Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

Staci LaToison (’03)

Houston Hospice Appoints Staci LaToison to Board of Directors

HOUSTON, TX (Jan. 23, 2023) – Houston Hospice announced the appointment of Staci LaToison to its Board of Directors. Following this appointment, the Board will comprise of 14 members, four of which are officers and an additional six are advisors.

“We are pleased to welcome Staci LaToison to the Houston Hospice Board of Directors,” said Joyce T. Salhoot, MSW, MHA, board chair of Houston Hospice. “Staci’s wealth of knowledge in the strategy, innovation, and investment industries will be an asset to Houston Hospice’s board of directors as we continue to empower families and underserved communities who are in need of quality hospice care.”

Staci LaToison (’03) is an award-winning entrepreneur and venture capitalist with a passion for supporting women and diverse founders. Named one of Houston Business Journal’s 2022 Women Who Mean Business Honorees, LaToison is the founding partner of Dream Big Ventures, as well as a limited partner of Mendoza Ventures, Portfolio, Urban Capital Network and Soften Venture Fund, where she serves on the advisory board. She is an angel investor of Angeles Investors with additional investments in Agility Bank and Specs AI Optometry. LaToison’s background includes a 22-year career at Chevron, where she served in leadership in China, Angola, and Houston, including innovation and strategy management.

In recognition of her business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit, LaToison was named Entrepreneur in Residence for Divan’s “Women in Tech” accelerator where she mentored women-led startups.

LaToison earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the University of Houston, where she currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences. She also earned an MBA in International Business from the University of St. Thomas. In addition, she completed the Columbia Business School Venture Capital and Private Equity Senior Executive program, where she now serves as a Global Ambassador. In her personal time, she volunteers in the community and is the co-chair of the Discovery Green Gala on the Green.

About Houston Hospice
Houston Hospice is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides uncompromising, compassionate, end-of-life care to patients and families across 13 counties Texas, regardless of their ability to pay. Established in 1980, Houston Hospice is the oldest, largest, independent, nonprofit hospice in Greater Houston and a member of the Texas Medical Center. For more information visit

Umesh Kumar Verma (’80)

Umesh Kumar Verma passed away surrounded by his loving family on Monday, the 26th of December 2022, in Cleveland, Ohio following a courageous battle with cancer. He was 65 years of age.
Mr. Verma met his wife, Preeti, while returning home to Mumbai to visit his parents and was immediately taken in by her eyes that sparkled when she smiled. After marriage, they moved back to Houston and had three “strong, independent, well-educated yet compassionate” daughters, Reva, Neha, and Kara.

Mr. Verma moved from India to the United States at the mere age of 17 to obtain his Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Houston. After starting out at Brown & Root and Shell Oil, he pursued his entrepreneurial passion and founded his cybersecurity firm, BLUE LANCE. Thirty-three years later, it has become a leading global provider of IT security audit and compliance automation software, helping companies safekeep their digitally managed assets.

Mr. Verma was also an active community advocate and supporter. He was passionate about helping improve the lives of people with diabetes, serving the American Diabetes Association as Chair of the Houston Community Leadership Board (CLB), Chair of the Finance Committee, 2017 Secretary/Treasurer for the National Board of Directors, and 2020 Chairman of the National Board of Directors. He also served on the executive committee of the Houston Diabetes Resource Center. In addition, he has served as Chair of the Center for Houston’s Future and founded the community organization Cyber Houston, which hosts the annual Houston Cyber Summit, aiming to connect business leaders across small and mid-sized businesses with industry experts to become cyber resilient.

A funeral service honoring Mr. Verma’s life is to be conducted at eleven o’clock in the morning on Sunday, the 8th of January 2023, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston. For those unable to attend the service in person, virtual attendance may be accessed by visiting Mr. Verma’s online memorial tribute at and selecting the “Join Livestream” icon in the service section.

(Kindly note: In respect and honor of Mr. Verma, the family requests that attendees wear the color white, thank you.)

Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception to be held in the adjacent grand foyer, parlor, and Republic Wine Room.

A cremation ceremony is to follow, via an escorted cortege, at the Chapel of Eternal Peace Crematory on the grounds of Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery in Houston.

