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December 2016

Nationally Recognized For Heart Care Bay Area Regional first and only hospital in Houston to achieve the highest level Chest Pain Accreditation




ON THE COVER Bay Area Regional Medical Center is located at the corner of Highway 3 and Blossom in Webster.


President & Chairman Rick Clapp

Executive Vice President Patty Kane Vice President & Creative Director Brandon Rowan

Sales & Marketing Debbie Salisbury


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

Administration Lillian Harmon Tammy Lipsey


Please address all correspondence to: Bay Area Houston Magazine P.O. Box 1032 Seabrook, TX 77586



Sleep your dental fears away


Lynne Powers notches highest score


Does Christmas seem busier? Less inspiring?


New tours, robots and exhibits added


Nationally recognized for heart care


Christmas shopping and dining


Babin takes BAHEP on space journey


KBRwyle celebrates new offices

Dental Health Brook Grad’s Top Score on Texas Bar Exam Pause to Simplify Christmas Space Center Houston’s Winter Day Camps Bay Area Regional Medical Center Shop and Dine in the Bay Area Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership Business Buzz

Emmeline Dodd Honored


Recognized by Armand Bayou Nature Center


Clear Creek Education Foundation Gala


Find life’s turning points


Celebrations begin Feb. 11


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.


2017 Quasar Award

Education Foundation Honors 12 Dishin’ It Out Yachty Gras


Photography Mary Alys Cherry Brian Stewart Distribution Shinkle Distribution

BAHEP to honor Sen. Larry Taylor

35 Education CCISD spotlights Brook’s Syamantak Payra

Publisher & Editor in Chief Mary Alys Cherry

Graphic Designer Kelly Groce



Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016


Clear Lake Chatter Having lunch Kentucky Derby style

Texas Meditations Age and happiness


Christmas Cars

In Wheel Time


Is fishing still affordable for families?


The 7th annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta


Bay Area Houston calendar of events

The Admiral’s Log Lakewood Yacht Club News and Events Main Events

BAHEP to honor Sen. Taylor with its 2017 Quasar Award 2 0 1 5

By Kathryn Paradis


ince 1994, the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership has begun each year by throwing a really big party for 600-700 of its closest friends. They arrive at the event dressed in their finest attire looking forward to an evening of camaraderie, great food and entertainment. However, this is by no means just any old party. It’s BAHEP’s annual Quasar Award Banquet -- one of the most anticipated events of the year in Bay Area Houston -- which will be held Friday, Feb. 3 at South Shore Harbour Resort in League City.     The Quasar Award honors an outstanding elected official or business leader who, through his or her actions and leadership, has demonstrated a strong and continual effort to support the business foundations of the greater Bay Area Houston communities. The recipient’s actions must have gone above and beyond to promote the economic development of the region and the fulfillment of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership’s objectives to

recruit, retain and expand primary jobs in the region. Bob Mitchell, BAHEP president, said, “We are very pleased to announce that Texas State Sen. Larry Taylor will be the recipient of the 2017 Quasar Award. For many years, Sen. Taylor has been heavily invested in issues that safeguard our homes and businesses and add immeasurably to our quality of life. Historically, these become huge economic drivers by creating stability and attracting companies and jobs to the region.”  

Taylor a native Texan

A native Texan, Sen. Taylor attended Baylor University where he received his BBA in 1982. He and his wife, Kerri, are the proud parents of three adult children and a granddaughter, Lila.  Sen. Taylor owns Truman Taylor Insurance Agency in Friendswood, an independent agency started by his father more than 50 years ago. Sen. Taylor serves as the chairman of the Senate Public Education Committee and as a member of the Senate Finance, Business and Commerce and Intergovernmental Relations Committees. Before his election to the Texas Senate in 2012, he served five terms in the Texas House of Representatives. The senator represents Texas Senate District 11, comprised of portions of Brazoria,

