Bay Area Houston Magazine March 2016

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March 2016

Space Center Houston’s Independence Plaza Opens


Panama Canal Expansion Nears Completion

RODEO FASHION & STYLE Dogs & Divas Fashion Show Advanced Robotic Surgery For Hip & Knee Pain



MANAGEMENT Creating Successful Financial Solutions For Families

MARCH 2016

features 13 Aerospace Independence Plaza, RNASA Space Gala 15


ON THE COVER Roberts Wealth Management President and Managing Partner, Summer Roberts and Paul Roberts, the Founder and Chief Investment Officer.


President & Chairman Rick Clapp Publisher & Editor in Chief Mary Alys Cherry Executive Vice President Patty Kane Vice President & Creative Director Brandon Rowan Graphic Designer Kelly Groce Sales & Marketing Debbie Salisbury


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

Distribution Shinkle Distribution


Intern Haleigh Tieken 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



Use it or lose it

16 Medical Sepsis, colon caner and robotic surgery 26

Roberts Wealth Management


Maritime & Petrochemical


Young Professional Profile


Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

Financial solutions from their family to yours. Panama Canal grand re-opening, Dream It, Do It Ross Winkler Boeing VP named BAHEP chairman

34 Education College scholarships, principal honored 38

Dogs & Divas Fashion Show Luncheon


Lakewood Yacht Club News & Events


Rodeo Fashion


Go Texan Rodeo Fashion Show


Bay Area Houston News

A tail-wagging good time! LYC Commodore’s Ball Boots, fringe and belt buckles Fifty years of fun News nuggets and arrest made in ‘83 murder case


Photography Mary Alys Cherry Brian Stewart

Administration Lillian Harmon Tammy Lipsey

Dental Health


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016


Movers & Shakers


Clear Lake Chatter


Texas Meditations


Home Sweet Home


In Wheel Time


Main Events

John Branch BAHEP honors Dr. Greg Smith An inconsequential destination Things to do before buying furniture online Saddle up, it’s time to rodeo Calendar of Bay Area Houston events

JPL director is named Space Trophy recipient


he director of NASA’s

Photo: Space Center Houston

Independence Plaza opens to great fanfare By Mary Alys Cherry


he pride of Clear Lake

just got better. Space Center Houston, which is already one of the top tourist draws in Texas is now both bigger and better with the opening of the Space Shuttle Independence atop the first shuttle carrier aircraft, NASA 905, a Boeing 747. And, don’t for a minute think it is like any old shuttle. It took many months of work and $12 million to bring it to fruition. The colossal – and you’ll agree once you see it up close – Independence Plaza opened with great fanfare: fireworks, skydivers, astronauts, hands-on science activities for students and live presentations. And, it did not disappoint. Even the reporters and photographers were awed as they surveyed the multi-story structure. For openers, while it is a shuttle replica, it was built exactly like the other shuttles – minus the motors --and is the only shuttle in the world one can walk through. In addition to seeing the controls and seats where astronauts would sit, you will be treated to an array of interactive exhibits and space program artifacts. You can sit where the shuttle pilots sat and walk down to where the mission specialists sat as the exhibits immerse visitors in the science and history of the shuttle era.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Charles Elachi, has been named recipient of the prestigious 2016 National Space Trophy, which the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation will present him Friday, April 29. The presentation will be made at the 30th annual RNASA Space Gala at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Houston. Both the aerospace community and the public are invited to attend the black tie event. Rodolfo Gonzalez, president of the RNASA Foundation said, “The Foundation is very pleased with the board of advisors’ selection of Dr. Elachi and is looking forward to recognizing him as the guest of honor at the RNASA Space Awards Gala.” Dr. Elachi was nominated for the award by A. Thomas Young, former director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Young said, “Charles Elachi’s distinguished leadership and sustained technical achievement has had a profound impact on the U.S. robotic exploration of space across the late 20th and early 21st centuries…His contributions and vision have impacted space science and technology, generations of

young people and professionals, and society at large.” Dr. Elachi is credited with pioneering the use of radar remote sensing techniques, overseeing missions such as the Shuttle Imaging Radar series, the Magellan Imaging Radar at Venus and the Cassini Titan Radar currently studying Saturn’s moon Titan. Young describes the 15 years that Dr. Elachi has been director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an “exceptionally productive” time in which Dr. Elachi has led the development and operation of robotic spacecraft systems that have studied Earth, the solar system and deep space. Bill Nye, scientist, engineer, comedian, author, inventor and best known as “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” will receive the 2016 Space Communicator Award. Nye is A vocal advocate for space exploration, Nye is also the CEO of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest spaceinterest group. To reserve a table for the RNASA Banquet and find information about sponsorships and tickets, visit www. To reserve a room at the Houston Hyatt Regency, visit or call 713-654-1234 and request the RNASA group rate.

Shuttle visitors get a look at the command post in the Independence, where the commander and pilot would have sat during a space mission.

Also, you can walk through the giant 747. Much of the inside has been replaced with displays, but first class seats remain for your perusal, and you can walk around and see just how big the plane is. And, best of all, the price of admission includes the shuttle display and 747. Also, Bay Area residents can purchase a Space Center Houston membership for a few dollars more than a full-price admission ticket and return free all year long the year with free parking, special events and much more. For more information on Space Center Houston, visit MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

to a pleasant experience. People with missing teeth also have a tendency to swallow their food prematurely. Nutritionists agree that the more we chew - the less we eat - and the better we digest our food. People with lost back teeth are also more likely to avoid harder food. Soft foods are also usually high in carbohydrates and fat but often very low in protein, raw vegetable, vitamins, and minerals. Consequently, people who eat mainly soft foods may become undernourished and eat a larger volume of food. That often leads to weight gain and obesity which over time leads to numerous disorders, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

“Dentures can also cause discomfort and interfere with tasing and feeling our food.”

Use it or Lose it Only a generation ago, gradually losing teeth and replacing them with either a fixed bridge, a removable partial or full denture was a fact of life for most Americans.


nfortunately each option led to either grinding healthy teeth down or exerting too much force on the remaining teeth. Ultimately both options led to early loss of remaining healthy teeth. As a result, a large segment of our population entered their golden age with false teeth, long span bridges, or no teeth at all. The most damaging effect of tooth loss was not even being discussed much those days. Few people knew about the localized osteoporosis that developed due to loss of the tooth. People noticed that their gums shrunk gradually once the tooth was lost, even when they replaced the gap with a conventional method. But they assumed that it was normal. That perception has changed substantially during the last two decades. The likelihood of our generation going through the same oral degradation is

steadily decreasing. There are several reasons for this change: availability of more information, better access to dental care, and last but not least, the introduction of titanium dental implants. When teeth are lost, the underlying jaw bone shrinks due to lack of stimulation. Aside from the cosmetic effects on our smile and facial appearance, people with missing teeth develop other equally significant complications. Here are a few examples: 1. People with missing teeth are unable to chew their food as efficiently. One of the most important phases in digestion is called “The Cephalic phase.” This phase of gastric secretion occurs while the food is being eaten. It results from the pleasure associated with sight, smell, thought, or taste of food. Inability to chew the food with comfort and ease makes eating a chore as opposed

2. The traditional replacement methods only address replacement of missing teeth not their roots. The most significant effect of tooth loss is the loss of localized jaw bone that is no longer needed to hold the root of the tooth in place. The science of biophysics has proven that the concept of “use it or lose it” applies to the human body as well. Through chewing we apply modest pressure on the jawbone. That pressure stimulates the bone (similar to exercise) and keeps it dense and strong. Many people who have lost one or more teeth believe the personal impact is strictly cosmetic. They don’t realize that missing teeth can lead to significant bone loss over time that can alter the jaw structure, cause other teeth to shift, and change the shape of your face while weakening your jaw bone.

3. Although partial or full dentures are a less expensive alternative to dental implants they require a lot of care. They must be kept clean with cleaning tablets. They should be removed every night before going to sleep, cleaned carefully, and kept in a moist place (usually in a glass of water on the bed stand). As the jawbone shrinks over time due to bone loss, the dentures that fit fine not too long ago get loose. They have to be either glued in with denture cream or remade every few years. Dentures can also cause discomfort and interfere with tasting and feeling our food. Some people find dentures embarrassing. If dentures do not fit well, they can interfere with chewing and swallowing. They may also cause burning sensations and sores in the mouth. Fortunately, America’s tooth loss and jaw bone loss crisis can be eliminated with advent of dental implants, now considered the best option for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants have been highly successful, according to a recent research published in the Journal of Oral Implantology. There is a growing body of compelling clinical evidence supporting dental implants as the most successful method for replacing missing or compromised teeth. If you are suffering from or embarrassed by loss of one, several, or all of your teeth, dental implants may be the answer you are looking for. I have been placing dental implants (while patients are comfortably asleep under IV sedation) in our community for over a decade with a success ratio of over 99 percent. If you are considering getting a dental implant, feel free to contact my office at 281-332-4700 for a complimentary consultation.

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.

MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Movers &Shakers Name: John Branch

Occupation: Clear Lake City Water Authority president and retired chemical company logistics manager Hometown: Overton, Texas Current home: Clear Lake City Family: Wife Patty; two sons, Marshall and Justin: and six grandchildren My favorite writer is: Tom Clancy

RV Camping, Hospital Style An Australian family’s American medical emergency


Moon Rocks and Gallstones The Perkins family’s first taste of America began in Los Anglos. Their journey took them across the country and they ended up in Houston, visiting NASA and Space Center Houston. While there, Rik’s pain which had occurred earlier in their trip flared up again, so the family went across the street to Houston Methodist St. John Hospital. He was suffering with a septic gallbladder infection (sepsis), and his gallbladder had to be removed. Dr. Larry Watson successfully performed the surgery and Rik had to spend eight days recovering while his family lived in the RV in the hospital parking lot. A Nassau Bay Grand Adventure As Sonya and the kids found ways to entertain themselves, a steady stream of hospital staff came through to ask how they could help. The operating room team developed a special bond with the Perkins family. Director Dawn


As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be: A pilot

If I could switch places with someone for just one day, I’d choose: Walt Disney

You’ll never catch me: Not taking the time to learn something new

My favorite performers are: George Strait and Harrison Ford

The thing that bugs me the most is: People who do not care

I like to spend my leisure time: Giving back more than I receive

My favorite movie is: “The Scarlet and the Black” and “When the Game Stands Tall”

If I could travel any place, I’d go to: Space

Few people know: All four boys in my family were Eagle Scouts

My favorite meal is: Lobster in Maine

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month


By Susan Neuhalfen magine you are halfway around the world, vacationing with your family, when you suffer a medical emergency. That’s what happened to the Perkins family during their recent visit from Adelaide, South Australia. In the middle of a 30-day RV tour of America, Rik Perkins and his wife Sonya, son Jack (age 20), and daughter Cassidy (age 12), were forced to camp out in the Houston Methodist St. John Hospital parking lot.

Someone I’d like to meet: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jackson, nurse Carolyn Angel and techs Shannon Aldridge and Amy Sorrells pitched in to ensure they enjoyed their unexpected Nassau Bay vacation. “Carolyn, the nurse from the OR, adopted us,” Sonya said. “She could see that we were going crazy living in the RV in the car park.” Carolyn had them over to her home for dinner. Shannon took the girls to the movies. The ICU employees got involved, taking care of the family’s laundry. Friends for Life During their time together, the Houston Methodist St. John Hospital staff and the Perkins family bonded. Dr. Watson wrote letters to the Perkins’ insurance company when they experienced difficulties getting a proper flight home. Back home in Australia, Rik has resumed his role as a police officer, but remembers his hospital adventure fondly. “This was by far the best medical care I’ve ever had,” he said. “The way we were all treated was just over the top.”

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

hy is colorectal cancer - a preventable disease - still responsible for nearly 50,000 cancer deaths in the United States? During the month of March, join Dr. Kelly Gilmore and thousands of healthcare professionals, caregivers, patients and loved ones across the country, to increase awareness and prevent colorectal cancer. Colorectal surgeons, like Dr. Gilmore, can find and remove any issues in the colon during the screening - before they become cancerous. According to the American Cancer Society, screening could eliminate half of all colon cancer deaths. While preventable, colon cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Early detection during a colonoscopy is essential because often, early stage colon cancer does not create any noticeable symptoms. Men and women over 50 years of age should be screened regularly. People with family, or personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps may be at higher risk, and should speak with their doctor following their 40th birthday. Unfortunately, more than 23 million Americans have not followed the recommended guidelines. Colorectal cancer develops slowly, over decades. During the month of March, wear blue to honor all those affected by this disease and join Dr. Gilmore in spreading the word about colon and colorectal cancers, the importance of surgical screening and its life-saving ability to prevent cancer from developing. “If you haven’t come in yet, but should have, let Colon Cancer Awareness Month be your nudge to make an appointment,” said Dr. Gilmore. “If not for yourself, then do it to give your family and loved ones peace of mind. Speak up, share your experience and help me promote the importance of colorectal screening.” A proud veteran, Dr. Gilmore served in the United States Army and received numerous commendations from her

service stateside and also oversees, while deployed in Saudi Arabia following the Gulf War. Gilmore returned to Texas to study biology and military science at Sam Houston State and became the first women Corporal Commander of the school’s ROTC. Following college graduation, she returned to the Army as an officer for a second tour of duty and then completed her medical degree, residency and fellowship. “Surgery is appealing because of its logic - I can find a problem and fix it,” said Gilmore. She credits her military background and training with much of her success in the demanding surgical arena. “I chose colon and rectal surgery because there was a need for women colon and rectal surgeons… A female physician often helps women feel more at ease.” Dr. Gilmore is double-board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, and highly skilled in the latest techniques and surgical procedures to diagnose and treat all colorectal issues. Praised and lauded for her compassionate patient care, Dr. Gilmore is Clear Lake Regional Medical Center’s chief colorectal surgeon on site. Don’t wait. Call the Surgical Specialists of Clear Lake at (281) 332-4596 for an appointment with Dr. Gilmore or visit for additional information. Colon cancer is preventable and beatable. Get screened, encourage other people to get screened, and together we can save the lives of more than 25,000 Americans, no longer victims of this deadly cancer thanks to early detection. Surgical Specialists of Clear Lake Clear Lake Regional Medical Center 450 Medical Center Blvd, Suite 600 Webster, TX 77598 Phone: (281) 332-4596

The Area’s Only Advanced Robotic Surgery for Hip & Knee Pain


ave you ever thought about the amount of stress and strain that our bodies are put through on a daily basis? From the simplest activities to the most strenuous, we constantly push ourselves to the limits and nothing feels that pressure more than our joints.

Houston Physicians’ Hospital’s Mako robotically trained surgeons, are dedicated to providing you the best care when utilizing this top-of-the-line robotic technology. Their orthopedic physicians are the only robotically trained surgeons in the area and hold your health and recovery as their top priority. “By investing in innovative, topof-the- line medical technology, we expand our capabilities to better serve our community,” said Nicholas Crafts, CEO of Houston Physicians’ Hospital. “Our physicians and staff hold our patients in the highest regard and it’s our priority to provide them with the best tools and

“With an increased demand for partial and full joint replacement procedures, having the most accurate and minimally invasive technology at our fingertips allows us to greatly improve patient outcomes, reduce their pain and restore their quality of life.” -Anthony Melillo, M.D., orthopedic surgeon

Over one-third of Americans suffer from either knee or hip pain and far too many have accepted their constant discomfort as a normal part of aging. The surgeons at Houston Physicians’ Hospital want you to know that they can help get you back to a life free of knee and hip pain. As a reputable, patient-focused hospital serving Webster and surrounding communities, Houston Physicians’ Hospital is the only hospital in the Clear Lake Area that offers Mako™ advanced robotic technology. Mako is a Robotic- Arm Assisted System that is designed to perform minimally invasive surgery for patients in need of partial knee or total hip replacement. Controlled by the operating surgeon, the Mako robotic system has pinpoint accuracy and provides significant benefits for both you and your surgeon: • • • •

Unparalleled Precision Minimal Hospital Stay Rapid Recovery Natural Feeling Results

get them back to living pain free.” Houston Physicians’ Hospital sets the healthcare standard for superior patient care and satisfaction by treating every patient and procedure as individual and unique. Providing personalized care is an unwavering fundamental that the staff and surgeons practice on a daily basis. When you’re at Houston Physicians’ Hospital, they do everything to make your experience a memorable one. Proud to be physician owned, the spacious, 49,000-square foot hospital includes a 21-bed inpatient unit, six operating room suites, two procedure rooms and a 15-bed postanesthesia care unit. If you’re one of the millions who suffer from knee and hip pain, don’t tolerate it any longer. Let Houston Physicians’ Hospital help you regain your mobility and a lifestyle free from pain. To learn more about robotic assisted surgery or other services offered at Houston Physicians’ Hospital, call 281-941-3102 or visit MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Photos by Mary Alys Cherry

Harriet Lukee and Jon Pilgrim look over the happy crowd at the annual Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership Quasar Banquet at South Shore Harbour Resort.

Quasar Award recipient, Clear Creek ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Greg Smith, fourth from left, is honored by area congressmen and legislators during the BAHEP Quasar Banquet. Joining the honoree are, from left, 2015 BAHEP Chairman Vic Pierson, Congressmen Randy Weber and Dr. Brian Babin, State Sen. Larry Taylor, State Reps. Dennis Paul and Dr. Greg Bonnin, 2016 BAHEP Chairman John Elbon and BAHEP President Bob Mitchell.

Quasar crowd of 600 cheers as BAHEP honors Dr. Greg Smith CLEAR CREEK ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith has received many accolades in his career, including Texas Superintendent of the Year, but receiving the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership Quasar Award in his adopted hometown before a cheering crowd of 600 must have been extra special. Especially so when our area congressional and legislative delegation came on stage to join BAHEP President Bob Mitchell and 2015 and 2016 BAHEP Chairmen Moody Bank President Vic Pierson and Boeing VP John Elbon, in honoring him.

Retired CCISD Superintendent Dr. Sandy Mossman, left, visits with CCISD Communications Director Elaina Polsen and her husband, Ed, at the Quasar Banquet.


MARY ALYS CHERRY Before he could blink, he found himself surrounded by Congressmen Dr. Brian Babin and Randy Weber, State Sen. Larry Taylor, and State Reps. Dr. Greg Bonnen, and Dennis Paul, who also came to say thank you for all he has done for the

school district and the surrounding communities and present proclamations. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the 2012 Quasar Award recipient, was unable to attend but sent a video message. They were among a host of elected officials in the crowd at South Shore Harbour Resort that included Galveston County Judge Mark Henry and Commissioners Ken Clark and Ryan Dennard, Harris County Constable Phil Sandlin, Judge Holly Williamson, Harris County Tax Assessor Mike Sullivan, Mayors Tim Paulissen of League City, Michel Bechtel of Morgan’s Point, Donna

Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital CEO Kyle Price and his wife, Kim, left, say hello to Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership President Barbara Koslov and her husband, Foto Relevance President Geoffrey Koslov, as the BAHEP Quasar Banquet gets underway.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

Rogers of Webster, Glenn Royal of Seabrook, Mark Denman of Nassau Bay, Carl Joiner of Kemah, Louis Rigby of La Porte and Jon Keeney of Taylor Lake Village and Mayors Protem Natalie Dolan of Webster and Dr. Sandra Mossman of Nassau Bay and their wives and husbands. City councilors in the mix included Glenna Adovasio of Seabrook, Jennifer Heidt, Andrea Wilson, Larry Tosto, Beverly Gaines and Martin Graves of Webster, Robert Davee of Taylor Lake Village, Steve Rockey and Carl Gustafson of Friendswood, Jonathan Amdur and Bob Warters of Nassau Bay, Nick Long, Todd Kinsey

Clear Creek ISD Board President Dr. Laura DuPont and Trustees Jay Cunningham, Page Rander and Ann Hammond, from left, join the crowd at the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership Quasar Banquet at South Shore Harbour Resort.

