Founders & Directors

Harris County Sheriff’s Office Foundation

Executive Committee – Officers

Chairman – Franco Valobra
Vice Chairman – Devinder Bhatia, MD
President – John Houghtaling II
Vice President and Treasurer – Larry Blackburn
Vice President and Secretary – David DeLeon
Vice President – John Domolky
Vice President – John W. Sinders, Jr.

Franco Valobra


Franco Valobra was born in Lugano, Switzerland and grew up in Torino, Italy, where he trained at the Valobra family’s 100 year-old Jewelry Atelier. After earning a degree in Accounting, he moved to the United States in 1982 to open the first Valobra Jewelry showroom outside of Italy. The new location at 333 Royal Street is in the heart of the French Quarter and is the continuation of a multi-generational business, which was started in 1905 by his great-grandfather Vittorio Valobra, who was the official Jeweler to the Italian Royal Family, the Savoias. A graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, Mr. Valobra opened a new Jewelry showroom in Highland Village in Houston, Texas, in 2006, and in Lugano’s world-renowned Via Nassa in 2012. Valobra Jewelry creations have been prominently featured in Vogue and W magazines and have adorned celebrities at the Oscars and the Emmys.

Mr. Valobra was the founder of the Ferrari Club of Louisiana in 1999, for which he serves as president. He is also the founder and co-organizer of the French Quarter Classic, a world-renowned fundraising event organized in New Orleans to benefit cancer research. For 10 years, he organized and chaired the Highland Village Ferrari Festival in Houston, an annual event that benefits the Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer Unit. He recently received the title of Cavaliere della Repubblica, a knighthood bestowed by the President of the Italian Republic.

Today Franco Valobra shares his time between New Orleans, Houston and Lugano. In addition to running the three Jewelry Ateliers, he is heavily involved in fundraising for UNICEF, Citizens for Animal Protection, Pin Oak Charity Event, Krist Samaritan Center, Boys and Girls Harbor, March of Dimes and several other worthwhile causes, with a particular emphasis to children’s health and well-being-focused charities. He is also a founder and a board member of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Foundation and serves on several boards, including the President’s Council of the Methodist Hospital Group, the Italian-American Chamber of Commerce and several others. Franco Valobra is married to his wife Nancy, and they have two children.

John Houghtaling II


John Houghtaling is the managing partner and majority owner of Gauthier Murphy & Houghtaling LLC, a law firm with a legacy that spans half a century. The firm famously paved the way to the $246 billion U.S. tobacco settlement in 1998, and since then has won settlements and verdicts in an additional $4.8 Billion in litigation. Houghtaling specializes exclusively in Property Insurance Claims. As of the first quarter of 2021, he leads the firm’s Claim Management team that is processing more than $3 Billion of property and loss claims for some of the largest property owners in the nation.  His firm currently manages insurance claims for clients with aggregate property assets of over $28 Billion. 

In 2021-2022, Houghtaling managed claims for over 226 hotels damaged by hurricanes Laura, Delta, Zeta & Ida, and manages more than $900 Million in claims from recent storms.   

Houghtaling is a national leader in first-party insurance litigation and has been retained for speaking engagements for property conventions nationally.  His claim practice has been profiled on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and Business Week, and has been the subject of profiles on 60 Minutes and documentaries by CNN, PBS and Frontline.

Lawrence M. Blackburn

Vice President and Treasurer

As a CPA, Mr. Blackburn currently serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for AF Global having joined the company in late 2017. He formerly served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Goodman Global, Inc. since September 2001, as and was appointed to the Board of Directors in April, 2008.

Mr. Blackburn previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Goodman Global, Inc. since September 2001. Before joining Goodman Global, Inc., Mr. Blackburn served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Amana Appliances from February 2000 to July 2001, when substantially all of the assets of Amana Appliances were acquired by Maytag Corporation. From April 1983 to August 1999, Mr. Blackburn was with Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. and previously Rubbermaid, Inc., where he had been President and General Manager of its wholly owned subsidiary, Little Tikes Commercial Play Systems, Inc. Mr. Blackburn contributes significant industry-specific experience and financial expertise.

Mr. Blackburn and his wife, Deana, are active in the Houston community supporting their children’s schools, church, the arts and numerous other local needs including as a Founding Member of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Foundation.

John Domolky

Vice President

Mr. Domolky heads Spoondrift Capital, a family office which actively invests in public & private equity transactions, real estate, and venture capital both domestically and abroad. Mr. Domolky spent the past eight years actively involved on the business development side of a major global defense manufacturing and contracting business generating substantial enterprise value.

While at Boston University for his undergraduate degree, Mr. Domolky completed graduate coursework through the Harvard Extension School in Real Estate Finance, Business Analysis & Valuation, and Private Equity. John has experience in corporate restructuring, turn around, and real estate asset liquidation.

Mr. Domolky served as a trustee of the Larz Anderson Auto Museum for six consecutive terms and currently sits on the board of directors for Angel Flight for the South Central Region as well as the host committee for the Texas Ranger Bi Centennial.

John W. Sinders, Jr.

Vice President

Bio coming soon.


  • David Baggett
  • Jerry Caroom
  • Roberto Contreras
  • Greg Curran
  • Richard Fant
  • Jay Fields
  • William Harrison
  • Tracy Krohn
  • Butch Mach
  • Steve Mach
  • Mike Mann, MD
  • John Moritz
  • Amber Mostyn
  • Michael Plank
  • Matthew Rigdon
  • Charles Reimer
  • John Speer
  • Alan Stein
  • Ugo Tombolini
  • Hallie Vanderhider
Emeritus Founding Members
  • W.A. “Cappy” Bisso, III*
  • W.A. “Beau” Bisso, IV
  • Patrick Burk
  • David Dunlap
  • Steve Mostyn*
  • John Schiller
  • Joe Rubbo


Honorary Founding Members
  • Anurag Dandiya
  • Jerome Bocuse
  • Daniel Boulud
  • Thomas Keller