J. Kent Friedman
Chairman of the Board
City and County Position 00
Originally selected 08/31/2003
Term expires 08/31/2013
J. Kent Friedman is a Partner in the Public Law Practice Group in the Houston office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. He grew up in Biloxi, Mississippi, where he was President of the Mississippi Association of Student Councils. He attended Tulane University, receiving a B.B.A. degree in 1966 and a LL.B. degree in 1967. In addition, he received a LL.M. degree in Taxation from Boston University in 1968. He is married to Dr. Ann Friedman, and has five children, Beth, Alison, Brent, Andrew and Ryan.
Between 1968 and 1982, Kenny practiced law with the firm of Butler, Binion, Rice, Cook & Knapp. On February 1, 1982, he joined with several friends to form the firm formerly known as Mayor, Day, Caldwell & Keeton, L.L.P. He was the firm's managing partner from its formation until 1992. His practice has been primarily in the corporate and tax areas, and he has represented a number of highly successful entrepreneurs. When former Mayor Bob Lanier was elected in 1992, Kenny was the Trustee of the blind trust he established to hold his assets, and for the six years Bob Lanier was the Mayor of Houston, Kenny was in charge of running his various business interests. Kenny also serves as Vice Chairman of the Board and General Counsel of MAXXAM Inc, a diversified, publicly traded holding company with extensive interests in various businesses.
A veteran corporate/transactional lawyer as well as Houston civic leader, he is Chairman of the Board of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, which built and is the landlord for the city's state-of-the art sports venues: Minute Maid Park, Reliant Stadium, Toyota Center, and the new BBVA Compass Stadium scheduled for opening in May 2012. He is President of the Mickey Leland Kibbutzim Internship Foundation, serves on the Boards of Directors of the Hermann Park Conservancy, the Harris County Precinct One Street Olympics, the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, and the Leo Baeck Educational Center Foundation. He is also a member of the Tulane University President's Council. Kenny is a member of the American, Texas and Houston Bar Associations, and a Fellow of both the Houston Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation.
He has previously served as a member of the Board of Regents of Texas Southern University and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Houston Symphony. In addition, he has served as Chairman of the Board of Hermann Park Conservancy, Co-Chairman of the Greater Houston Inner City Games, President of the Foundation for Jones Hall, President of the Southwest Region of the American Jewish Committee, and Chairman of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. He has also served on the Boards of the Houston Area Women's Center, Houston Interfaith Ministries, Anti-Defamation League and Houston Proud.
The Houston Bar Association Auxiliary in 1999 presented Kenny with the Leon Jaworski Award, which is given annually to that member of the Houston Bar Association who is deemed to have made the most significant contributions to the civic and cultural life of Houston. The American Jewish Committee has awarded him the Max Nathan Award, given to a member of the Jewish community who has succeeded in both strengthening the Jewish community as well as building bridges to the larger Houston community. Kenny has also been the recipient of the Man of the Year Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Houston Competes for the Cure, and the Spirit of Life Award from the Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Center.