Bay Area Houston Magazine January 2015

Page 1

A new year and a time for new retirement strategies

Hot Decorating Trends for 2015 2014 Holiday Party Photos Houston to Dallas Bullet Train



ON THE COVER Summer Roberts, managing partner of Roberts Wealth Management.


Publisher & Editor in Chief Mary Alys Cherry Executive Vice President Patty Kane Vice President & Creative Director Brandon Rowan Graphic Designer Kelly Groce


Editorial Don Armstrong Mary Alys Cherry Rod Evans Michael Gos Capt. Joe Kent Betha Merit Cathy Osoria Pat Patton Dr. Edward Reitman


Distribution Shinkle Distribution Bay Area Houston Magazine is produced monthly. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced by any means whatsoever without written permission. Advertising rates are available upon request. Please address all correspondence to: Bay Area Houston Magazine P.O. Box 1032 Seabrook, TX 77586



Clear Lake’s Exploration Green


Same day permanent fillings


Both alumni and professors honored


Celebrating with Claudio’s Restaurant & Piano Bar


Photos from 2014’s holiday celebrations


Helping you reach your financial dreams


Dredging projects on schedule


Former Houston mayor passes on

Dental Health UHCL Alumni Celebration Bay Area Houston Magazine Cover Party Holiday Parties Across Bay Area Houston Roberts Wealth Management Maritime and Petrochemical News Nuggets


17 serving on chamber board

Business Buzz


A ride in the fast, fast lane

Houston to Dallas Bullet Train

42 Transportation Help is on the way 58

SHSU Bearkat Cheerleading Danielle Ferris follows in father’s footsteps


Digital Strategy Consultant Pierr Castillo Photography Mary Alys Cherry Brian Stewart

Protected from commercial development forever

39 Wellness How the food industry exploits our weakness for sugar

President & Chairman Rick Clapp

Sales & Marketing Shannon Alexander Debbie Salisbury Lisa Waxman



Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015


Kirk Lewis

Movers & Shakers


Holiday parties everywhere

Clear Lake Chatter

24 CLICK! Webster Business Alliance Luncheon 26

‘Hamburg’ wins yacht of the year

Lakewood Yacht Club News


Losing illusions


What’s trending in 2015


Calendar of events for Bay Area Houston

Texas Meditations Home Sweet Home Main Events


Clear Lake City Water Authority Vice President John Branch and General Manager James Byrd, from left, along with Galveston Bay Foundation President Bob Stokes wear big smiles after signing an agreement to protect the Clear Lake Golf Course from commercial development in perpetuity.

Exploration Green protected from commercial development forever


fter nearly a decade of working to fulfill a vision of a Clear Lake public green space to alleviate flooding, foster nature conservation, clean run-off water and provide recreation opportunities, the Clear Lake City Water Authority has signed a Conservation Easement agreement with the Galveston Bay Foundation to conserve and protect the nearly 200 acres of the Exploration Green from commercial development in perpetuity. That means forever. Working with Keep Green Spaces Green grassroots efforts, through it all, the CLCWA leadership has supported the interests of residents, worked with grassroots neighborhood groups and actively opposed proposals to build highly concentrated residential condos behind the homes ringing the old Clear Lake City golf course. While some politicians and developers fought in court and even at the state house to open the area for commercial development, the CLCWA board kept their eyes on the prize no matter what obstacles were laid down in front of the initiative. In 2005 Clear Lake residents discovered the plans to turn the golf

course into a massive commercial development. The people rose up and engaged, some 4,000 signed a petition against the commercial development, and “Keep Green Spaces Green” signs were everywhere. Organizations such as the Clear Lake Civic League and Clear Lake City Green Space Preservation Committee focused the grass roots organizing while CLCWA fought in court to condemn the property with the water authority arguing that more storm water detention was required. “Today we thank all those who worked to make to control flooding and make “green space green” in Clear Lake,” a spokesman said. Working with the CLCWA today is a new non-profit organization, Exploration Green Conservancy, established to organize and create those parts of Exploration Green that are not flood control. With a board of local volunteers, the conservancy, like earlier town hall meetings and volunteer committees, provides an avenue for local residents to participate in planning, organizing, working with trees, trails and other projects, and maintaining the Green Space.

Other partners in addition to Galveston Bay Foundation include Trees For Houston, Texas Coastal Watershed Program, SWA Architecture and Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam; all key to the success of Exploration Green. The Clear Lake City Water Authority brought them together to create Clear Lake’s Exploration Green. “We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to leaders of the Water Authority, especially Bob Savely

“We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to leaders of the Water Authority.” and John Branch, who shepherded this along for many years,” EGC Chairman Frank Weary said. “Their vision and persistence are driven by what is best for CLCWA customers. Their creation of the Conservation Easement with Galveston Bay Foundation to protect and preserve the public green space in perpetuity is a remarkable milestone for the Clear Lake community.” “We have been honored to work with the Clear Lake City Water Authority to establish Exploration Green. It is one of the most innovative

projects we have been associated with,” John Jacob of the Texas A&M Texas Coastal Watershed Program (Texas Sea Grant and Texas AgriLife) added. “From the start the CLCWA worked on a vision of a multipurpose detention project based on local community interests. The Water Authority is an incredibly responsive and engaged unit of local government.” “In my 25 years of non-profit work, rarely if ever, have I seen an agency work so diligently on a challenging public project. This is a prime example of the true functions of this type of agency: increasing effectiveness while reducing long-term costs with the added benefit of recreational and environmental sustainability,” said Barry Ward, executive director of Trees For Houston. See the Galveston Bay Foundation website recognizing the historic conservation agreement between GBF and CLCWA at news/explorationgreen/. GBF notes that both Exploration Green and the Clear Lake City Water Authority were awarded the 2013 Planning Award by the Houston-Galveston Area Council this past January. The HGAC ranked the conservation project at the top of nine public space development plans in the Houston region. In celebration of the conservation agreement, the partner organizations recommend that residents throughout the Bay Area visit Exploration Green and explore the entire area. It is easily found by doing a Google Map search for the local zip code, 77062, and looking for the V-shaped property near the Clear Lake Recreation Center. Exploration Green Conservancy, recently confirmed non-profit 501(c) (3) status by the IRS, is now accepting tax deductible donations for trees, shrubs and grasses; park equipment such as benches, landscaping tools, etc. For more information about contributing to Exploration Green, visit and click on “Donate Now.”

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015


Same-day permanent fillings finally a reality


he problem: Dental

amalgam is a filling material used to fill small cavities caused by tooth decay. It is a mixture of several metals. It consists of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin and copper. Approximately 50 percent of dental amalgam is mercury by weight. Dental amalgam fillings are also known as “silver fillings” because of their silver-like appearance. They dominated the industry for more than 150 years because they were strong and long-lasting. Amalgam fillings have exhibited excellent wear resistance properties (similar to human enamel). They are also very durable. They can seal the prepared cavity for an average of 13 years as opposed to 5 to 6 years for composite resin (tooth color fillings). Amalgams also happen to be the least expensive type of filling material. Up until 20 years ago, Amalgam fillings seemed untouchable. Tooth color fillings have been around since early 1960s. They were however, used exclusively on front teeth and small cavities. They are cosmetically appealing at first, but stained and darkened at a much faster rate than human enamel, especially if the recipient consumed coffee, tea, or red wine. That rapid staining is due to large molecular structure of composite. They also could not match the durability of Amalgams. They shrunk at a higher percentage than other alternatives. One might wonder why Amalgam fell from grace and became widely replaced by an inferior product? The short answer is (1) its appearance and (2) mercury poisoning. While the first reason could be discounted as vanity, the second reason became very unsettling once we discovered the adverse long term effects of mercury vapor build up in our brain and the kidneys. The combination of the above two reasons was enough for most dentists to switch from Amalgam to composite resin.

What is a composite resin?

A composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide). Introduced in the 1960s, dental composites were confined to the front teeth because they were not strong enough to withstand the pressure and wear generated by the back teeth. Composites are also very technique sensitive and intolerant of any moisture when being placed. It is sometimes impossible to keep a cavity dry to place a composite.

Other options

Gold or custom designed ceramics have been available but never gained mainstream popularity. Gold inlays and onlays are still considered “gold standard” when it comes to replacement of segments of natural tooth. They are unfortunately not tooth

color and require multiple visits to complete as opposed to just one. Ceramics solved the problem of the gold flashing smile, but still they required multiple visits. And, natural porcelain can fracture at a fastest rate than human enamel.

Finally a cure

There did not seem to be an ideal solution on the horizon until two new technologies collided and produced a perfect solution. Digital scanning and computerized designed and milled machines enabled multi visits procedures to be done in one day. There were still the hesitation of porcelain’s greatest flaw, occasional fracturing. Modern technology improved the purity of porcelain but they were still sub par to human enamel. Then came a German research company named Ivoclar Vivadent that was able to fabricate synthetic porcelain blocks that are completely monolithic (no weak points or flaws). They are as brilliant and beautiful as human enamel and even more shatter resistant than them. They can also be computer custom designed and milled to an accuracy of less than one tenth of a millimeter in about two hours. Small fillings no longer are doomed to become large fillings over time and eventually need crowns and root canals. They can now be replaced with a superior material that has the durability and form stability of gold, esthetics of porcelain, and convenience of one visit. I am so impressed with this new eMax porcelain onlays and inlays that I have agreed to guarantee them for life so long as my patients follow ADA’s (American Dental Association) minimum required oral hygiene requirements, which consist of brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting your dentist for a checkup and professional cleaning twice a year. To find out more about the new same day permanent tooth replacement, please call Dr. Noie’s office at 281-332-4700 to schedule a complimentary consultation with him personally.

