In a three-part series, the Texas Monthly Studio will present the leaders in their respective fields from Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Meet the faces of Houston—industry pioneers from health care to wealth management, first featured in our December 2018 issue.
The Face of Wealth Management
Segment Wealth Management, LLC
“More than advice… advocacy” isn’t just something Gil Baumgarten likes to say about his business. He’s so serious about safeguarding his clients’ money that he had the tagline trademarked. “That is what Segment Wealth Management is about,” he says. “Unlike your typical brokerage, we advocate strongly for the success of our clients—not just the success of the firm.” Baumgarten spent more than two decades at some of the top securities and investment companies in the world before opting out of a system built on commissions and conflicts in order to become a fee-only fiduciary and create a business model that better serves ultra-high-wealth clients.
Part psychologist, part artist, part financial advisor, and fully a math whiz, Baumgarten and his support team focus on “efficient portfolio construction.” What does that mean? “Whereas a traditional brokerage firm offers the illusion that its complex methodologies will produce excess returns for the client, in reality,” he says, “its tactics are often designed to contribute to excessive fees and encourage transactions that contribute to taxes.” By contrast, Segment Wealth Management works with an incentive to minimize drag, using a multidimensional approach to eliminate costs in portfolio construction; forego fee-heavy, open-ended mutual funds; and defer or eliminate taxes for clients. Customized investment plans designed to achieve individual goals not only anticipate the market, they also anticipate an investor’s next move, and Segment weaves the generous parts of the tax code into client portfolios. This approach produces portfolios that more reliably outperform traditional brokerage methodologies. It’s no wonder that Segment’s 100+ clients routinely refer their family and friends, while entrusting the firm with nearly a billion dollars.
3040 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 1725
Houston, TX 77056
The Face of Comprehensive Eye Care
Kevin L. Gee, OD, FAAO
Gee Eye Care
An exceptional eye care experience. That’s what you can expect when you visit Dr. Kevin Gee at Gee Eye Care. Never rushed, always focused on thoughtful, thorough patient care, Dr. Gee provides a scope of service beyond what you might expect from a traditional optometrist. Of course, he conducts routine eye exams, and his office is a premier destination for glasses and contacts, but Dr. Gee and Gee Eye Care offer much more. Complete eye exams include screening for hypertension, diabetes, and vascular conditions—health concerns that often present in the eye prior to showing up elsewhere—and wellness discussions around topics such as digital eye strain and the effect of low-wavelength blue light on sleep. As a partner in your health, Dr. Gee offers evening appointments and 24/7 availability by text message. “Gee Eye Care exists to provide exceptional service,” Dr. Gee says. “More than giving you an eye exam, I want to give you an awesome health care experience.”
Dr. Gee is Missouri City’s only board-certified optometrist and was named Texas Optometric Association’s Optometrist of the Year for 2018. However, his community investment goes beyond being an outstanding small business owner and health care provider. Dr. Gee prioritizes community support and giving back in a big way. His involvement in numerous local elementary, middle, and high schools is motivated purely by a heartfelt desire to mentor young people and promote healthy activities and charitable organizations. His important role as a community booster has not gone unnoticed: Ridge Point High School recently named Dr. Gee to its exclusive Purple Jacket Club for his priceless contributions to the school. “I am proud to live in and care for my community,” he says.
8800 Hwy. 6 South, Suite 100
Missouri City, TX 77459
The Faces of Stem Cell Therapy
David G. Eller and Dr. Stanley C. Jones
In 2011, David G. Eller, former chairman of the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System, and Dr. Stanley C. Jones, an internationally recognized spine surgeon, joined forces to create Celltex Therapeutics, a Houston–based biotechnology company and the leader in its field. These pioneers in the industry focused on spearheading breakthroughs in regenerative medicine using autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative therapy.
Mesenchymal stem cells can fight inflammation, self-regenerate, and even improve blood flow. Because of these qualities, they play an important role in the body’s ability to repair itself. Celltex clients have reported significant improvements from a wide range of diseases, such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, and more, with over 80 percent of clients reporting improvement in one or more symptoms.
Celltex’s proprietary mesenchymal stem cell processing and banking methods allow for the expansion of one’s stem cells to quantities necessary for therapeutic benefit. This technology provides clients with a lifetime supply of their own mesenchymal stem cells that can be readily available today or in the future.
Today, Celltex is pioneering breakthroughs to improve overall wellness and quality of life for those in good health, as well as those suffering from injuries, pain, and maladies associated with autoimmune, vascular, and other degenerative diseases. Celltex has formed partnerships with leading research institutions like Texas A&M University and Steadman Philippon Research Institute to continue advancements in this amazing technology.
Celltex’s visionary approach continues to drive the company forward, and focus remains on making this therapy accessible to everyone.
2401 Fountain View Drive, Suite 416
Houston, TX 77057
The Face of Communities of Distinction
Larry D. Johnson
Johnson Development Corp.
When Larry D. Johnson founded Johnson Development Corp. in 1975, he did so with the goal of bringing more master-planned residential communities to Houston as it entered a period of rapid growth. Today, the company is an industry leader, with more communities among the nation’s 50 top-selling master-planned communities than any other developer. “We have achieved this every year since 2013 because we pay attention to location, develop in areas served by desirable schools, and partner with highly regarded builders,” Johnson says. “But it’s our focus on resident lifestyle and creating a true sense of community that really sets us apart.”
With seven schools, more than 100 acres of green space, a 160-acre sports park, 35-plus miles of trails, two fitness centers, and multiple waterparks, Sienna Plantation is one of the largest of the 17 communities in the Johnson portfolio. The best-selling community in Houston (and second best in Texas) sits on 10,800 acres in Missouri City and is home to approximately 23,000 people. Even after 20 years, sales are still going strong.
Harvest Green is Houston’s first farm-centric community and one of Johnson’s newest communities. An on-site village farm gives residents a chance to dig into a passion for growing and eating local food and provides bounty for chef dinners, farmers markets, a tomato festival, and more. This summer, Harvest Green appeared for the first time on the RCLCO list of top-selling developments in the United States. The Greater Houston Builders Association recently named it Master Planned Community of the Year.
With a focus on people over place, Johnson communities are carefully built so neighbors become friends and families make memories that last a lifetime. “It’s a great thing to create places for people to plant roots, grow their families, and celebrate life,” Johnson says.
5005 Riverway Drive
Houston, TX 77056