Author Archive

Glenn Reitman (’97)

Dallas — May 2, 2024 — Faegre Drinker announced today that Glenn Reitman has joined the firm as a partner in the finance & restructuring practice in Dallas. Reitman joins from an international law firm where he was the Head of Finance for Texas.
For more than 20 years, Reitman has been representing U.S. and international lenders and borrowers in structuring, negotiating and documenting finance transactions, with a focus on commercial, real estate, and energy projects and structured financing, including investments and M&A in the commodities, health care, insurance and energy sectors.
“Glenn brings a high-level of experience in a wide array of industries to our finance practice – particularly in the energy and real estate space – that will really enhance our practice and benefit our clients,” said partner and finance & restructuring practice group leader Mike Pompeo. “We are looking forward to working with Glenn in building out a multi-disciplinary and multi-industry commodities team as well.”
Reitman has a diverse finance practice that encompasses maritime, private equity, venture capital, real estate project and stadium, and Export-Import Bank of the United States finance, as well as leveraged buyouts, structured products, loan workouts, restructurings, recapitalizations and reorganizations.
“We are thrilled to have Glenn joining the firm and enhance our Dallas office offerings,” said partner and Dallas office leader Dawn McCord. “It’s been an exciting season of growth for our office and Glenn’s arrival to the firm is a testament to the strength of our client services.”
Reitman’s move to Faegre Drinker also coincides with the firm’s recent real estate activity in Texas. In April, the firm relocated its Dallas office to a new space in the city’s contemporary Arts District. The move allows Faegre Drinker to continue the path of upward growth and innovation in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, home to nearly 50 talented colleagues representing many of the firm’s practice groups.
Reitman earned his B.A. from University of Houston and J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law.
Faegre Drinker’s finance and restructuring practice advises clients across diverse industries on matters from financial transactions to corporate debt restructurings, as well as bankruptcy and litigation matters.
About Faegre Drinker
Faegre Drinker is a firm designed for clients. With 1,200 experienced attorneys and consulting professionals licensed in nearly every state in the U.S., and with strategic offices in London and Shanghai, we have the strength and reach to solve our clients’ most complex transactional, litigation and regulatory challenges, wherever they may arise. Faegre Drinker Consulting, the firm’s advisory and advocacy division based in Washington, D.C., provides public policy, regulatory and technical services to key sectors of the economy. Additional services include Tritura Information Governance, the firm’s data science subsidiary, and Innovative Health Strategies, a health care consultancy that helps hospitals operate efficiently and improve quality of service. Learn more at FaegreDrinker.com.
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John Simons (’89)

John Simons (’89) is a novelist and publisher, as well as the founder of Comicpalooza. Currently he is CEO of Startling Events LLC. John’s latest novel, “The Saga of Bjorn Unfrid” is a paranormal fantasy set on the UH campus in the1980s.

Mejdi Kammoun (Ph.D. ’16)

The Offshore Technology Conference is honoring University of Houston alumnus Mejdi Kammoun (PhD ’16) among the conference’s 2024 Emerging Leaders. He is among an esteemed group of 11 individuals earning a spot on the 2024 list.

Mejdi Kammoun is principal engineer at the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). He earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UH in 2016. At ABS, his primary responsibility involves developing regulations and requirements to ensure the safe implementation of energy storage and generation systems for marine and offshore shipping contexts.

The OTC’s Emerging Leaders program selects young professionals with fewer than 10 years of experience in the offshore energy sector who demonstrate exceptional talents, commitment and promise as future leaders.

Safety and sustainability are important issues. The drive to decarbonize the U.S. energy sector is bringing transformative changes to the offshore and marine sector. These changes can introduce new safety and health risks that need to be identified and addressed to protect workers in the industry.

“My aspirations have always centered around contributing to a safer, greener world. Whether through innovative technologies, sustainable practices or policy advocacy, my dream remains unwavering: to leave a lasting positive impact on our planet,” Kammoun said.

Kammoun has made significant contributions to the comprehensive update of the “ABS Requirements for Fuel Cell Power Systems for Marine and Offshore Applications” and “ABS Requirements for Use of Lithium-ion Batteries in the Marine and Offshore Industries.”

Kammoun gives credit to UH and Haleh Ardebili, the Kamel Salama Endowed Professor of Mechanical Engineering and assistant vice president of Entrepreneurship and Startup Ecosystem at UH, for supporting his growth and offered some advice to students:

“Establishing a robust foundation through a deep grasp of fundamental subjects like electrical theory, electromagnetics and solid-state electronics is critical for success in your electrical engineering studies,” he said.