Dr. Noie has been in private practice in the Bay Area since 1996. He is a Diplomate of Int’l Congress of Oral Implantologists, Fellow of Academy of General Dentistry, and Assoc. Fellow of American Academy of Implant Dentistry. He has completed his surgical training at New York University as well as Medical University of South Carolina, Temple University, and Wright state University School of Medicine. He completed his oral Anesthesiology training at University of Alabama in Birmingham. He is a member of American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Pet Adoptions, the only No-Kill shelter in the Bay Area, presents Gizzy, a beautiful female German shepherd mix. Bay Area Pet Adoptions located at 3000 Ave. R in San Leon. The shelter is open daily (except Wednesdays) 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information on Gizzy and other dogs and cats at the facility, please visit www. Adoptions fees are based on the age of the animal and run $75 to $140 for dogs and $50 to $95 for cats: the older the animal, the lower the adoption fee. All pets are fully immunized, altered and micro-chipped.

UHCL President William A. Staples, from left, joins the honorees at the 2014 Alumni Celebration -Marilyn S. Sims Leadership Service Award recipient Ann Hammond; Outstanding Professor Award recipients Professor of Decision Sciences Ken Black and Assistant Professor of Sociology Stephen Cherry; Distinguished Alumni award recipients Kevin C. Wooten and Carolyn Ann Lightfoot; and Associate Vice President for University Advancement Rhonda Thompson.

Photo: Mark Kinonen

Alumni and profs honored at annual celebration


niversity of Houston-Clear Lake Alumni

Association celebrated the accomplishments of UH-Clear Lake’s distinguished alumni and professors at the 2014 Alumni Celebration in October. Recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award included  UHCL Professor of Management and Human Resource Management Kevin Wooten

 Lee College Innovation in Teaching and Learning Technology Conference Founder and Program Chairman Carolyn Lightfoot.

Retired NASA Program Analyst and Clear Creek ISD Past President of the Board of Trustees Ann Hammond received the Marilyn S. Sims Leadership Service Award and UHCL Assistant Professor of Sociology Stephen M. Cherry and UHCL Professor of Decision Sciences Ken Black were honored with the Outstanding Professor Awards for their work both inside and outside of the classroom. Founded in 1981, the UHCL Alumni Association’s mission is to enhance the pride and loyalty of its alumni and community, promote the interests of the university and encourage lifelong relationships with UHCL.

Conrads take the helm for krewe ‘s Mardi Gras


rewe Du Lac, the official krewe

Second Chance Pets presents Hans, a beautiful, sleek black kitty in perfect health with a playful personality and excellent kitty manners. Hans is a laser pointer enthusiast, feather fanatic and catnip connoisseur! He loves dogs, other cats and people… tolerates a harness and leash and wears Soft Paws beautifully. Come meet Hans and other awesome kitties like him at Petco located at Bay Area Blvd. and Space Center on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Email or visit for more information.


of Kemah, is making some changes in 2015 with Captains John and D’Anne Conrad at the helm of the pirate-themed krewe. “Pirates in Paradise” is the perfect theme for this year as pirates once were known to comb the local shores. Krewe Du Lac celebrates Mardi Gras as a non-profit organization that promotes the cultural, educational and traditional customs of Mardi Gras while providing information, guidance and activities for all. The krewe plans to begin the Mardi Gras season by cruising into Kemah for the King’s Cake Party, Sunday, Jan. 4, at T-Bone Tom’s. “Make plans to become a member of the krewe and join the events that conclude with the Fat Tuesday Parade in Galveston Feb. 17,” the Conrads suggest.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

“So, grab your pirate or Mardi Gras attire and make this Mardi Gras season a little more special for you and those around you by joining the fun,” D’Anne adds. A complete list of events is listed below. • Jan. 4, King’s Cake Party, T-Bone Tom’s •

Jan. 31, Royal Ball, Landry’s Boardwalk, with Kelly McGuire, $80 per person, full buffet dinner and cash bar

Feb. 6, Kick Off Party, Bakkhus Taverna

Feb. 7, Galloway Gallop—Kemah Mardi Gras Parade—Kemah Mardi Pardi

Feb. 7, Yachty Gras Boat Parade, Texas Tease, with Ben Reyna, $40 per person, heavy hors d’oeuvers and cash bar A special price for tickets to the Ball and Boat Parade -- $110

Contact or or 281-382-1435 for tickets or questions. Limited sponsorships available.

Movers &Shakers Name: Kirk Lewis, Ed.D Occupation: Superintendent, Pasadena ISD Hometown: Ropesville, Texas, a small farming community near Lubbock Current home: Pasadena Family: My wife, Robin, a retired teacher, and I have been married for 38 years and we have two sons. Adam, a teacher in Pasadena ISD, is married to Jordan, a teacher in Deer Park ISD. They have two children, Eli, 3, and Josiah, 1. Andrew, an electrical engineer for Dashiell Corporation, is married to Melissa, a teacher in Deer Park ISD. My favorite writer is: I enjoy J.R.R. Tolkien for his imagination and Tom Clancy for the intensity of his stories.

Jana Miller to chair 50th Lunar Rendezvous Festival


ana Jacobs Miller has been selected as chairman of the 2015 Lunar Rendezvous Festival, “The Golden Jubilee,”celebrating 50 years of commitment to the Clear LakeNASA area. Jana was born in West Texas and in 1968 her family moved to Houston, where her father, now retired, was president of Seatex Corporation, a business that he started 50 years ago. Raised in Champions in North Harris County, it was while attending Sam Houston State University she met her future husband, Clear Lake native Richard Miller. They have resided in League City since their marriage in 1987. Jana likes to say, “I wasn’t born in the Clear Lake area, but I got here as fast as I could!” The Miller family has a rich history with Lunar Rendezvous; as toddlers, Richard and his twin sister, Jackie Miller Mitchell, won the 1966 Lunar Rendezvous Festival Beautiful Baby Contest. Jackie, along with older sister Judy Stanley Johnstone also served as Lunar Rendezvous princesses. Jana and Richard have two children, Cameron

Someone I’d like to meet: No one in particular. I like to meet interesting people from all walks of life. If I could switch places with someone for just one day, I’d choose: Any astronaut aboard the space station. I’m certain the photographs pale in comparison to seeing the world in person from that perspective. My favorite performers are: I enjoy watching talented people work, but I don’t know that I have favorites. I like to spend my leisure time: Playing with the grandchildren, the occasional round of golf, spending time with friends and reading. If I could travel any place, I’d go to: Scotland and Ireland, see the northern lights in Scandinavia, and take a photographic safari in Africa.

My favorite meal is: Most anything if it’s Italian. As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be: An astronaut. You’ll never catch me: Eating liver or bungee jumping. The thing that bugs me the most is: Unyielding fanaticism toward anything. Automatically rejecting any thought if it runs counter to one’s current beliefs. My favorite movie is: The Lord of the Rings, anything Star Trek. Few people know: My book Put Away Childish Things, published last year, won a national writer’s award.

Elizabeth and Trey. In 2006, Cameron was selected to reign as the Lunar Rendezvous Festival queen and in 2009, Trey was selected as captain of the Royal Court, distinguished honors they will always cherish. She became involved with Lunar Rendezvous when Cameron was chosen as a 2005 princess and has been very active in Lunar Rendezvous ever since. Jana served as Royals co-chairman in 2011, chairman of the Coronation Ball in 2012, vice chairman of the 2013 festival and chairman of the Fashion Show in 2014. Jana and her husband own AER Supply, a second generation global marine distribution company, founded in 1977 and located in Seabrook. AER has supported many local students and charities including Lunar Rendezvous Festival. Jana is involved with the Bay Area Museum Guild as co-chairman of the Silver Tea this year and co-chairman of Toyland Fantasy in December. The Millers are also members of Lakewood Yacht Club, Bay Harbour United Methodist Church and Sam Houston State University Alumni Association. Jana is excited to be selected as chairman of the 50th Anniversary Lunar Rendezvous Festival. “I love Clear Lake and there is nothing that brings this community together like the Lunar Rendezvous Festival. I have loved every minute of my association with this amazing organization and have formed lifelong friendships. I encourage everyone to get involved, start small but start somewhere!”

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Bay Area Houston Magazine

C ov e r Pa rt y Dec. 11, 2014 Claudio’s Restaurant & Piano Bar Photography by Debbie Salisbury


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

Photos by Mary Alys Cherry

Museum Guild Holiday Open House Chairmen Ava Galt, left, and Jan Larson relax for a minute as they prepare to greet the arriving crowd.

Holiday Open House Committee members who planned the annual Assistance League Christmas party take time out from their work for a photo. They are, from left standing, Melanie Lovuola, Joyce Alderman, Nancy Dionne, Pat Bertelli, Suzanne Stephens; sitting, Jan Tingle and Debbie Huff.

Sara Stewart, right, arrives at the Bay Area Museum Guild Holiday Open House with Ron Karl and his wife, Pat Biddle.

Holiday parties everywhere you look PARTIES GALORE! We work hard all year, and we party hard during the holidays. And, this year was no exception, except for those of us who had respiratory illnesses and had to miss some of the merry making. But that didn’t slow down most. Bay Area Turning Point, the Bay Oaks Women’s Association and the Lakewood Yacht Club Ladies


Assistance League of the Bay Area members and their guests enjoy their annual Holiday Open House at the Friendswood home of Pat Bertelli, who joined President Brunella Altemus in welcoming the crowd.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

Association got the party started with a round of holiday markets where we could get a little shopping done and get in the holiday spirit. UH-Clear Lake drew one of the first big crowds with its annual holiday reception at Bay Oaks Country Club, where Dr. Bill Staples and his wife, Darlene, greeted a host of community leaders, including State Sen. Larry

Barbara Weitenhagen collects donations for her proposed Polar Plunge (into ice water at South Shore Harbour Resort with the League City Rotary) during Assistance League Holiday Open House. She planned to give 90 percent of the donations she collected to the Assistance League.

