In 2024 ‘Cool 100,’ CityBook Ranks Key Players of the Moment. Did You Make the List?

In 2024 ‘Cool 100,’ CityBook Ranks Key Players of the Moment. Did You Make the List?

AS WE PRODUCE our second annual “Cool 100” list, we’re reminded of our thoughts as we debuted this feature last year. We acknowledged that deciding who and what is cool is not only a moving target but also entirely subjective. And that attempting to “rank” the coolest people in Houston is a fool’s errand, one that will leave us immediately open to criticism. “You think she is cooler than him? You included this person?! You left off that one!?"

Well, of course that’s right. But, then again, these aren’t the Nobel Prizes. As we’ve said before, this is a lark, a fun way to fill some magazine pages. But, then again, it’s not not important. It’s our way of commenting on Houstonians drawing our attention right now.

We’re interested in highbrow, and low. We like fun and sexy, and cerebral and poised. We like people who have made it to the top, and those striving to get there. We like the rich and famous, and those doing their thing quietly their own way, outside the limelight. We have a bias, we admit, for young, beautiful and artistic. We’re not necessarily honoring the legends of Houston or the most generous philanthropists, and we’re not ranking the saints. (That’s another list.) However, we are impressed by maturity — and accomplishment in all fields. And kindness is always cool.

Also, as before, to be on the CityBook list, you must live and work primarily in Houston.

Those named to the 2024 Cool 100 — graciously sponsored by Le Tesserae, Exclusive Furniture, Jackson & Company, Bentley Houston and Insólito Tequila — stood apart for their aesthetic and impact, their attitude and intrigue. We love what they’ve been doing lately, and we’re genuinely curious about what they’ll do next.

1. Jeffrey Louis

Photo by Jhane Hoang at Select Studios

For the first time, breakdancing is an Olympic sport, featuring 16 “B-Boys” and 16 “B-Girls” in solo battles — performing combinations of specific moves and improvising to the DJ’s tracks. The one to watch? B-Boy Jeffro, the Hatian native and FitBreak gym owner who’s honed his craft in H-Town.

2. Michelle Alozie

Photo by Phoebe Rourke at The Laura hotel

Mornings are spent training with the Houston Dash. Afternoons are spent in the cancer research lab at Texas Children’s. Summers are spent … in Paris? The former Yale footballer and Dash forward represents her native Nigeria at the Olympics this summer.

3.  Abdiel Urcullu

A former elementary-school math teacher, Abdiel Urcullu is now an Emmy winner: The owner of Houston’s Wigs & Grace boutique, offering pre-styles and custom wigs, won a 2024 Creative Arts Emmy for his hairstyling work on HBO’s drag-queen makeover show We’re Here.

4. Megan Thee Stallion

She kicked off her Hot Girl Summer tour in May and became the first female rapper to headline Madison Square Garden. Her hometown show sold out instantly, but the Houston Hottie, who releases her third studio album later this year, added a second June date.

5. Simone Biles

Will the most decorated American gymnast in history — and vocal mental-health advocate — extend her reign in Paris? It’s looking likely. Her dominance at May’s U.S. Classic included a floor exercise to Taylor Swift’s “… Ready for It?” At CityBook, the answer is most definitely.

6. Emmanuel Chavez

The Mexico City-born chef grew up in Houston, helping run his family’s Tex-Mex restaurants before opening his acclaimed Tatemó in Spring Branch in 2022. He has already garnered wins and nominations for all the major foodie awards, including Food & Wine’s best new chef, and is the only Houstonian repped in this year’s James Beard category for Best Chef Texas.

7. Mo Amer

The observational comedian became a breakout star on Netflix’s Houston-filmed scripted series Mo, with stories centered on his Palestinian heritage. Amer recently resumed work on the second season of his hilarious — and sensitive and poignant — comedy.

8. Vaishnavi Patel

Her novels — NYT best-seller Kaikeyi and the brand-new Goddess of the River — bring a feminist perspective to ancient Hindu myths. The author, who is also a clerk in the federal district court of Texas, counts her storytelling Indian grandma as both her inspiration and her biggest fan.

