2020 Officers and Board of Directors 

President Richard Cagney, J.D., LL.M., M.B.A.
Vice President Christian Fitsch Mouras
Treasurer Mallory Freitag
Secretary Janet Pinner
Members at Large:
Selby Clark
  Sally Davis
  Peggy Determeyer
  Barbara Manousso, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Tammy Melmelstein
Miguel Rivera


Your Board of Directors

HGS: President, Rick Cagney, J.D., LL.M., M.B.A.

Rick is a results-oriented attorney/mediator/arbitrator with experience in business, government, non-profit, technology and education. He is also a Parenting Coordinator & Facilitator and Guardian Ad Litem.  His BA in American Studies was from Yale University, New Haven, CT; JD, from the University of Texas School of Law, Austin, TX; LLM, International Law & Trade from Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.; and MBA, in Finance and Marketing from the University of Houston, Houston, TX.

Actively giving to the community, he serves the State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association; Texas Association of Mediators; ACR-Houston (Vice President/Treasurer); Houston Gerontological Society (Vice President); Alliance Francaise of Houston (Treasurer); Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (Life Member); Kentucky Derby Museum; Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.   Phone:  713-661‑9067

HGS Treasurer:  Samantha (Sammie) Lee, CPA  Elder and Adult Care Mediator:  https://www.sleemediation.com Sammie Lee is a professional mediator, arbitrator, CPA, and founder of Sammie Lee Mediation, LLC. Sammie’s baccalaureate degree is a Bachelor of Science in accounting from University of Houston Clear Lake and is a Certified Public Accountant in good standing with the Texas State Board of Accountancy.  Leaving the corporate environment after more than 20 years as a CPA, Sammie’s focus has been on making sure each person has his or her time to be heard. Sammie mediates civil and family conversations, which includes elder and adult differences.  Sammie is a member of the Texas Association of Mediators, Association of Conflict Resolution Houston, and enjoys the prospect of serving on the Houston Gerontological Society board.  Phone: 281-782-9828

HGS Board Member Selby Clark CEO,Owner/Administrator, Comfort Keepers Houston, Texas, since 2004 Selby Clark is the owner and operator of 3 Comfort Keepers franchises in central Houston, Texas, He earned his bachelors of Fine Arts and his Bachelors of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design before returning to Texas to get his MBA at UT, Austin. Selby worked in Austin for a few years, fell in love and married a Texas girl. They purchased a motor home, put everything in storage and traveled the country for 9 months visiting 37 states and 7 Canadian provinces before settling in Houston and raising a family. Selby was the Director of Technology for the SW region of a national commercial construction firm. However, it was his wife’s grandmother who lived to 104 that really got Selby interested in Home Care. He discovered he wanted something more in life and found it, while he and his wife cared for her grandmother. The experience gave Selby a sense of fulfillment as he saw the pleasure in her life never diminish because she was enabled to receive the care she needed at home instead of a facility. The experience really opened his eyes to the benefits of home care. In 2004, after reading in Entrepreneur magazine about the extraordinary quality of in-home and senior care services provided by Comfort Keepers, he knew he had found his calling and purchased the Houston, Texas Comfort Keepers office. Now, through his original Comfort Keepers and the purchase of 2 additional offices, he provides many seniors and other adults the independence and quality of life he witnessed as so important to Grandma Inge. Non-Medical In-Home Care 2907 Sunset Blvd., Houston, Texas 77005 713-974-6920, work         281-222-4643, cell

HGS, Chairman of Program Committee, Julie E. Kutac, PhD  Professional Education and Research Specialist | Alzheimer’s Association – Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter With two beloved grandmothers who experienced dementia, Dr. Julie Kutac has a long personal dedication to serving elders with cognitive decline.  Dr. Kutac holds an MA in Religious Studies from Rice University and a PhD in Medical Humanities from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.  With 15 years of experience in higher educational and medical school settings, including a two-year National Institute of Aging Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Dr. Kutac maintains a professional focus upon improving elder care.  Dr. Kutac works as the Professional Education & Research Specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association-Houston and Southeast Texas Chapter.  In this role, she educates health care professionals and liaises with scientists in the Texas Medical Center. 6055 South Loop East @ Long Drive, Houston TX 77087-1005 office: 713.314.1306 | 24/7 Help Line:  800.272.3900 alz.org/texas 800.272.3900 | www.alz.org We can answer your questions, any time, day or night.

Christine Rayburn Mediator and Realtor


Christine was born and raised in Houston. She attended college in San Antonio and Buenos Aires, Argentina before graduating, Cum Laude from the University of St. Thomas in Political Science, History and Pre-Law. As a Real Estate Broker/Owner of Rayburn and Associates, a boutique, full service Real Estate Company, Christine is a Million Dollar Producer, a TREC Certified Real Estate Instructor, a Master Certified Negotiations Expert (MCNE), Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR), Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS). Christine specializes in Business Brokerage, Residential and Commercial Sales and Leasing, Short Sales and Foreclosures, Farm and Ranch Properties, High Rise and Condos, and Investment Properties in all areas of Houston. Christine is an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Texas Association of Realtors (TAR), TREPAC, Professional Standards and Ethics Committee Member (TAR), Previous Board Member of National Association of Hispanic, Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), Houston Association of Realtors, HAR Governmental and Political Affairs Committee, President of Women’s Council of Realtors – Houston Chapter, 2007. Christine became a Professional Mediator in 2013, specializing in Real Estate, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Family, Divorce, Child Custody, and Elder and Adult Care. Member of the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association and The Houston Gerontology Association, and The Alternative Dispute Resolution Association of Houston.
Languages spoken by Christine Rayburn:  Spanish and English

Dr. Laureen Wishom Mediator, Author, Motivational Speaker, Non-Profit Consultant Award-Winning Career, Business & Non-Profit Master Strategist, Facilitator & Mediator – Amazon Best Selling Author Member of HGS Scholarship Committee Cell: 281.507.1919  Office: 281.584.0348

Immediate Past-President and Former HGS Presidents, Board Members Emeriti

HGS 2018 to 2019 President – Vaunette Fay PhD, RNC, FNP, GNP   The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Nursing Director, Continuing Education Lead Nurse Planner Professor of Nursing – Clinical Nursing Systems

Dr. Vaunette Fay received her PhD in nursing theory development and research from Texas Woman’s University in 1992. She received her Master of Science with a major in nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from Texas Woman’s University in Houston in 1974. She worked as a FNP for Harris County Hospital District- Sunnyside clinic and for Cardiology Associates prior to joining the faculty of University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing in 1981. She is currently an Associate Professor, and since 1990 has served as track director for the Gerontological Nurse Practitioner track.In 1993, she became head of the Division of Gerontology at the UTHSC-Houston School of Nursing and in 1997 was appointed as Associate Director for Education at the UTHSC-H Center on Aging. She is a certified family nurse practitioner and a gerontological nurse practitioner. Dr. Fay teaches gerontological nursing at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has had faculty practice positions as a GNP with Harris County Hospital District Settegast Clinic and is currently working with an Alzheimer’s Day Care Center.Dr. Fay’s research interests include the impact of co-morbidity on physical functioning in older adults and the competency level of nurses working in long term care.A focus of Dr. Fay’s academic career has been development of nurse practitioner programs and interdisciplinary education. She served as nursing coordinator for the Houston site of a Hartford Interdisciplinary team training grant and is lead faculty for an interdisciplinary Issues in Aging class. She is active in the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner faculty and has served on the education committee as chair of the GNP competencies taskforce.  Dr. Fay has served on national review panels and on expert panel on geriatric nursing education. She is currently the Project Officer for the UTHSC-Houston portion of the Texas Consortium of Geriatric Education Centers grant and the John A. Hartford Foundation grant for developing new electronic media for disseminating gerontological nursing content.

HGS, Past President Barbara Sunderland Manousso, Ph.D., M.P.H. CEO, Manousso Mediation and Arbitration, LLC Dr. Barbara Sunderland Manousso, the CEO of Manousso Mediation and Arbitration, LLC, has been in business since 1993 as a 100% woman-owned business. Her work in the field of alternative dispute resolution has been in training mediators and self-practicing as a mediator, arbitrator, ombudsman, facilitator, negotiator, conflict resolution coach, as well as author. A former president of the Association of Conflict Resolution Houston chapter, she is internationally recognized as a leader and mentor in the field of mediation.   She mediates civil and family cases, such as elder and adult mediation. Dr. Manousso serves on the international ACR Standards Committee for Elder Care Mediation Training and has been a seminal international lecturer and expert on elder mediation. In 2008, Barbara was appointed a state Commissioner by Texas Governor Perry to serve on Texas’ Nursing Facility Administrators Advisory Committee. Her baccalaureate was from Brown University; Master of Public Health, from the University of Texas School of Public Health; and Ph.D., from Nova Southeastern University.  She is a member of the the University of Texas Consortium on Aging. 21 Briar Hollow Lane, Suite 508 I Houston, TX 77027 (713) 840-0828 phone

Jeanette Lazarofsky, MS, CMC, CLL JML Geriatric Care Consulting Laugh A Lot, Friends Jeanette Lazarofsky is a health and human services professional with 30 years’ experience as a consultant, administrator, board director, and volunteer focused on advocacy and support of independent living for older adults.  She has a Master of Science degree in Gerontology from Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, is an Advanced  Professional Aging Life Care Expert and spends most of her time bringing the joys and gifts of Laughter as a Certified Laughter Leader and Laughter Yoga presenter. Jeanette has been a keynote speaker and program presenter at annual conferences, seminars and business workshops. Jeanette has been involved with HGS since 2004, served on the HGS Board of Directors since 2009 and was the board president in 2014 and 2015. Phone:  713-874-0793

Boardmember Emerita Faith Brock RN Supervisor Family Tree In-Home Senior Care 2500 Tanglewilde Street, Suite 478 Houston, TX 77063 (713)333.9991
Boardmember Emeritus Brendan Kraut: Colonial Oaks

HGS, Boardmember Emmeritus Virginia Lootens, Esq
Virginia L. Lootens is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and licensed to practice law before all Texas Courts and the United States Supreme Court.  She received her Masters Degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois and her Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law in Houston. She has written various papers on Medicaid reimbursement, long-term care and elder care law.  Her mission is to help make the latter years of her clients as independent, comfortable and safe, as possible and her practice is specifically designed to serve the needs, concerns and challenges faced by the elderly and their families… affordably. She feels that direct planning, having adequate Powers of Attorney in place before problems arise and advocating early family participation in the planning process often eliminates any issues that may be contested.  She is a mediator in civil, probate and family matters, and a collaborative law. Ms. Lootens’ additional credits and memberships include:

  Adjunct Professor, University of Houston Law Center Lecturer at Manousso Mediation and Arbitration on Elder Mediation
  Past-President, Houston Gerontological Society (HGS)
  Member Elder Law Committee Houston Bar Association (HBA)
  Member, Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Houston
  Member, State Bar of Texas
  Member, Houston Bar Association
  Member, Collaborative Law Committee, HBA
  Member, Fort Bend Bar Association
  Advisory Board Member, Fort Bend Lawyers Care
Boardmember Emerita HGS, Co-Chair Scholarship Committee Ellen MacDonald, RN Elder Care Consultant
Boardmember Emerita Donna Moran

Boardmember Emerita HGS, Scholarship Melinda Vanzant EEC Social Worker

For transparency, HGS bylaws of our 501c3:Bylaws2017