Taylor, Houston Deputy Chief of Staff Kippy Caraway and Harris County Tax Assessor Mike Sullivan and dozens more. From there, the party spotlight focused on Interfaith Caring Ministries’ annual Festival of Trees at South Shore Harbour, Toyland Fantasy breakfast for the younger set, and the Bay Area Museum Guild’s

Angie Weinman, Kathleen Courville, Sabine Stromeyer and Anita Fogtman, from left, have fun at the Bay Area Museum Guild Holiday Open House at the museum in Clear Lake Park.

Hostess Diane Shuman, right, and Carrie Peters cozy up to Santa at the Clear Lake Panhellenic holiday party, no doubt hoping he’ll stop by their homes during his Dec. 25 journey from the North Pole.

Ellen King, Sally Jordan and Sue Ellen Jennings, from left, share a light moment at the Clear Lake Panhellenic holiday party.

Holiday Open House. Pat Bertelli hosted the Assistance League’s Holiday Open House the following week at her Friendswood home, where President Brunella Altemus joined her in welcoming the many guests. Next stop for the partying crowd was the Bay Oaks home of Diane Shuman, where co-hostesses Jill Reason, Michelle Richardson and Carrie Peters assisted her in welcoming Clear Lake Panhellenic

members and their guests and then on to the Holiday Trunk Show hosted by Mary Kay and Paulie Gaido and Donna and George Garner to benefit the Children’s Art Project at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership celebrated the season with President Barbara Koslov and Chairman Jon Branson inviting all the area legislators – Sen. Larry Taylor and State Reps. Gilbert Pena, Ed Thompson, Dennis Paul and

Savannah and Norah tell Santa they want a unicorn for Christmas during the Bay Area Museum Guild’s annual Toyland Fantasy Breakfast at Bay Oaks Country Club.

Dr. Greg Bonnen -- to their holiday luncheon and asking them to share their hopes for the upcoming session. The next day, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership and its president, Bob Mitchell, and chairman, San Jac Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer, hosted a big holiday party for its membership at Lakewood Yacht Club, welcoming the likes of Quasar Award winner Dr. Bill Merrill, new League City Councilman Tommy Cones and Senator Taylor,

Jill Reason, right, a.k.a Mrs. Santa Claus, and Michelle Richardson, help welcome members and guests to the Clear Lake Panhellenic holiday party.

and the wives of Dr. Bonnen and Congressman Randy Weber, to name a few. President Laurie Baldwin was joined by League City Mayor Tim Paulissen as she welcomed the crowd to the League City Chamber’s holiday celebration at its offices on East Main, and Clear Lake Area Chamber President Cindy Harreld was assisted by Vice President Shari Sweeney in hosting its membership at the offices on NASA Parkway.

Toyland Fantasy Chairmen Brandie Carrero, right, and Jana Miller, who is also chairing the Lunar Rendezvous 50th Anniversary Festival next summer, have fun with Frosty and Mrs. Frosty at the annual children’s breakfast at Bay Oaks Country Club. JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


University of Houston - Clear Lake


RECEPTION Dec. 3, 2014 Bay Oaks Country Club Photography by Mary Alys Cherry

Capt. Wendell Wilson and his wife, Dr. Pat Wilson enjoy the University of Houston-Clear Lake Holiday Appreciation Reception.

Retired NASA biggies Jack and Sue Garman join the crowd at the University of Houston-Clear Lake Holiday Appreciation Reception.

Gene Hollier and Emmeline Dodd were among the early arrivals at UH-Clear Lake holiday reception.


Harris County Tax Assessor Collector Mike Sullivan, left, and State Sen. Larry Taylor were in the crowd at the UH-Clear Lake Holiday Appreciation Reception.

Russell and Yvonne Herring prepare to sign in at the University of Houston-Clear Lake Holiday Appreciation Reception.

Suzanne Milby, left, and Michael and Ann Wismer Landolt were among the many attending the party.

Houston Mayoral candidate Oliver Pennington, second from left, stops to chat with, from left, Karen Barbier, Jo McGinnis and Frank Perez at the University of Houston-Clear Lake Holiday Appreciation Reception.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

UH-Clear Lake President Bill Staples and his wife, Darlene, welcome attorney Dick Gregg Jr. to the university’s Holiday Party.

Faces in the arriving crowd at the UH-Clear Lake Holiday Appreciation Reception included Mary Ann Shallberg, Dr. Jim O’Malley, Ann Hammond and Gary Mossman.

Clear Lake Area Chamber

HO L IDAY PA RTY Dec. 18, 2014 Clear Lake Area Chamber Offices Photography by Mary Alys Cherry Shari Sweeney, center, Clear Lake Area Chamber vice president, is happy to see retired Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Dr. Ron McLeod and his wife, Scottie, left, and One Stop Tents and Events owners Mark and Karen Keesler.

Clear Lake Area Chamber President Cindy Harreld welcomes from left, Space Center Houston President Richard Allen, South Shore Harbour Resort General Manager Roy Green and My Flooring America Vice President Mike Furin to the holiday celebration.

Boeing’s Brian Freedman, left, stops to talk with Ron Servis, who represented Harris County Judge Ed Emmett at the Clear Lake Area Chamber Holiday Party at the chamber offices.

Chamber Chairman Sharon Proulx and her husband, Roger, greet guests arriving at the Clear Lake Area Chamber offices on NASA Parkway for the annual holiday party.

Jamieson Mackey, former Clear Lake Area Chamber chairman, welcomes Webster Economic Development Director Dr. Betsy Giusto.

Annette Falks, Robert Elkins and his fiancée, Michele Jacobs, and Camella Devine, from left, were among the many who jammed the Clear Lake Area Chamber offices on NASA Parkway for the chamber’s annual holiday celebration Dec. 18.

Gene Hollier, left, Bob Swint and April Yergin sample the array of refreshments provided by members for the Clear Lake Area Chamber’s annual holiday celebration at the chamber offices on NASA Parkway.

Webster economic development specialist Karen Coglianese visits with Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership President Bob Mitchell during Clear Lake Area Chamber Holiday Party.

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


League City Chamber

Y U L E P A RTY Dec. 16, 2014 League City Chamber Offices Jane McFaddin, right, League City Chamber director of programs, welcomes Galveston County Tax Assessor Collector Cheryl Johnson, from left, Amoco Federal Credit Union Business Development Director Kevin Venable and South Shore Harbour Sales Director Bridget Bear to the chamber’s holiday party.

Richard Zalesak stops to talk with Sandy Tooley during the 2014 League City Chamber holiday party at the chamber offices on East Main Street.

Melissa Conkling, left, visits with Melinda Boles during the League City Chamber holiday party shortly before Christmas.


Deborah Bly, David Alexander and Dishon Isaac, from left, enjoy themselves at the annual League City Chamber holiday party.

Faces in the crowd at the League City Chamber’s 2014 holiday party included, from left, Donna and Rick Wade, Theresa Graham and Dion McInnis.

Cindy Reddy, left, and Theresa McGowen stop to admire the Yule décor while attending the League City Chamber holiday party.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

Photography by Mary Alys Cherry

League City Chamber President Laurie Baldwin, center, shows off her new calendar to Clear Creek ISD Trustee Ann Hammond, left, and Carmen Bronson during the chamber’s annual holiday party.

Mayor Tim Paulissen, from left, talks with Dr. Carl Bechtel and HEB’s Kathleen Sawicki as the League City Chamber holiday party gets under way at the chamber offices on East Main Street.

BAHEP President Bob Mitchell, far left, and Membership Director Harriet Lukee welcome Quasar Award winner Dr. Bill Merrell, second from left, and Moody Bank President Vic Pierson to the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership’s annual holiday party.

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

H O L I DAY PA R T Y Dec. 11, 2014 Lakewood Yacht Club Photography by Mary Alys Cherry

Judge Holly Williamson, center, and her aide, Darby Martin, visit with La Porte Councilman Jay Martin. Brenda Weber, from left, wife of Congressman Randy Weber, his aide Janet Rizzo, and Kim Bonnen, wife of State Rep. Dr. Greg Bonnen, were in the crowd at the BAHEP holiday party.

Cindy Porterfield came to the BAHEP holiday party to represent Randall Porterfield Architects, bringing Xavier Vargas, who at the age of 25 became the youngest architect in Texas when he joined the firm.

League City Councilman Tommy Cones, from left, stops to talk with attorney and former CCISD trustee Robert Daves and Paul Davis of Pasadena

Dan Seal, BAHEP director of special interests, talks with Gerard van Dijk, who was here from The Netherlands to discuss storm surge protection.

Space Center Houston President Richard Allen, left, and NASA space scientist Charles Stegemoeller catch up on the business news with BAHEP Marketing Manager Barbara Cutsinger.

Kemah Councilwoman Robin Collins chats with Brian Harris at the BAHEP holiday reception at Lakewood Yacht Club.

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Lakewood Ladies Christmas Luncheon

Jayne Land and LYC 2014 First Lady Sue Collier.

Lakewood Yacht Club racer Al Goethe holds his “Yacht of the Year” award alongside his J/105 “Hamburg.”

Lois Mohrhusen (seated) with daughters Gail and April.