9. CJ Stroud

The Texans quarterback has endeared himself to his new city in more ways than one: After a fantastic rookie season that reignited the city’s NFL spark, Stroud pitched in to help Houstonians clean up after May’s destructive tornadic storms.

10. Catterina

The indie-pop singer-songwriter known as Catterina brings some Brooklyn coolness to Houston. She just wrapped her Heart of Texas tour, and earlier this year stole the spotlight in a group show called Americana: Women’s Voices at New York’s Lincoln Center.

11. Leonard Botello

The pitmaster behind Truth BBQ who’s been name-checked by all the top foodie pubs — most recently Garden & Gun and NYT — Botello lives part-time in Round Top, where his main mission is to carry on the legacy of the late Godfather of Cool, Lee Ellis.

12. Bun B

Photo by Jhane Hoang; Assistant photographer Andrew Danna; styled by Leslie Rivas; makeup by Bianca Rivas; photographed at The Park HTX

Also known as Bernard James Freeman, the UGK rapper-entrepreneur brought Drake and Nelly on stage with him at his sold-out Rodeo show, and his cult-followed Trill Burgers brand is still smoking hot, having recently added smashburger tacos to the menu.

13.  Gin Braverman

Photo by Emily Jaschke

The Gin Design Group honcho has the Midas touch when bringing top chefs’ vision to life. The design guru dazzles guests with her eye-catching restaurants including hotspots Nonno’s, The Lymbar and, most recently, Late August, Jūn and James Beard-winning Street to Kitchen.

14. Seth Smith

When his friends were signing with college teams, the Fulshear High grad made history by becoming the youngest Major League Rugby player ever, joining the Houston SaberCats last year. He made his first start in May.

15. Aaron Bludorn

Photo by Lauren Holub

We’d be hard-pressed to leave out the proprietor of three of Houston’s coolest restos in the making of the Cool 100. Bludorn has one more on the way: Perseid, inside the Bunkhouse Group’s Hotel Saint Augustine, opens in Montrose this fall.

16. Benji Cooksey

He owns ComedySportz, Houston’s longest-running comedy show and improv troupe. Lately, the affable Cooksey has taken his talents to a new arena: hospitals. He runs Houston Methodist’s Arts & Empathy program, guiding physicians and staff to have better bedside manner.

17. Kellen Sampson

The UH basketball team’s assistant coach celebrates 10 years with the Cougs in 2024. Having led the team to a No. 1 seed in this year’s March Madness tourney, he’s been deemed “ready to be a head coach” by the team’s current head coach — his father, Kelvin.

18. Casey Barbles

The Feel Good Group founder knows how to throw a party everyone digs. From upscale boutique farmers markets to family-friendly fests, she coordinates myriad vibrant events across Houston. Her latest to bloom is Autry Park’s Fresh Finds farmers market.

19. Trae Tha Truth

The rapper and hometown hero came through again this spring, offering post-storm assistance in the form of baby formula, tree-cutting supplies — and a surprise new single called “Rock Out,” featuring A$AP Ferg.

20. Brian Ellison

Not only is MFA grad Ellison a stellar artist, he’s the founder of The Black Man Project, which advocates for the mental health of Black men. He partnered with the MFAH to provide morning meditations and group therapy sessions in conjunction with the Kehinde Wiley exhibit.

21. Monica Gomez

Photo by Jhane Hoang at The Park HTX, photo assistance by Sarah de la Rosa

Cuban native Gomez arrived in the U.S. at age 19 with nothing but a dream. Now she’s a first soloist at the Houston Ballet — she danced the iconic role of Juliet last year — and the entrepreneur behind successful dancewear brand Habanza.

22. Lyndsey Zorich

The influencer behind The Avenue boutique hosted a charitable fashion show benefiting Recipe for Success this spring, and continues to roll out new mini collections — think a dress and matching separates — of her brand Mason’s Daughter.

