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About Uptown

TIRZ/UDA Board of Directors

Uptown Houston TIRZ/UDA Board of Directors

The Zone is governed by an nine-member board composed of individuals who own property within the Zone or are the employees or agents of Zone property owners.  Zone board members are appointed by the City of Houston (6), HISD (1), the State Representative for the area (1), and the State Senator for the Area (1). The Development Authority is governed by a board of directors that has the same membership as the TIRZ Board.

Martin Debrovner

Martin Debrovner Martin Debrovnerretired as Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Weingarten Realty Investors in 2008.  Prior to Weingarten, Martin was employed by the NASA organization and reported to the Manned Spacecraft Center. While at NASA, Martin worked on the Gemini, Apollo and Orbital Laboratory missions, where his primary responsibilities included integration of the flight crews and their equipment and EVA training.

After  leaving  the  space  program,  Martin  joined J. Weingarten, Inc. as Vice  President of real estate,  and  in  1984  became  Executive  Vice  President, responsible for the company’s operations. Beginning in 1985, he served as President of Weingarten Realty Management Company until 1993, when he was named President of Weingarten Realty Investors. In 1997, he was named Vice Chairman, a position he held until retirement.  He holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Columbia University.  Martin was appointed to the Uptown Houston TIRZ Board of Directors in 1999, where he has served as Chairman since its inception.

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Dorothy “Dot” Cunningham

Dorothy “Dot” Cunningham Dorothy “Dot” Cunningham a resident of Uptown Houston, served as a former President / Co-Owner of an Insurance Company for more than 20 years.

Skilled in management, fund raising, family mediation, managing political campaigns, special events and public relations, Dot is also extensively involved in numerous charitable / educational / civic associations in Houston, Dallas and Washington.

Under the Ronald Regan Administration, Dot was appointed to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Today, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Be An Angel Fund, Inc., a charity improving the quality of life for children with multiple disabilities and profound deafness.

A graduate of the University of Houston with Graduate studies at the University of Houston – Clear Lake, Dot is married with four children and seven grandchildren. Dot was appointed to the Uptown Houston TIRZ Board of Directors by Senator Dan Patrick in 2007.

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Janice Hale-Harris

Janice Hale-Harris Janice Hale-Harrisis a Senior Organizational Manager for Waste Management. Prior to starting at Waste Management Inc., she was President of KH Technologies, Inc., providing coaching and consulting for business leaders. Janice also served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Houston office of Lee Hecht Harrison. This role utilized her extensive experience providing the world’s leading names in business with a variety of career transition services as well as executive coaching and leadership development. She also worked with Microsoft Corporation as Manager of the company’s retail market segment in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas.


Janice holds an MBA from Texas Woman’s University, and is a graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in communications. Among her professional and civic affiliations, she serves as Board President for The Association for Community Broadcasting supporting Houston’s NPR and PBS stations, is a member of the highly respected Delta Sigma Theta Public Service Sorority and Continental Societies, Inc. Janice was appointed to the Uptown Houston TIRZ Board of Directors in 2003.

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Marvin Kaplan

Marvin Kaplan After spending more than 30 years as the chief financial officer of a major retail store in Houston, Marvin Kaplan has been very active in helping his family develop and maintain financial investments to provide their families a safe and secure financial future.

Since retiring, he has been active in many civic organizations, including the University of Houston, Baylor College of Medicine and Congregation Beth Israel. Marvin is currently serving on the Board of the Holocaust Museum, Houston.

Marvin is a native Houstonian who graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in business, and is married with three children and seven grandchildren. He was appointed to the Uptown Houston TIRZ Board of Directors in 2006.

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Kendall Miller

Kendall Miller Kendall Milleris President of Tanglewood Corporation, a family-owned business that develops and manages various properties in the Houston-area, including the Tanglewood Center and Post Oak Shopping Center.

Kendall is a graduate of Texas A&M University and received his Master’s degree from the University of Texas. Among his many civil activities, he is Chairman of the Harris County Improvement District No. 1, as well as serving on the Uptown TIRZ/Uptown Development Authority. He is also a Trustee of the Houston Business Coalition and past President of the “C” Club. He has served on the boards of The Bank of Tanglewood, The Park People and the Post Oak YMCA.

Kendall was appointed to the Uptown Houston TIRZ Board of Directors in 2003. He resides in Houston with his wife and their three young sons.

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Judson W. Robinson, III

Judson W. Robinson, III Judson W. Robinson, IIIis the President and CEO of the Houston Area Urban League. He previously served as Deputy Commissioner for Harris County Precinct 2; and from 1991 to 1997, Judson served the City of Houston as the Vice Mayor Pro Tem and as City Council Member at Large Position 5.  While serving on City Council, Judson chaired numerous committees including the Committee on Redevelopment and Revitalization, Committee on Fiscal Affairs, Committee on Minority and Women Owned Business and the Committee on Regulatory Affairs, among others.

In addition, Judson serves on various local, state and national political organizations, civic and community boards and various leadership organizations.  A graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, Judson is married and has three children. He was appointed to the Uptown Houston TIRZ Board of Directors in 1999.

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Lisa Simon

Lisa Simon Lisa Morris Simonis President of MFT Interests, GP, LLC, a family-owned, commercial real estate investment business.  Former chairman of the Board for Southern National Bank, Lisa Simonhas spearheaded the vision, planning and construction projects of the Southern National Bank headquarters building, Southern National Office Building, and the institution’s branches in Uptown Houston and Katy, Texas.

A graduate of Houston Baptist University and a former freelance photographer, Lisa has successfully chaired numerous fundraising events for organizations, including Fort Bend Partnership for Youth, Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research, Houston Baptist University and the American Cancer Society Fort Bend. She currently serves on the Boards of Memorial Hermann Foundation, Houston Baptist University, Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest Board in Lynchburg, Virginia, The Museum of Southern History, The Oldham Little Church Foundation, and has served as President of the Rivercrest Civic Association for the last four years. She also has served on many other civic and charitable organizations.  Lisa was appointed to the Uptown Houston TIRZ Board of Directors in 2002.

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Louis S. Sklar

Louis S. Sklar Louis S. Sklarworked for Hines for more than 35 years and   served as the Executive Vice President of Development and Operations. He also served as a Director for AIM Funds-Houston from 1989-2004. 

Louis is an active member in numerous civic and charitable organizations, including Herman Park Conservancy, Real Estate Committee of the Menil Foundation, Reinvestment Zone #16, Scenic Houston and the University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business.

Louis served as a United States Naval Line Officer and received a Bachelor’s degree from Rice University. He was appointed to, and has served on, the Uptown Houston TIRZ Board of Directors since 1999.

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