A Commodore Joyce Maxwell, Sue Warters and Mary Moorehead

Jane O’Neal and Rosemary Bettis


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

t Lakewood Yacht Club’s

Fall Ball held Saturday, Nov. 15, Commodore Tom Collier announced that racer and member Al Goethe’s J/109 boat “Hamburg” captured the “Yacht of the Year” Award for 2014. This annual trophy goes to the Lakewood Yacht Club boat that has the best score in club-hosted races on Galveston Bay and off the coast of Galveston. The four regattas are Bay Cup I and II, the Shoe Regatta, and the Heald Bank Regatta in the Gulf of Mexico. When asked about the award, Goethe admitted that it was unexpected. “I was very excited and surprised when Race Committee Chairman Gerhart Wittich called my name for ‘Hamburg’!” he said. “It is a real commitment to race in all four regattas, especially the offshore and overnight Heald Bank Regatta.” Goethe credits the steadiness of his

crew, most of whom have raced with him for more than ten years. He listed them as Andrew Houghton, Steve Guerin, Moray Sandison, with Doug Cummings and Bill Nickle being the newer ones. Goethe grew up in Hamburg, Germany, hence the name of his J/Boat. He cruised with his parents in Holland as a child and did not start racing until moving to Houston about 1998. Outside of local races on Galveston Bay and in the Gulf of Mexico, he has raced in the J/109 North American Championships in Chicago in 2009 and 2013, coming in second place to the same boat both years. At Lakewood Yacht Club, where Goethe is serving his second term on the board of directors, he has been chairman of the national J/Fest South Regatta for three years and served as Flag Officer treasurer twice. He and his wife, Kathy, have a daughter, Hannah, and a son, Eric, both in college.

“Goethe credits the steadiness of his crew, most of whom have raced with him for more than ten years.”

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



By Michael Gos

Losing Illusions Corsicana, Texas


here are any number of things that can make a place memorable for us. Maybe someone we know and love is there. We might have had a great time there. Or maybe it is a place that so perfectly matches our souls that we instantly feel at home there (for me, that would include places like Luckenbach and the Terlingua porch). None of these things were so in the case of Corsicana, yet it will forever be carved into my memory as one of those special places. I was just moving to Texas and driving a 24-foot U-haul van trailering my car behind. I was on a mission. On an earlier trip for a campus interview with the University of Houston, (my first trip to Texas) my


soon-to-be colleagues told me that barbeque was a religion in Texas. Back home in Indiana, barbeque meant the three H’s: hot dogs, hamburgers and a hibachi. They assured me Texas barbeque was something very different. Since I flew in for that interview and had a full schedule the entire time I was there, I didn’t have a chance to

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

find out for myself. So on this long overland journey, pulling all my stuff behind me, I decided that when I finally reached Texas, I would find a barbeque restaurant and have lunch. I was told to avoid driving down 59 with such a huge load and to stay on the Interstate all the way to Dallas, and get on I-45 there. I trusted the advice and made Dallas just about

lunchtime. I hate cities and the last thing I wanted to do was try to drive in town with my enormous “rig,” so I waited to find a lunch spot till I got well away from the urban mess. About 50 miles south of all that, I began looking for a barbeque restaurant. The first sign of one was just that—a road sign in Corsicana for a place called Clyde’s. I followed the directions on the sign and came to a stop at a tiny, run down shack that was probably a house back in the 1950s. Surely this couldn’t be what Texans call a restaurant! I didn’t know much about barbeque back then. Because my van and the trailer together were more than 40 feet long, and the four parking spots in front of the shack reached barely 10 feet, I pulled around to the side of the building and parked in the weeds and gravel. It was then that I saw an even smaller, dilapidated shed about eight by ten in size. Through the open, well-rotted barn door I could see that this was where the cooking was taking place. By then I was just about sure this was a serious mistake, but the smell of the mesquite smoke (something I had never experienced) made me just crazy enough to take a

chance. With a smoke-induced high, I was feeling a bit better—until I opened the door and walked in. The place was even smaller than it looked from the outside. It could maybe seat 12 in a pinch. And it was clearly a dive. None of the tables matched and the chairs ranged from wood, to chrome to the steel folding variety. I sat at an old, four-seat Formica table much like we had at home when I was a kid, and I waited. After about five minutes, a girl came up to me and told me I had to order at the “window,” which was nothing more than a card table set up in the doorway that separated the front seating area from what looked like an even smaller back room. I ordered, and about three minutes later, my love affair with barbeque began. But that’s not why Corsicana stands out as a very special place to me. It was the other thing. It was fitting that at this time I would be starting a new life in a new place because I had recently become a new person. When I was in my twenties, I was an immature kid with a major attitude problem. My thirties and early forties were a learning time. It took me 12 years to move to where

I was that day in Corsicana. Mostly, I had to go from seeing myself as a helpless victim kept down by the powers-that-be, to that day where I understood that if I just kept fighting, I could beat “them” and be successful in spite of anything they might throw at me. After all, I had successfully completed grad school. I knew they don’t give you a Ph.D. from a toprated program because you are smart, but rather, because you are tenacious. Few are thrown out of the better programs. Most people who don’t succeed just give up. That day, feeling like I had it all figured out and I had won, I moved on to my new life. Blame it on Texas. Maybe it is the air, or the barbeque, but as I worked my way through that plate of ribs and brisket, I started getting the feeling that I had gotten it all wrong. And that left me with an uneasy feeling.

When you spend two days driving alone, you have lots of time to think. I had spent almost all of that time going over the 12 years of learning and the final lesson I had taken from it all—if you hang in there,

“In Indiana, barbeque meant the three H’s: hot dogs, hamburgers and a hibachi.” you can beat them. And yet, in all that driving, I had thought about several people who took time out of their lives to try to help me find my way. Sometimes I listened; mostly I didn’t. I remembered every success along the way (because they were so rare) and realized that, almost without exception, they came after the intervention of someone who cared— an intervention I chose to listen to. One thing led to another, as our stream-of-consciousness thoughts usually do, and as I was eating the last rib it hit me; I had gotten the lesson wrong. I didn’t succeed by beating “them.” After years of struggling, I just stopped beating myself. The unfinished rib dropped to the plate with a bang.

Corsicana is forever stamped on my heart not because of a special someone, not because I had a great

time there, and certainly not because it suits my soul. Corsicana will always be special to me because of what happened to me there. I made a life-changing discovery. I had spent 12 years finding truths and had a much better life for it. But this was not what was important about that day. And it wasn’t that I finally realized I only needed to stop beating myself. Those were just steps along the way. The crucial event there in Clyde’s Barbeque was learning a far more important thing—something life changing. Losing a single illusion makes us far wiser than finding a multitude of truths. I had lost the illusion of victimhood—of a “them” that I was fighting against. And life is so much better today as a result. Besides, Corsicana began my obsession with barbeque. A man has to be thankful for that! (Gastronomic note: Today, Clyde’s is called Big Man and Lil’ Mamas. And the barbeque is still terrific!)

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Roberts Wealth Management Helping valued clients reach their financial dreams in Bay Area Houston By Betha Merit


hat began as an

extension of the family business, Roberts Wealth Management of Texas has turned into a results-driven powerhouse. The Roberts Wealth Management team focuses on staying relevant within an industry that is constantly evolving. What worked several years ago may not yield the same results today. Their 3-Step Review is their comprehensive approach to help you discover your true financial desires and needs and whether your current strategies match up with your plans. Under the leadership of Summer A. Roberts and Paul E. Roberts Jr.


at the League City office, you can trust that your retirement will be managed according to your unique needs and goals. Their business is based on family values, which means you will never be just an account number. The Roberts team helps you with income planning, to identify your income gaps, align those with your financial goals, and “carve out the income streams you need so you never have to go without.” The advisors of Roberts Wealth Management listen to their clients, to help them make informed decisions regarding everything from balance of available liquid funds to growth investments (stocks, bonds, insurance) to whether the client should pay off a mortgage or sell a property. In addition to helping you accumulate assets, “Our job is to help you look forward and cut future tax bills, and help you avoid financial problems in your retirement years and your estate planning,” says Paul. It is rare for Roberts Wealth Management to lose a client. And, it is no wonder. With philosophies like “Stop the

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

financial insanity” and “If you do what everyone else does you’ll have what everyone else has,” Roberts

The RWM team, pictured from left: Meredith Fedonczak, Client Account Administrator, Summer Roberts, Managing Partner, Jessica Wallace, Marketing Executive, and Paul Roberts, Jr., Owner/CEO.

Wealth Management demonstrates their personalized approach. “We offer carefully chosen private

“Paul has 44 years of experience, knowledge, and loyalty in providing for clients.”

wealth management for select individuals,” says Paul, “and what we do, works.” Founding member and Chief Investment Officer, Paul E. Roberts Jr. is Summer’s father. Paul serves his clients by helping to protect their assets and preserving their hardearned lifetime savings. Paul has 44 years of experience, knowledge, and loyalty in providing for clients. After 22 years as managing partner of Roberts, Cooper and Rasor CPA firm as a practicing CPA, he founded Roberts Wealth Management in 1993 to specialize in asset preservation and retirement planning in Biloxi, Miss. “The impetus for founding Roberts Wealth Management was a result of the simple question, ‘Why no gain?’” says Paul. At his CPA firm Paul prepared taxes for clients and discovered a pattern of no gain in their investments. The idea of preservation of principle as a first concern, not a last, took hold. “You win by not losing big,” says Paul. Roberts Wealth Management utilizes fresh ideas in regards to estate planning and investment techniques in order to design and implement personalized plans that will reduce financial risk, lower taxes, and avoid probate. It is a