Dr. Greg Smith, winner of the 2016 Quasar Award, receives congratulations from his wife, Kathy, and his daughter, Megan, at the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership banquet in his honor.

Pasadena Economic Development Director Paul Davis and his wife, Mary Ann, left, and Taylor Lake Village Councilman Robert Davee and his wife, Lisa, mingle with the Quasar Banquet crowd.

and Keith Gross of League City, City Managers Wayne Sabo of Webster, Gayle Cook of Seabrook and Jason Reynolds of Nassau Bay -- many with their spouses. Plus, Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Port Commissioner John Kennedy, Coast Guard Sector Commander Brian Penoyer, League City Chamber President Steve Patterson, Clear Lake Chamber President Cindy Harreld DeWease, Economic Alliance President Chad Burke and Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership President Barbra Koslov. BAHEP’s Elaine Cantu and her husband, Richard, enjoy the Quasar Banquet at South Shore Harbour Resort.

Webster Councilman Martin Graves, left, talks with Economic Development Specialist Karen Coglianese and her husband, Bill, during Quasar Banquet reception.

And many educators including UHCL President Dr. Bill Staples and Dean Zbigniew Czajkiewicz, San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer and Vice Chancellor Teri Crawford, Friendswood ISD Superintendent Trish Hanks, Pasadena ISD Superintendent Dr. DeeAnn Powell, CCISD Board President Dr. Laura DuPont and Trustees Ann Hammond, Page Rander, Jay Cunningham, and Ken Baliker along with CCISD Deputy Superintendents Dr. Steven Ebell and Paul McLarty, former Trustees Dee Scott and Robert Davee, and Principals Karen Engle, Gail Love,

Banquet Committee members Alex D’Eath, right, and Dr. Pat Wilson, who was accompanied to the Quasar Banquet by her husband, Capt. Wendell Wilson, are happy with the big turnout.

Lauren Laake, chief of staff for Councilman Dave Martin, and her husband, Seth, look over the crowd at the Quasar Banquet.

Jamey Majewsky and Paul House. They mingled with a black-tie crowd that included Jacobs VP Lon Miller, GB Tech owners Jean and Gale Burkett, Space Center Houston President Richard Allen, Lockheed Martin exec Larry Price, ERG Partner Darryl Smith, MRI Technologies owners Debbie and Tim Cropp, Oceaneering VP Mike Bloomfield Barrios biggies Robbie McAfoos and Mark Polansky, bankers Paul Maaz, Brent Cockerham and Mike Huss, and attorneys Joe Barlow, Dick Gregg Jr., Dick Gregg III, Randy Ashby, developer Fred Griffin, Tom Brooker and dozens more.

The 2013 Quasar Award winner and developer of Nassau Bay Town Square Fred Griffin, left, stops to say hello as Past BAHEP Chairman, and South Shore Harbour developer Tom Brooker and his wife, Sandra, arrive at South Shore Harbour Resort for the reception preceding BAHEP’s Quasar Banquet.

MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



By Michael W. Gos

Rusk, Texas


or years I had been seeing references to the Texas State Railroad that runs between Rusk and Palestine. Prison inmates originally built the train in 1881 as a method for shipping


lumber from the Piney Woods to the Rusk Penitentiary where they used the wood as fuel for an iron smelter. The iron produced there was sold throughout the state of Texas until the prison closed in 1913. After that, the train changed hands a few times ending up in private hands, where it remains today. A couple of times I heard that it was about to shut down.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

Each time the rumor arose, I thought to myself, “I need to take a ride on this historic train before it is gone.” Frankly, though, I’d also heard that the train was usually filled with kids and the idea of a four-hour round trip ride on a train filled with ankle biters just wasn’t that appealing. They tell me the “Polar Express” rides in the winter are the worst for adults (but

the best for kids). However, even a normal ride in mid-summer could be trying. Then one day, I saw an ad for an adults-only wine tasting run. As I’ve mentioned here before, I am rather fond of wineries so this opportunity sounded right up my alley. I did a bit of research and a few hours later we had two tickets on the Texas State Railroad. The trip turned out to be much more pleasant than I had expected. Of course, we were riding through the magnificent woods of East Texas with lots of streams and springs and trees so dense you could see very few signs of civilization along the way. That in itself would make the trip worthwhile. But there was so much more. Here, in the train car, we were about to enjoy “high civilization.” I was surprised when the first wine was brought out. Unlike the little one-ounce tastes you usually get at Texas wineries, these were full glasses. Even more appealing was that along with the wine, we were served a small plate with three different appetizers. Since we had to skip dinner in order to make it to Rusk in time for departure, any food was a pleasant surprise. But the quality—well, let’s

just say it was outstanding. We took our time enjoying the food and drink and chatting with the couple sitting across the table from us. It was a thoroughly pleasant setting. About 40 minutes later, we were brought another glass of wine, and another plate of appetizers. Both were even better than the first round. And, as the wine flowed, the conversation got more pleasant. The process repeated again about a half hour later. As we progressed through the evening, the wines got more full-bodied and the appetizers got more substantial. About two hours into the trip the train came to a stop in a small clearing in the middle of the forest. We were told that they were turning the engine around for the ride back to Rusk. While that was going on, we received the fourth glass of wine and the tastiest appetizer plates yet. A little while later (I had now lost track of time), we were on our way back to Rusk and were brought another glass of wine, this time very sweet, and a plate of small desserts. By now people were talking to each other all over the car, not just to those they were seated with. The intimate

wine tasting had become one big, jovial party. Finally, the last course was a nice port, again served with a plate of desserts. I don’t have to tell you that the women on the train were ecstatic at the thought of sweet wines and six desserts. When we finally pulled back into the station in Rusk it was 10 p.m. and we had been gone four hours. It seemed like 4 minutes. We had sampled six different wines and had more than a full meal, served in multiple small courses (my favorite way—I love tapas and dim sum houses). Most of all, we had a train full of people who were out to have a good time—and they succeeded spectacularly. That evening in Rusk, we took a train journey to an inconsequential spot in the woods and then returned—and that’s all. But as I was driving back to the hotel, I couldn’t help but be aware that I had just experienced a perfect metaphor for life. I came to Rusk with a goal—to take a trip on the Texas State Railroad. We left the station with another very specific goal in mind—to travel

“Our lives happen not at our destinations, but rather in the journeys we take to get to them.” toward Palestine till we got to the turnaround point and then return to where we started. We met both goals. But so what? Reaching the destination did nothing for us in terms of pleasure or fulfillment. It was no great accomplishment and our lives weren’t changed in any way by that success. Ah, but the journey itself! Now that was a different matter. While the reaching of our destination was entirely inconsequential to us, the true value lay in the journey itself, in the wines, food and conversations that were happening along the way. We all need goals to be successful in life, a destination to head toward. In many cases our goals are about the acquisition of things; we work hard to be able to buy a new car or

a fine home. But, many of our goals go far beyond that. I might want to learn to be a great piano player, get another graduate degree or spend a summer in Tuscany learning Italian. Self-improvement goals seem to be of a higher quality than the mere want of “things.” But regardless of the innate quality in any goal, it seems to me that the anticipation of reaching our goals, and more important, the active pursuit of them, provides far more pleasure for most of us than their final achievement. As a species, we need to have goals to work toward. But it is in the pursuit of those goals that our lives happen. It was in the time spent working toward Palestine, and then back to Rusk, where the real value of this trip lay. In fact, reaching the destinations was anti-climatic. Our lives happen not at our destinations, but rather in the journeys we take to get to them. And it is in our day-to-day lives where we really want to experience happiness, not in those moments of accomplishment. No matter what goals we have, if we aren’t happy striving for them, we won’t be happy achieving them.

MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


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Home Sweet Home Things to do before clicking ‘buy’ at online furnishing sites


o you’ve searched and you’ve finally found it: gleaming at you from a browser window is your perfect (sofa , lamp, rug). It’s exactly what you have been looking for and you’re ready to purchase and bring it home. But wait! Before you buy do some research and think twice. Home items tend to be a bit more dangerous on the impulse by side. The question “does it fit?” becomes a much bigger issue than simply taking it to the tailor or passing it on to a lucky niece. Matching color can also be tricky as items that appear one way on screen may be a shade - or several off from the item depicted. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

can also be found on the online site. See if peers have had any trouble with reaching the company when a problem arises. Or trouble returning items. Peers are perfect for reviewing; they will happily tell you if the color is off and they expected something different. Or if the quality isn’t what was represented by the site.


Mock it up A 75-inch sofa may sound perfectuntil you get it in your space and realize that 75 inches is way too big (or way too small). And by then, it’s too late. To get a true idea of how a piece will feel in your space, create a mock-up. You can tape out the dimensions of your furniture on the floor, or cut out a piece of paper in the appropriate size and try it out in multiple spots. Don’t neglect vertical dimensions, too. You can approximate these by taping the outline of the furniture on the wall, or even, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, making use of some cardboard boxes in the appropriate size.

Ask for swatches Colors (and textures) can look really different on a computer than in person, so its always good to order swatches on a large purchase. Swatches can include fabric, rug, iron or different wood finishes. Search the web for other products shots and reviews of the item. Try to get the truest sense of the look, feel and color as possible before you commit.

