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Houston Chapter In-Person Event | How Top Recruiters find Board Candidates for their Clients
Amegy Bank
1801 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002
Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST
Category: Houston



$35   Member Registration Fee
$45   Non-member Registration Fee*
*Non PDA members may attend up to two meetings per 12 month period


Amegy Bank will host the event at their newly remodeled offices in Downtown Houston. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and a networking reception. Parking is included, garage is located off of Fannin Street. 



PDA is focused on Education, Networking, Knowledge sharing, and helping members find board opportunities. PDA provides corporate members the ability to post new board opportunities to the membership so members can find a good match based on their experience and background.

However, listening to board members talk about their person journey to becoming a Director, it is clear that there are no two that are the same.

Besides networking, how can you cast a wider net and land your next Director position?

The Houston Chapter of the PDA is bringing three top recruiters to talk about how retained search firms source candidates for companies and to share examples of how board positions are filled in less conventional ways. These recruiters have a long history of working with corporations and 501.c.3. organizations to build better boards and find the best candidates.

The Houston Chapter of the Private Directors Association is proud to present:

  • How Houston’s Top Recruiters find Board Candidates for their Clients
  • What are recruiters looking for in a candidate?
  • Where do they look?
  • How does the process work?
  • How can you make yourself more marketable and available to Recruiters for Board Positions?


Thank you to our National Sponsors!

Thank you to our Chapter Sponsors!






Jane Howze
Founder and Principal
The Alexander Group

Jane Howze, a founder and one of the principals of The Alexander Group, a national retained executive search firm with offices in New York, San Francisco, San Diego and Houston.  She has more than 35 years of experience in executive search and has successfully recruited executives worldwide in every industry and for every leadership position. Ms. Howze leads The Alexander Group’s board searches and diversity practice, and clients look to her as a valued, pragmatic business advisor. She is a certified Personalysis trainer, sharing her expertise in this innovative assessment tool to help clients build stronger teams. Ms. Howze is also a regular columnist for Paper City and the author of “Best Practices for Executive Search Firms” for the “Inside the Minds” book series, and she is frequently quoted in major national publications.

Prior to founding The Alexander Group, Ms. Howze recruited for Korn Ferry. She began her career as a commercial loan officer for a leading Texas bank, practiced business law with a Houston law firm, and served as Associate General Counsel for a California-based, multi-national financial institution. She is a member of the State Bars of California and Texas.


Alicia Hasell
Managing Director and Managing Partner

Alicia Hasell, Managing Director and Managing Partner of Boyden, has 20 years’ experience creating value for her clients. She has recruited chief executives for mid-size and emerging-growth companies in various industries, including energy, retail and professional services. Her proactive, hands-on approach results in highly successful hires, and long-term client relationships. Each year, more than 85% of her searches are with repeat clients.

  • 20 years’ experience recruiting senior-level executives
  • Focus on energy and manufacturing sectors; also serves clients in consumer goods and professional services, including consulting, public accounting, legal, and financial services
  • Deep expertise recruiting key positions such as CEO, CFO and CIO as well as Board Members
  • Leading contributor to Global Practice Groups, including Board Services, Human Resources, Industrial, and Not-For-Profit
  • Actively engaged in leading the firm’s growth efforts within the US
  • Represents the firm in the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) as Chairman Emeritus of the Americas Council, and is a member of the AESC Global Board of Directors and Nominating and Governance Committee 

David E. Preng
President & CEO
Preng & Associates

David E. Preng has been President and CEO of Preng & Associates since its inception in 1980. Previously, he spent six years in the executive search industry with two international and one national search firm. He has worked on over 2000 energy-related searches throughout the world ranging from board and senior executive to managerial and senior technical positions. In 2008, Mr. Preng was recognized by Business Week among “The World’s 50 Most Influential Headhunters” and was again included in their recent ranking.  Mr. Preng’s industry experience includes financial, managerial, and executive positions with Shell Oil, Litton Industries, and Southwest Industries. He was Director of Remington Oil and Gas where he served as Chairman of the Compensation Committee (1997-2003) and Lead Independent Director (2003-2006) until its acquisition by Helix. After the spin-off of Cal Dive International from Helix in 2006, Mr. Preng was one of Cal Dive’s initial board members, served as Chair of the Compensation Committee, and was a member of the Audit and Nominating & Governance Committees. Mr. Preng is a Board Member, past President (2011-2016) and recent Chairman of the National Association of Corporate Directors-Texas Tri-Cities Chapter, an NACD Board Leadership Fellow, and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors in London. He is also a member of several international technical and business organizations. Mr. Preng holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Marquette University and a Master of Business Administration from DePaul University.



Cynthia Nesser
Independent Consultant

Cynthia Nesser is the owner of C1 Create, a successful business marketing and litigation support consultancy based in Houston and New Orleans. For almost 30 years, the firm has provided presentation assistance, media and evidence management services to both plaintiff and defense attorneys engaged in major commercial, industrial, consumer, and injury litigation. She also assists clients with business plans, pitch books, and proposals. Project management, editing, public relations, press releases, media coordination, are other key services.
Cynthia worked on her first conservation and sustained-yield project in the 90s and has continued such work with a passion. Coordinating with government officials, scientists, experts, public and private entities, and the press on conservation and ESG projects is a primary interest. She has also served as a moderator and speaker in many fields, including sustainability and ESG.

As an honor graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, Cynthia serves on the Board of the Southeastern Louisiana University Foundation having recently completed two-years’ service as Board President. She now serves as the Governance Chair.

Active in nature conservation projects, Cynthia is currently a project manager and co-author of a book about a nature easement in Central Texas. She also works with other conservation and wildlife projects throughout the Southwest.

As a volunteer, Cynthia assists various charities on board development, fundraising, governance, strategic planning, and other board management issues including transparency, conflict of interests, and compliance. Having served as Chairman of the Board and an active board member of several charities, her experience with the many challenges that boards face provides critical insight in addressing those issues.