23. Andrew Geisel

Photo by Becca Wright

The cofounder of Australian café chain Citizens selected Houston over Austin for its first Texas outpost — and for his own home. The jazz aficionado and turntable enthusiast also designs and outfits the diners himself!

24. Hunter Bell

The winner of NBC’s Fashion Star and designer of feminine frocks relocated from New York to Houston nearly 10 years ago. Her biz has only grown since then; her eponymous line, available at boutiques like Frock Shop and Tootsies, recently expanded to include swimwear.

25. Nina Magon

Photo by Jay Marroquin

The design powerhouse behind glam spaces worldwide, Magon boasts product collaborations with Cosentino, Studio M Lighting, Balmain and others. Closer to home, crystal-bedecked Cocody on West Gray is her newest masterpiece.

26. Donald Johnson

As one-third of Houston’s Khruangbin, arguably one of the city’s coolest musical exports, Johnson’s trance-like drumming is the engine that keeps the trio flying. The band’s new album A La Sala dropped in April, and a summer tour is underway.

27. Jennifer Mathieu

Photo by Daniel Ortiz

The author of several young-adult novels, including the smash-hit Moxie which became a movie, Mathieu makes her adult debut in July. The Faculty Lounge is set in a Texas high school, and celebrates dedicated teachers navigating today’s controversial school issues.

28. Brett Ishida

The Japanese-American beauty, a lifelong dancer and former teacher to those with special needs, was commissioned to choreograph a new piece for the Houston Ballet next season. And her must-see Ishida Dance troupe performs in June at Asia Society.

29. Jason Mok

Photo by Marco Torres

New sports bar PKL Social off Washington offers pickleball for players of all skill levels. But operating partner Mok is a former Rice tennis player and plays the trendy hybrid of ping-pong and tennis professionally.

30. Adrian Dueñas

When the Ecuador-born CEO of chic Euro décor store BeDesign opened shop in Montrose years ago, he took a chance on Houston. His wager — that H-Town is wealthy and sophisticated enough to embrace brands like Paola Lenti and B&B Italia — paid off. In fact, BeDesign just completed a major expansion.

31. Israel Rodriquez

The self-taught artist created a vibrant, abstracted portrait of Jeremy Peña for the cover of last year’s Cool 100 issue. Since then? He’s been doing live paintings at A-list events, and has his first solo show in June at Sanman Studios.

32. ShaWanna Renee Rivon

Award-winning playwright and comedic cultural curator Rivon creates shows for all the big theaters in Houston. Commissioned by the Alley, Rivon’s newest play is about Houston’s “wild man of the tenor sax,” jazz master Arnett Cobb.

33. Sergio Trevino

Photo by Steve Visneau

Trevino may be the busiest man in Houston music. He’s the frontman for long-beloved Houston group Buxton … and the very hip bluegrass mashup Ancient Cat Society … and the electro-folk project Guess Genes … and indie rockers Vodi.

34. Reginald Adams

The Houston artist behind the “Absolute Equality” mural celebrating Juneteenth in Galveston has inspired and commissioned artists in 14 other cities to create similar murals telling the Black freedom story.

35. Raven Justine Troupe

The beautiful young actress has had roles in big shows this year, including in the Alley’s much talked-about world-premiere production of an unfinished Thornton Wilder play, The Emporium, as well as ShaWanna Renee Rivon’s Emancipation.

36. Dawn Ohmer

Now in her fifth year with Anya Tish Gallery, Ohmer’s rep as one of Houston’s most creative gallery directors is on the grow. In July, Ohmer presents an exhibition by Colombian-Houstonian Tatiana Escallón, followed by an August pop-up of art by past Anya Tish interns.

37 & 38. Alex and Reagan Bregman

Photo by Steve Visneau

The hits keep coming for the Astros star and his model-entrepreneur wife. The pair relaunched their salsa brand as Wild Sol, and Reagan’s new jewelry line, With Love, is chic and stylish. (Their kid is pretty cute, too!)

39. Jason Johnson

The CEO of MetroNational, which owns developments including Memorial City, has secured more than a dozen LEED certifications for new builds and renovations, and landed first-to-market tenants like Mango and Uniqlo. Also cool? He’s a youth baseball coach and Kids Meals volunteer.

40. Fred VanVleet

The Rockets’ season had a rough start, but the team finished right at .500 this year. Point guard VanVleet, whose three-year, $130 million deal was the largest ever for an undrafted player, is a big reason why.

41. Avery Belyeu 

In February, at age 38, Belyeu became the first openly transgender CEO of a LGBTQ+ center in the United States when she took the helm at The Montrose Center. She’s familiar with the cause, having previously worked with The Trevor Project and Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

42. Jenn Rossi

She runs The Cause Urban Winery — each varietal benefits a different org — and hopes to open a tasting room later this year. Her new Ritenuto Red Blend won silver at Rodeo Uncorked!; proceeds go to the Symphony.

43. Lebrina Jackson

An entrepreneur since childhood — she sold homemade popsicles to her Fifth Ward neighbors — she now owns couples-fave Escape spa in Cypress. Her personal life is cool, too, with a happy marriage to NFL pro William Jackson, as she still pursues a lifelong passion for equestrian sports and raising horses.

44. Andre Johnson 

The former wide receiver will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, the first Texans player to earn the distinction.

45. Steve Radom

Photo by Gittings Photography

Radom Capital honcho Steve is the force behind transformative projects like Montrose Collective, M-K-T and Heights Mercantile. Up next? Redos of the Westheimer tract that includes the 1930s-era Tower Theater, and the Heights’ Swift Building.

46. Linsay Radcliffe

With handwoven hats by Latin American artisans, her Freya brand has become a go-to for fashion-forward gals about town (and beyond). Shop her still-new boho-chic boutique, housed in a West U bungalow.

47. Shelbi Nicole

Her bold murals with splashes and dollops of color can be spotted inside and outside buildings all over Houston. But lately, the blonde bombshell has been painting other surfaces — like Coach handbags and Tina Zulu kimonos.

48. Travis Shirley

It’s hard not to be impressed by globetrotting major-concert production designer Shirley, as he continues to make the coolest names in global music even cooler. Last year he was coming off the glow of Bad Bunny’s record-shattering tour. More recently: Dan and Shay, plus major Latin acts like Baby Miko, Carol G and Enrique Iglesias.

49. Cedric Zavattiero

An arboriculture technician, Zavattiero cuts down diseased trees at Memorial Park. But the life of those trees doesn’t end there: He creates sculptures and wood carvings from the stumps and uses them to decorate the park.

50. Pooja Jesrani

A flight director at the Johnson Space Center, the Montrose resident and young mom is only the fifteenth female (out of more than 100!) to hold the title. Her job is to ensure the safety of the crew and vehicle and achieve “mission success.”

51. Jastin Martin

Photo by Jhane Hoang

The Def Jam Records trap-soul-R&B artist released her first full length album recently, and is touring this summer with Omarion.

52. Mike Mahlstedt

The handsome dad of two adorable towheads, Mahlstedt just hit $1 billion in career sales! Philanthropic and community-engaged, the Compass agent is as gregarious and kind as he is successful.

53. Austin Waiter

This summer, executive chef/partner Waiter will bring the refined tastes of London to Montrose with The Marigold Club, an upscale British dining club from Goodnight Hospitality (March, Rosie Cannonball, Montrose Cheese & Wine). Waiter and wife Shannon recently welcomed their first bundle of joy, a baby boy named Terry!

54. Jack Freeman

Photo by Cory Dixon

Frequent collaborator with artists like Lil Keke, Freeman bills himself as “your favorite rapper’s favorite singer.” He just dropped his full-length album Nina, produced by hitmaker Bryan-Michael Cox.

55 & 56: Greg Gatlin and Michelle Wallace

Photo by Phoebe Rourke at Private Client

It’s not uncommon for Houston chefs, especially accomplished ones like James Beard-nominated Gatlin and current Top Chef contender Wallace, to be friendly and collaborative. But these two pitmaster pros share more than a career path: Wallace helped run Gatlin’s BBQ and Fins and Feather for years before launching her B’Tween Sandwich Co. popup — a dream Gatlin himself encouraged.

57. Lily Barfield

Photo by Fernanda Varela

It’s been said that if it exists in the world, there’s an influencer for it. Enter Lily Barfield, the antiques influencer behind the Lily’s Vintage Finds Instagram page — and a newly minted bed-and-breakfast owner, having purchased a neoclassical Montrose mansion that will soon be The Marlene.

58. Kara Branch

The founder of the nonprofit Black Girls Do Engineer, the chemical engineer and author hosts S.T.E.M. workshops and summer camps to inspire girls as young as six to access and pursue careers in fields like coding and aerospace.

59. Salise Shuttlesworth

After opening Friends for Life, which was, at the time, Houston’s only no-kill shelter, Shuttlesworth teamed up with the city for a first-of-its-kind partnership: Fix Houston neuters cats in underserved neighborhoods and provides services to pets of the unhoused. She travels all over the U.S. helping other cities set up similar programs.

60. Amanda Solis

Discovered at a karaoke competition years ago, the sought-after Selena impersonator is currently touring with a set list that also includes songs she’s written and will appear on her debut album Space Vacquera later this year.

61. Teri Pugh

Her aesthetic is simultaneously timeless and pointedly up-to-date, as evidenced through impeccably designed rooms over the course of nearly 30 years. Her latest project is the sleek and chic Elite Dermatology office on Shepherd.

62. Livia Eberlin

Photo by Phoebe Rourke at Hamsa

The Baylor College of Medicine physician and researcher won a prestigious chemistry award in December for her development of the MasSpec Pen — a handheld tool that can detect the presence of cancer cells during surgery.

63. Nishita Parekh

Photo by Jhane Hoang at the author's home

Sheltering with family during Harvey was the inspiration for Mumbai-born Parekh’s debut novel The Night of the Storm, a classic “locked-room mystery” with a South Asian spin. It’s already a best-seller.

64. Katie Stone

Determined to carry on her mom’s legacy — Cleverley Stone founded Houston Restaurant Weeks in 2003 and passed away in 2020 — the younger Stone has launched sister event Eat Drink HTX, and also has a new show, Foodies & Friends, on Fox 26.

65. Kris Larson

Previously at the helm of L.A.’s Hollywood Partnership, Larson was named the President of Central Houston, Inc., Downtown’s economic-development group, tasked with helping the district recover and thrive post-pandemic. He’s a champion of pedestrian spaces and affordable housing — cool and cool.

66. Moriah Alise

YouTuber Alise’s “Dear Glory” channel demystifies the business of making and collecting art, and as the founder of Alise Art Group, she provides artists with the knowledge and resources to take their work to the next level.

67. Tyler Kay

The UH grad has traveled all over, splashing color on walls across the globe — from a series of six public-art installations on Skopelos Island, Greece, to a collaboration with the Starbucks Art Program at the coffeeshop on Uvalde Road here in Houston.

68. Erica Luttmann

Photo by Kelli Durham

Her modest upbringing has informed her outlook and disposition, which happen to align with the name of her business: Lovelykind Beauty. With a hair and makeup studio in the Heights, the mom — who is also a competitive Brazilian jiu-jitsu athlete — recently added a rentable photo studio and expanded her menu to include services like microneedling and dermaplaning.

69. Zinat Ahmed

She’s polished and glamorous, and the first female executive at Cotton Holdings. The VP of marketing and branding, at just 30 years old, organized one of Rodeo’s biggest parties ever this year, a huge Cookoff bash with caviar and martinis. Cheers!

70. Adam Ross

The Suit Boss, handsome tailor to movie stars and sports pros, continues to build his rep for making fabulous threads for the coolest dudes — in a fun, boy’s-club space with a bar and games. And now Ross is expanding the operation to Dallas.

71. Brittany Hebert Franklin

The founder of Sky High for Kids, which funds pediatric cancer research, hosts a half-dozen mega fundraising events annually — and that’s just in Houston. Her org has expanded to New Orleans, Tulsa and four other cities.

72. Emre Ozsut

He looks like an international man of mystery; Turkish-born Ozsut and fiancé Jordan Khalil make a dashing pair hitting up the performing arts performances and fundraising galas they love to support. But there’s not much mystery to it: Ozmut is the hardworking director of sales at The Lancaster Hotel, happily celebrating a decade as a grateful, civically engaged Houstonian this year.

73. Adam Krall

Photo by Phoebe Rourke at Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts

The Houston-born tenor just made his HGO mainstage debut as Rolf in the sold-out smash The Sound of Music. Only 21, Kral is an old soul, inspired by the golden age of musical theater. Catch him in The Wizard of Oz at West Houston’s Queensbury Theatre in July.

74. Christina Wells

A single mom and former nurse with a heart-tugging back story, Wells blew the doors off America’s Got Talent in 2018 with her powerful voice. Ever since, she’s been chewing up stages in Houston and beyond. She slayed as Ursula in TUTS’ Little Mermaid, and just weeks ago in Newsies.

75. Tim Reading

Photo by Ashkan Roayaee

During Covid, the Boston-reared Reading found himself without a job and began gigging as a private chef. His biz picked up steam, and after a stint as exec chef at Underbelly Hospitality’s GJ Tavern, he’ll man the kitchen at the forthcoming Leo’s in River Oaks.

76. Thy Mitchell

Her globally inspired resto Traveler’s Table, which she runs with her husband, is a hit. And in 2023, she launched Foreign Fare, a clothing brand designed for travelers that’s as functional as it is stylish. Her next course will be Traveler’s Cart, opening soon and serving street food from around the world.

77. Kathryn Lott

From one cool org to another! Lott recently made the jump from executive director of the Southern Smoke Foundation to the president of Discovery Green, where she’s expanding programming.

78. Casey McNeill

Chocolate and alcohol — sold! The creator of Case Chocolates, which has a tasting room in EaDo, fills chocolate truffles with Maker’s Mark, Bailey’s and more. He also pairs the treats with top-shelf liquor and cocktails.

79. Johann Fitch

Photo by Jhane Hoang with styling by Angelique Gioldasis, styling assistance by Andrew Aguilar; grooming by Hannah Breshears

After actor Fitch’s daring turn in the smash Netflix special-forces sendup Obliterated in the fall — he played a stripper and went full-frontal and can we say, just wow — he’ll appear as a lovelorn suitor in streaming romcom Say a Little Prayer later this summer. Then the newly minted UH grad, 23, is off to Hollywood to pursue his acting dream full-time.

80. Valen the Valentine

The Filipina R&B singer-songwriter born on Valentine’s Day may be newer to the Houston music scene, but the sultry lyricist is making moves by hosting industry events like a Memorial Day weekend showcase at AvantGarden.

81. Katie Creeggan Rios

The UH grad and former Alley and HGO stage manager is the new executive director of Houston Cinema Art Society, which puts on a film fest in November, and welcomes back the popular Border|No Borders competition.

82. Jordan Strouse

Attorney, fitness buff and South Africa native Strouse recently expanded his OneSweat brand by acquiring five Reach Stretch & Recovery studios and opening a sixth across the street from OneSweat’s flagship studio in the Heights.

83. Christina Greene

Turquoise and gold never goes out of style here — especially if you ask longtime jewelry designer Greene, whose brand new eponymous boutique on Voss has baubles for even the littlest Texans.

84. Anita Bateman

As the MFAH’s associate curator of modern and contemporary art, Bateman has facilitated collaboration among the city’s museums, galleries and non-profits, as in the community-empowered weekend Black Art Houston.

