Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents; Chancellor’s Advisory Board for Lone Star College System; Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, GHWCC, and EDP of The Woodlands; the Texas Public Safety Commission overseeing the Department of Public Safety and serves on the Spirit of Texas Bank Board.

Nelda has numerous recognitions including Woodlands “Hometown Hero”, Greater Houston Women’s “Breakthrough Woman” Award, GHWCC’s “Citizen of the Year” Award and the Woodlands Area Chamber “Legacy Award”.   

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Cindy Clifford

President, The Clifford Group

Cindy Clifford is an active force in Houston’s business, civic, and political arenas. For more than 30 years, she has built a solid reputation as a valuable public relations, marketing and government affairs professional.  Clients like Dell, Comcast, Republic Services, Kelsey-Seybold, Monty & Ramirez, Orrick and many others have called upon Cindy’s firm, the Clifford Group, to further their goals. 

Cindy has served on dozens of nonprofit boards, has chaired many fundraisers and provided pro-bono advice to countless others and worked tirelessly in getting more women in positions of power both in the business and political world which is very important to her. 

Her love of politics has made Cindy a steadfast volunteer and supporter of many local, state and federal officials. She has been an active supporter of Houston mayors, beginning with Mayor Kathryn Whitmire and including every Houston mayor since. Cindy is proud to have been a top-level volunteer on the campaign of current mayor, Sylvester Turner.

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Lesia Crumpton-Young, Ph.D.

President, Texas Southern University 

Dr. Lesia L. Crumpton-Young, serves as the 13th President of Texas Southern University. President Crumpton-Young received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University where she was the first African American female to receive a Ph.D. in engineering. President Crumpton-Young is a recipient of the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

Previously. Dr Crumpton-Young held the positions of Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Morgan State University; Vice President for Research and Institutional Advancement at Tennessee State University; Program Director at the National Science Foundation; Associate Provost at Texas A&M University; Associate Dean of Engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU).

Having over 30 years of experience, President Crumpton-Young is renowned scholar, active researcher and accomplished leader with a firm understanding of higher education who has strategically positioned institutions by implementing transformative initiatives to achieve unprecedented success.

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Linda DuCharme 

President, ExxonMobil
Upstream Business Development and Integrated

Linda DuCharme joined Exxon Company U.S.A. in 1986 after graduating from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering. 

In July 2020, Ms. DuCharme was appointed President of ExxonMobil Upstream Business Development Company in addition to her role as President of ExxonMobil Upstream Integrated Solutions Company and a Vice President of Exxon Mobil Corporation. 

Active in Houston area philanthropy, Linda serves on the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Board and the Executive Advisory Board for Houston Minority Supplier Development Council. 

Linda also serves on the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering Board. She is very involved in ExxonMobil’s Women’s Interest Network, and is the executive sponsor of ExxonMobil’s global People for Respect, Inclusion and Diversity of Employees (PRIDE) employee group. 

Linda was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame and served on the Board of Directors for the 23rd World Petroleum Congress in December 2021. 

Ms. DuCharme is married and has two sons.

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Linda Head

Senior Associate Vice Chancellor, Office of External and Employer Relations, Lone Star College

Linda Leto Head, oversees the Office of External and Employer Relations at Lone Star College serving as Sr. Associate Vice Chancellor. This is her 30th year there with a primary focus on workforce development, economic development, veteran services, adult basic education and corporate training. On behalf of Lone Star College, which serves over 90,000 students in Harris, Montgomery, Walker, and Waller counties. She sits on various councils and boards to include:

GHWCC, American Association for Community Colleges, Texas Association for Business, and others. Awards include “Women Who Mean Business”, “Trailblazer”, and “Global Impact Award.” For her leadership in her field.

Linda’s real joy and purpose, come from her family. She and her husband, Steve, have four children and 4 grandchildren together. Her daughters are Natalie Crawford (who has two children who love to visit Namma) and daughter Dr. Jennifer Murdock, who is an ocular plastics surgeon in Houston.

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Patricia Mann Phillips

Executive Managing Director of Energy Services for Revenade LLC

Pat Mann Phillips is an independent energy advisory consultant, currently serving as the Executive Managing Director of Energy Services for Revenade LLC, a global strategic business consulting firm, owned and operated with her husband, Tim Phillips. Pat’s energy industry experience spans over 30 years working as a Landman in the exploration and development of oil and gas interests, business development, labor relations/human resource management, and energy commodity marketing and trading.

Pat started her career in Dallas, growing up in the family’s agricultural business, where she recognized a growing need for advocacy and future leadership in a rapidly changing industry. Upon relocation to Houston, Pat and Tim joined the volunteer ranks of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Pat rapidly advanced through the volunteer leadership ranks of the Show, becoming the first female to be elected to serve on the Show’s Executive Committee.  Pat currently serves on the board of directors and as Chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee.

Pat has contributed and served in various volunteer roles in multiple philanthropic, entrepreneurial, and civic organizations, supporting women-led organizations.