Read the reviews Product reviews are the best way to get a sense for the quality of an item before you buy. If there are no reviews for your item, Google your piece of furniture and see if you can find reviews on other sites. If you still can’t find any information, read reviews of a similar type of furniture from the same manufacturer. Most companies use the same type of materials in several different items. If you can’t find any peer review information, don’t purchase. Reviews

Most online shops charge a delivery fee, either in addition to or in place of normal shipping fees for oversized items. There are several shops that deliver for free and charge if you need to return. While shopping, check delivery fees and factor this into the cost of your furniture. Ask yourself if you would still want the item at full retail- It’s easy to be flexible with our style when it comes to an alluring price tag, but if it’s “modern” and your space is “traditional,” that hot pink Jonathan Adler piece will look just as out of place in your home if it cost $50 as it would at $500.

Brand loyalty will serve you well Read the return policy While some will give you a full refund, others are store credit only, or final sale. Some retailers charge a restocking fee, which can really add up if it’s a percentage of the item purchased. The last thing you want is to be stuck with something that wasn’t what you expected or wanted.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

That is, if you’re familiar with a certain brand’s sizing, finishes, or fabrics, buying online will usually work out just fine. If you’re trying something new, it’s more of a gamble. If you can make the extra effort to see your item in person, it might be worth the hassle, rather than having to mail back the item.

Measure, measure, measure Don’t forget the doorway, stairway and hallway while you’re at it. There’s nothing worse than having a piece delivered and realizing you would need to remove sheetrock to get it inside. Pause and consider before pressing “buy.” Try to tune out the sense of urgency created by a”limited time“ or “soon to be sold out” offer. If you still love it, it’s in your budget and you have considered the logistics, enjoy your find and happy shopping!

MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Lunar Rendezvous lists dates for 2016 tennis tournament


he 51st Annual Lunar Rendezvous Festival and Tennis Tournament Chairmen Kathleen Courville and Sandra Sellers have announced the dates of the 2016 tournament --April 22-24, at Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake. The divisions include Men’s and Women’s Doubles 4.5, 4.0 and 3.5 and juniors, as well as mixed doubles 4.5, 4.0 and 3.5 and juniors. A player can only participate in


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

two divisions. The fee is $30 per person and those interested in participating can sign up today at Matches during the tournament will be played on nine outdoor tennis courts, nestled amid large oak trees at Bay Oaks Country Club. All matches will be the best 2 out of 3 with a 12-point tiebreaker, if needed, and no-add scoring. The weekend will include fun, food, and festivities, as well as exciting tennis play. For more information about the tournament or sponsorships, contact Kathleen Courville at 281-782.9652 or kgcourville1@aol. com. Sponsor names will appear on the tournament towels. All sponsorships must be completed by April 1.

MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Bringing Financial Solutions from the ROBERTS WEALTH MANAGEMENT Family to Your Family


n today’s world, choosing a financial advisor can be a very difficult decision. Who can you trust to give you the advice you need to make you and your loved ones financially stable? The Roberts Wealth Management team can answer any and all your questions. Trust, friendship and family are the driving forces and motivation behind Roberts Wealth Management’s growth and success.


Roberts Wealth Management President and Managing Partner, Summer Roberts, left, with Paul Roberts, Founder and Chief Investment Officer.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

Paul E. Roberts, Jr. and Summer Roberts are independent financial advisors. They do not use the typical sales tools that most companies use today. Paul, Summer and their team offer the highest level of expertise and care to each and every client. Paul is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of the firm. He graduated with a B.S. in accounting from Mississippi State University and has 22 years experience as a practicing CPA and over 40 years experience in financial planning and advice. Summer is President and Managing Partner. She attended Southern Methodist University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Before joining the family business, she was an intern with a former White House Director of Public Relations, a marketing coordinator and legal recruiter in New Orleans. Together as a family, they serve their clients with the care and personal attention not usually found in the wealth management business. Their approach is solution oriented, not product oriented. Both Paul and Summer are some of the few advisers who have earned the National Ethics Association seal of trust. By going to you can view their background and credentials and know you are dealing with a credible, professional organization.

“Their approach is solution oriented, not product oriented.”

SERVICES The Roberts Wealth Management team has clear, straightforward solutions designed to help minimize taxes, reduce risk and protect and grow your assets. Roberts Wealth Management offers you the following: • Retirement Income Strategies • Wealth Accumulation • Asset Protection • Annuities • Life Insurance • Tax Minimization Strategies • Long-Term Care • IRA & 401(k) Rollovers • Charitable Giving Plans In addition, they can refer you to professionals who provide other services such as trusts, probate and estate planning.

SEMINARS GETTING TO KNOW YOU There are few things more important than ensuring you and your family have a strong financial plan that will enable you to enjoy a life free from the stresses of money worries. Paul and Summer create a team-oriented, relaxed environment to have a meaningful conversation with families about taking control of their finances and future; living a comfortable retirement life; and achieving financial stability and independence. Paul and Summer believe that an initial client interview is essential to a successful relationship. Asking the right questions and determining a personal plan suited to your financial situation is key to presenting you with the proper planning for your retirement. As Paul says, “We are problem solvers.” Summer has this message for potential clients, “We analyze your particular needs in order to help you meet your financial goals. Our business is based on family values. You will never be just an account number to us.” Having an on going relationship with you and your family members is important to your financial future. Paul and Summer know that life and situations can change. By meeting with all their clients a minimum of once a year, they are able to review those changes and make appropriate portfolio adjustments.

Roberts Wealth Management believes that educating the public and their clients promotes trust and knowledge which is essential to successful financial growth. Paul has recently begun teaching Retirement Elevated Classes at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. They also host seminars and events at local restaurants through out the year. If you would like to attend the seminars, enroll in the course at UHCL, or learn more about the Roberts Wealth Management organization call 281-549-6515 or visit their website at Investment Advisory Services offered through Global Financial Private Capital, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Insurance and annuity products are sold separately through Summer Roberts and Paul E Roberts Jr.

Houston – Bay Area 3027 Marina Bay Dr. Ste. 100 League City TX 77573

Houston – West 11757 Katy Freeway, Ste 1300 Houston, TX 77079

Sugar Land 1600 Highway 6, Ste 280 Sugar Land, TX 77478

MS Gulf Coast 2550 Marshall Rd. Ste. 400 Biloxi, MS 39531 Phone 281-549-6515 Fax 832-864-3605

MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Jorge L. Quijano said in a release. “An expansion of the Panama Canal has never been done and we should all feel very good about where we are today. We look forward to being able to provide the benefits of the new canal to our customers and the people of Panama.”

A construction worker overlooks the canal. Photo:

Grand Re-Opening The Panama Canal renovation project is nearing its conclusion By Rod Evans


fter nearly 10 years of construction marked by several delays caused by flaws in building materials, the highly anticipated opening of the renovated Panama canal is on pace to occur in the second quarter of 2016; a development that will delight Port of Houston officials who have been readying the facility for the past two years. 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. Officials say the new locks will double the capacity of the canal built in 1914 by creating new traffic lanes and allowing for the larger New Panamax size vessels, which are considerably larger than the current Panamax ships and are able to carry nearly twice as much cargo. Ports across North America have been preparing for the grand reopening of the canal by performing deepening and widening work in order to allow the new larger ships to call on their docks. At the Port of Houston, massive dredging projects to deepen and widen the Barbours Cut and Bayport Channels to the 45-foot depth required to service the New Panamax ships began in 2014. Work at Barbours Cut was completed


last fall, while the Bayport project is expected to be completed this spring. But even as the POH and other ports have stepped up their collective games in order to be ready to service the new, larger, more fuel efficient vessels, the project to renovate the canal—arguably an even bigger engineering challenge than the original undertaking that carved out the 48-mile canal—has moved

“We are very close. Only four percent remains to complete the project.” along in fits and starts at times. Originally scheduled to take about seven years to complete, officials with the Panama Canal Authority, known by its Spanish language acronym as ACP, revealed in 2012 that the project had fallen six months behind schedule, and that was before the 2015 discovery of cracks in the concrete in one of the new locks, which necessitated major repairs. But late last year, ACP officials announced that the project is about 96 percent complete. Testing of the locks could take place in a matter of weeks, followed by scheduled transit trial tests in April. Barring any further setbacks, the renovated canal could be able to accept its first vessels in May or June. “We are very close. Only four percent remains to complete the project,” ACP CEO/Administrator

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

New Refrigerated Facility Headed for Bayport The Port of Houston takes another big step in what officials say has been a long standing goal to increase the facility’s presence in the refrigerated cargo business with the recent announcement that a 300,000-square foot temperature-controlled cargo facility will be built at the Bayport Container Terminal. Plans call for the cold storage facility to be built by AGRO Merchants Group and be designed as a multi-use building that will include warehouse space sufficient to handle the storage, handling, import and export of chilled meats, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables. “Developing the refrigerated cargo business has been one of my key initiatives. Our central location on the Gulf Coast, our consumer reach of 144 million consumers within 1,000 miles, and our ready access to South American sources of produce drive this opportunity,” Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria said. Longoria adds that inspection and handling facilities for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, along with blast-freezing cells and deep truck docks providing ample doors for shipping and receiving, will be included in the design of the facility. It will also have separate frozen and chilled warehouse space, allowing for a diverse selection of products.

“We welcome AGRO Merchants Group and the additional cold storage capacity the company will bring to our regional and global customers to help support trade growth and create economic activity through our port,” Port Authority Executive Director Roger Guenther said. “This is a winwin for the Port Authority, AGRO and the Houston region overall.” AGRO Merchants Group owns and operates 53 facilities in eight countries across the U.S., Europe and Latin America and focuses on providing innovative cold storage solutions. “We are extremely excited to build a new facility that will provide our customers with industryleading solutions and cost-effective alternatives to move product into and out of the U.S., especially in the gulf region. In Houston, we plan to leverage our property’s proximity to the Bayport Terminal to take advantage of legal transportation limits on overweight cargo and provide important rail and intermodal service capabilities,” AGRO Merchants North America President Don Schoenl said. The first phase of the building will occupy more than 12 acres of land and provide plenty of room for expansion. The site is scheduled to go into operation in the summer of 2017.

