Texas' Largest Technology Accelerator Honors Extraordinary Entrepreneurs

Honoree Vijay Goradia, Chairman & Founder, Vinmar International, LTD plus four life-time achievement awardees and over 40 entrepreneurs recognized at the Houston Technology Center's annual gala

May 21, 2013, 14:20 ET from Houston Technology Center

HOUSTON, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Houston Technology Center (HTC), Texas' largest technology incubator and accelerator hosted its 10th annual gala, "A Celebration of Entrepreneurs".  The black-tie event honored local entrepreneurs who have made a significant impact on the region's economy and developed lifesaving and revolutionary technologies.

The Houston Technology Center named Vijay Goradia, Chairman & Founder, Vinmar International, LTD, as 2013 "Celebration of Entrepreneurs" honoree.  At Vinmar, Mr. Goradia heads a leading petrochemical marketing, distribution and project development company with annual revenues in excess of $4 billion and customers in over 100 countries. Experience taught Vijay that there is no substitute for hard work, which coupled with ingenuity, can overcome most obstacles, and Vinmar International Ltd. was born 34 years ago in New York. Vijay also founded and is Chairman of Goradia Capital LLC, which is a private equity company investing in acquisitions of petrochemical assets. Also, philanthropy has always been a passion for Vijay, and through their Foundation, the family supports deserving causes in education and health.  Vijay is passionate about Pratham, a nonprofit involved in primary education in India. Today there are 15 Pratham chapters in the US, which send about $5 million a year to Pratham, India. Vijay is on the Board of several nonprofits including Pratham USA and Pratham India, Houston Technology Center, Greater Houston Partnership, The American India Foundation and the Indo American Chamber of Commerce. He was appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce and the US Trade Representative to the Industry Trade Advisory Committee [ITAC] for the 2010-2014 term.

In addition, HTC also proudly recognized the following Lifetime Achievement Awardees:
AEROSPACE: Tom Short, Anadarko Industries, LLC; CEO
ENERGY: John Calaway, Pattern Energy Group; Director of Wind Development
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Leland Putterman, Acorn Systems, Inc.; CEO
LIFE SCIENCES:  David McWilliams, BioHouston; Chair

"Vijay illustrates the true entrepreneurial spirit which has made Houston the hub for innovation," said Walter Ulrich, president and CEO of the Houston Technology Center.  "Vijay and Marie are such a gracious, generous and successful couple, and mean so much to the Houston community with their philanthropy. We are grateful for his and his foundation's dedication and leadership. Entrepreneurs are the engine of our economy and have built Houston to be a dynamic and diverse region well known for our energy, aerospace, life sciences and technology sectors.  We are pleased to continue our annual tradition of celebrating these outstanding entrepreneurs," said Ulrich.

The 10th Gala celebrated entrepreneurs included:

Juuhi Ahuja, Wise Men Consultants
John W. Allen, G&A Partners
Terri Ammerman, The Ammerman Experience
Lewis (Lew) W. Arend, McKinley Arend International
Cindy Boyd, CBM Enterprise Solutions, LLC
Laura Capper, CAP Resources
Russell  Capper, The BusinessMakers Show
Lee Cook, Phonoscope
Peter Duncan, MicroSeismic Inc.
Douglas Erwin, RedHouse Associates LLC
Kim Evans, Blue Lance, Inc.
Kemal Farid, Merrick
BJ Farmer, CITOC Inc.
Ron Farmer, US LED, Ltd.
Paul M. Frison, Houston Technology Center
Andrew Gardener, Tanglewood Legacy Advisors, LLC
Harry Gee, Law Office of Harry Gee Jr. & Associates
Leisa Holland-Nelson, ContentActive, LLC
Roger Janik, Server Side Design Inc.
Gaurav Khandelwal, ChaiONE
Carlos Lara, Lara & Associates LLC
David Lee, Covelo Group, LLC
Martin Lindenberg, Newport Board Group LLC
Jorge Marra, Cognitas
Jim "Mack" McIngvale, Gallery Furniture
David McWilliams, BioHouston
Chris Melson, Vendor Safe Technologies, Inc.
Phil Morabito, Pierpont Communications, Inc.
Edelmiro Muniz, MEI Technologies, Inc.
Arun Pasrija, CHR Solutions, Inc.
Eric Pulaski, SmartVault Corporation
Susan Pye, Pye Legal Group
David Quackenbush, Gimmal Group
Hugh Sazegar, Techcess Group
Ed Schipul, Schipul - The Web Marketing Company
Richard Scruggs, Salient Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated
Vibhu Sharma, Ingenious Inc.
Christine Spray, Strategic Catalyst Inc.
Jay Steinfeld, Blinds.com
James Taylor, CHR Solutions, Inc.
Jaye Thompson, Repros Therapeutics, Inc.
Umesh Verma, Blue Lance, Inc.
Beth Williams, TechTrans International

Platinum sponsors of the 10th Gala were Chevron, Gallery Furniture, and Shell.

Gold sponsors included Bank of Texas, Barbara & Paul Frison, BMC Software, BoyarMiller Attorneys at Law, Comcast Business Class, ION Geophysical Corporation, Lemonade Day, MEI Technologies, Inc., Pattern Energy Group, Phonoscope Services, Inc., PKF Texas, RedHouse Associates LLC, Rice University, and Vinmar International, LTD.

Silver sponsors included Amegy Bank, Anadarko Industries, LLC, AT&T, BLUE LANCE, Inc., Lynne Bentsen, CenterPoint Energy, Comerica Bank, Doyle Restrepo Harvin & Robbins LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, Charles Flournoy, Frost Bank, G & A Partners, The Law Offices of Harry Gee & Associates, Jane & Jane Kennedy, David McWilliams, Mercury Fund, Don & Jean Nigbor, Oceaneering International, Inc., Oracle, Pierpont Communications, Inc., Reliant, an NRG Company, Spark Energy, Strake Foundation, UTMB Health, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Verizon, and Winston & Strawn, LLP.  Media Sponsor: Houston Business Journal.

About Houston Technology Center
Named by Forbes' as one of "Ten Technology Incubators Changing the World", and one of "Twelve Business Incubators Changing the World," the Houston Technology Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a business accelerator and the largest technology business incubator in Texas, advancing the commercialization of emerging technology companies in the greater Houston area. As a catalyst for change, economic growth and development, HTC's focus is to assist entrepreneurs in energy, information technology, life sciences, nanotechnology, and NASA/aerospace. Visit www.HoustonTech.org. Connect on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter @HouTechCenter.

Our Mission: To enable and accelerate the growth of emerging technology companies for the purpose of creating jobs and promoting economic development in the greater Houston area.

Our Vision: HTC is the hub for Texas Gulf Coast region's resources for building and supporting emerging technology companies.

Houston Technology Center Contact:
M. Heather Dunn - Director, Marketing and Communications - Houston Technology Center
832-476-9235 hdunn@HoustonTech.org

SOURCE Houston Technology Center