24/7 job. “It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep,” says Paul. Summer got her first taste of Texas while getting her bachelor’s degree at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “I love Texas and its never say die spirit,” says Summer. While working as a legal recruiter in New Orleans, La., Summer was promoted as the youngest sales manager in the company. This afforded her the opportunity to move back to her beloved Texas. She loved her job, her success, and her new life in Houston. And then she attended one of Roberts Wealth educational workshops. “I was so inspired and motivated by the passion of my family to help others secure their financial futures, I resigned my sales management position the very next day,” says Summer. Her siblings April R. Roberts, J.D. and Paul E. Roberts III are also managing partners of Roberts Wealth Management offices, in Sugar Land, and Biloxi, Miss., respectively. Summer states that each of them were mentored by their dad, Paul, for a year as they shadowed him before starting each office. “There is old world investing and there is new world investing. We all work together to

help each of us stay in new world investing strategies,” says Paul. It is a synergy of experience and passion with the same goal of knowing clients as individuals and keeping their retirements secure. After opening the very successful Houston office, Summer discovered Bay Area Houston was where she really wanted to live and work, all because of a fortuitous wrong turn on her way to Galveston. That led to her finding a home in Clear Lake Shores where she enjoys spending her time outdoors with friends, family, her two shelties, and soon her baby son, expected in the spring. Paul and his wife, Jo Lynn, moved to Bay Area Houston recently to help expand the League City office, and be near both daughters. Roberts Wealth Management hosts educational workshops many times a year. Workshops last about 75 minutes and cover a variety of financial topics towards the goal of getting your financial house in order. Roberts Wealth Management limits their client base to maintain their individualized level of service. Free consultations are offered by appointment for individuals of $250K net worth or higher. Roberts Wealth Management has Texas offices in League City, Houston, and Sugar Land, and Biloxi, Miss. They are a fee-based money management company of serious fiduciaries. www. 3027 Marina Bay Drive, Suite 240, League City, Texas 77573; 281.549.6515. Legal Disclaimer Investment advice is offered by Horter Investment Management, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Insurance and annuity products are sold separately through Summer Roberts & Paul E Roberts Jr. Securities transactions for Horter Investment Management clients are placed through Pershing Advisor Solutions and Trust Company of America.

3-Step Financial Review Step 1 The first step is a review of your tax return to determine what your current tax situation is to identify things like phantom income taxation, uncovering incorrect use of taxable and tax-deferred strategies and discovering missed opportunities for offsetting gains and losses. Our 3 Step Review can help you implement the correct strategy to lower or eliminate your taxes and find the money falling through the cracks now and in your future.

Step 2 The second step is an income analysis to determine if you are using your income sources properly and in the most tax efficient method. With the ever-increasing cost of inflation, we find out if you have adequate income to meet your future needs. Your actual inflation rate may be different than the government quoted inflation rate as your rate is based specifically on what you spend your money on.

Step 3 The third step is a risk analysis to make sure your investment risk exposure is one you are comfortable with and is in line with your investment allocation strategies. Research shows that people make poor decisions and receive low rates or incur losses because they have more risk than they are comfortable with. A simple set of questions will help you avoid losses you are not prepared to handle. JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Full Speed Ahead Barbours Cut and Bayport Channel dredging project proceeding on schedule By Rod Evans


hile Southeast Texas

residents have been preoccupied celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Houston Ship Channel this year, Port of Houston (POH) authorities have placed their focus squarely on the future, with two massive dredging projects moving toward completion. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers earlier this year permitted construction on the POH’s Bayport and Barbours Cut improvement project. Considered a single project, the work comes with a price tag between $130 and $150 million and, once completed, will widen and deepen the two critical waterways to allow for larger vessels to call on the ship channel and the POH. The work is being done in advance of the widening and expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2016, that will

allow the 100-year canal to handle larger vessels. POH Project Manager David Casebeer says the project includes work on the federally-controlled portions of both areas, as well as on POH berths and has been moving along on schedule. “We are substantially done with the dredging of the federal channel portion (at Barbours Cut), with a little bit of cleanup to be done,” Casebeer said. “The second dredge that will do the cleanup will arrive in January.” Dredging on the Barbours Cut channel began this summer and Casebeer says the dredge that had been working at Barbour’s Cut moved down to the Bayport Channel on Nov. 28 and is currently working in the open bay area of the channel near where the Bayport Channel and the Houston Ship Channel come together. “The work includes using the clay from the expanded portion of

the federal channel to raise levees at Placement 15, which is in the Atkinson Island complex east of the ship channel,” Casebeer says. Located on the northern tip of Galveston Bay, adjacent to the Atkinson Island Wildlife Management Area, Barbours Cut is a 1.3-mile, 300-foot wide, 40-foot deep channel constructed in the 1970s. The project has increased the depth of the berthing area to 45 feet and has shifted the channel 75 feet to the north. To accomplish that task, dredging was done

on the north side of the federal channel, in addition to deepening the berthing area by five feet. The improvements will also allow for larger cranes to service vessels at the docks. Situated near the southern end of Galveston Bay and right at the mouth of the Houston Ship Channel, the 3.5-mile long, 300-foot wide, 40-foot deep Bayport Channel was constructed between the mid‘70s and mid-‘90s, and like the Barbours Cut Channel, advances in the size of ships utilizing the area have made widening and deepening the channel imperative to its future efficiency. It serves An Orion as the entrance to the captain, Bayport Terminal, a contracted high volume container by the Port Authority, terminal for the Port oversees the of Houston and one of dredging at the largest container Barbours Cut. terminals in the country. “At Bayport, we are deepening the depth to 45 feet, but we are not shifting the channel as we are at Barbours Cut. The project will widen the channel from 300 feet to 400 feet (in the federal portion) and once we’re inside the land, it will be widened to 350 feet,” Casebeer said. The work at both locations is being done by a cutter-suction dredge, which has blades on the front of an arm that can be lowered to reach the dredge material. The blades slice the material that is then

“Crews are scheduled to complete the work at Barbours Cut in February 2015.” Dredging at the Barbours Cut channel.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

removed via a vacuum intake, which then pumps the material to, in the case of the Barbour’s Cut project, bolster levees. Casebeer says the dredge is moving about 13,000 cubic yards of material every day. Casebeer says the dredge is operated by a crew of about 40 to 50 people, with another 10 to 15 people working land side on the levee building portion of the work. While dredging work takes place on a practically constant basis in one form or another along the 52-mile ship channel, these projects represent a critical stage in the life of the channel, one of the busiest waterways in the world. The widening of the Panama Canal, along with the addition of new locks, is having a ripple effect on the shipping industry. Once completed, the canal will be able to service larger Panamax-size ships, so ports around the world are working to ensure that they too can accommodate the larger vessels. Approved by the citizens of Panama in 2006, the $5.25-billion project calls for two new locks— one each at the Pacific and Atlantic sides—to be constructed. According to the Panama Canal Authority (PCA), the canal has been operating at near peak capacity for years now, with ships sometimes having to wait as long as seven days to pass through the canal during its busiest season, identified as December through March. The PCA estimates that the volume of cargo transiting the canal will grow by about three percent per year after the project is complete. “We are investing in the future of our port,” Houston Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria said in a release. “The projects demonstrate our commitment to facilitating commerce.” Casebeer says crews are scheduled to complete the work at Barbours Cut in February 2015 and dredging work at both locations should be complete by September 2015, including all maintenance dredging at the federal portions. He says the projects have proceeded along as smoothly as officials could have imagined. “Every project assumes a certain amount of delay time, but we have stayed on track for all of our milestones and have not encountered any significant delays that would have caused us to revisit those milestones and make adjustments,” Casebeer said. Once completed, Casebeer says the ship channel will be ready to accommodate the larger ships immediately. He says, however, that the Houston Ship Channel Pilots Association is expected to institute a series of tests and evaluations prior to allowing standard shipping vessels to access the areas. Port officials say by increasing the berthing area depth at both channels, as well as widening the Bayport Channel and shifting the orientation of the Barbours Cut channel, the larger, more efficient ships will be able to gain access to the waterways, meaning that fewer ships would be needed to deliver cargo through the Houston Ship Channel. Generally speaking, these ships would also be newer vessels that use more fuel efficient engines, which would lessen the environmental impact of these ships as they traverse the channel.

region from the impact of coastal storm surge damage caused by future storms.


2015 State Public Policy Agenda In January, our Texas Legislature will meet again during the 84th Regular Session. Economic Alliance will once again support our members by participating in important dialogues regarding our region. Our 2015 State Policy Agenda. Developed through our Public Policy Task Force, these positions reflect the opportunities and challenges shared by our members.

Support the Texas Department of Transportation’s efforts to incorporate ports and freight mobility into the overall transportation system through improvements to roads, rail and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

Advocate for environmental legislation on air quality, water quality, and sustainable practices, based on sound science that keep Texas ports competitive in the global market.

Education/Workforce Development •

Promote workforce and skills alignment by enhanced funding for the Skills Development Fund and Jobs and Education for Texans program.

Empower community colleges by developing a process by which colleges who demonstrate the need for proposed bachelor degree programs in their region are allowed to offer those degrees to students.

Affirm state funding commitments to core college operations, contact hours, and student success points. Student success points should be funded at a rate that is no less than the rate funded in the 83rd Session.

Allow implementation of HB5 to continue with little or very minor changes, as this was implemented in Fall 2014, and school districts and colleges need time to discover where improvements can be made.

Require the use of common course numbering systems at all public institutions of higher education to enhance transferability and degree completion for students.

Provide funding for Adult Basic Education. Current funding is for 100,000 students and there are 3 million eligible students.

Any increase in Texas Grants funding should also include a corresponding increase in funding for the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant program.

Economic Development •

Advocate for maintaining and modernizing valuable economic development programs for the continued development and growth of the region. Work with, support, and lead where necessary, alliances of Economic Development partners, businesses and industry associations, to accomplish important public policy goals.

Manufacturing & Petrochemical •

Advocate for environmental legislation that is fair, consistent, and based on sound science.