Banner Year As much as Port of Houston officials are looking forward to the rest of 2016, they will certainly look back on 2015 with great fondness. According to recently released financial reports, the Port of Houston Authority posted a remarkable year, with new records set in container movements and cargo tonnage. In his report to the Port Commission, Executive Director Roger Guenther said the port handled 30.5 million tons of cargo at its facilities, which surpassed the record of 30.3 million tons set in 2014. “The success of the Port Authority is a success for all of our stakeholders and the community that we serve,” Guenther said. “The Port Commission drives success for our customers and users of the Port Authority facilities.”

Economic Alliance creates Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas Education Foundation Dedicated to Addressing Skilled Workforce Gap Program Overview Speaker’s Bureau /Ambassadors This program focuses on recruiting local industry employees to speak to audiences from junior high to community colleges, about careers in the industries. The Speaker’s Bureau reached approximately 4,000 students, educators, and parents between the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2015. There are plans for even greater outreach in 2016. Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas offers experiences beginning at the junior high school level and continuing through high school. Young professionals in the industry would be valuable members of the Ambassadors program and provide a boon to the Speaker’s Bureau program of seasoned professionals by virtue of being young and relatable to the students we are presenting to.


ecently, the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region became one of the newest members of the national Dream It. Do It. network with the creation of the Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas chapter. The Dream It. Do It. program is comprised of 35 sites in 34 states, reaching 365,000 students nationwide. The program was created by The Manufacturing Institute to combat negative perceptions about careers in manufacturing industries. Based upon a successful inaugural year, the Economic Alliance requested and was granted 501c3 status in October 2015. Governance of the foundation is managed by a volunteer board of directors. Because the Education Foundation is still in its infancy, the organization is still welcoming inquiries about board participation. The mission of Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas is to facilitate communication and action to build a skilled workforce in the Southeast Texas region. To accomplish this mission, the program begins by informing students, educators, and parents of careers in petrochemical, manufacturing, logistics and construction industries through a variety of programs and activities.

Young Manufacturer’s Summer Academy (YMSA) The YMSA program introduces students to advanced manufacturing through hands-on activities and simulation-based learning, travel to industry locations for on-site interaction with manufacturers, and a mock career fair capstone event. Students’ families are invited to the career fair as a parent/guardian encouragement, because support is a critical component in the decisionmaking process about education and

Would you like to participate in our Speaker’s Bureau or become a founding member of our Board of Directors? Let us know! We are looking for successful candidates who are eager to share their passion for the industries we represent: petrochemical, maritime, manufacturing, and construction. Please contact Program Manager Denise Smesny at denise@

MFG. Day Manufacturing Day (MFG. Day) is Oct. 7, 2016, and will address the misconceptions about jobs in the MFG and petrochemical industry by providing an opportunity to showcase what their industries are all about. By working together during MFG Day, employers will begin to connect with future generations to address the labor shortage and ensure the growth of the regional industry. Last year, 19 companies participated by providing job shadowing opportunities for teachers, speaking to numerous students and educators and providing tours of their facilities. Anticipating another positive outcome, Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas looks forward to celebrating Manufacturing Day again this year. The Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas program works to stimulate a positive attitude about careers in the petrochemical, maritime, construction, and manufacturing industries and provides a foundation of resources to help students understand that if you can dream it, you can do it! To learn more about the program, please visit the website at: www.dreamitdoittx. org

“The mission of Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas is to facilitate communication and action to build a skilled workforce in the Southeast Texas region.” career choices. The YMSA schedule includes tours, hand-on activities by local industry representatives, a tour of the Port of Houston,and other program activities supported by a curriculum provided by the National Association of Manufacturers. Sandvik Coromant, a Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas partner, supported the initiative through sponsorship of the first inaugural Young Manufacturer’s Summer Academy in July 2015.

Program Manager New Hire Because of the tremendous early success of the Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas programs, the Economic Alliance has hired a full-time program manager, Denise Smesny, who will be responsible for oversight of all Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas activities. A retired educator of 28 years, Ms. Smesny has taught a variety of subjects including Vocational Home Economics (Lee College), English, Creative Writing, Reading,

Computer Literacy, and Cisco Networking (Goose Creek CISD). In addition, Denise has been a district level Instructional Technology Specialist (Goose Creek CISD) as well as coordinator and director of Instructional Technology, Libraries, and Career and Technical Education (Sheldon ISD). In addition, Mrs. Smesny served as the program director for the 1:1 Nova 5000 hand held-computer project in Goose Creek CISD. The program manager position is a highly-visible, public-facing position in charge of the direction, strategy, outreach, and effective management and implementation of the regional workforce development programming of Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas. Ms. Smesny will act as the primary point of contact for Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas and the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region on all workforce programming-related tasks. “Denise’s outreach experience in educational conferences including, the Texas Middle School Conference, Texas Computer Educator’s Association, Region IV Technology Conference, Texas Career and Technical Education Conference, and the East Texas Historical Society, will be invaluable in communicating the career opportunities available in the manufacturing, petrochemical, logistics, and other related industries, along the Houston Ship Channel to a variety of audiences throughout the region,” said Chad Burke, president & CEO of the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region. “We are excited to have Denise on-board with our organizations. We know she will not only represent our industries well, but energize students, parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators to learn more about the career opportunities available in our industries to fill the current gap.”

Sponsorship The Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas educational foundation is a tax-deductible 501c3 non-profit and is actively seeking sponsorship from business and industry leaders. This is an exciting opportunity to support an organization doing grassroots work in the area of raising awareness of careers in the petrochemical, maritime, manufacturing, and construction industries. Sponsorship of our organization ensures that the return on your investment will be seen directly in the organization’s programs . For more information on how to become a part of this movement, please contact Denise Smesny at

MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


said, I also just “happened to have the right last name” too. How did it initially feel to be back at home and working for your parents? At first I was really apprehensive. I didn’t understand the synergy between marketing and public relations or the companies and industries our organization represents. I also had been away for seven years and was worried about how this new role would change our family dynamic. But over a short period of time, we all noticed it was working pretty well. I started with some small projects and then as I continued to learn the industry and business, started managing larger projects. One thing that has really helped, is remembering that I work with my dad for my mom; after all she’s always been the boss. (Laughs) What have you learned about the PR industry or yourself so far? A lot of Public Relations work is learning as you go. There is always something new and interesting. But one thing is for sure, it’s about relationships. You have to make time and take an interest in developing and maintaining relationships.

his month in our Young Professional Profile, we sat down with Ross Winkler, manager of strategy at Winkler Public Relations. In addition to helping manage Winkler Public Relations business development efforts, Ross uses his marketing, sales and media relations experience to advise and counsel Winkler Public Relations clients on sales and marketing programs. Before your current role at Winkler Public Relations, you were in a completely different field. Tell us more. After I graduated from Auburn


University with my marketing degree, I worked in corporate sales and marketing for the Montgomery Biscuits; a minor league baseball team based in Montgomery, Ala. The team is the Class AA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. After working there several years, my parents reached out to me about potentially working with them. Their business was doing well and growing, and they were looking for some help. At first, I wasn’t sure what I could do to help. I didn’t really have a true gauge of what they did; I didn’t understand their business since I had been away for school and starting my career. So, when your parents asked to come join the “family business,” what was your initial reaction? (Laughs) I was actually surprised. I thought they were happy with the dynamics they had going on. Being 11 hours away, I didn’t see they were in need of some assistance – their business was flourishing. After we talked a few times, I realized they needed some help. And like my mom

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

How do you do that? In our organization, we definitely work as a team. It takes time and effort to develop and maintain good relationships. Our success comes from the relationships my family has built over the years and their hard work maintaining those relationships. It’s a priority for us. We take a vested interest in not only our clients’ interests but also the interests of the organizations we participate in, like the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region. Our business is about people. That’s our motto; we’re about “Working Relationships.” So, it sounds like networking is important. What are the characteristics of a successful “networker”? First, you have to be an active listener. Listen to what people are telling you. It all starts with their name, that’s everybody’s favorite thing to hear – their name. Nothing is more important to a person than who they are. We meet so many people all the time and people know that, so if you can remember and repeat their name, they feel like you really do care and are really listening. Second, I would suggest building upon conversations you’ve had with someone in the past. Take your

conversations deeper than idle chit chat. Find a common ground in a conversation and take it to a deeper level. Talk about their business, who they represent, show your knowledge about who they are and/or what they do. Third, follow up! It takes time, but following up on conversations is critical. I learned this in my sales role with the baseball team. In my role now, I’m not in this business just to sell our organization; I’m in it to develop relationships. So, following up is crucial. Something simple as a quick email thanking them for their time, or a Christmas card, this shows you are genuinely interested in maintaining a relationship with them. As one of my college professors once said, “Business and networking is like dating – your goal is always to impress the other person.” This starts with confidence. You have to feel that what you or your company does is critical to everyone in the room. We are in that room for a reason, identify your value and make sure people know what it is. Networking is important in business. Is there a difference between “business networking” and “social networking”? Absolutely, it’s okay to have opportunities to socialize, in fact, it’s a good idea. It helps you develop contacts for potential business in the future. But not every networking opportunity is valuable. You need to be able to tell the difference. Always ask yourself these questions: “Am I in a room with the right people? Is this an opportunity to have conversations that will drive business relationships?” We choose to be involved in organizations that provide networking opportunities that are valuable to our business. For example, as members of the Economic Alliance, we surround ourselves with people that have similar business interests. We are with people we can help and that can help us. The ability to network is great – but bottom line, it needs to create value for our business. For more on Winkler Public Relations: About the Young Professional Profile

The Young Professional Profile is an effort to create a forum for those under 40 who are excelling in their respective fields across Texas. There is a depth and breadth to the Millennial generation as a group of adults that is marked by a commitment to higher principles in the work they do, the ability to professionally marry what were traditionally separate streams of expertise, and a voracious appetite for new skills.