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Sandra Porter

Vice President, Senior Advisor
Marketing & Corporate Communications,Hines

Sandra Porter is VP/Senior Advisor, Marketing & Communications for Hines, the highly respected global commercial real estate investment, development, and management firm. She is a member of Hines Senior Leadership Council and a founding member OneHines Women’s Network, which supports the advancement of women. She previously served as Chair of the firm’s annual United Way Houston campaign.

Sandra is passionate about giving back to causes that support women, the arts, and education. She serves on the Board of the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and is the inaugural Chair of its Women Driving Arts Education Committee and Council.  Sandra has served on numerous non-profit boards including American Diabetes Association; American Heart Association Guild; National Association of Real Estate Editors NAREE; ULI; and Yellowstone Academy’s advisory board.

Sandra’s favorite pastime is spending time with close friends and family, and is happiest doing anything with her amazing daughter, son-in-law and grandsons!

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Michelle Riley-Brown, FACHE

Executive Vice President, Texas Children’s Hospital

Michelle Riley-Brown is an Executive Vice President with Texas Children’s Hospital and has been with the organization for 22 years. In addition to her system-wide leadership role for the organization, she serves as the President of both Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, and Texas Children’s Hospital, The Woodlands.  

Additionally, Michelle Riley-Brown oversees Texas Children’s Pediatrics, the largest pediatric primary care network in the country, and Texas Children’s Urgent Care. She also has responsibility over marketing, public relations, and philanthropy for the system.

She is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans and earned a Master of Health Administration degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Michelle is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), and currently serves on several local community boards.

Michelle is married, has one daughter, and is a proud New Orleans Saints fan.

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Leigh Smith


Leigh Smith began her career as a practicing attorney but stepped away from that career to raise three amazing children and devote her energies towards non-profit work.

Leigh is Board President of Houston Ballet and immediate past Board Chair of Houston Arts Alliance. She chairs the National Council for Anderson Ranch Arts Center Board and serves on the Advisory Board for Asia Society Texas and numerous other boards including Star of Hope and Emergency Aid Coalition. Leigh is co-chair of the 2022 Asia Society’s Tiger Ball and the 2022 Glassell School Gala and co-chair for 2023 Hermann Park Hats in the Park Luncheon.

Leigh has been recognized as a Best Dressed honoree by Houston Chronicle/March of Dimes, a St. Jude Gold Woman of Philanthropy and an ABC13 Woman of Distinction (benefiting Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation).

Leigh is the proud mother of three amazing children and happily married to the love of her life, Reggie for 34 years.

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Debra Sukin, Ph.D.

Regional Senior Vice President, Houston Methodist
Chief Executive Officer,
Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital

As Regional Senior VP of Houston Methodist, Dr. Debra F. Sukin has responsibility for four suburban hospitals in addition to having system responsibility for the Neuroscience service line and Methodist DeBakey Heart Center. Dr. Sukin also serves as the preceptor and executive leader for the Houston Methodist Administrative Fellowship Program.

Dr. Sukin is past Chair for both Interfaith of The Woodlands and The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership Board of Directors. Dr. Sukin also serves as a board member for Woodforest National Bank, Texas Hospital Association HOSPAC Board and the Angelman Syndrome Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board. 

Dr. Sukin has received numerous awards including The American College of Healthcare Executives Regent’s Early Careerist Healthcare Executive Award and as one of the top Women Hospital and Health System Leaders in the country. The HBJ recognized her as an “Outstanding Business Leader in Healthcare” and “Business Woman of the Year”. 

Dr. Sukin resides in The Woodlands with her husband, Steven Sukin, MD, and their two boys, Jacob and Eli.

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Welela Tereffe, MD

Chief Medical Executive
UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Recognized as a patient-centered and institutionally minded leader, Welela Tereffe, M.D. is The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s chief medical executive (CME).  She educates health care providers about changes in the health care environment. As the first woman of color to serve as CME, Dr. Tereffee is a driving force in recruiting exceptional diverse faculty, promoting equity and inclusion excellence, and enhancing the wellness and professional development of providers.

Welela earned her BA in Education from Brown University and her M.D. from New York University. Since joining MD Anderson she has earned a Master of Public Health, and is currently working toward a Master of Health Care Management at the Harvard School of Public Health.

She has led the institution through times of transformative change, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and collaborated with care providers to foster innovation and drive cultural excellence. Throughout everything, her communication efforts have helped unite, inform, and engage MD Anderson’s workforce.

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Vanessa Wyche

Director, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas

Vanessa E. Wyche is the director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, home to America’s astronaut corps, Mission Control Center, International Space Station, Orion and Gateway programs and its more than 10,000 employees. She is responsible for overseeing a broad range of human spaceflight activities, including development and operation of human spacecraft, commercialization of low-Earth orbit and Johnson’s role in landing the first woman and first person of color on the surface of the Moon.

Wyche previously served as deputy director at Johnson and has held numerous program and institutional leadership positions, including flight manager of several missions of the retired Space Shuttle Program. A strong supporter of diversity and inclusion, Wyche advocates mentoring at all levels and is a passionate promoter of science, technology, engineering, and math. A native of South Carolina, Wyche earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Master of Science in Bioengineering from Clemson University.

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