Houston Woman Wire

EVENT PRSA Houston to hold annual conference October 8


The Public Relations Society of America Houston Chapter will host its annual one-day, fast-track professional development conference on Wednesday, Oct. 8 . The big event is runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Greenway Plaza.

The conference, #PREVOLUTION, will focus on the evolution of the public relations industry and feature experts in strategic media relations, internal communications, industry-focused communications tactics for the legal and oil and gas industries, fundraising and corporate social responsibility (CSR) tactics, video brand journalism, crisis communications and social media.

Keynotes for the day include Anthony Shop, digital strategist and co-founder of the award-winning digital innovation agency, Social Driver, and Serena Ehrlich, director of social and evolving media at Business Wire. Shop will discuss the marketing world’s fundamental shift from a “broadcast mentality” to a people-oriented, “back-and-forth” conversational mentality, and the cutting-edge tools the most successful companies use to stay ahead. Ehrlich will close the conference with a discussion on how technology, human behavior and public relations work together to make 2014 the Year of PR.

Presenting Sponsor for the third year is Enbridge, a leader in the safe and reliable delivery of energy in North America. The event is co-chaired by PRSA members Allie Danziger, president and founder of Integrate, and Dennis Nuss, APR, director of media external relations at Phillips 66. 

For registration and fee information, visit www.prsahouston.org/pr-day-2014/.

NEWS Rice ranked among top 20 national universities


Rice University is ranked among the top 20 national universities and among the top 10 best values in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2015.”

In the new edition of the college guide published today, Rice is ranked No. 19 -- the highest in Texas -- among 280 national universities that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors and master’s and doctoral degrees and that may have a strong emphasis on research. Last year, Rice was tied for No. 18, and it has remained in the top 20 since first appearing in the U.S. News rankings in 1988. Like last year, Princeton remains No. 1.

Multiple key measures of quality are evaluated for the rankings: graduation and retention rates, assessment of excellence by academic peers and high school guidance counselors, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, percentage of alumni giving and graduation rate performance -- the difference between actual and predicted graduation rates. U.S. News weighs these variables differently to calculate an overall score for each school.

In a separate ranking of “Great Schools, Great Prices,” Rice is No. 9 among national universities. These best-value schools were determined by academic quality, as reflected by a high ranking from U.S. News, and the 2013-14 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

Rice was also singled out on a list of 32 schools noted for offering outstanding undergraduate research/creative projects that allow students mentored by a faculty member to do intensive and self-directed research independently or in small teams. College presidents, chief academic officers and deans of admissions were invited to nominate up to 10 stellar schools, and schools that were named the most often made the list (in alphabetical order rather than a ranking).

Rice made several other lists in the new U.S. News college guide:

*  Rice is tied for No. 7 with Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the list of national universities demonstrating economic diversity, as determined by the percentage of undergraduates receiving federal Pell Grants. Eighteen percent of students at Rice received Pell Grants, which are awarded to low-income students.

* Rice is No. 11 on the list of national universities whose students graduate with the least debt and No. 8 among private universities on the list.

* Among the best undergraduate engineering programs whose highest degree is a doctorate, Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering is tied for No. 18 with Duke University, Pennsylvania State University-University Park and University of California-Los Angeles.

* Rice and six other schools are tied for No. 22 on the list of top picks by high school counselors, whose opinions are factored separately from the ratings by college admissions deans, provosts and presidents as part of the academic assessment.

For more on the U.S. News rankings, visit www.usnews.com/colleges.

EVENT Tour de Pink bike ride slated for Sunday morning, Sept. 14

The 10th annual Tour de Pink bike ride, benefiting Pink Ribbons Project, is slated for Sunday, Sept. 14 at Prairie View A&M University. Tour de Pink is the first bike ride in Texas to solely benefit breast cancer awareness and education.

“For 10 years, Tour de Pink has raised lifesaving funds for breast cancer services and provided access to screening, diagnostic services and support for underserved women and men in Houston," said Kristi Okwuonu, executive director of the Pink Ribbons Project. 


Routes for all levels,  ranging from 12 to 100 miles, wind through the back roads of Prairie View, Waller, Hempstead, Hockley and other sites along US 290.

Walk-in registration is open for $40 at the Bike Barn (5339 Weslayan) on Friday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Day of registration will be open from 6 to 7 a.m. at Prairie View A&M University. Cost is $50.


Cyclists are required to raise $125 in pledges to support mammograms and follow-up services for underinsured men and women in Houston. Fundraising incentives, including the chance to win two round-trip airline tickets anywhere in the contiguous United States, are available. 


Tour de Pink sponsors include SOFTLAYER, Bike Barn, OSO promotions, Bracewell & Guiliani, Carrizo, Kirksey, Thompson & Knight, Ann & Richard Cook, Lorie F. Cram, MD, My ‘younger’ sister ROCKS!, Vomax, Top Drawer Lingerie, Urban Bicyle Gallery and UTMB Health.


Using the arts, the Pink Ribbons Project promotes breast health, saves lives and improves the quality of life for those touched by breast cancer. Through education, awareness and outreach programs, the Pink Ribbons Project helps underserved women receive breast cancer screening and follow-up care through services at clinics and mobile mammography units throughout the Greater Houston area.

To become a Pink Partner and for more information about Pink Ribbons Project’s many programs, call 713-524-PINK (7465) or visit www.pinkribbons.org/.


NEWS RodeoHouston names Cheney new VP and COO


Dan Cheney will join the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as vice president and chief operating officer effective October 1.

Cheney will fill the position of Leroy Shafer, who will be retiring after more than 40 years of service to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Cheney currently serves as president and chief executive officer of the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

“Dan’s experience and accomplishments in the fairs, festivals and rodeo industries, coupled with his solid business acumen, will help drive the future success of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo,” said Joel Cowley, the organization’s president. “He’ll be working with a committed and dedicated staff and a workforce of more than 31,000 passionate volunteers. We welcome him to both our organization and to the nation’s fourth largest city.”

Starting in 2010, Cheney lead Cheyenne Frontier Days. Prior to that role, he was the founder, CEO and president of Forbes Capital Business Group, Inc.; director of global marketing and business development for Pro Equine Group; and general manager of The Show Place Arena in Memphis, Tennessee, a 6,250-seat indoor arena and outdoor events facility.

“I am excited to join such a prestigious organization. The volunteer and staff effort at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Cheney. “I am looking forward to applying my entertainment, marketing and finance experience to contribute to the organization’s continued success. I have a strong connection with the mission, as I was raised on a commercial cattle ranch and received a scholarship to attend college as a rodeo athlete. Promoting education and Western culture is my heritage.”

Cheney holds a bachelor of science degree in agricultural economics from the University of Wyoming. Additionally, he earned a master’s of business administration degree from the University of Memphis.

The 2015 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo runs March 3 – 22 at NRG Park. The Show is a Section 501(c)(3) charity that benefits youth, supports education and facilitates better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. Since its beginning in 1932, the Show has committed more than $350 million to the youth of Texas. For more information, visitwww.rodeohouston.com/.


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