January Monthly Meeting

January 17, 2018
7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
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Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion at McGovern Centennial Gardens - Hermann Park
1500 Hermann Drive
Houston, TX 77004
Venue website

Due to the deteriorating weather conditions associated with the current Winter Storm Warning, the PRSA Houston breakfast with the Houston Astros scheduled for Wednesday, January 17, has been cancelled. We will attempt to reschedule for a date in late March, assuming it works for the Astros and the McGovern Gardens venue.

PRSA Houston has a "grand slam" event planned to start its 2018 season of professional development programming. Mark your calendar for a breakfast featuring members of your World Champion Houston Astros front office on Wednesday, Jan. 17. 

Here's the pitch: Astros Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Anita Sehgal and Vice President of Communications Gene Dias will share with us how the postseason and World Series impacted their marketing and PR departments, and how they will leverage the big win going forward. 

Networking begins at 7:30 a.m., with the program to follow at 8 a.m. The "bottom of the 9th" will conclude by 9 a.m.

Location and Parking: The Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion at the McGovern Centennial Gardens in Hermann Park - 1500 Hermann Drive. Free parking is available in the lot adjacent to the entry of the McGovern Centennial Gardens (across the street from the Health Museum in Parking Lot C).


Anita Sehgal, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Houston Astros

Anita Sehgal joined the Astros as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications in January 2015 and is now in her fourth season with the ballclub. In her role, Anita provides strategic leadership for the ballclub’s marketing, communications, and media, including support for a broad variety of sponsorship, ticket, special event and community initiatives.

Prior to joining the Houston organization, Anita spent over 20 years in various strategic marketing functions with organizations including FGL Sports, Best Buy and most recently Academy Sports + Outdoors.  She joined Academy Sports + Outdoors in Feb. 2009 and served as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Advertising until July 2014. Prior to holding that post, Anita spent four and a half years with Best Buy Canada as Director, Customer Experience. She also spent four years with Canada’s largest sporting goods retailer, The Forzani Group, Ltd. as their Director of Marketing.

Hailing from Canada’s Regina, Saskatchewan, Anita received a bachelor’s of business administration degree, with a focus in marketing and human resources, from the University of Regina. Anita works hard to make a lasting impact on her local community through volunteer and leadership efforts. She plays an active role in several Houston-based organizations, including her position as an Executive Committee Board Member of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston and as an Advisory Board member of TDECU. She is a Senior Advisor to the board of WISE Houston and an active member of the WISE Within Mentoring Committee, as well as a Brand 50 member of World 50. In 2016, Anita was honored as one of Houston’s Top 15 Business Women by the National Diversity Council.

In addition to being an avid sports fan, Anita loves to travel and embraces the local culture, climate and cuisine wherever the road takes her.

Gene Dias, Vice President, Communications, Houston Astros

Gene Dias joined the Astros in February of 2009 and now enters his 10th season with the ballclub. Prior to joining the Houston organization, he spent close to 20 years with the Philadelphia Phillies in both Media and Community Relations.  

Following the  season, Gene was named the recipient of the 2017 Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence. The Fishel Award goes to the “active, non-uniformed representative of Major League Baseball whose ethics, character, dedication, service, professionalism and humanitarianism best represent the standards propounded by Robert O. Fishel.”

Gene plays a major role in all baseball and business communications for the Astros and supports initiatives throughout the organization.  Gene and his staff have guided the Astros through two of the last three Postseasons, including Houston’s first World Series Championship in franchise history last season. In 2017, the Astros also received the Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence in recognition of the Houston Astros Community Leaders program. Additionally, Gene and his staff oversaw the recent Hall of Fame inductions of Craig Biggio (2015) and Jeff Bagwell (2017), who were the first two Astros ever to reach Cooperstown.  The Astros’ PR team assembled far-reaching media campaigns for each player.  

From 1989 to 2008, Gene worked for the Phillies, first as an intern in the ticket sales office before joining the Media Relations staff full-time. After serving as Media Relations Manager, he was promoted to Director of Community Relations in 2000 where he was instrumental in creating a number of community-based programs and events, many of which are still in place today. Gene also helped to grow the club’s footprint in the community through increased media coverage and by increasing the dollars raised for the club’s charity. He was also successful in increasing the player’s community involvement and was a member of the Phillies Charities, Inc. Board of Directors. In 2003, the Phillies received the prestigious Philadelphia Sports Congress Community Service Award for the first time. Prior to joining the Phillies, Gene worked as a sports editor for Associated Newspapers in Stoughton, Mass.

Throughout his career in baseball, Gene has worked with Major League Baseball, assisting with the media relations duties at several World Series, League Championship Series and All-Star Games. Gene is also currently a board member for the  Houston Chapter of the NAACP and volunteers his time to assist with the charitable efforts of the Astros Foundation.

Gene received his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Massachusetts where he was a member of the varsity baseball team. He and his wife Kandee live in Kingwood, Texas, with their two children.


$22.00 Members

$30.00 Guests

$17.00 Students