Leading texans

4 Houstonians join Texas Business Hall of Fame

Four of the six inductees are from Houston. Photos courtesy

The Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation has inducted six new Texans to its prestigious ranks — and four run their businesses from the Bayou City.

John Arnold, Ric Campo, Jeffery D. Hildebrand, and Paul W. Hobby — along with Austin-based Whitney Wolfe Herd and Dallas-based Thomas O. Hicks — will be honored at Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation's 40th Anniversary and Induction Dinner on on November 3.

“The Texas Business Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its six inductees for 2022," says TBHF Chair Amanda Brock in a news release. "Inductees are recognized as trailblazers in business and exemplary leaders who have made significant contributions in their local communities and beyond, through both philanthropic and civic engagement. Although inductees can be nominated by anyone from the general public, they are selected by their peers and determined by a majority vote by Hall of Fame members."

The TBHF honors business leaders across the state by celebrating and telling their stories. The organization also runs the Future Legends Scholar & Veteran Award Program that grants forty $15,000 awards to scholars and veterans who demonstrate entrepreneurship and innovation at 24 universities throughout the Lone Star State. Both the scholars and the six honorees will celebrated this fall.

“The selection process, combined with the organization’s emphasis on both economic and social impact makes this one of the most prestigious business honors in the state,” says TBHF Legend and the 2022 Master of Ceremonies, Richard Fisher.

Here's more information on this year's honorees:

  • Houstonian John Arnold is the founder of Centaurus Capital LP, an energy-focused, family office investment fund. He also created Arnold Ventures, a philanthropic investment firm focused on health care, education, criminal justice, and public finance.
  • Houston-based Camden Property Trust CEO Ric Campo has also sat on the board of directors of several Houston organizations, including Central Houston, Inc., Greater Houston Partnership, Baker Ripley, and The Coalition for the Homeless, and more.
  • Former Dallas Stars and Dallas Rangers, owner Thomas O. Hicks, is the chairman, founder and partner of Hicks Holdings LLC, a family office that owns and manages real estate, corporate assets and investments, including a private equity firm.
  • Jeffery D. Hildebrand, is the executive chairman and founder of Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Company, Harvest Midstream Company, and JDH Capital. He serves on the boards of Central Houston, Inc., the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston Police Foundation, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Chairman of The University of Texas Investment Management Company, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
  • Houstonian Paul W. Hobby is a founding partner of Genesis Park and GP Capital. He's served as the chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas ,and the Texas General Services Commission.
  • Austin-based WhitneyWolfeHerd is the founder and CEO of Bumble Inc., the parent company that operates Badoo, Fruitz, and Bumble, three of the world’s fastest growing data apps worldwide. She led Bumble’s IPO in 2021 as the youngest women CEO to ever take a company public.

The awards dinner, presented by Texas Capital Bank, will be hosted in Houston at Hilton Americas on November 3. The dinner is preceded by a private awards luncheon, sponsored by Deloitte, for the Hall of Fame's 40 2022 Scholar & Veteran Award recipients.

Last year's dinner honored six Texans in November 2021, including Houston investment manager Gerald Smith, chairman and CEO of Smith Graham & Co.

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Building Houston

 
 

Cemvita reported a successful pilot program on its gold hydrogen project in the Permian Basin. Photo courtesy of Cemvita

Houston-based cleantech startup Cemvita Factory is kicking things into high gear with its Gold Hydrogen product.

After successfully completing a pilot test of Gold Hydrogen in the oil-rich Permian Basin of West Texas, Cemvita has raised an undisclosed amount of funding through its new Gold H2 LLC spin-out. The lead investors are Georgia-based equipment manufacturer Chart Industries and 8090 Industries, an investment consortium with offices in New York City and Los Angeles.

Gold Hydrogen provides carbon-neutral hydrogen obtained from depleted oil and gas wells. This is achieved through bioengineering subsurface microbes in the wells to consume carbon and generate clean hydrogen.

Cemvita says it set up Gold H2 to commercialize the business via licensing, joint ventures, and outright ownership of hydrogen assets.

“We have incredible conviction in next-generation clean hydrogen production methods that leverage the vast and sprawling existing infrastructure and know-how of the oil and gas industry,” Rayyan Islam, co-founder and general partner of 8090 Industries, says in a news release.

Traditional methods of producing hydrogen without greenhouse gas emissions include electrolysis powered by renewable sources like wind, solar or water, according to Cemvita. However, production of green hydrogen through normal avenues eats up a lot of energy and money, the startup says.

By contrast, Cemvita relies on depleted oil and gas wells to cheaply produce carbon-free hydrogen.

“The commercialization and economics of the hydrogen economy will require technologies that produce the hydrogen molecule at a meaningful scale with no carbon emissions. Gold H2 is leading the charge … ,” says Jill Evanko, president and CEO of Chart Industries.

Investors in Cemvita include Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, an investment arm of Houston-based Occidental Petroleum, as well as BHP Group, Mitsubishi, and United Airlines Ventures.

Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and United Airlines Ventures are financing Cemvita’s work on sustainable jet fuel. United Airlines operates a hub at George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston.

Founded by brother-and-sister team Moji and Tara Karimi in 2017, Cemvita uses synthetic biology to turn carbon dioxide into chemicals and alternative fuels.

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