Space City Films winner of an Emmy


pace City Films, a nationally recognized digital media and live event production company based in Bay Area Houston, received a 2016 Lone Star Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement during the 14th Annual Lone Star Emmy Awards in Fort Worth. Veteran filmmaker Marc Havican was presented with the Emmy for Writing in the Non-News Program category for his short film Soul of the Explorer. Shot on location in Houston, Seabrook and Alvin, Soul of the Explorer tells the story of a young girl whose curiosity about human space exploration is nurtured by her grandparents, and inspires her to become an astronaut. She grows up to become the commander of the first mission to Jupiter’s moon, Europa. The film features futuristic spacecraft, in-flight microgravity sequences, and deep space imagery created in-house at Space City Films. “We are honored and excited to take home such a prestigious award, “ said Marc Havican, chief storytelling officer at Space City Films. “Soul is a very personal

Marc Havican of Space City Films proudly holds up the Emmy.

film. It began as a poem that I wrote several years ago, and receiving an Emmy award was a thrilling experience. I had not written any acceptance remarks, and hearing our name called while the music played felt surreal. I can barely remember the walk to the stage!” Space City Films received two additional Emmy nominations; one for the dramatic hurricane film The Monster Storm in the Weather Feature category, and a second nomination for Soul of the Explorer in the Informational Program category. “We have an incredibly talented team of craftsmen and storytellers at Space City Films, and receiving three Emmy nominations is a testament to their dedication and creativity,” Havican said.

Galveston and Harris counties. Upon learning of Sen. Taylor’s selection, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said, “I congratulate Sen.Taylor for receiving the 2017 Quasar Award for his commitment and support of the greater Bay Area Houston business communities. He is a dedicated legislator who puts his community and his constituents first. When I appointed Sen. Taylor as Senate Education chair, I knew he had the determination to fight to make sure Texas school children have every opportunity to succeed. Sen. Taylor is a great public servant and the Bay Area is lucky to have him.” William A. Staples, Ph.D., president of UH-Clear Lake, added to the accolades, “Sen. Larry Taylor is most deserving of the 2017 Quasar Award due to his exceptional leadership and service to Bay Area Houston…(Besides serving) in key leadership roles…he has also been directly involved in critical issues for Bay Area Houston by serving on committees focused on a coastal barrier system, Texas ports and windstorm insurance. As a businessman/legislator, Sen. Taylor understands the need for business, education and government to work together to advance the economic development and quality of life of Bay Area Houston. He understands and supports the mission of BAHEP.”

There was a second Lone Star Emmy winner from Bay Area Houston -- Jason Clemmons of NASA TV took home an Emmy in the Writer – Short Form (Promos, PSAs, Commercials, Opens, Etc.) category for A Year in Space Featuring Billy Dee Williams. The Lone Star Emmy Awards represents the best and brightest television and media professionals from all disciplines of the industry and from all of Texas’ 19 television markets. The National Academy for Television Arts and Sciences was founded in 1957. It is dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. It recognizes excellence in television with the distinguished Emmy Award. The Lone Star Chapter was formed in 2002, and is now one of the largest in the country. Space City Films was founded in 1995 to tell the story of human spaceflight through creative vision, dynamic storytelling, and innovative 4K high definition media. Today SCF produces cinematic digital productions and live events for a wide variety of national and international customers. For more information, visit www., email marc@, or call 281.957.9295.

Voting for the Best of the Bay Awards begins in January As WE CLOSE OUT THIS great year, let us reflect on all the good that we saw in 2016. Give your favorite bar, business, restaurant, doctor, or establishment their well deserved kudos and vote for them in the 2016 Bay Area Houston Magazine Best of the Bay Awards. Every year we lift up the people’s voice, tally up every vote and announce the winners of these coveted awards at a fantastic celebration in 2016. Voting begins in January 2017 at

THIS YEAR’S CATEGORIES Best Mortgage Best Auto Repair Best Credit Union Best Café Best Bank Best Hair Salon Best Hair Stylist Best Pub Best Brunch Best Seafood Best Steak Best Sushi Best Pizza Best Italian Best Mexican Best Cajun Best Asian Best BBQ Most Romantic Restaurant Best Family Restaurant Best Burger Best Margarita Best Contractor/Remodeler Best Spa Best Realtor Best Women’s Apparel Best Dentist Best Entertainment Spot Best Women’s Boutique Best Yacht Club Best Marina Best City to Live Best Web Design Best Gift Shop Best Home Builder Best Wine Bar Best Breakfast Best Car Dealer domestic Best Car Dealer foreign Best Oysters Best Private School Best Resale Shop Best Hospital

DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Sleep Your Dental Fears Away


magine this: you are going about your daily business and all of a sudden a single thought crosses your mind. Almost instantly your heart starts racing. You find yourself feeling anxious and uneasy. You might even notice that your blood pressure has gone up. Many people report sweaty palms or a knot in their stomach. What could it be? Well, there are only a handful of thoughts that can affect us to that degree. You are either in love, getting ready to be audited by the IRS, or you just remembered you have a dental appointment. Of course I am making light of the dental fear, but for many people these responses are very real. Your logical side knows that you need to keep your appointment, and you will. But your emotional side does not want to be anywhere near your dentist’s office. When it’s time to go to your dentist, do any of these physical and emotional reactions sound familiar? Regrettably for too many people they do. There are those who express their fear of dentists openly but most of us take the brave route and keep it together by hiding our fear. Then there is the third group, people who completely give in to fear and just avoid going to the dentist altogether until something hurts to a point that it can no longer be tolerated. They then reluctantly go see their dentist and usually do just enough to relieve the pain. They might even decide to get as much as they can done on the same visit because

“Wouldn’t you rather be sound asleep while getting your dental work?” they know once they leave, they will not come back until the next toothache becomes unbearable. What percentage of population do you think belong to each of these three groups? More than thirty percent of people belong to the third group according to Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS). Even for those in group two who bravely visit their dentist regardless of their apprehension (like me), the experience is not very pleasant or relaxing. After all, it is completely natural to get uneasy when a sharp, long needle is approaching your mouth. Over the last 18 years I have rarely seen a patient who enjoys getting dental work done. Actually, on rare occasions (maybe once in a couple of years), I have come across some who enjoy getting anesthetic injections or teeth pulled. I always find that alarming and usually proceed to ask a few more questions to assure they are mentally sound. There are some special occasions in life that you want to remember. Getting dental work done is not one of them. The damage caused by dread of dental work goes beyond just sweaty palms and heavy palpitations. It causes many people to avoid routine dental checkups and early detection of

the oral problems when they are still small and easily correctable (and inexpensive). Some common oral health problems like Gingivitis are painless, so they get very little attention simply because they don’t hurt. Other problems such as development of tooth decay remain pain-free until the nerve of the tooth gets infected. By then the problem becomes more complicated, more painful to treat, and far more expensive. All of which further reinforces the original fear theory. I call that “oral catch 22.” Wouldn’t you rather be sound asleep while getting your dental work? That would be ideal, wouldn’t it? Well, the delivery of sedative drugs during the dental procedure will eliminate

feelings of discomfort and ensures a pleasant experience for the patient. Even though there are other forms of sedations available, they are usually not as effective or easily to titrate as intravenous (IV) sedation. The process is extremely simple. It is very similar to getting blood work done or donating blood. The specially trained dentist will establish an IV line and then give you some sedative drugs intravenously until you fall asleep. Next thing you remember, you wake up and your dental work is completed. It all seems like minutes as opposed to hours. Most people don’t even remember the whole experience. It is as though your mouth got magically fixed while you were sound sleep. I understand there are some of you who still prefer to feel and remember the whole experience. Those are usually the ones who have never experienced IV Sedation in a dental office. I dare say that if you try it, you would not go back to awake dentistry.

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.

DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Movers &Shakers Name: Cindy Harreld DeWease

Occupation: President & CEO Clear Lake Area Chamber Hometown: Born in Detroit but been in the Clear Lake Area since I was 12 Current home: Nassau Bay Family: My husband Jeff, 4 bonus kids: Andrew, Matthew, Makayla and Brandon, and 2 fur children Copper and Penny My favorite writer is: Beth Moore Someone I’d like to meet: Laura Bush

If I could switch places with someone for just one day, I’d choose: A Broadway actress/singer My favorite performers are: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Garth Brooks, & Christian Band Third Day

I like to spend my leisure time: Hanging out in our backyard by the pool If I could travel any place, I’d go to: The Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, Michigan My favorite meal is: Surf & Turf - grilled steak and shrimp

As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be: A mommy You’ll never catch me: Owning a motor home The thing that bugs me the most is: When people call fabric “material.” My favorite movie is: “Giant” with Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean Few people know: I was the assistant manager for Hancock Fabrics when I was 18

Brook grad notches top score on Texas Bar Exam By Mary Alys Cherry


lease pardon Clear Creek ISD

All we want for Christmas is a Home!


ipper and Chewie are a bonded Dachshund pair. Their owner became ill and could no longer take care of them. Zipper is a 9-year-old distinguished, handsome and low-riding chap, who walks beautifully on a leash. He is sweet, loves treats, other dogs, and adores playing with toys. Chewie is a 10-year-old happy, very chill little dude! He is easy on the leash, gets along with other dogs and enjoys a nice stroll in beautiful weather. He also loves treats and looks like a ground hog checking the weather when he begs. All Zipper and Chewie want for Christmas is a new forever family to love them. They are available for adoption at a “2 for 1” adoption fee of $50. If you would like a couple of cuddly, playful guys to add joy to your life, come visit these two awesome seniors! Check out all of the deserving dogs and cats available for adoption at or visit the facility at 3000 Avenue R, San Leon. The shelter is open every day except Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some adoptable cats can be seen daily at PetSmart (1921 Gulf FWY South in Dickinson). Dogs are shown at PetSmart on Saturdays 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sundays noon - 4 p.m. Bay Area Pet Adoptions (Phone: 281-339-2086) is Galveston county’s only non-profit, No-Kill shelter, pet rescue, and adoption organization.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

if they brag a little over one of their former students -- Lynne Powers, who had the highest score on the Texas State Bar Exam, out of 2,975 who took it in July. And, she didn’t even go to law school in Texas, graduating instead this past May from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. .The new attorney is a Clear Brook High graduate and the daughter of Bill and Teri Powers of Clear Lake. Her dad was an engineer at NASA for 37 years before he retired. “I attended McWhirter Elementary, and it was there that I attended classes at the University of Houston-Clear Lake through the gifted program and took my first mock trial class. I attended Westbrook Intermediate, where I was in the WAVE program and I continued mock trial,” she said, pointing out her early interest in law. At Clear Brook she was on the drill team and a member of National Honor Society, graduating cum laude in 2008. After high school, she attended Texas A&M University, graduating in 2012. Powers, a litigation associate in the Houston office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, was invited by the Texas Supreme Court to speak at the Texas State Bar swearing-in ceremony on Nov. 21 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.  Of the 2,975 who took the Texas State Bar in July, 2,096 passed, according to the Texas Board of Law Examiners for an overall pass rate of 70.45 percent. Powers won the gold

prize. She’s the third woman in the last 10 years to earn top marks on the exam, scoring 875 out of 1,000 points.  “Taking the bar exam in another state was definitely a challenge,” said Powers, a Houston native. “I attribute my success not only to my efforts, but to the resources and support of the faculty at Loyola.”  As a third-year law student, Powers was a student in Loyola’s criminal prosecution clinic at Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, where she argued motions in criminal court while assisting Assistant District Attorney Taylor Anthony. During the same year, she also worked as a teaching assistant to the Legal Research and Writing classes, helping first-year law students with legal research, analysis, writing, and citation.  While in law school, Powers also served as a summer associate for Deutsch Kerrigan and as a summer associate at Taylor, Wellons, Politz & Duhe, APLC. She worked as a law clerk for Zimmerman Law Firm in Houston and interned in Harris County in the 309th Civil District Court. After graduation, she clerked for Judge Charley Prine in the 246th Civil District Court.  “Lynne is one of the hardest-working students I have met throughout my years of teaching, and I think any professor at Loyola would say that,” said Associate Dean Mary Garvey Algero. “This honor confirms what we know at the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, which is that our students can go head-to-head with law students from around the country and compete well.”