Boeing VP John Elbon named BAHEP’s chairman for 2016


oeing Vice President and General Manager John Elbon has been named chairman of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership for 2016, President Bob Mitchell announced. Other officers are Vice Chairman Rich Jackson, Lockheed Martin director of NASA Programs; Secretary Stephen K. Jones Jr., Clear Lake Regional Medical Center CEO; and Treasurer Jennifer Bowers, partner, Bowers & Sadler, LLP. Members of BAHEP’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors are:

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE • • • • • • • • • • • •

John Elbon, Vice President/General Manager, Space Exploration, The Boeing Company Dick H. Gregg, Jr., Attorney-at-Law/President, Gregg & Gregg, P.C. Fred B. Griffin, Owner & Chairman, Griffin Partners, Inc. Richard (Rich) Jackson, Director, NASA Programs, Lockheed Martin IS&GS Civil Stephen K. Jones, Jr., CEO, Clear Lake Regional Medical Center Tim Kropp, Executive Vice President, MRI Technologies Ron W. Masters, President, MaximGroup Dennis W. Petersen, President, Lockwood, Andrews, & Newnam, Inc. Jayant Ramakrishnan, Ph.D., COO, Bastion Technologies, Inc. Greg Smith, Ph.D., Superintendent, Clear Creek Independent School District William A. Staples, Ph.D., President, University of Houston-Clear Lake John Wilkins, CEO, CLC Properties


Frans Gillebaard (1939 - 2013)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


• •

• • •

Jennifer Bowers, Partner, Bowers & Sadler, LLP Brenda Hellyer, Ed.D., Chancellor, San Jacinto College District Lon F. Miller, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Jacobs Bernard A. Milstein, M.D., President, The Eye Clinic of Texas Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D., Director, NASA Johnson Space Center



Mike Bloomfield, Vice President & General Manager, Oceaneering Space Systems, Inc. Genie Bopp, Vice President, Human Performance & Engineering Division, Wyle STE Group Gale E. Burkett, President/CEO, GB Tech, Inc. Don Burrows, Jr., Senior Vice President, Burrows, Auttonberry & Agol Investment Group of Hilltop Securities Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

• • • • • • • • • •

Jeffrey E. Carr, Vice President, Aerospace Communications, Griffin Communications Group Brent Cockerham, Market President, Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T) Mark Conrad, Owner, Express Employment Professionals Michael L. Cornett, President, Texas Citizens Bank, NA Darren Crowell, President, Cimarron Brian Duffy, Orbital ATK John Elbon, Vice President/General Manager, Space Exploration, The Boeing Company Marcy Fryday, Marketing Director, Lakewood Yacht Club Mike Furin, Vice President, My FlooringAMERICA Mark Gittleman, P.E., Executive Vice President, Intuitive Machines, LLC Lloyd Graham, Superintendent of Schools, La Porte Independent School District Dick H. Gregg Jr., Attorney-at-Law/President, Gregg & Gregg, P.C. Fred B. Griffin, Owner & Chairman, Griffin Partners, Inc. Marc Havican, President, Space City Films, Inc. Mike Huss, Senior Vice President, Green Bank Richard (Rich) Jackson, Director, NASA Programs, Lockheed Martin IS&GS Civil Bobbie Jessie, President/CEO, JES Tech Stephen K. Jones, Jr., CEO, Clear Lake Regional Medical Center Don Kelly, Ph.D., President, Encore Business Consulting John Kennedy, Commissioner, Port of Houston Authority Tim Kropp, Executive Vice President, MRI Technologies Katrina Lambrecht, Vice President and Chief of Staff, UTMB Health Beth Lewis, Ed.D., President, College of the Mainland John Martinec, President, AeroSys, LLC Ron W. Masters, President, MaximGroup Robert McAfoos, Director/Program Manager, Barrios Technology Brenda Miller-Ferguson, Publisher, Houston Community Newspapers & Media Group Lon F. Miller, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Jacobs Sergio (Checo) Muniz, President, CYFOR Technologies, LLC Stephanie Murphy, Deputy CEO, MEI Technologies, Inc. Denise Navarro, President, Logical Innovations, Inc.

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Dan Newman, CEO, Houston Methodist St. John Hospital Dennis W. Petersen, President, Lockwood, Andrews, & Newnam, Inc. Jayant Ramakrishnan, Ph.D., COO, Bastion Technologies, Inc. John Russo, General Manager, Houston Site, UTC Aerospace Systems Darryl E. Smith, ERC Program Manager, ERC, Inc. Greg Smith, Ph.D., Superintendent, Clear Creek Independent School District RADM Robert Smith, III, USN (Ret.), CEO, Texas A&M University at Galveston William A. Staples, Ph.D., President, University of Houston-Clear Lake Charlie Stegemoeller, Vice President, Program Management, SAIC Jim Sweeney, Owner, Minuteman Press—Bay Area Gwen Wagner, CEcD, CCD, Manager, National Sales ED, CenterPoint Energy John Wilkins, CEO, CLC Properties

BOARD EX OFFICIO MEMBERS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Jennifer Bowers, Partner, Bowers & Sadler, LLP Chad Burke, President/CEO, Economic Alliance Houston Port Region Mary Alys Cherry, Editor and Publisher, Bay Area Houston Magazine Ruby Cubley, Individual Member Cindy Harreld-DeWease, President/CEO, Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Brenda Hellyer, Ed.D., Chancellor, San Jacinto College District Bernard A. Milstein, M.D., President, The Eye Clinic of Texas Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D., Director, NASA Johnson Space Center Victor Pierson, President/CEO, Moody National Bank Bix Rathburn, Ph.D., Director of Economic Development, Galveston County Mike Shields, Executive Director, Baytown/ West Chambers County Economic Development Foundation Jeff Sjostrom, President, Galveston Economic Development Partnership Steven Skarke, Vice President, Kaneka North America, LLC Michael Sullivan, Harris County Tax AssessorCollector Hajime “Sam” Suzuki, Vice President, Administration, Kuraray America, Inc.

MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Ron Carter Clear Lake Now Accepting Applications for College Scholarships


on Carter Clear Lake will again recognize the hard work and dedication of college bound Greater Clear Lake Area High School seniors in 2016 through the Ron Carter Clear Lake Community Achievers Scholarship. Each year, recipients are chosen based on academic achievement, character, leadership, service, and adult recommendations. Ron Carter Clear Lake will award five college scholarships in the amount of $1,000 to deserving applicants. One outstanding recipient will be selected for each month. The program starts in March and ends in July. Applications are now being accepted. This scholarship is open to high school seniors in the Greater Clear Lake Area and surrounding areas that reside in Clear Creek ISD, Alvin ISD, Deer Park ISD, Pasadena ISD, Dickinson ISD, LaPorte ISD, Pearland ISD and Friendswood ISD. Applicants may be students of public, parochial or home schools. Visit to download the application.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

Stewart Elementary Principal Dr. Britani Moses, center, is recognized for her work at the Kemah school during a ceremony at Kemah City Hall. With her are, from left, CCISD Board President Dr. Laura DuPont, Kemah Mayor Carl Joiner, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Holly Hughes, Deputy Superintendent of Business and Support Services Paul McLarty and Stewart PTA President Angie Chaviers.

Stewart Elementary principal honored by City of Kemah By Sydney O’Drobinak


ew people can say they have had a day declared in their honor. However, the principal of Stewart Elementary School in the Clear Creek School District could after the City of Kemah officially proclaimed a day in Januard “Britani Moses Day.” Dr. Moses was recognized by Kemah Mayor Carl Joiner at a City Council meeting for her professional achievements, unwavering dedication to the success of her students and staff, and support to the city as a whole. “If there is someone who deserves a day named in their honor, it is Dr. Moses,” said CCISD Assistant Superintendent of Elementary

Education Holly Hughes. “She dedicates her time and effort to going above and beyond for her students and staff at Stewart Elementary, and you can see the positive impact she has through her successes as an educator. She is an outstanding role model to all in CCISD.” This is one more honor to add to Dr. Moses’ growing list of accomplishments throughout her career as an educator. Since beginning her journey as a teacher at Stewart Elementary in 2001, she has held several titles within the district, including assistant principal and Elementary English Language Arts coordinator, before returning to Stewart Elementary as principal in 2008. She went on to complete her

New McWhirter Elementary School Opens in Webster


he 60-year old Margaret S. McWhirter Elementary School is new again. The doors opened to students for the first time at the newly constructed facility Monday, Feb. 1, when the hallways rang with delight and anticipation as staff and students got settled in the stone and brick building. A Rededication Ceremony is set for March 3 at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited and former students and staff are encouraged to attend and help

celebrate this new chapter in the life of McWhirter Elementary School. The McWhirter campus has many features to facilitate learning including collaborative areas that are teamed with computer labs enclosed with foldable glass walls to make break-out spaces. Science and art classrooms

Doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2010 where she used her thesis on cognitive benefits on second language learning to assist with organizing the district’s first ever Bilingual Institute. Her leadership skills in engaging students, parents and the community over the years led to Stewart being named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2014, Dr. Moses receiving the prestigious 2014 Terrel H. Bell Award, and being selected as the CCISD 2015 Elementary Principal of the Year. “Stewart Elementary has been a dedicated part of the Kemah community for decades. The staff members, parents and community members have partnered together to create an engaging and meaningful learning environment for each student,” said Dr. Moses. “Being recognized by the City of Kemah is an outstanding honor for me. I am humbled to serve in a school and community whose primary goal is to help students be successful.” One could see the huge impact Dr. Moses has had on the Stewart community when the entire student body, staff, parents and Mayor Joiner surprised her with a spirit assembly the morning of her special day to celebrate her and show their appreciation. Even though it is a day honoring her, she quickly attributes her success to the compassion of each educator, parent and community member who has positively impacted Stewart Elementary year after year. She attributes her passion for education to her parents, who were both teachers and principals, and her husband, Franklin, who is principal of Dobie High School. “Clear Creek ISD is proud to have a leader like Dr. Moses and looks forward to her continued success within the district,” Hughes said.

feature outdoor project areas. The Community Education area boasts classrooms with operable walls that can be used to create custom areas for after-hours adult education activities. “We are truly the heart of our community,” said McWhirter Principal Dr. Michael Marquez, “We are so proud of our new home and the opportunities we can offer our students and families.” Phase one of the project is complete and phase two will begin soon. The old McWhirter building will be demolished and the area will be repurposed for soccer fields and additional parking for the campus. The $31 million project is part of the 2013 CCISD Bond program passed overwhelmingly by voters.

