Seven leaders join MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors

Community leaders serve as ambassadors of the institution and its mission to end cancer   

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors (BOV) welcomed seven new members at its annual meeting today. They include Randy A. Foutch of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Winell Herron of Bellaire, Texas; Isabella Arjona-Zappala of New York; and R. Stan Marek Jr., Walker N. Moody, Jerry Simon, and Cyvia Wolff of Houston. 

“We are delighted to welcome these exemplary new members who have chosen to devote their time, talents and financial resources to help make a significant difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families around the world,” said the Hon. Donald E. Evans, vice chair and Membership and Board Development Committee chair.

The BOV is a nonfiduciary, appointed advisory board of volunteers charged with advancing the institution’s mission to end cancer, said Jim Mulva, chair, of Austin, Texas.

“The addition of these outstanding business and community leaders, with experience spanning a wide range of industries and nonprofit organizations, underscores our diverse board’s national and international presence,” said Mulva. “We look forward to working together as ambassadors for MD Anderson’s world-class clinical, education, prevention and research initiatives.”

Over the past 60 years, the BOV has played a significant role in advancing MD Anderson as the world’s premier cancer center.

“On behalf of my colleagues and the patients we serve, I am proud to welcome these new members with heartfelt gratitude as they join us in our mission to end cancer,” said Marshall E. Hicks, M.D., president ad interim of MD Anderson. “Together, with the combined expertise and compassion of the entire board, we truly are Making Cancer History.”

New members reflect board’s breadth of expertise and experience

Foutch has more than 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry. He is the founder/chairman and chief executive officer of Laredo Petroleum Inc., an independent energy company focused on the exploration, development and acquisition of petroleum and natural gas, serving as president 2006-2008. Foutch is a member of the National Petroleum Council and chairman of the Advisory Council of the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.

, a longtime H-E-B team member, is the company’s group vice president of Public Affairs, Diversity and Environmental Affairs. She serves on the boards of the March of Dimes, Houston Zoo, Houston Museum of African American Culture, the Ensemble Theatre, Community Artists’ Collective and the Texas Lyceum. Herron also is a board trustee for The University of the Incarnate Word and a board member of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, where H-E-B is headquartered.

Marek, after an active duty tour with the United States Marine Corps Reserves, began working as a project manager, estimator and sales manager for The Marek Companies, one of the largest residential and commercial interior contractors in the southwest. He became president and chief executive officer in 1982. Marek also focuses on workforce development, sustainability and comprehensive immigration reform. He has leadership positions in several major construction industry organizations. Marek is a graduate of Texas A&M University and serves on the board of trustees at St. John’s School and the board of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Moody serves as a partner and chief operating officer for Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Asset Management, with operational responsibility for the asset management division, and sits on the firm’s management committee. Moody previously was with Goldman, Sachs & Co., within its Investment Management Division. Prior to Goldman, Moody was a captain in the U.S. Air Force with international affairs and strategic planning duties in the Middle East and the Pentagon. He also was a Social Aide-de-Camp at the White House. In 2011, Gov. Rick Perry appointed him to the Oversight Committee of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. A pediatric brain cancer survivor, Moody is a lifelong volunteer for cancer prevention and children’s charities.

Simon served as a paratrooper in the elite 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army and is a commercial-rated jet pilot. He is active in Houston’s business and nonprofit communities, serving the past 22 years as managing director in the wealth management group for Northern Trust. A member of Angel Flight and Veteran’s Airlift Command, he has used his personal aircraft for more than a decade to fly patients and families to Houston, mainly to and from MD Anderson, for medical treatment. He is on boards and executive committees of the Houston Symphony, Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, The Lone Star Flight Museum and the Houston Area Pastor Council. Simon is trustee emeritus for Goodwill Industries and trustee for the Houston Symphony Endowment.

Wolff is one of Houston’s most respected citizens and philanthropists. In 2007, she and her late husband established the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business, now one of the nation’s top 10 entrepreneurship programs. Wolff has served on the boards of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Shepherd School at Rice University; the Houston Holocaust Museum; the Houston Public Library; Texas Children’s Cancer Center; and Congregation Beth Israel, where she is a past president. She’s a longtime supporter of MD Anderson, chairing the 2014 A Conversation With a Living Legend® Houston honoring Dr. Condoleezza Rice.

Arjona-Zappala is a passionate community leader and is active in supporting and raising funds for health care, college scholarships and wounded veteran programs. With her husband, Ambassador Joseph Zappala, she has helped advance MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer by donating and raising funds over the past 15 years. In 2000, the couple hosted events in New York and Madrid, Spain to celebrate the opening of MD Anderson España.