Advocate for a fair tax structure that does not place businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

Advocate for the resources to continue building and maintaining critical infrastructure necessary to retain and develop business and industry in the region.

Advocate for legislation that ensures continued development of historic gulf coast oil fields through enhanced oil recovery by removing regulatory barriers and creating an improved statutory procedure for full unit operations.

Transportation & Infrastructure •

Support funding for completion of overpasses on TX-146 through Seabrook.

Advocate and provide recommendations for funding, to build and maintain critical transportation infrastructure to support the industries and communities we represent.

Advocate for funding to build and maintain critical infrastructure necessary to protect communities, businesses, and industry in the

The Economic Alliance Houston Port Region was created in 1985 to provide professional economic development services on behalf of 16 communities surrounding the 25-mile Houston Ship Channel. Since 2008, the Economic Alliance has supported over 40 successful projects that have helped create more than 4,400 new jobs and over $5.5 billion of capital investment to the Houston Port Region.

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


D E S I G N | By Cathy Osoria


It’s all about creating mood. Think about creating daring and courageous design statements. Use interesting metallic accessories and bold contrasting colors.

Hair on Hide

Hides don’t have to stay on the floor. Hides in 2015 are used more in upholstery, on consoles, tables, pillows and cushions. Using real hide can be controversial, but faux hides are also available and will give a similar appearance.

Lighter Colored Wood

The use of rich, deep toned woods has been popular for years and maybe the catalyst for the trend of lighter woods being used. Honey toned woods are light and fresh looking.


Brass can look luxurious or tacky. When done right, brass can be classy. It is timeless, and it is also a trend that has been gathering steam over the past year. Brass in kitchens, bathtubs and ornamental pieces is increasing in popularity.


Corduroy isn’t just for pants any longer. Many designers are using this fabric as a velvet alternative creating bold statements in upholstery.

Softer black and white


so many options available and so many decisions to make, it is almost impossible not to feel overwhelmed.

D 34

Ethnic and Floral Prints

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

“Brass in kitchens, bathtubs and ornamental pieces is increasing in popularity.” This window treatment can be fresh, bright and add light into a room. They are an easy way to create mood while not sacrificing privacy or light.

What is trending in 2015

The ethnic prints from far off lands add a fresh pizazz to your home and break up some of the beige that has been popular for several years. These prints look as if they have been collected from travels and can be good conversation pieces. Floral prints have been popular in fashion for years and have overlapped into interior design. Florals will be popping up in upholstery and fabrics and will have staying power.

Blue is without a doubt a major trend. It’s all about blue. Don’t be shy about mixing many different shades. Azure, beryl, teal, cobalt, sapphire, navy and turquoise can blend beautifully together. Navy is a calming shade which commands authority without appearing overly bold, and it is easy and pleasant on the eye. Turquoise is another shade gaining popularity. Turquoise is seen everywhere, and it screams life and personality into a room.

Window sheers

Home Sweet Home e-cluttering and simplifying are good places to start. Getting rid of home accessory hand me downs and worn out furniture can breathe new life into the space you want to enjoy and appreciate daily. Redecorating in the New Year can be a good jumpstart for a fresh new space. Some of the trends in interior design believed to be a hit in 2015 are:

Sea of Blues

Merging indoors and out

There are more manufacturers creating more designs for inside the home that one would think generally be seen outdoors. Examples are carpet that resembles natural grass and ottomans that fool the eye by looking like giant boulders.

Black and white have been staples in interior design for many years. Now the trend is toward a softer version of the standard black and white palate. Charcoal gray and off white can be colors chosen to create a new look. The softer tones are easier on the eye and reduce some of the color contrast. They are comfy and relaxing but still keep the glamorous edge.


Believe it or not, it’s back -- not necessarily the macramé plant hangers but macramé art. It is hand crafted and can be used in place of art and can incorporate many colors and textures.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Former Houston mayor succumbs

Bob Lanier, who served three terms – from 1991 to 1997 -- as Houston’s mayor, died Saturday, Dec. 20, at the age of 89. One of the Bayou City’s most popular officials, Lanier, affectionately known as “Mayor Bob,” averaged 88 percent of the vote in his reelection races with strong support from each political party and ethnic group. The son of working class parents in Baytown, Lanier attended New Mexico University and the University of Texas Law School before joining the Baker & Botts law firm. Following a decade practicing law, he became a major real estate developer and served as chairman of the Texas Highway Commission and the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Koch Pipeline Co. and Flint Hills Resources presented a $3,500 check to the Seabrook Volunteer Fire Department Dec. 17 as part of its Helping Heroes program. Taking part in the presentation were, from left, Greg Garrison and James Rhame of Flint Hills Resources; Lt. Nicole Laster and Assistant Chief Andy Castiglione of the Seabrook Volunteer Fire Department; Michael Fritschen of the Koch Pipeline Co., and Richard Wood and Steve Meek, both from Flint Hills Resources.

Seabrook firemen given $3,500 grant

Koch Pipeline Co. and Flint Hills Resources presented a $3,500 check to the Seabrook Volunteer Fire Department Dec. 17 as part of its Helping Heroes program.

Trish Hanks is re-elected

Youth given life in satanic slaying

Jose Reyes has been found guilty of capital murder in the brutal satanic Feb. 4 slaying of 15-year-old Corrainn Cervantes in an empty Bays Apartments unit overlooking the Kroger store on El Camino Real in Clear Lake. Reyes, 18, was sentenced to life in prison and will not be eligible for parole for 40 years. He was not eligible for the death penalty because of his age. He and 16-yearold Victor Alas are accused of brutally stabbing, beating and strangling the young girl. The case against Alas is expected to be tried soon. Investigators said the teenagers went to the vacant apartment to have consensual sex, and killed the girl in order to sell their souls to the devil. All three had attended Clear Lake High and Clear Path Alternative School.


pleased to provide the Seabrook Volunteer Fire Department with resources that help keep our community safe,” said Flint Hills Resources Plant Manager James Rhame of the Houston Chemical Plant.

Flint Hills and Koch Pipeline, both subsidiaries of Koch Industries, began the Helping Heroes program in 2012 to honor local fire departments and emergency responders and to help with their training, education, equipment, and emergency notification needs. The two companies have awarded nearly $340,000 in local grants since then, including $137,000 this year to 30 fire departments across 17 Texas counties. “Koch Pipeline Company salutes the extraordinary men and women of the Seabrook Volunteer Fire Department who put themselves in harm’s way to help others at a moment’s notice,” said Larry Van Horn, vice president of operations for Koch Pipeline. “Through this donation for safety equipment and training, we are

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

Friendswood ISD Superintendent Trish Hanks has been elected to a third consecutive term of office as president of the Texas Academic Decathlon Board. The Decathlon is the premier academic competition for high school students in Texas. Each year the organization gives $150,000 in scholarship money to winning students. In the Texas Academic Decathlon, more than 7,000 students from all academic levels across the state compete in Academic Decathlon. The organization also sponsors Octathlon for ninth and tenth grade students and Pentathlon for junior high levels as well as the Lone Star Challenge for fourth through sixth grade students.

Pete Olson has new address

Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX) has moved his office from the Cannon House Office Building to a new location: 2133 Rayburn House Office Building. His new address is: Congressman Pete Olson (TX-22), 2133 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

UHCL opens registration

The University of Houston-Clear Lake invites new and returning students

to register for classes for the 2015 spring semester during online open registration through Jan. 16, with late registration from Jan. 17–27. The school will be closed Dec. 24Jan 2 for the holidays. Those still needing to apply must do so before Jan. 20 to be considered for admission. To apply, visit or call the Office of Admissions at 281-283-2500. For course schedules or to register for classes by visiting

Time to register for SJC classes

The time to register for spring semester classes at San Jacinto College is fast approaching. Classes start Jan. 20 but the registration payment deadline is Thursday, Jan. 8. Registration remains open for the Spring 2015 semester after the payment deadline, but all financial obligations incurred after the payment deadline not covered by financial aid, installment payment plan, third party agreement, or scholarship, must be paid on the day of registration. Students who need financial assistance, or help with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), should contact a San Jacinto College financial aid specialist. Financial aid information is also available online at The San Jacinto College FAFSA Code is 003609. Educational planners are available on all three San Jacinto College campuses to help students select courses that will easily transfer to a four-year college or university, or get them the skills they need to enter the workforce upon graduation. To apply to San Jacinto College, visit apply. Spring 2015 courses can be found at