Shi also shared some advice: “Learn, experience, connect and innovate!”

This year’s Emerging Leaders cohort will be recognized during a special ceremony during the conference on Tuesday, May 7.

Jerry Robert Adair, Jr. (’55)

Jerry Robert Adair Jr.
06/09/1931 – 05/05/2024
Jerry Robert Adair Jr., native Houstonian passed away on Sunday, the 5th of May, 2024 at the age of 92. He was born on the 9th of June, 1931 to Jerry Robert Adair, Sr. and Jett Leggett Adair.
Jerry was raised in the Houston Heights neighborhood and attended Reagan High School, and upon graduation enlisted in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. After serving his country, he used his G.I. Bill to purchase a home in Spring Branch, Texas and Married June Hadlock.
He attended the University of Houston, majoring in Radio and TV. Mr. Adair was the radio and television broadcaster for the University of Houston basketball team during the Guy Louis and Elvin Hayes era and traveled across the country with the team doing live broadcast.
Mr. Adair started a full service advertising agency, as well as investing in real estate in the Heights area, establishing quite the impressive portfolio of “Trophy Properties”. Mr. Adair was a sports enthusiast, coaching his sons youth teams.
He has survived by his sons, James Robert Adair and Jerry Robert Adair, III; four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
A funeral service is to be conducted at half-past ten o’clock in the morning on Monday, the 13th of May 2024, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the adjacent grand foyer.
The family will gather for a private interment at Forest Park Lawndale in Houston.
Please visit Mr. Adair’s online memorial tribute at GeoHLewis.com where memories and words of comfort and condolence may be shared electronically with his family.

Published by Houston Chronicle on May 8, 2024.

Barney L. Hammond (M.A. ’77)

Barney L. Hammond, born Sept. 30, 1943 in Corpus Christi, TX passed away peacefully in Winston Salem, NC at Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home on April 10, 2024 from complications due to pneumonia. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Lloyd D. Hammond and Jean Ashley Hammond, and beloved wife Utah (Jutta) Ground Hammond.

Barney was an internationally recognized voice, speech, acting and Shakespeare text coach with the Canadian Stratford Shakespeare Festival (over 50 productions); Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, CA; Shakespeare Theatre of Washington, DC; San Diago’s Old Globe; John Houseman Acting Company; Alley Theatre in Houston, TX, and many other notable theatre companies. He is Emeritus Faculty in the School of Drama at University of North Carolina School of the Arts (1988- 2001) and founding director of voice at the MFA Acting Program, University of Texas, Austin (2001 – 2016). He received his undergraduate training at Carnegie Mellon University, Masters in Directing at University of Houston, and post graduate studies in Voice at the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London.

Per Barney’s wishes, there will be no funeral. His remains will be sent to Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, NY where he will join his wife Utah.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to celebrate Barney Hammond’s life and career please consider donating in his name to The School of Drama, UNCSA in care of the UNCSA Office of Advancement (336-770-3330). Condolences may be sent online through www.salemfh.com.

Ashley N. Cloud (’09)

I am a native of Katy, Texas, a 2005 graduate of Katy High School and a 2009 Graduate of the University of Houston School of Liberal Arts. I am also the Founder and CEO of The Cloud Law Firm.

I was chosen as a Top 10 Finalist out of 4,500 applicants for the Barclay’s Small Business Big Wins Contest with a grand prize of $60,000.

Below is the press release about this award:

Howard Graduate and Houston Native Named Finalist in Barclays’ ‘Small Business Big Wins’ Promotion to Support Small Business Owners

The Cloud Law Firm is one of 10 finalists vying for the $60,000 grand prize, encouraging public to vote for their business beginning April 8

New York, New York (April 8, 2024) – The Cloud Law Firm, a virtual law firm founded by Ashley Cloud, Houston, Texas native and graduate of Howard University, has been named a finalist in Barclays US Consumer Bank’s “Small Business Big Wins” promotion with $255,000 in prize money to be distributed among small business owners who submitted a brief essay describing how their business is adjusting to the current economy. Members of the public are encouraged to vote for The Cloud Law Firm to help them win the $60,000 grand prize.

The Cloud Law Firm edged out more than 4,500 entrants to make it to the final 10!
Ashley founded The Cloud Law Firm to empower disruptors and visionaries who build generational wealth through innovation and creativity. We protect and leverage our clients’ empires by providing quality and accessible legal counsel in startup strategy, brand and content protection, contracts, and general counsel. You can follow Ashley on Instagram and TikTok @yourfashionattorney and check out her website at www.thecloudlawfirm.com.

Quote from Ashley Cloud:
“I’ve known since I was a teenager that I wanted to have my own law firm. The journey to get here has been full of twists and turns and ups and downs. I’ve wanted to give up more times than I care to admit. Growing up in a family with entrepreneurs, I knew what I was signing up for, and I understand how important it is to lean on your community for support. After all, it takes a village. It would mean the world to me if you’d support me as I work to keep my business afloat and hopefully take it to the next level. Please vote for me every day during the Small Business, Big Wins contest!! THANK YOU!!”

From April 8 through April 19, the public will have a chance to review the stories of the top-10 finalists and vote for their favorite small business at BarclaysSmallBizBigWins.com.
The total prize breakdown for the top 10 includes:
• One Grand Prize of $60,000
• One 2nd Place Prize of $40,000
• One 3rd Place Prize of $20,000
• Seven Runner-Up Prizes of $5,000 each

The announcement of contest winners for the top 10 will take place during the week of May 1 to coincide with National Small Business Week. In addition to the top-10 prize fund, all businesses outside of the top 10 that submitted qualifying entries were entered in a random drawing to win one of 50 $2,000 sweepstakes prizes.

“Over the past four years we have heard countless inspiring stories of resilience and perseverance from small businesses across the country,” said Angelo Disperati, Director of US Branded and Business Cards, Barclays US Consumer Bank. “As we’ve seen from previous winners, the most impressive stories are from businesses that have made good corporate citizenship a key element of their business model. Winning businesses view giving back to the community as the right thing to do and one of the most important ingredients to success. We encourage people to vote for their favorite entry today!”

For more information and to vote for the finalists, visit BarclaysSmallBizBigWins.com. For more information on Barclays’ business card offerings, visit BarclaysUS.com/Business.

About Barclays US Consumer Bank
Barclays US Consumer Bank is a leading co-branded credit card issuer and financial services partner in the United States that creates highly customized programs to drive customer loyalty and engagement for some of the country’s most successful travel, entertainment, retail, and affinity institutions. The bank offers co-branded, small business, and private label credit cards, installment loans, online savings accounts, and CDs. For more information, please visit www.BarclaysUS.com.
Today, many businesses utilize Barclays business credit cards and benefit from the reward dollars spent on business needs. For more information on Barclays’ business card offerings, visit Barclays.com/Business

Rushion McDonald (’83)

Rushion McDonald (’83) is the Honorary Chair of the “Black Men’s Wellness Day” to be held on the UH Campus on Saturday, April 27, 2024 beginning at 7 am. All-day activities include a 5K Walk, Healthcare Screenings, and Entertainment.

Lloyd Bennack (J.D. ’87)

Veteran Energy Attorney Lloyd Bennack Joins Nexus PMG as General Counsel to Support Company’s North American Expansion
Nexus PMG logo (PRNewsfoto/Nexus PMG)
NEWS PROVIDED BY Nexus PMG
10 Apr, 2024, 07:00 ET

Hailing from Quanta Services, Goldman Sachs’ Horizon Wind Energy and Baker Botts, Bennack brings over three decades of legal expertise to Nexus’ growing energy transition portfolio

HOUSTON, April 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Nexus PMG, the leading global low-carbon infrastructure, advisory, development and investment firm, announced that industry veteran Lloyd Bennack has joined the company as its new General Counsel. As the new chief of legal operations, Lloyd will oversee legal matters in operations, corporate finance, employment and other areas for Nexus PMG as the company expands its operations throughout North America.

Bennack brings over three decades of experience as a legal officer to Nexus PMG to support the company’s continued expansion in North American markets. Before joining the team, Lloyd served as the Deputy General Counsel for Orbital Infrastructure Group, Inc., where he supported the company’s construction and EPC work across solar and power distribution. Previously, Lloyd served as General Counsel for EPC and construction firms, including Houston-based construction contractor Quanta Telecommunication Solutions, and Meteor Entertainment, Inc.

Bennack’s legal career began in the International Practice Group of Houston-based Baker Botts, following two years as a Judicial Clerk for U.S. District Judge John V. Singleton, Jr. at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. In 2006, Bennack began his work in energy transition at Goldman Sachs’ renewable company, Horizon Wind Energy. Serving as the Senior Project Counsel, Lloyd spent five years supporting the company’s development and environmental teams. While at Horizon, Bennack was the primary project counsel to teams developing over 60 renewable energy projects, providing legal counsel in risk analysis and management, vendor qualification, drafting and negotiation of contracts, and supporting compliance with contractual, financial, environmental and other regulatory requirements.

