MD Anderson welcomes 15 volunteer board members, honors two new Life Members

Dynamic group of business, community leaders committed to #EndCancer

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors (BOV) has named 15 new members and bestowed its highest honor of Life Member on senior members Regina Rogers of Beaumont and Melvyn N. Klein of Corpus Christi.

Effective Sept. 1, the following business and community leaders join the BOV, a nonfiduciary, appointed advisory board established in 1956:  

  • Syed Javaid Anwar, Midland: president and chief executive officer of Midland Energy and Petroplex Energy
  • Clay Bennett, Oklahoma City: chairman of the Professional Basketball Club LLC and majority owner and chairman of Dorchester Capital Corporation
  • Mac Dunwoody, Houston: retired co-founder of Inverness Management LLC, a privately held investment firm
  • Michelle Earley, Austin: partner in Locke Lord LLP’s Austin, Dallas and Houston offices; co-chair of the firm’s Capital Markets Group
  • Greg C. Garland, Houston: chairman and chief executive officer of Phillips 66, a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company
  • Meg Anne Gentle, Houston: president and chief executive officer of Tellurian Inc., a developer of liquefied natural gas projects
  • Fred Hall, Oklahoma City: chairman and chief executive officer of Hall Capital, a family-owned private investment company
  • Timothy Leach, Midland: chairman and chief executive officer of Concho, a hydrocarbon exploration company
  • Eric Mendelsohn, Summit, New Jersey: managing director of Greenhill, an investment banking firm; co-head of Financing Advisory and Restructuring for North America
  • Bob Patel, Houston: chief executive officer of LyondellBasell Industries, one of the world’s largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies
  • John T. Raymond, Houston: founder and majority owner of The Energy & Minerals Group, a private investment firm
  • Laura Sayavedra, Houston: senior vice president for projects, safety, and reliability and enterprise resource planning at Enbridge
  • Lynn Smith, Dallas: community volunteer for numerous organizations and avid supporter of MD Anderson’s Lung Cancer Moon Shot®
  • Tonya Williams, Washington, D.C.: director of government affairs at the SoftBank Group, a Japanese conglomerate
  • Randy Wright, Houston: retired executive vice president and chief operating officer of Texas Children’s Hospital

Joining incoming BOV Chair Don Evans of Midland as officers beginning two-year terms on Sept. 1 are Clarence Cazalot Jr., Houston, chair-elect; Jim Gallogly, Houston, vice chair; and Marsha M. Shields, San Antonio, immediate past chair. They, along with others on the Officers Committee, will officially welcome new members at the BOV’s Nov. 6 annual meeting, to be held virtually due to COVID-19 precautions, and will recognize Rogers and Klein, whose generosity and dedication since 1990 have significantly advanced MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer. Both are members of the Anderson Assembly, donors of $1 million or more to MD Anderson.

“We are privileged to welcome these outstanding new BOV members and to formally express our appreciation for two longtime ambassadors of MD Anderson’s cancer research, patient care, education and prevention initiatives,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “I am grateful for the support of each BOV member’s generous contributions of their time, talent and funds toward Making Cancer History®.”

Life Member Regina Rogers

Rogers, whose family has a 60-year relationship with the institution, has served the BOV’s Public Affairs Committee since 1999 and the Cancer Control Advisory Group since 2012 and the Living Legend Honorary Committee since 2015. She co-chaired the BOV’s Chairman’s Committee, 2007-2009, and served on the Events Committee, 2000-2007.

In 1987, in honor of her parents, the late Julie Rogers, an MD Anderson breast cancer patient, and Ben Rogers, who was named a BOV Life Member in 1991, she established the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence. The award rotates annually among the areas of patient care, research, education, prevention and administration, Rogers also has perpetuated her parents’ legacy of caring and philanthropy with support of the Shirley Stein Scientific Research Award; the Dr. R. Lee Clark Professorship; A Conversation With a Living Legend®; the South Campus Research Initiative; the Fulfill the Promise campaign; the Volunteer Endowment for Patient Support; the George and Barbara Bush Endowment for Innovative Cancer Research; the Boot Walk to End Cancer®; MD Anderson’s 60th, 70th and 75th anniversary celebrations; the Moon Shots Program®; Polo on the Prairie; the Neurodegeneration Fund; Santa’s Elves; the Living Fully With Cancer Conference; the Chaplaincy Fund; the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program; and the Julie and Ben Rogers Breast Diagnostic Clinic, among others.

Rogers, an attorney, community activist and champion for social justice, has established several nonprofit programs that assist the underserved communities ‎of Southeast Texas. These include Julie Rogers Gift of Life, which provides free annual breast and prostate cancer screenings and access to treatment for thousands of uninsured individuals; Ben Rogers I Have a Dream, which has made mentoring, tutoring and college scholarships available for hundreds of academically talented, at-risk students; and IEA-Inspire, Encourage, Achieve, which offers rehabilitative services with compassion, understanding and love for juvenile justice-involved youths.

Life Member Melvyn N. Klein

Klein led the BOV as chair from 2014 to 2016 and has provided insight on the Executive and Officers committees since 2014. In 2001, former President George H.W. Bush, then BOV chair, created the first BOV Research Advisory Committee and appointed Klein to serve as chair. Klein chaired subsequent BOV research-focused committees, for a total of 10 years. He also chaired the Technology Transfer Advisory Group for 10 years and served on the Government Relations Committee, 2000-2001; the Strategic Advisory Committee, 2005-2012; and the Membership and Board Development Committee, 2014-2018.

He and his wife, Annette, have supported numerous MD Anderson events and initiatives, including the Moon Shots Program®; A Conversation With a Living Legend® in Washington, D.C., San Antonio and Houston; the Anne and John Mendelsohn Personalized Cancer Therapy Fund; the Fulfill the Promise campaign; the South Campus Research Initiative; the George and Barbara Bush Endowment for Innovative Cancer Research; Marvin’s Million Dollar Dream; the Nellie Connally Breast Cancer Research Fund; the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program; Polo on the Prairie; Kick the Butts; the Volunteer Endowment for Patient Support; the Annual Fund; and MD Anderson’s 60th, 70th  and 75th anniversary celebrations.

The Chicago native is an investor and attorney and the founder of Melvyn N. Klein Interests. He co-founded GKH Partners LP, an equity investment partnership, and two independent film companies that produced “Sophie’s Choice,” “The Fugitive,” “Shadowlands” and “A Bronx Tale.” Klein’s 25-year Corpus Christi Caller-Times guest column “Feedback” was compiled as a book, “Our Time,” benefiting MD Anderson. In 1996, he was named to the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, and he is a member of its board of directors.