Pause to simplify Christmas By Pastor Brad Heintz


rowing up, Christmas just seemed simpler. In this modern age of celebrating Christmas, everything seems busier, more crowded and less inspiring. When I was young, I remember looking in the TV guide to see when the Charlie Brown Christmas was on TV and then making sure we didn’t miss it. I remember gathering around the family dinner table to prepare for Christmas with a word from God

and prayer. I remember Christmas Eve pageants and candlelight services that couldn’t be missed. I remember not getting what we wanted, but always getting what we needed under the tree. But that was then and this is now. Have you ever wondered if we are missing something with our modern Christmas? I love not missing the Charlie Brown Christmas show and playing it on my DVD when it is convenient. I love that I can hit the pause button when needed. Growing up,

there wasn’t a pause button on the TV remote. There wasn’t even a remote! There were no such things as DVDs, or DVRs. Live streaming was something you did on a fishing trip! I love modern technology and the pause button. I can pause a show when my teenage daughter decides to talk with me. I can pause a football game when my wife is serving dinner. I can pause… So why aren’t we using the pause button with our modern Christmas? ‘Tis the season to add to our schedules, deal with crowds and traffic, fill to the brim our baskets, stocking and even tummies and yet, we don’t hit the pause button until we collapse. Is it time to simplify Christmas? And if it is, how do we do it so we are not swept away with the live-streaming video cast of our umpteenth Christmas gathering that shows the massive amount of gifts we don’t need or want? Just hit the pause button! I believe this is how we simplify Christmas, by pausing to prepare and then prioritizing to purposefully celebrate Christmas. Before we start something seasonal, take a moment to pause. Take a deep breath. Connect with God. Ask, “What does this have to do with the gift of the birth of Jesus Christ?” And if the answer is nothing, then we can prioritize by doing

something that does connect with the reason for the season, Jesus. Jesus Christ was born to give his life so we can have the greatest gift ever – a personal relationship with God that lasts into eternity. When we pause, we can thank God for the gift. We can connect with the true spirit of giving. We can simplify our modern Christmas. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 After we pause, don’t forget to hit the play button, sing the carol, give the gift and enjoy the celebration! If you like the pause button this Christmas, just wait… there is also rewind and fast forward. But that’s for next time. This year just simplify your Christmas, pause to be inspired and celebrate His Birth! Pastor Brad Heintz is the founding pastor of Living Word Church in Seabrook, a vibrant family-style nondenominational gathering of believers who take a pure, simple and real approach to faith and life.

DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Photos by Mary Alys Cherry

Suzie Rogers, left, and Judy Raiford mingle with the crowd at the Panhellenic Fall Fashion Show Luncheon.

It’s fun time as Panhellenic President Jill Reason, First Vice President Michelle Richardson, Stashia Hardman and Lisa Peters, from left, stop for a photo op on arrival at the Fall Fashion Show Luncheon at South Shore Harbour Resort.

State Sen. Larry Taylor, left, and Josh Griffon prepare to serve the ladies champagne at the Clear Lake Panhellenic Fall Fashion Show Luncheon.

H a v i n g lu n ch k e n t uc k y derby s t yle PICTURE THIS: A roomful of ladies all dressed up and in beautiful hats – Kentucky Derby style. That’s the view you would have seen if you had walked into the South Shore Harbour Resort’s Crystal Ballroom during the Clear Lake Area Panhellenic’s annual Fall Fashion Show Luncheon, which this year had a “Run for Scholarships – Derby Style” theme, borrowed from the Run for the Roses by Chairman D’Lisa Johnston and her talented committee. Along the way, you probably would have passed Dan Reason and Jerry Clause dressed as jockeys while


Sen. Larry Taylor, Josh Griffon, Dr. John Johnston, Arden Hill, Kenny Koncaba and Thomas Royce served the arriving crowd champagne. While there were no horse races, a bugler had to sound the call to the post to signal it was time for the

Kristin Leary shows off the beautiful hat she made especially for the Clear Lake Panhellenic Fall Fashion Show Luncheon.