UHCL professor pens book on Protagoras UH-Clear Lake Professor Dr. Daniel Silvermintz, who has authored many academic articles over the years, has recently penned his first book, about the ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras. “Despite being one of the most important figures in the history of political thought and philosophy, this is one of the few books written about him and the only work aimed at a wide audience,” Silvermintz explains, adding that Protagoras is universally recognized as the first philosopher to defend democracy. The new book, which is available on the Amazon website, draws praise from Yale University Alfred Cowles Professor of Political Science Steven B. Smith. “In this short, elegant and readable work, Daniel Silvermintz brings alive one of the most elusive and enigmatic thinkers of the ancient world.” Silvermintz, an assistant professor of humanities who has taught at UHCL for the past 12 years and instructed some 2,500 students, received the prestigious Jerry G. Gaff Teaching Award presented by the Association for General and Liberal Studies in 2009 to recognize his innovative teaching strategies. He has a diverse academic background with advanced degrees in philosophy, sociology and political thought and was a visiting scholar in the Critical Theory Institute at the University of CaliforniaIrvine.

MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Yea, it’s flashy, with tons of chrome accents, bold, squared-off shoulders and wheel openings, but isn’t that what cowboys and girls want? Paint it tuxedo black and it can even be used to ride off in the sunset with your new bride or groom. The dash is a well thought-out two-piece affair with center stack controls separated from the center console. Combined with a two-color palate, wood-trimmed steering wheel and contrasting stitching throughout, you’ll feel like you just got your spurs polished. GM let the horses loose under the hood of the Deanli. The 3.6-liter V-6 delivers 301-horsepower and gets 16 mpg-city and 23-highway The newly refreshed 2016 GMC Terrain AWD Denali starts at 35,725. By Don Armstrong


ound these parts, there are three weeks every year that define our little corner of Texas better than any other. The event is called the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It’s the single largest gathering of real cowboys and girls on earth and no better place to show up than in a brand new SUV.

BMW X1 Since most of us are the drug store type cowboy or girl, BMW just seems a perfect fit here. The 2016 X1 is all new from the ground up and includes enhancements such as increased interior room, more proportionate sheet metal and a desirability factor that has increased exponentially. The smallest SUV in BMW’s stable is powered by a 2.0-liter twin-turbo I-4 that delivers 228-horsepower to a fulltime all-wheel drive system. Connected to the 8-speed automatic transmission this becomes one of the


smoothest combos since Conway Twitty graced the rodeo stage. The combination of steel, wood and leather interior surfaces take you from the barn to the show like few others. Handling is precise and the ride quality can be compared to nothing else, unless it’s other BMW’s. Other automakers have tried to mimic it, but few have ever come close. What really gets us excited about this all-new X1 is the price; starts at $34,800. Our tester came with cold weather, driver assistance, premium and technology packages, yet MSRP was $46,570. Giddy up.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

GMC Terrain Denali Some may say that rodeo is an American sport, so you better show up in something from an American company. Okay, how ‘bout GMC? These folks have been building trucks since dirt. GMC’s Denali trim level is like snatching that big, gold belt buckle after your winning ride.

MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Experience a TailWagging Good Time!


ashion, food, four-legged friends and philanthropy are the agenda for the “Dogs & Divas Fashion Show


Luncheon” to be held Friday, April 8, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Waters Edge Venue, a premiere two and a half acre waterfront event center, located on Clear Lake at 3901 NASA Parkway in El Lago. The fashion show and luncheon will be hosted by Bay Area Turning Point and The Pet Palace. The event will feature local celebrity models, elected officials, business and community leaders strolling the runway with their favorite dogs. Fashions will be provided by Casanova’s Downfall, Impression Bridal, Clothes Horse, Melinda’s Boutique, Palais Royal and Alvin Tuxedos.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

Proceeds support Bay Area Turning Point’s shelter and non-shelter services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Sponsors include Amoco Federal Credit Union, Houston Methodist St. John Hospital, Whataburger, Bay Area Printing, Bay Area Houston Magazine, Marc B. Marquez, MBA, RICP Financial Advisor/Financial Planning Specialist, Heartis Clear Lake and Gay and Reitz, Attorneys at Law. Additional sponsorships are welcomed. Sponsorship levels are: • Bow “Wow” - $2,500 (Reserved table for 10, placement in all print media, BATP website, Facebook and recognition at the event) • Pure Bred - $1,500 (Reserved table for 8, placement in all print media, BATP website, Facebook and recognition at the event) • Man’s Best Friend - $1,000 (6 tickets, placement in all print media, BATP website, Facebook and recognition at the event) • Tail Wagger - $500 (4 tickets and recognition at the event) • Puppy Love - $250 (2 tickets and recognition at the event) Individual tickets to the event are $50 each. Reservations are required. With a gorgeous view of the water,

a preview of spring and summer styles and a delicious gourmet menu, tickets are selling quickly. Bay Area Turning Point is a notfor-profit agency founded in 1991 to the meet the needs of the Bay Area Houston community. In 2015, BATP provided safe shelter for 264 adults and 226 children and served 96,548 meals; reached 3,653 participants with community education; received 8,805 domestic violence calls and 3,002 sexual assault calls on its 24 hour hotline; and provided 4,115 hours of therapeutic counseling. The Pet Palace, located at 14300 Gulfstream Park Drive in Webster, is an all-inclusive pet resort. It is a state-of-the-art facility exceeding all pet industry standards for boarding, grooming, doggie daycare, training and pet supplies.ace is an allinclusive Pet Resort for not only the Pet but Pet Lover’s as well. For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to purchase tickets contact Lisa Smith at or call 281.338.7600. Visit www. to learn more about the mission of Bay Area Turning Point.




P am e l a

P ho t o g raph y

The 2016 Flag Officers arrive at Lakewood for the Commodore’s Ball. They are, from left, Fleet Capt. Tom Frankum, Vice Commodore Jim Winton, Commodore Don Mitchell and Rear Commodore Ashley Walker.

Pasadena City Councilman Cary Bass and his wife, Fran, enjoy the ball.

Former Seabrook Mayor Jack Fryday and his wife, Marcy, join the crowd.

Yachtsman of the Year Al Goethe and his wife, Kathy, arrive at the ball.

Commodore Don Mitchell stops for a photo with his wife, Marilyn.

MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Photography by Mary Alys Cherry

R O DE O F AS HI O N By Haleigh Tieken


t’s that time of year again and by that I mean rodeo season. Time to stock up on your boots, fringe, and blinged out belt buckles ladies. Rodeo fashion is always a topic of conversation in Texas once March rolls around, and lucky for you this article has all the insight on the latest trends this season. Suede is very in this year. There’s so many options to choose from, whether it be a suede skirt or a suede top, the selection is endless. You can pair suede with denim for a neutral look and spice it up with some turquoise jewelry or a colorful undershirt or pair of boots. Vests are another popular add on this year. Many stores are coming out with fringe vests in all colors that will make you stand out at the rodeo for your fashion forward ensemble. If you want to go for the fringe look,


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

there are many different pieces of apparel you can choose from. Of course there are shirts with fringe, along with jackets, but a real unique and fun look are fringe cowboy boots. They complete any outfit that you may feel is too plain or too neutral by adding a fun and flirty vibe to an old classic. As far as bottoms go, wide leg jeans and colorful bell bottoms are becoming more and more of an iconic fashion piece. You can pair wide leg jeans with booties and a colorful blouse if you’re trying to channel more of a hipster rodeo look. Also printed wide leg pants can be paired with just a white lace blouse and dressed up with a trio of necklaces. This rodeo season allows you to personalize the trends according to your own sense of fashion. There’s a variety of fun fashion to choose from and a variety of different looks as well -- the choice is yours.

Chevrolet dealer Norman Frede, right, and Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith were among the many attending the 50th anniversary Rodeo Style Show at the Gilruth Center.

Long-time Bay Area Go Texan Committee members, Anita Fogtman, Gene Hollier and Emmeline Dodd, from left, can hardly wait for the Rodeo Fashion Show to begin. Both women have served as captain of the local rodeo committee and Hollier is a Houston Rodeo director. Dodd also served as chairman of the style show. All three are lifetime members of the rodeo.

Jana Miller, Jill Reasoner, Michelle Richardson and Ellen Mosher, from left, wonder out loud how one event can be so much fun as they enjoy the Bay Area Go Texan Rodeo Style Show.

Photos by Mary Alys Cherry

Ange Mertens invites the crowd to dream a little as the 50th anniversary fashion shows begins.

Chris Howland, Karen Reed, Kay Lee Benoit, Dana Brown and Judie Ferguson, from left, were among the hundreds who were at the 50th annual Rodeo Style Show at NASA’s Gilruth Center, just having a great time.

Mr. Rodeo, aka retired Constable Bill Bailey, and his wife, Janice, join the crowd celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Rodeo Style Show.

Despite working hard on rodeo events, this trio of cowgirls still had time for fun at the Rodeo Style Show. They are, from left, Lisa Gurgos, 2016 fashion show chairman; Dianna Jones, who is serving a three-year term as the Bay Area captain, overseeing all area events; and Irene Pavig, who is a former captain and a former style show chairman

Shelley Rogers, who has chaired the Cowboys and Cowgirls Who Cook event several times, is happy to see Lifetime Members of the rodeo, Steven Kirk, left, and Rocky Mauldin at the Go Texan Rodeo Style Show.