How the food industry exploits the common weakness in Capuchin Monkeys and Humans By Dr. Nadir Mir Ali


f one is driving east on Marina Bay Drive toward Kemah, there is a Bohemian coffee shop just before the intersection of this drive with South Shore Boulevard called Mrs. Monkeys Emporium. If you happen to drop in for a delightful cup of Java, you will notice two Capuchin Monkeys housed in a glass cage. Their diet is carefully controlled by the owner, Robert, who recognizes the weakness of these primates towards sugar. If left to their own volition, they are capable of consuming sugary food in quantities equaling their body weight. We as humans share this primal instinct; we and our brains crave sugar. In fact, our brains are not capable of using any other fuel other than sugar to function. My goal is to connect this craving for sugar we have as humans with the

epidemic of obesity and diabetes that has afflicted us as Americans and also becoming a worldwide phenomenon as the rest of the world adopts our lifestyle. In the middle of the 20th century, health officials in the U.S. started noticing an increase in the incidence of heart disease. Amongst the many likely culprits for this malady was the American diet, which at that time contained a generous percentage of animal fat and cholesterol. On the basis of observational data, saturated fat and cholesterol found in red meats and eggs was labeled as the culprit in increasing heart disease in Americans. Even though this information was not scientifically robust, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), The American Heart Association (AHA) and other leading experts in the 1970s recommended a large scale change

in the American diet to consume less red meat and eggs. Such a statement was not acceptable to the meat industry, which succeeded through its lobbying efforts to get this recommendation changed to the statement, “avoid foods that are high is saturated fats and cholesterol.” This way food choices were termed in nutrient terms and thus the industry could then sell meats that were low in saturation fat, i.e. “lean white meat.” The food industry in the United States by some estimates has an annual turnover of over $30 billion. When the dietary recommendation first came out, there was a significant degree of opposition by the influential food lobby. However, they soon recognized that foods could easily be engineered to reflect the low saturated fat and cholesterol dogma being proposed by the so called experts. Fat, as we all know, contains twice the number of calories compared to sugar and proteins. Thus it made intuitive sense that a low fat diet would also promote weight loss. Neither the experts nor the industry could foresee at that time that this radical change in the American diet would start the obesity epidemic. The nutritional experts failed to take into account that the low fat food the industry was churning out would replace the fats with carbohydrates. In addition, the food industry soon recognized the human weakness, like that of the Capuchin Monkeys for sugar. Hence, processed and engineered foods containing generous quantities of sugar, sugar like substances, and simple carbohydrate that are treated by the body as sugar became common place. The food industry even succeeded in getting the endorsement of USDA and AHA, the associations that are charged with protecting and promoting our health for this “health promoting low fat food” (filled with sugar). The American Heart Association has no trouble in endorsing any processed food as long it is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, giving it the symbolic check of heart healthy for a simple fee that the industry is more than willing to pay. Thus, the supermarket isles are filled with cereals that are high in sugar or sugar like substance and refined carbohydrate carrying the seal of approval of the AHA.

Of course, there have been dissenters and skeptics even when these dietary guidelines were first proposed. Initially they were unable to get an audience, but with the wide scale adoption of this low fat diet by Americans, aided by the recognition by the food industry that the human body can be easily addicted to sugar (like the Capuchins) led to the obesity epidemic. One can easily show initiation of the obesity trend starting with these dietary guidelines of low fat diet. Alternatives to the recommendations of low fat diet over the last 50 years have been the Atkins diet, The South Beach Diet and the Paleo Diet, to just name a few. While each of these diets have their merits, they have failed to gain a universal following because

“We as humans share this primal instinct; we and our brains crave sugar.” they lack essential elements for long term sustainability and health promotion. My goal through this column and over the next few issues is to examine each of these to start a discussion in the Clear Lake and Bay Area community about so fundamental a subject as “food” that is not only necessary for health but also a key component of socializing and pleasure. The later part of the 20th century has seen an industrialization of our food sources. However, only recently the increasing incidence of obesity and diabetes have fueled a small but vocal group of consumers, scientists and journalists to question the dogma we have been given about health promoting nutritional policy. There are nutritional heroes of our time like Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, and Michael Mosely to start the conversation. Their work is worth examining to modulate our behavior of buying, consuming and enjoying food.

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


B U S I N E S S 17 serving on Chamber board The Clear Lake Area Chamber has 17 members serving on its 201415 Board of Directors. They are: Janette Alford, Straterion Consulting; Brent Cockerham, BB&T; Gina Conklin, Houston Community Management Services; Mark Conrad, Express Employment Professionals; Jonathan Cottrell, Martha Turner Realty; Maureen Davidson, Secure Mortgage Co.; Glenn Ellis, Jacobs Technology; Charlie Felts, Opus Bistro; Also, Brenda Miller Ferguson, Bay Area Citizen; Steve Gordon, Clear Lake Regional Medical Center; Ray Holloway Jr., Centerpoint Energy; Carol Keough, Barita & Keough Law Firm; Jennifer McKnight, Crown Trophy; Chris Premont, Ron Carter Clear Lake; Kat Sanford, Kat Sanford Productions; Kevin Venable, Amoco Federal Credit Union; and Dawn Wilkes, Jason’s Deli.

Port to build new rail line The Port of Houston Authority



has selected Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. to design Phase 1 of a new rail line to the Bayport Terminal. The project, which involves design of approximately 6,500 linear feet of primary rail line, will extend the existing Union Pacific Rail Corridor along State Highway 146 into the facility. The project represents the initial phase of the development of planned rail service into the Bayport Intermodal Yard. At full development, three parallel tracks will service the intermodal yard and are expected to handle as much as 20 percent of the overall container volume through the Bayport Terminal. The project will provide a number of significant benefits, including:  Creating more jobs for the local community.  Providing cheaper transportation of consumer goods.  Facilitating growth of the terminal as a regional conduit for containerized cargo.  Enabling removal of trucks from the highway by transferring a portion of the container volume

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

Kirk Kveton, store manager of the Target store at Baybrook Mall, holds up the check surrounded by Assistance League members, from left, Philanthropic Vice President Sarah Foulds, Operation School Bell Chairman Cindy-Senger Lewis, Altimus, Priscilla Magnussen and President-Elect Peggy Clause.

to rail. This will improve the regional air quality and highway safety by taking trucks off the road.  Expanding the market potential for import and export of containers through the Port of Houston. The project will cross three state highways using quiet zone systems. PHA and LAN will coordinate with local community partners to make the project as communityfriendly as possible through the implementation of quiet zone rail crossings, and potential installation of sound walls. The project will be constructed in concert with a separate project to build a 20-foot high sight-and-sound berm that will help shield the rail line from the adjacent communities. The design of the $13.8 million project will be completed in mid2015 with construction starting later in the year.

Target’s grant helps the needy Target Stores recently presented Assistance League of the Bay Area with a $2,500 grant for the

nonprofit’s Operation School Bell program. “Since entering into a partnership with Assistance League in 2011, Target has awarded $8,500 specifically to help clothe Bay Area children-in-need for school,” said Assistance League President Brunella Altimus. “Those funds clothed approximately 170 students with a week’s worth of clothing, hygiene kits, and vouchers for shoes from Payless.” Target team members also volunteered 30 hours to help clothe secondary students during the chapter’s largest annual philanthropic undertaking -the clothing of more than 1,700 students.

Medical groups lease building Two medical groups have leased space in Gemini 1,the 40,000 squarefoot building at 16840 Buccaneer in Clear Lake, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership’s Barbara Cutsinger reports. An orthopedic group will occupy the first floor and a family practice group is occupying the second floor.

Photos: Mary Alys Cherry

State Reps. Dennis Paul of District 129, left, and Ed Thompson of District 29, talk about the upcoming Texas legislative session as they arrive at Cullen’s Upscale American Grille for BayTran’s holiday luncheon.

Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership President Barbara Koslov and Chairman Jon Branson, right, greet former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels as he arrives at Cullen’s Upscale Grille to address BayTran’s monthly luncheon on the proposed high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas.

Kemah City Administrator Rick Beverlin, right, and Mayor Pro-tem Carl Joiner visit with Clear Lake Shores City Councilwoman Amanda Booren as they await the start of the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership monthly luncheon featuring an address on the proposed high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas by former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels at Cullen’s Upscale Grille.

A train ride to Dallas in the fast, fast lane By Mary Alys Cherry


magine going from Houston to Dallas by train in just under 90 minutes. It may sound like a daydream, but former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels says, “Hang on to your hat.” It should become a reality by about 2021, if all goes well, he told the audience at the monthly Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership luncheon at Cullen’s Upscale Grille. It was one of two luncheon events BayTran hosted during the holidays to update its membership. The second featured local legislators discussing the upcoming session of the Legislature. Eckels is president of the Texas Central Railway, the organization working on the development and operation of a private, for-profit, high-speed passenger rail system. After some four years of research, TCR believes there is an opportunity to provide consumers with a fast, safe, affordable and convenient alternative for travel between Houston and Dallas, Eckels said. The N700-I Bullet System is a proven rail technology in operation between a number of cities in Japan. Currently, TCR, working with the Federal Rail Association and the Texas Department of Transportation, is looking at options to maximize use of existing rights of way to build the rail line. Based on technology used by the Japanese, the Houston-Dallas high-speed rail line will be quite simple –“one track going north and one track going south – tracks that are either grade separated or elevated. “No mixing with other trains,” he explained. In the coming months and years, TCR will

New State Rep. Gilbert Pena, left, of District 144 makes a point as he talks with District 11 State Sen. Larry Taylor during the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership holiday luncheon at Cullen’s Upscale Grille.

be working with property owners – some of whom might not be pleased to have the N700-1 bullet train zooming through their land. However, Eckels says the TCR plans a very generous eminent domain program that will offer more than the property might be appraised for since the venture is private and the developers are not restricted by the same laws the state might be bound by. “We can buy their homes and they can continue to live in them. We can pay them today and they can continue living there for five years – until we need to tear it down.” Texas legislators addressing BayTran included Sen. Larry Taylor and Reps. Gilbert Pena, Dennis Paul, Dr. Greg Bonnen and Ed Thompson – each presenting ideas they hoped to focus on during the upcoming session.

BayTran’s Natalie Picha welcomes, from left, Mayors Glenn Royal of Seabrook, Tom Reid of Pearland and Michel Bechtel of Morgan’s Point as they arrive at the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership luncheon at Cullen’s Upscale Grille to hear former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels discuss the proposed high-speed rail system between Houston and Dallas.

BayTran Treasurer Karen Coglianese welcomes Rep. Greg Bonnen of District 24, left, and Galveston County Judge Mark Henry as they arrive at the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership holiday luncheon.