fashion show, which was directed by fashion guru Lenny Matuszewski Jr. and featured Judge Holly Williams, Laurie Vaughn, Peggy Clause, Wendy Shaw, Ellen King, Karen Weber, Jessica Burgess, Heather Lindsay, Marcy Ortega, Janet Jones, Allison Precise, Amber Allen, Melody Seavey, Annette Dwyer, Debby Reichert, Amy Judd, D’Lexis Royce and Jenny Frantz modeling some lovely fall fashions from Dillard’s. Just a delightful luncheon, as Sue Ellen Jennings, Janet Greenwood, Carole Murphy, Cindy Kuenneke,

Jo Cat Bruce, left, and Atiya Abouleish smile as they look around the ballroom as the Clear Lake Panhellenic style show gets under way.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

Lisa Dishman, Kathleen Courville, Kelli Baliker, Diana Shuman, Jo Nell Hunter, Sheree Frede, Dana Brown, Cambrey Rogers, Cathy Osoria, Karen Reed, Ebby Creden, Charlotte Teeter, Angela Swint, Anita Fogtman, Becky Reitz, Pam Culpepper and Carol Bergman will quickly tell you after enjoying the show and then the Roasted Chicken dinner topped off with a yummy piece of Kentucky Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie. Still others in the crowd of 300 lovely ladies were Judie Ferguson, Kelly Halbach, Kay Lee Benoit,

Panhellenic Fall Fashion Show Luncheon Chairman D’Lisa Johnston, center, goes over plans for the event with Silent Auction Chairman Becky Hensley, right, and Raffle Chairman Kathryn Vernau as the crowd begins arriving at South Shore Harbour Resort.

Photos by Cindy Zook and Imaging Studios

Malcolm and Susan Franklin, left, and Ann Marie and Tom Doolin join the crowd at the annual gala hosted by the Bay Oaks Country Club Women’s Association and the Bay Oaks Wine Committee.

Martha Bowles, Dewanna Norris, Aggie Bourgeois, Georgia Piwonka, Yvonne Perrin, Karlee Marcom, Lyla Nettles, Mary Ann Shallberg, Kathie Wiley, Lisa Holbrook, Ann Gay, Pat McAllister, Hazel Harron, Karen and Jenny McCorkle, Kelli Byrd, Marjorie McConnico, Sally Jordan, Betsey Ennis, Badiha Nassar, Lisa Long, Lisa Peters, Joy Muniz, Tisa Foster, Renee Ditta, Sheri Leboe and Kim Gurry. And, we must not forget D’Lisa’s hard-working committee – Jo Cat Bruce, Janet Jones, Kim Barker, Karen Douglass, Becky Hensley, Kathryn Vernau, Melody Seavey, Sheryl Williams, Laurie Vaughn, Debby Reichert, Elizabeth McCarty, Greta Mee, Ellen King, Sue Broughton, Barbara Dickey, Ondi Lyon, Lisa O’Brien and Jennie Hampton. Proceeds will help Panhellenic fund scholarships for young Bay Area women.

BOWA Gala sends crowd home happy CASABLANCA is one of the most famous movies of all time, and Bay Oaks Country Club members got a look back at that era while spending “An Evening at Rick’s” – as they remembered actor Humphrey Bogart and Rick’s Americana Café in Morocco’s largest city. Hosted by the Bay Oaks Women’s Association, the 2016 gala drew quite a crowd, including members of the Bay Oaks Wine Committee, many of whom were delighted with the story the evening told and the elegant table decorations. Gala Chairman Angela Bivens and her husband, Darrell, joined BOWA President Jodi Schnabel and her husband, Kirby, in welcoming the happy crowd, including Glenn and Carlene Langford, Michael and Sharon Phelps, Gene and Eileen Hult, Lance and Barbara Miller and John and Georgia Piwonka. Early arrivals included Sue Ellen

BOWA Vice President Karen Reed and her husband, Will, take a spin on the dance floor during the Bay Oaks Women’s Association Gala.

Jim and Janet Greenwood look over the crowd at the BOWA Gala.

Gala Chairman Angela Bivens joins her husband, Darrell, for dinner after they welcomed the crowd to the annual Bay Oaks Women’s Association Gala.