League City to fill council vacancies The City of League City will conduct a special election in March 19 to fill two vacancies on the City Council -- the seats formerly held by Councilmember Tommy Cones and Mayor Tim Paulissen. A runoff will be held April 23 if necessary. Cones submitted his resignation Nov. 24, which according to the City’s charter, creates a vacancy on the City Council beginning Dec. 7. Paulissen’s resignation was automatically triggered under state law and City charter provisions when he announced his candidacy for a County Commissioner seat. Cones left to become assistant fire chief and fire marshal for League City. Paulissen will serve as mayor until his replacement is chosen in the special election, between Pat Hallisey and Jean Marie Franz. Hank Dugie will fill Cones’ seat. Vacancies occurring on the City Council with an unexpired term of more than 12 months must be filled by a Special Election. Both, Paulissen and Cones have unexpired terms exceeding 12 months.

TxDOT to start 146 acquisitions The State Highway 146 Expansion


Project is progressing with right-ofway acquisitions scheduled to begin soon. Last month, officials with the Texas Department of Transportation informed the City of Seabrook that property appraisals and right-ofway acquisitions on properties and businesses that will be impacted by the expansion of the highway would now begin. Over the next several months, TxDOT will proceed with the following: review property titles, conduct property appraisals, negotiate with property owners, provide business relocation assistance, commence property demolition, and let the construction contract in Summer 2018. Construction is expected to begin Fall 2018. Right-of-way acquisition negotiations between Union Pacific and TxDOT are ongoing.

Santa Fe man dies in NASA 1 crash A Santa Fe man was killed early Sunday, Jan. 24 in a horrific crash in the 2800 block of NASA Parkway near the Nassau Bay Hilton and the Johnson Space Center. Dustyn Hertenberger, the 25-yearold driver, was killed when he drove a white 2012 Ford F-150 across the center median of the roadway at approximately 2:30 a.m. and struck a palm tree, snapping it in half. Deputies with Constable Phil Sandlin’s office, who were dispatched to the scene, said the impact was severe and Hertenberger was pronounced dead at the scene. The other two occupants of the vehicle, a

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

21-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man, sustained non-life threatening injuries and were treated at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center.

Nassau Bay gets new city vehicles Nassau Bay showed off its new fire engine and new ambulance in ceremonies at the Nassau Bay Fire Station on Surf Court. The new Fire Engine 82 is a Pierce Enforcer Pumper Truck and will replace a vehicle that had been in service for more than 21 years. The $408,000 vehicle was largely paid for with a $200,000 grant from the Texas A&M Forest Service. Proceeds from the sale of the old engine provided another $50,000. The remaining $158,000 is paid for with City Capital Project Funds. The new $174,740 ambulance, a Medic 8, will provide new technology and equipment that will allow medics to deliver more efficient and improved patient care. It also was paid for with City Capital Project Funds.

High Speed Rail moving along Plans are moving forward on the Houston-to-Dallas High Speed Rail project. Texas Central Partners announced that the draft environmental report providing a comprehensive analysis of the Houston-to-Dallas line is on pace for release and review this summer. Design changes are currently underway and if all goes according with current plans, construction

could begin in 2017 and the service would be operational in 2021.

Chief Cashiola to retire March 4 Nassau Bay Police Chief Joe Cashiola plans to retire Friday, March 4. “I have truly enjoyed my time with the City of Nassau Bay. I am thankful for the staff that worked so hard during my tenure as chief. Additionally, I would like to thank the citizens of Nassau Bay, who I have grown to know and love. I leave you with a very capable group of honest and hardworking men and women who will continue to serve and protect the citizens of Nassau Bay,” Cashiola said. He has been with the Police Department for more than 34 years, working his way up the ranks until he was appointed chief of police in 2009. Nassau Bay Mayor Mark Denman described Cashiola as “a great peace officer and leader, well known for his quietbut strong demeanor, going back the 30 years I have known him. His relationships with many Nassau Bay citizens run deep, he will be sorely missed.”

Arrest made in 1983 triple murder case By Mary Alys Cherry


eague City Police Detectives have arrested 58-year-old Jesse “Dean” Kersh for the 1983 murders of Beth Yvette Wilburn, Thomas Earl McGraw and James Craig Oatis, who died in what became known around the Bay Area as the “Corvette Murders.” Detectives arrested Kersh in Spring at 8 a.m. Jan. 27 and he was taken to the Galveston County Jail, where he was held on bonds totaling $150,000. The triple homicide, which was the talk of the town for many months, occurred in League City at a business named Corvette Concepts, located at 595 W. Main St. Beth Wilburn was co-owner of the business at the time. Thomas McGraw was an employee of the business and James Oatis was a contracted electrician performing work on the premises. The victims, already dead, were discovered by a co-owner of the business, Robert Currie, at 7:45 a.m. Nov. 3, 1983.

According to the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s reports, Wilburn had 114 stab wounds and four gunshot wounds, Oatis had 10 gunshot wounds and McGraw had 15 stab wounds and 7 gunshot wounds. At the time, suspect Kersh was an employee at Corvette Concepts. The “Corvette Concepts” case spans over three decades with multiple law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation. “The pursuit to bring justice and closure to this historic and unsolved League City homicide case has been a personal endeavor for all involved,” officers said in making the announcement. “The League City Police Department is grateful for the partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Texas Rangers, and other area law enforcement agencies for their assistance in this investigation over the years,” they added. Kersh has since hired an attorney and posted bond.

Dennis Xu set to perform with Houston Symphony


eague City fifth grader, Dennis Xu, has been selected through a rigorous audition process to perform the boy soprano solo in Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms to be presented by the Houston Symphony and Chorus March 18, 19 and 20 at Jones Hall. Sung in Hebrew, the soprano solo is a beautiful setting of the 23rd Psalm. In addition to the Bernstein choral and orchestral work, the concert will feature Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with its beloved final movement in which the Houston Symphony chorus performs the Ode to Joy. Dennis was sponsored and coached for his audition by his Bay Area Youth Singers musical directors, Carol Colvin, Brenda Varvoutis and Carol Barwick. He has been singing solos since he was a young boy, and has performed regularly for the Chinese Moon Festival and New Year celebrations. He studies voice with David Smith and is a student at Parr Elementary. MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Clear Lake

Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership luncheon photos by mary alys cherry Mayor Jim Yarbrough of Galveston, second from left, stops for a photo with Port of Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther, Port Commissioner John Kennedy and State Rep. Dennis Paul, from left, at the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership luncheon at Cullen’s Grille, where he updated the crowd on how his city is bouncing back from the Hurricane Ike devastation.

BayTran board members Melinda Garcia, left, United Way of Greater Houston’s Bay Area manager, and Karen Coglianese, Webster economic development specialist enjoy lunch.

Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark, left, catches up on the news with former Nassau Bay City Manager Chris Reed.

BayTran luncheon March 10. The Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership will have Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longeria as speaker at its Thursday, March 10, luncheon at Cullen’s Grille. For reservations, email or call 832.771.0773. Genealogical Society meets March 18. Bay Area Genealogical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 18 at University Baptist Church Chapel,16106 Middlebrook Drive.” For information, visit The public is invited. DAR president here March 24. Daughters of the American Revolution President General Lynn Young will be honored at a reception at University of Houston-Clear Lake Thursday, March 24, from 9 a.m. to noon with additional recognitions at the replica of the Liberty Bell in the UHCL atrium. Plant sale April 6. The Gardeners By The Bay will hold their annual Plant Sale Wednesday, April 6, at University Baptist Church, southwest corner, 16106 Middlebrook Drive, from 9:20 a.m. to noon. BOWA luncheon April 7. Bay Oaks Women’s Association members will welcome Channel 11 meteorologist Chita Johnson at the April 7 luncheon at the country club. Members should RSVP to Amy Roppolo at bowareservations@gmail. com or call 281-731-7775.

Dickinson Murder on tap March 18. The Agatha Christi drama Witness For the Prosecution will unfold at Bay Area Harbour Playhouse Friday, March 18, through Sunday, April 10, with curtains at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays. For tickets, call 281-337-7469.

League City Dr. Glenn Freedman, left, gets to know new Nassau Bay City Manager Jason Reynolds and Assistant City Manager Mary Chambers at the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership luncheon at Cullen’s Grille.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2016

At Butler Longhorn Museum. Get “Up Close and Personal with Susan Gibson” on Friday, March 11, and “Up Close and

Personal with Vince King as Elvis” Friday, March 18, at Butler Longhorn Museum, 1220 Coryell St. For information or to purchase tickets, call the museum, 281-332-1393. Boat Show March 17-20. The South West International Boat Show, the largest in-water boat show in the Southwest, will hold its 8th annual event March 17-20 at South Shore Harbour Marina on Clear Lake in League City from noon to 7 p.m. March 17-18, 10 to 7 March 19 and 10-6 March 20.

Pasadena New at the Little Theatre. Pasadena Little Theatre, 4318 Allen-Genoa Road, will present The Exact Center of The Universe March 11-27, at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. Sundays. For reservations, call 713-941-1758.

Seabrook Rotary Springoree March 10. Space Center Rotary will hold its annual Springoree from 7 to 10 p.m. at Lakewood Yacht Club. The public is invited to attend. Cocktail attire.Tickets are $87.50 each.Call Chairman Janice Albro at 832-771-0123.

Taylor Lake Village Home Tour March 5-6. Houston Symphony League Bay Area members will host their annual Day By the Bay Home Tour which includes five homes – one in Taylor Lake Village, two in Nassau Bay and two in historic League City. Tickets, which are $15 in advance, are on sale at Arlan’s in Taylor Lake, Adelaide’s in Clear Lake City, The Clotheshorse in League City and Nassau Postal, 957 E. NASA Parkway or call 713-724-4961.

Webster McWhirter rededication March 3. McWhirter Elementary School will be rededicated during Clear Creek ISD ceremonies Thursday, March 3, at 5:30 p.m. at the campus at 300 Pennsylvania Ave., following a $31 million rebuild.

MARCH 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine