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2023 Hall of Fame Inductees

Martin Denari

  • Long-standing record of building profitable businesses and driving growth as a C-level executive with full P&L responsibilities
  • Three decades as a high-level business executive and innovative leader in the energy, utilities, aviation, oil and gas, automotive, and discrete manufacturing industries
  • Extensive international experience and knowledge of the global marketplace, having lived and worked in Latin America, Europe, and Southeast Asia



Dennis Ferstler

  • Co-Founder of FIRMSPACE, a Premium Flex Office Space provider focused on security, privacy and productivity and targeting established professionals with locations in Houston, Austin, Denver, Atlanta, and Chicago.
  • Co-Founder of Alpine Resources LLC, which owns thousands of Oil and Gas wells throughout Texas and Louisiana.
  • Has owned banks and several commercial real estate buildings; has also served on several boards, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch



Sandy Guitar

  • 23 years of venture fund investing experience
  • General Partner of HX Venture Fund, a venture capital fund of funds focused on developing the start-up ecosystem in Houston
  • Co-Founder and Managing Director of Weathergage Capital, a venture capital and growth equity fund of funds managing approximately $1 billion in assets
  • Founder of the networking group, Women in VC in Houston



Dwayne Hyzak

  • CEO of Main Street Capital Corporation since November 2018 and has been a member of its Board of Directors since January 2018. Serves as a member of MAIN's management team's investment and executive committees
  • Previously served as MAIN's President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Senior Managing Director and has worked at MAIN and its predecessors since 2002
  • Has served as CEO and Chairman of the Board of MSC Income Fund, a business development company that is managed by MSC Adviser I, a wholly owned portfolio company of MAIN, since October 2020, and as a member of its Board of Directors since June 2020
  • Previously was Director of Integration with Quanta Services, and was principally focused on the company's mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance activities


Dr. Melanie Johnson

  • Since 2018, President and CEO of Collaborative for Children
  • Previously served as President and CEO of The Health Museum, which she led to become a Smithsonian Affiliate
  • Awarded the national Nancy Hanks Award by the American Alliance of Museums while serving as Director of Education for NASA Johnson Space Center's "Space Center Houston"
  • Member, Board Of Trustees, Co-Chair, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, Greater Houston Partnership


Sunny Zhang

  • Award-winning educator, entrepreneur, and investor
  • Founder of TrueLeap Inc., an education technology provider improving global access to quality digital education
  • Tenured professor at the University of St. Thomas; Dr. Zhang has been teaching in business schools for 20 years
  • Co-founded Born Global Ventures (startup studio) and Born Global Community (501c3) supporting global startups and diverse entrepreneurs

Conference Location

1 Potomac Drive
Houston, TX 77057
Tel: (713) 465-8381