In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions in Mr. Verma’s memory may be directed to the American Diabetes Association at

Please visit Mr. Verma’s online memorial tribute at, where fond memories and words of comfort and condolence may be shared electronically with his family.

Alex C. Varkey (PharmD, ’05)

Dr. Alex C. Varkey, (PharmD, ’05) has been elected to serve as the 2023-24 American Pharmacists Association (APhA) President-elect. He will be installed as the 169th President of APhA in March 2024. Founded in 1852, APhA is the only organization representing and advancing the entire pharmacy profession in the United States.

Dr. Varkey will be the first Indian-American to serve as APhA President in its 170+ year history.

More information can be found in the press release linked here:

View File

Jennifer Teague M.B.A. ’01

It was because of some fantastic UH faculty that I figured out I wanted to be a professor one day and the field of global business had my heart. I am so grateful for the foundation laid as part of my UH MBA studies!

LinkedIn is:

Dr. Jennifer Teague (UH, MBA ’01) recently received the 2022 Purdue University Global “Organization Builders” Award, which celebrates significant and innovative growth at the university. Purdue Global (PG), part of the esteemed Purdue University system, offers degree and certificate programs to more than 35,000 remote adult learners. On December 15th, a select group of PG faculty and staff received recognition for their impact, innovation, best practices, and measurable outcomes with G.L.O.B.A.L. Distinction Awards.

Dr. Teague, a graduate faculty member and program lead for Global Business in the School of Business and IT, is regarded as a visionary who has demonstrated persistence, consistency, and leadership in the development of an equity-focused Education Abroad program for nontraditional adult learners at a remote institution. This program differentiates PG from other large virtual universities while also fulfilling its land-grant mission by providing an avenue for global and virtual travel that most nontraditional students may not be able to otherwise experience. What started as a concentration in two specific programs (MBA and MS in Management and Leadership) has grown to a graduate concentration, standalone undergraduate and graduate offerings, a Global Business microcredential, and an alternate globalized MBA capstone course. All PG Education Abroad opportunities also provide participants with an opportunity to earn the AFS Global Competence Certificate, which is a distinguished mark of advanced intercultural skills.

“The opportunity to recognize members of our faculty and staff who have been recommended by their peers is one of the highlights of the year,” Purdue Global Chancellor Frank Dooley said. “It is the efforts of individuals and teams like these, and so many more, that have helped Purdue Global continue to prosper. They are symbolic of the passion demonstrated by all our employees, and it is a pleasure to honor them.”

Full release:

Jamica (’99) and Michael (’00) Johnson


I married my Cougar sweetheart.

Jamica (’99) and Michael (’00) Johnson

Gretta Gorsie Karker (’90) and George Karker (’88)

My husband, George Karker (1988) and I Gretta (Gorsie) Karker (1990) met at UH at a Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity party in Feb. 1987. He was a brother there and I later became a little sister.

We have been married 31+ years now and still love going to UH games. Eat’em Up Coogs!!

Loved seeing the Matches Made at UH pages in the latest Alumline newsletter. My husband actually suggested sending in this photo.

Thanks so much and Go Coogs!

Jim Fulenwider (’68)

Jim Fulenwider (’68) recently returned from a two-week classic photographic safari in Kenya and Tanzania, along with his brother, David Fulenwider (’67). Their adventures began in Nairobi, Kenya where they explored the Giraffe Conservation and Elephant Orphanage. Next, they traveled to Amboseli National Park in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro where they photographed the East African Elephant, cheetahs on the hunt and other wildlife. Day 6 found Jim and David crossing into Tanzania in the coffee country to the city of Arusha beneath the twin peaks of Mt. Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. On Day 7 they crossed the Great Rift Valley to the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, where agriculture, wildlife conservation and tourism co-exist in one of Africa’s first experiments of multiple land use.

By Day 9 they entered the Plains of the Serengeti and en route visited Olduvai Gorge and learned about its early history and the research and discovery of the earliest known species of humanoids. Their last stop in Africa was Lake Victoria and the Maasai Mara National Reserve. In the Maasai Mara they experienced via a balloon ride scenic vistas of the great migration of wildebeest and zebras and enjoyed interacting and learning from the Maasai people about their culture and traditions.

By the end of the trip their cameras had found, among varied wildlife, lions on the hunt, hippos, giraffes, crocodiles, baboons, monkeys, just to name a few.

Jim comes from a legacy of Cougars. His mother, stepfather, and brother got degrees at UH. Last month Jim and his wife Charlotte established the Jim and Charlotte Fulenwider Scholarship Endowment for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Jim is a committed Cougar with a long history of spirit and pride.

Clyde Elton Sloan, Jr. (’68)

Clyde Elton Sloan, Jr
11/04/1943 – 08/27/2022
Clyde Elton Sloan, Jr. passed away peacefully at home on August 27, 2022 and went to be with the Lord. Clyde was born on November 4, 1943 in Houston, Texas, but lived most of his youth in Baytown, TX. After graduating from Robert E. Lee High School (class of 1962), he went on to study business at the University of Texas and then transferred to the University of Houston where he graduated in 1968. Clyde met his wife Lee Etta at the University Religion Center and they married in 1968. After graduation, he went to work for Allstate and had a successful 32-year career as an agent until he retired in 2000 and sold his agency to his son.
Clyde was predeceased by his parents, Clyde and Catherine Sloan and is survived by his wife of 53 years, Lee Etta; brother William Sloan; son Warren Sloan and fiancé Micah Stewart; daughter Martha Sloan Salas and son-in-law Ruben Salas; and six grandchildren, Christian, Samuel and Abigail Salas and Alexander, Megan and James Sloan.
Clyde loved his family, church and community. He served as a Scout Master, coach, mentor, precinct judge and was an active church member. Clyde served on his high school reunion committee, the UH Bauer College of Business Alumni Association and the board of the Cougar Cookers HLSR cook-off team. Clyde never missed a UH football game or his grandchildren’s activities and he always lent a helping hand to friends and neighbors.
Clyde’s family would like to thank the doctors and care teams at MD Anderson, Houston Cardiac Clinic and Houston Hospice for their excellent care. A service will be held for Clyde on Saturday September 3rd at 10:30 AM at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, 12535 Perthshire, Houston, TX 77024. A more complete obituary can be found at
Published by Houston Chronicle on Sep. 2, 2022.

Cindy (’86) and Todd (UHD ’89) Breton

Cindy and Todd Breton met at UH in 1985 and were married in 1987. Cindy graduated in 1986 with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management and Todd graduated 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in business. The Bretons are football season ticket holders and proud Life Members. Todd has served as Sugar Land Rotary Past President and is currently the Assistant Governor for Rotary District 5890.

Jake Morris (MS ’09)

Houston, TX (September 8, 2022) – Jake Morris, WP Edge Senior Manager, has joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Big Climb Houston Executive Committee.

The Big Climb is a fundraising challenge where participants climb the stairs of an iconic building in their local community in order to raise critical funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). The mission of LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

“Giving back to the Houston community is something we are passionate about at Whitley Penn,” stated Audit Partner and Partner-in-Charge of the Houston office, Nathen McEown. “Jake’s dedication and involvement with the mission of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society demonstrates his devotion to the cause. We are proud of him and support him as he steps into this role and are looking forward to watching him succeed.”

Morris has more than 12 years of experience in the accounting industry, including six in public accounting and four as a controller. He has fine-tuned his accounting knowledge throughout his career by focusing on personnel/department management and leadership, banking relationships, month-end procedures and reconciliations, financial statement presentation and analysis, budgeting/forecasting, evaluation of financial ratios, debt compliance, and development/analysis of financial reports. Morris excels at improving client relationships and is a highly skilled communicator who strives for maximum transparency between his team and the people they serve.

Before joining Whitley Penn, Morris served as an audit manager and then as a controller. In his role as an audit manager, he led audit teams in performing risk-based financial statement audits for public and private corporations, as well as employee benefit plan audits. Working as a controller, Morris leads an accounting department of 12 people while also managing executive expectations to allow for a smooth and efficient operation of the accounting and finance functions at the firm.

Morris is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TXCPA).

Morris received his B.B.A. in Accounting from Baylor University and his M.S. in Accountancy from the University of Houston.