Lily Foster and Bonna Kol Named Two of Houston’s “50 Most Influential Women of 2014"

Houston Woman Magazine January Cover

January 12, 2015 — HOUSTON—Asia Society Texas Center is pleased to announce that our Advisory Board Member Lily Foster and Executive Director Bonna Kol have been named two of “Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2014” by Houston Woman Magazine.

Each honoree was first nominated for inclusion on the “50 Women” list by a subscriber of Houston Woman Magazine and then selected by staff of the publication.

According to Beverly Denver, publisher of Houston Woman Magazine, “Those selected as Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2014 are individuals that have earned and possess an expertise in a particular field or arena and are considered knowledgeable, credible and trustworthy. The thoughts and actions of these women influence the thoughts and actions of others. It is our distinct privilege to be able to introduce these remarkable women to the community.”

Lily Chen Foster, former actress and community volunteer, starred in nearly two dozen films including the role of Ci An in the film, The West Queen, which – at the time - was the biggest budget film in China and the actress was a household name. She later immigrated to the United States, in part for greater artistic opportunities and to be discovered, but as her husband, Charles, likes to say, he discovered her first. She received her master’s degree in drama at the University of Houston under the famed Sydney Berger and returned to China to make several additional films. She also participated in a number of theatrical productions in China, was the emcee of major nationally televised National Day celebrations and, in the U.S., wrote, directed and choreographed the Express Theater production of The Monkey King. The story of her time on the farm in China was dramatized in the University of St. Thomas production of Voices of America. Foster currently serves as an advisory board member for Asia Society Texas Center.

Bonna Kol, a nonprofit executive with 20 years of experience in the development and implementation of multi-million dollar projects, has been the Executive Director of Asia Society Texas Center since January 2014. She has also served as the President and CEO of Catholic Charities of Greater Houston, an agency with an annual operating budget of 30 million dollars dedicated to providing social services to more than 90,000 people annually. There, she led the development of a strategic plan for geographic expansion, service to seniors and housing development. Born in Cambodia, she was with her family visiting the United States right before the fall of Cambodia in 1975. She attended Texas A&M University and the University of Houston earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science and later receiving her MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University.

An afternoon tea, co-hosted by Houston Woman Magazine and Chevron, was held Sunday (Jan. 11) at the St. Regis Hotel to honor the 50 Women of Influence.


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