85. Melissa Tello

There may not be a prettier place to work out in Houston than Tello’s The Studio Be, in Montrose and the Heights. In addition to reformer and mat pilates, yoga, aerial and TRX classes, find workshops, trainings and certifications for your inner yogi and beyond.

86. Amir Taghi

Hailing from Houston’s first family of textiles, the young fashion designer’s eponymous women’s line, made in New York, most recently touts a glamorously eclectic fall collection of architectural dresses and separates — some with crystals, others with patchwork.

87. Demola

Viral TikTokking violinist Ademola Daniel Babafemi serenades partygoers at some of the city’s most glam galas, but will skew a little more hip-hop in his August show at 713 Music Hall.

88. Itai Ben Eli

The Sof Hospitality honcho already has foodie faves Doris Metropolitan, Hamsa and Badolina. This year he adds Októ, opening late summer in Montrose Collective on Westheimer. Expect a curated, seasonally changing Mediterranean menu — and an emphasis on a lively nighttime bar scene. Cool!

89. Tay Powers

A graduate of HSPVA and NYU’s Clive Davis Institute, DJ Powers spins Afrobeats and Amapiano tracks at late-night events and festivals all over. She’s just back from Afro Rosé fest in D.C.

90. Jaison Oliver

The Yale grad, educator and community organizer finds unique ways to, in his words, “make things better.” He hosts Wikipedia Edit-a-thons to create, update and improve articles about Black artists.

91. Travis McShane

He somehow managed to open Montrose’s Ostia restaurant in the peak of Covid madness in 2020. Ever since, chef McShane — a Kingwood native who made his bones at big restaurants in New York and Nashville before coming home — has seen his star quietly but steadily rise. Folks love the breezy vibe of his patio-savvy space, and of McShane’s effortlessly cool Mediterranean-inspired menu.

92. Tommy Ralph Pace

Photo by Emily Jaschke

He helmed Houston’s quirkiest cultural org from 2020 until just this spring. As Orange Show’s executive director, the champion of contemporary art ushered forward plans for its seven-acre campus with plenty of parking — for visitors and for Art Cars.

93. Jentry Kelly

A go-to makeup artist, Kelley runs a successful eponymous cosmetics line, and just launched an investing podcast with her handsome hubby, Shawn Lynch. Next project? A little sister for young son Liam! Kelley is due in August.

94. Rhet Langley

Former Air Force anesthesiologist Langley recently brought a dose of cool to the Heights, opening Thrive Performance & Regenerative Medicine integrative wellness clinic on 18th Street. There’s hormone balancing, anti-aging services, stem-cell therapy, pain management and more.

95 & 96. Abigail Henningson Haley and Ally Ondazara

The co-owners of Avant Art Gallery bought the biz from former artist-gallerist Christopher Martin, and made it their own. Between attending some of the social scene’s most exclusive events and uncovering the art scene’s next big stars, these two keep busy.

97. Allison Brockman

Her Fan Dress business began at her dining-room table, where she’d hand-make outfits for her daughters using Astros jerseys and some flowy material for an attached skirt. Fast forward a few months, and Brockman is at the World Series watching Altuve’s daughters spinning around in Fan Dresses!

98. Alexandra Killion

Beautiful blonde interior designer Killion recently opened a showroom in Spring Branch, where shoppers can browse her brand-new AK Collective furniture line as well as a bevy of antique and vintage scores.

99. Yue Bao

The Shanghai native has an astounding four degrees in music, including two in orchestral conducting. Now an assistant conductor with the Houston Symphony, the globetrotting musician values collaboration with her instrumentalists.

100. Ashley Gooch

Photo by Kelli Durham

A serial entrepreneur, Gooch helped usher in the city’s boutique fitness obsession with her Ryde spin studios. And now she’s helping fellow parents with her new magnetic-babygear line — think bibs and, soon, onesies — called Babynetic.

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