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Photo: Mary Alys Cherry

Help is on the way, ever so slowly By Mary Alys Cherry


very day we find ourselves stuck in traffic. But help is on the way, and one of these days we’ll be in our vehicles, sailing along like speedboats across Galveston Bay. One of the biggest projects – the Texas Department of Transportation’s $311 million widening of the Gulf Freeway from 6 to 10 lanes is still more than two years from completion, but once the interchanges are built, the wider feeder roads are accessible, the new lanes are added and the work is all done, we should be able to travel the speed limit and get where we’re going without much effort. No more traffic jams at the Dixie Farm exit – just smooth sailing to and from Houston and from Houston to Galveston and back. But so you can plan ahead – the El Dorado interchange will be closed from March to August 2015, and the Bay Area Boulevard interchange will be closed from April to July 2016 with completion of construction in 2017.


Help for Five Corners

Help is also on the way for the area’s busiest intersection – Five Corners in League City, where FM 270 (Egret Bay Boulevard) intersects with FM 518 (Main Street) and FM 2094 (Marina Bay Drive) and hundreds of vehicles wait and wait and wait – sometimes sitting through two and possibly three red lights before they are on their way during rush hour. Or trying to make their way from South Shore Harbour when football games are played at Veterans Stadium. The road is also the only road connecting Clear Lake and League City between Highway 146 and Highway 3. League City has finalized a plan it calls the Five Corners Realignment project, which will build a road from FM 518 over to FM 270, setting aside $7.9 million for environmental approval, right-of-way purchase, and construction. The new road will

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

cross FM 2094 and go around the corner gas station and link up with FM 270.

n Widen and restructure the existing facility to a 6-to-12 lane freeway

SH 146 nears reality

n Provide grade separations at major intersections

While the State Highway 146 expansion project is needed now, TxDOT does not expect construction on the three-mile segment from Red Bluff Road through Kemah to begin until 2017. That’s how long the state agency expects it will take to draw up design plans, notify businesses that a portion of their business is needed to build the new roadway and for rightof-way acquisition. Construction of the $200 million project will take about three years and will include a second expressway bridge across Clear Creek Channel, which links Clear Lake with Galveston Bay. TxDOT said It will be built west of and parallel to the Seabrook-Kemah Bridge, which will remain and serve as a frontage road for motorists. Specifically the project will:

n Add access roads in selected locations n Provide express lanes over Clear Creek Channel, plus a bike path and sidewalk At this point, the focus is on Union Pacific, which has been asked to sell a portion of the railroad’s right-ofway along the Seabrook Industrial Lead. TxDOT said “Union Pacific has an extensive review process for these types of requests. The process considers all current and likely future use of the rail line, including a thorough review of current leases on the line.” Meanwhile, the City of Seabrook is working to find new homes for the businesses that will be displaced.

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Celebrate the new year in style at the Marina Cafe in Clear Lake Shores.

Fill your 2015 with authentic Italian dishes and live piano music at Claudio’s Restaurant and Piano Bar in League City


Garden club meets Jan. 7. Gardeners By the Bay will hear Master Gardener John Jons discuss “The Hardiest Landscape Earth Kind Roses” at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, at University Baptist Church, 16106 Middlebrook Drive. Call 281-474-5051 for information. Kickoff Party Jan. 10. The Bay Area Genealogical Society will hold a Kickoff Party, Saturday, Jan. 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. at University Baptist Church, 16106 Middlebrook Drive, to discuss research needs and assistance. For more information, go to www. or call Kim Zrubek at 281-992-2636. Next meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, with the public invited.


New Playhouse drama Jan. 9. The Bay Area Harbour Playhouse will present Over the River and Through the Woods Friday, Jan. 9, through Sunday, Feb. 1, in the Main Deck Theatre with curtains at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and matinees at 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. For reservations, call 281-337-7469 or email bareahp@


Country music on tap Jan. 15. Donna B, the Ebony Cowgirl with “a voice like velvet,” will bring country music to the Butler Longhorn Museum Thursday, Jan. 15. For tickets, which are $25, call the museum, 281-332-1393 Chamber gala Jan. 31. The League City Chamber will host its annual awards gala from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at South Shore Harbour Resort. Tickets are $75 before Jan. 15.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015


Mystery opens Jan. 16. The Clear Creek Community Theatre will present Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile, Friday, Jan. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 1 with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and matinees at 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. For reservations, call 281-335-5228.


Mystery at Little Theatre. Pasadena Little Theatre, 4318 Allen-Genoa Road, will present the Pulitzer Prize winning Driving Miss Daisy Friday, Jan. 23, through Sunday, Feb. 9, with curtains at 8 p.m. and Thursday and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. For reservations, call 713941-1758 or reserve on line at www.


Chamber banquet Jan. 22. The Pearland Chamber will hold its annual awards banquet – “Pearland, My Kind of Town” -- from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 2320 Hatfield Road. For reservations, contact Cheryl Kepp, 281-485-3634.


Patsy Cline music at COM Jan. 29. The Community Theatre at College of the Mainland will present “Álways... Patsy Cline,” its biggest box office success, back by popular demand Thursday, Jan. 29, through Sunday, Feb. 15, with performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets range in price from $11 to $23. For reservations, call 1-888-258-8859, ext. 8345.

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

JANUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Baytown lassie follows in her dad’s footsteps By Aubrie Walker


he apple, the old adage goes, does not fall

far from the tree. So, it is no surprise that Danielle Ferris of Baytown would follow in the footsteps of her dad, Jim Ferris, and attend Sam Houston State University. Or that she is a second-generation Bearkat cheerleader, again following in the footsteps of her dad, who cheered at Sam Houston State from 196567. There are 40 years between their experiences as a cheerleader, but, for both, cheering for the Bearkats was how they broke into college. “I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I wasn’t a cheerleader here at SHSU; it just started everything,” Jim Ferris said. “It gave me a purpose and a reason not to go home. I just lived the life here for four years, made friends and took every chance I was given. “I never dreamed 40-something years later my daughter would do the same thing,” he said. “I was really proud of her when she told me she was going to try out. She wasn’t a cheerleader before, so I thought this is going to be a tough road -- definitely seeing what cheer is like now --but she worked really hard.”

Watched brother

Jim Ferris grew up in Austin, where he watched his older brother cheer during his high school years; it was then that Ferris decided he wanted to cheer in high school as well. “Austin High had four girl cheerleaders and four guys; it was traditional. Everybody was supportive, and it was a big deal there,” he said. “I did it, and so when I came to SHSU I thought I might as well try out.” For Danielle, tumbling came before cheer. Although she did gymnastics when she was younger, her senior year of high school she decided to attend tumbling classes at a nearby gym. “I started tumbling for fun, but as I started progressing, my dad brought up the idea of trying out for cheerleading,” Danielle said. “I thought it would be fun to at least try, so we started training.” Getting ready for tryouts and the tryouts themselves were different for Danielle than they were for her father. Because cheer is mostly comprised of gymnastics and stunts these days, she had to learn quickly and work hard. “I was in the gym tumbling almost every day to try and learn things people had been doing most of their life,” Danielle said. “As I got closer to tryouts and I started stunting and tumbling more, I was really nervous. The day before I came to Huntsville for tryouts, my coach hugged me and told me to just go out and do my best.”


Danielle Ferris is following in the footsteps of her dad, Jim Ferris of Baytown. Both have served as cheerleaders at Sam Houston State University.

“It was a grueling three days when she tried out, but I was really proud of her and excited when she made it,” Ferris said.

Changed her life

“I remember after seeing my number on the sheet of paper. I was so excited I think I was shaking! It has definitely changed my life, and I am so glad that I tried out,” Danielle said. When Mr. Ferris was a cheerleader “the flyer,” what Danielle does, was non-existent. “We did stunts and things called ‘wrap around’ that I thought were OK, but no one was flying in the air,” he said. “A guy my size couldn’t be a cheerleader nowadays, because you have to be pretty muscular and stout to be able to hold up somebody above your head. We would hold the girls up, but on their back.” “Being a flyer is a dangerous job,” Danielle said. “I have been dropped five times and four of those times on my head, but I still really like stunting and being the person that gets tossed around.” “At first, when I saw her up there, it was really scary, but I understand that is part of the game,” Ferris said. “I think it might be easier for me because I have been through cheerleading before.”

Class president

He graduated from SHSU in 1969 with an education degree. He also lived in the Sigma Chi fraternity house all four years. There were many other activities and groups that Ferris was involved in outside of cheer and school. He was so involved that during his last two years of college, he was unable to cheer due to having too many “points,” so he was asked to let go of something. He chose to give up cheer, which allowed him to become the 1968 college favorite and the 1969 senior class president. “I was having a great time; I don’t even think Sam Houston had a better time than I did,” Ferris said. During Danielle’s first semester at SHSU, she was a nursing major, but soon changed to physical therapy after

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2015

going with her dad to his physical therapy appointment. “I really enjoy it here. I have made great friends and have a lot of fun,” Danielle said. “My friends and I just hang out or go shopping in The Woodlands.” Making the time count where they are, Ferris and Danielle have taken many opportunities to get involved. It is not only their work ethics that have moved them forward, but also the support they have behind them that propels them forward, they said.

Children supported

“My mom and dad were at every game in high school; in college, they only were able to make a few games, but they would always ask how it went,” Ferris said. “They were both proud of my accomplishments at Sam Houston and that meant so much to me. My parents were the fuel to my fire. My wife and I try to do the same for our children.” That support continues to his own children. “My parents have always supported me in whatever crazy thing I wanted to try,” Danielle said. “My dad loved coming to the gym and record me as I progressed. “He still gets in my face at games with his iPad because he doesn’t want to miss a thing. But at points, when I got stuck on a skill or frustrated with myself, they would always make me see things more positively and get me back on track.” “I would say cheerleading was as competitive as it is today with one exception—today the emphasis is on gymnastics,” Ferris said. “The bar has been raised, but we have always shared a common goal, then and now, that is to be good ambassadors of the school and to exhibit moral character.”

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