2023 AMIGOS Lifelong Leaders Luncheon Benefit 

The Houston Country Club
Friday, December 1, 2023
1:00 PM CT 

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The 2023 AMIGOS Lifelong Leaders Luncheon Benefit will raise the visibility of AMIGOS and celebrate our history and future. Our goal is to raise more than $125,000 for our youth leadership programs and the Access Program.  



Art RasconLuncheon Emcee Art Rascon, AMIGOS Parent

Current: Houston/Worldwide: President, Rascon Media Group, an Expert Communication Company focusing on media training, powerful presentations, documentaries, spokesperson roles, image control, and building and enhancing communication skills and techniques in your company or to you personally.  

1998-JAN 2022: ABC-TV Houston: Anchor of 11am, 5pm, and 6pm newscast. Traveled extensively as Executive Producer and reporter of numerous Emmy Award winning TV Specials and documentaries out of Central America, Drug cartel violence, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a large variety of Social Issues, and a host of International Special Projects. Executive Producer, Correspondent in the coverage of wars and conflicts in Iraq, Israel, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and throughout the World. Directed the coverage of U.S. Presidential elections and 3 Papal elections from Rome. Lead producer/correspondent on the terror attacks in New York City to cities around the globe and reported on disasters, from hurricanes along the Gulf States to tsunamis in Asia, and earthquakes world-wide, being one of the first to report from Haiti. 


The recipient of 21 Television Emmys and more than three dozen other National and local reporting awards from press clubs in Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami, including two Edward R. Murrow awards during Special Projects Reporting with Dan Rather, three National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ awards, the International Rotary award for meritorious reporting, two National ‘Headliner’ Awards, the RTNDA Award for Continuing Coverage, a dozen Lone Star awards, and 18 Associated Press Reporting awards. Reported from more than 77 countries, Five continents and nearly every State in the Union.  



Since our founding in Houston in 1965, AMIGOS has served more than 30,000 young people in thousands of communities throughout the Americas. As our programs inspire more leaders through authentic service and immersion experiences, we continue to fulfill our organization’s mission in powerful ways. We envision a world where these young leaders and all of us become lifelong leaders sharing responsibility for our global community.   

As the place where AMIGOS began 59 years ago, Houston has always played a special role in our impact. Over the decades, AMIGOS has influenced the lives of more than 2,500 students from the Houston area. We are enthusiastic about this new format for our annual benefit in Houston that will expand opportunities for Houston’s youth.  


Viviana and David Denechaud
Kellie and Chad Motsinger
Laura and Steve Otillar
Samantha Schnee and Michael Hafner

The 2023 AMIGOS Luncheon Benefit builds on the legacy and impact of the annual benefits hosted from 2017-2022 in Houston. Together, these events have raised approximately $350,000 for our programs and the Access Program. Thank you to our past sponsors, co-chairs, host committees, program speakers, and donors of these events. The legacy of support will continue with this year’s event. 


2022 Lifelong Leaders Luncheon Benefit 

The 2022 Lifelong Leaders Luncheon Annual Houston Benefit was a great success! More than 200 guests came together at Hotel ZaZa in Houston on Friday, November 4th. It was a true celebration full of smiles, connection, and inspiration. The event raised over $90,000.  

The event showcased students who embarked on their experiences during AMIGOS 58th summer. Watch the video to see the AMIGOS mission of inspiring leaders put into perspective:  

Perla Quintero, featured student speaker, shared her journey with AMIGOS, which began this year when her brother encouraged her to find a way to travel. Her journey took flight in a three-week summer program in Ecuador.   

“ … I learned so much about myself. I now recognize my limits and don’t feel disappointed in them. I feel motivated to keep working on my weaknesses to make them my strengths. I understand with certainty that caring for and loving someone doesn’t require much time but requires the right people. I learned to love to farm, wake up early to see the sunrise, and feel the kind breeze in my hair every morning … ”  

–Perla Quintero, Student Speaker, 2022 Alum 

perla quintero giving a speech
Student speaker Perla Quintero


Sara Nathan, AMIGOS President & CEO, recognized Betsy Griffin, Trustee Emeritus. Betsy has been a strong advocate for building connections across borders for the organization for over four decades. During Betsy’s impactful tenure, 19,273 students completed an AMIGOS program.   

Sara Nathan and Betsy Griffin
Sara Nathan and Betsy Griffin


Nationally recognized multi-ventured business owner and AMIGOS parent Tony Chasedelivered an empowering speech on the importance of bringing people together from different backgrounds. Tony paid tribute to his father, John S. Chase, who was the first Black student at the University of Texas and first Black architect in the state of Texas. Tony highlighted his son Jojo’s journey to Panama with AMIGOS at age 15 and the curiosity about the world it created. 

Tony Chase and Steve Cook
Tony Chase and Steve Cook


Guests had a great time playing the luncheon raffle, which was a fun new addition to the program. Raffle winners received prizes ranging from a gift card for the popular H-Town Restaurant Group to a champagne buddle and a special stay at the Hotel ZaZa. 


2022 Lifelong Leaders Luncheon Benefit Co-Chairs 

Kellie and Chad Motsinger
Laura and Steve Otillar
Samantha Schnee and Michael Hafner
Kendall and Carlos Solé 



2021 Lifelong Leaders Luncheon 

On November 19, 2021, 200 guests attended the event with 175 guests in-person at the Hotel ZaZa and with 25 friends joining us virtually on Zoom. It was a true celebration full of laughter, connection, and inspiration. The event raised critical funds for the AMIGOS 2021 $1MM Annual Fund and was the first hybrid event AMIGOS has ever hosted. 

WSJ best-selling author and keynote speaker Dr. Stefanie K. Johnson delivered an upbeat speech on the importance of including diverse perspectives and communities in leadership groups of organizations. She shared three ways that each of us can make our workplaces and communities more inclusive through mentorship, sponsorship, and recognition.   


Meah Matherne, featured student speaker, shared her journey with AMIGOS, which began in 2020 when her original trip was canceled due to the pandemic. Her journey resumed this past summer when she participated in our three-week summer program in Nicaragua.   

“…Those three weeks in Nicaragua gave me the opportunity to step back from my own life and examine my exact place in the world. Yes, I am still small in the face of time and the universe, but I still have my place in it, and it is my job to make that space as beautiful of a garden as I can…”  

-Meah Matherne, Student Speaker, 2021 Alumna 


2021 Lifelong Leaders Luncheon Co-Chairs 

Alma Del Toro and Clint Ford
Laura and Steve Otillar
Samantha Schnee and Michael Hafner