“Lloyd’s robust legal experience will be integral in ensuring that Nexus’ legal, operational and financial matters are as effective as our role in advancing the energy transition,” said Nexus PMG Holdings CEO Ben Hubbard. “We’re so fortunate to add Lloyd to our executive team, and we’re excited to have another team member join our rapidly growing Houston base.”

As the new General Counsel, Bennack will work closely with Nexus PMG’s executive leadership to continue the company’s expansion into key low-carbon markets, including waste-to-value, sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs), green hydrogen, and more, in keeping with Nexus’ growing enthusiasm for sustainable solutions across the leadership team.

A long-term Houstonian, Lloyd is looking forward to assisting the growing renewable energy sector across the state. Beyond his professional work in renewables, Lloyd is a member of Renewable Energy Alliance Houston and gives back to the city he calls home through various Houston volunteer organizations. As Houston’s leadership as the energy capital of the world shifts toward net-zero energy solutions, Nexus PMG is helping traditional energy leaders across the state and nation navigate a new energy era.

“Houston has a lot of talent in the energy and technology sectors, and its entrepreneurial spirit is something that Nexus embodies entirely,” said Lloyd Bennack, General Counsel at Nexus PMG. “I’m excited to join the team as Nexus PMG and Texas are perfectly placed to succeed in the energy transition, and I hope to help and participate in it.”

About Nexus PMG
Nexus PMG is the point where project finance, development and operations connect. The industry-leading firm focuses on providing world-class advisory services to infrastructure investors by delivering technical, operational and financial diligence on projects that reduce carbon intensity and enhance resource efficiency. Nexus PMG’s integrated business lines provide end-to-end services within each targeted sector including development; preliminary engineering; contract structuring; engineering, procurement and construction (EPC); commissioning and startup; operational readiness and process improvement. Nexus PMG is a portfolio company of Greenbacker Development Opportunities Fund and is funded by an investment vehicle managed by Greenbacker Capital Management LLC. To learn more, visit http://nexuspmg.com.

Media Contacts
Mission Control for Nexus PMG
nexus.pmg@missionc2.com

Craig Stocker (J.D.’12)

Craig Stocker, partner at SBSB Eastham, has been named a 2024 Texas Rising Star by Super Lawyers. The award honors the top 2.5 percent of the state’s young attorneys.

Ignatius O. Okeze (’79)

Over the years I have written two books. In addition, I wrote an article, “Aim High and Soar like an Eagle” published by Toastmaster, January 2015, the magazine of Toastmasters International with a worldwide readership of over 370,000 International audience. I received great feedback from readers who were enthusiastic about it and applauded it. Last year I was invited by the president and CEO of Westchase District to speak to her Rotary Club members. I’ve been invited by the President/CEO of Harris County Houston Sports Authority (HCHSA) a number of times to give the invocation before the Board of Directors meeting.

Currently my hope is to connect with University of Houston Alumni Eagles (top successful UH alumni) who have acquired wisdom, expansive knowledge and experience. I welcome Eagles to play the roles of advocates, mentors/coaches, to direct and guide me to notice possibilities and encourage and help me understand and develop alternatives in solving problems inherent in my project – City of Hope City of God (CHCG). This is a state of the art infrastructure complex, comprising Light of Life Leadership University, Medical Center, Libraries, Ministries and a philanthropic foundation to God’s glory and for World Class education of the young and future generations of leaders. CHCG is located in Imo State, Nigeria on 11k – 16k acres of land, the size of the land area of George Bush Airport, Houston. I strongly believe (based on human history and success stories), there are many UH alumni Eagles, retired or still working in their careers, who will be excited about this project. My challenge is finding and connecting with them.

Here is a compelling message pastor Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston sent to me: “Dr Ignatius, you were called for a cause. You are anointed for a cause.
When we have a cause, we’ll believe for the impossible. So, let’s not just build our kingdom; let’s build God’s kingdom.”

The pastor’s message revitalized my vision for the project. I have always believed that the impossible is what God does.

Please feel free to contact me anytime at: Dr Ignatius Okeze, Ed.D, MBA / passionate7b@gmail.com / P.O.BOX 720582, Houston, TX 77272