Bay Oaks Women’s Association President Jodi Schnabel and her husband, Kirby, are ready to welcome the arriving crowd as the annual BOWA gala gets underway.

and Dr. John Jennings, Angela and Robert Swint, Glynn and Amy Roppolo, Tom and Ann Marie Doolin, Lewis and Joan Wade, Bill and Carol Bobo, Craig and Cindy Zook, Perry and Sue Laabs, David and Dee Wolfe, Randy and Gail Beaty and Margaret and Henry Vail – all ready to party. As they were mingling with the crowd, in walked Dr. Danny Williamson and his wife, Judge Holly Williamson, passing the strolling musician as they admired their cool seating cards, which looked like antique airline tickets. Wasn’t long before they were joined by Tom and Jennifer Verghese, Adam and Trish Taylor, Bob and Linda Herzfeld, Dave and Helen Seitz, Molly and Troy Gorrell, Mark and Cindy Wheeler, Rita and Jim Armstrong, Edward Smith and Beverly Braden, and Patrick and Cheri Burke, who headed over to the casino tables, where “Rick” gave everyone a $2,000 casino voucher.

Yvonne and Shep Perrin take their seats at the annual BOWA Gala.

Looking around, you might also have spotted Richard and Jennifer Simmons, Sue Broughton and Randy Allen, John and Danele Buehler, Kathleen and Harold Parrish, Walter Bell and Elisabeth Wilson, Jason and Lea Bodie, Marty and Amy Schweers, Greg McKnight and Adrienne Johnson, Craig and Tonya Moody, Murry and Sandy Lantz and Alex and Megan Prejean wearing big smiles as the Royal Dukes filled the club with music for both enjoying and dancing. Some of the others enjoying the evening in Casablanca were Jim and Janet Greenwood, Will and Karen Reed, Elaine and Randy Rister, Yvonne and Shep Perrin, Terri and Jim Steinkamp, Bill and Tencha Heimlich, Malcolm and Susan Franklin, Lila and Mark Sprague, Tara and Rusty Morrison, Darcy and Sam Santala, Michelle and Derek Hall, David and Megan Griffith, WG and Linda Fincher and Smith and Chris Howland.

Elaine and Randy Rister join the crowd at the 2016 BOWA Gala, held at Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake.

DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Age and Happiness By Michael W. Gos

Kenney, Texas


f you’ve driven through Kenney, Texas, you were probably going from Brenham to Bellville, or vice-versa. But if you actually stopped in Kenney, I know exactly what you were doing! This northern Austin County “town” has been around since the early 1800s. In 1900, the population reached 200 and on paper, it maintains that number today. But the fact is, there is no town there any more. Like many ghost towns, there are still people living around the area, although to the casual traveler, it looks remotely rural. If it wasn’t for a road sign, you wouldn’t know it was there at all—well, except for the Kenney Store. On a casual drive through “town,” the Kenney Store is clearly the only business in existence. It looks like an old dilapidated tin structure held together by rust and duct tape. Yet


every night the road in front of it fills with parked cars, sometimes a half mile in each direction, as people from Houston and San Antonio join those from Brenham and Bellville to eat and dance to the various live bands that play in this very old-fashioned roadhouse. No one knows for sure, but the locals claim the Kenney Store has been there since the late 1800s and while once, long ago, it actually was a store, the old timers say it always sold more beer than groceries. Back in the early 20th century, residents of Bellville, about eight miles away, would ride to Kenney on horseback in the evenings to enjoy the music and libations. The Bellville city fathers understood that horses heading toward home will start to hot-trot back to the barn and, unless held back firmly by the rider, will break into a dead run. They became concerned for the safety of inebriated citizens on the return trips. Knowing they lacked the law-enforcement manpower necessary to issue a sufficient number

Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

of RWIs (Riding While Intoxicated) to curb the problem, they decided instead to run a train from town to the store and back. While the resulting lack of traffic citations may have hurt the city coffers, it did reduce riding accidents and made it easier for Bellville residents to go out and have some fun. Today, well over 100 years later, the store has great burgers along with

chicken fried steaks, sandwiches and even a few not-so-savory items like “calf fries.” Most important, though, it has beer and live music every night except Monday and unless you get there early, especially on weekends, you will end up standing the whole evening. It’s that popular. It was a Sunday evening and we had managed to score two steel tractor-seat stools at one of the

bar-like tables along the top tier of seating. A few steps below us were some tables and the dance floor. We had already had a couple of burgers and enjoyed the first set by the band when the young couple next to me began to get up to leave. It was still early in the evening but the man was adamant that it was time to go. His wife and their two kids, who had been meandering around the place, insisted they stay for at least one more set. He told them he had a lot to do yet before he was ready for work the next day. Then he said something that got me thinking. “I have to do this. I don’t want to be a district manager the rest of my life.”

I recently read a study in Psychological Science that said life satisfaction and happiness increased consistently over a person’s lifetime. In fact, they found that the oldest among us were indeed the happiest. At first this seemed perfectly logical. After all, as we get older, we tend to be more financially stable. That reduces our stress levels. Our families are formed, and we are established in our careers as well. Both of those can bring us comfort. Then, even later in life, we move toward retirement.

Not having to go to work on a daily basis would certainly increase my happiness exponentially. But as I thought about it a bit more, I started to wonder. It is the older among us that tend to live on fixed incomes and to also have more health issues to deal with. It would seem these would serve as a curb to happiness levels. Yet the study indicated this trend remained even after factors like health, medical issues and income were taken into account. So what is happening here? When I was younger, I spent a lot of time thinking about where I wanted to be in five, ten, fifteen years. At age ten, I wanted to be a garbage man (riding on the back of the truck looked like fun). At 15, I wanted to be incredibly wealthy and retired by age 30. But then things got more realistic. At 20, I wanted to be a computer programmer, and at 25, I finally figured it out and decided I wanted to be a professor. With each of those goals firmly in mind, I spent my efforts doing the things I thought were necessary to get there. Sometimes I was very wrong in my planning, to say nothing about my choice of goals, but I was right enough of the time to get where I am today. I think that I am not very different

from most Americans in this regard. We all spend a big chunk of our early adult lives working toward the goals we have set for ourselves and thinking about how glorious life will be when we get there. Then, as we get older, new goals replace those that have been accomplished. Our methods for achieving them, however, do not change. Whether we are shooting for security for our family, the kids’ college fund or our retirement nest egg, we continue to formulate goals and devote our time and efforts to achieving them. And more often than not, we continue to succeed. Even if we fail to meet a goal, we are closer to it for our efforts and are happier than we were to begin with. But if you think back, way back, it wasn’t always like this. As kids, we had other things on our minds, things like exploring and enjoying the world around us (and dreaming about riding on garbage trucks). Somewhere along the way, though, in our late teens or twenties, that all changed and we “grew up” and learned to take responsibility for our lives and our goals. Like that man in the Kenney Store, for decades we have kept our eyes on the prize, on that future goal we were striving to achieve. For him, it was a promotion

to a better job, and hence, a better life for himself and his family. But I’ve noticed that for most of us, there comes a time when we stop doing that. For some, it happens at retirement. For others, it can occur many years earlier, but there is a point when our thinking begins to change. As humans, we have a tendency to lose track of who we are because of our constant obsession with who we are not. While working to better ourselves and our place in the world, we ignore what’s inside us for so long that we sometimes lose touch with who that person is. But at some point, with work and advancement concerns out of the picture, we begin to feel free to pursue the interests that are an integral part of our being. The retiree who travels, takes classes just for fun, or spends all his time with his loved ones, has managed to achieve the ultimate in human happiness. Work, money and all the related trappings that go with them become unimportant. His decisions instead are based on what makes him happy. Is it any wonder the researchers came upon their findings they did? It only makes sense. I wonder if there is a way to make that change in thinking happen earlier in life. If there is, I suspect we’d all be better for it.

DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


By Don Armstrong


hristmas is a special time

of year, one that includes wishes, hopes, dreams and presents. In Wheel Time’s thoughts are those of luxury SUVs. Here are a couple of all-new, high zoot rides that may not fit under the tree but will look awesome in the driveway.

bolstered seating up front and an intuitive dash layout. A cavernous storage area behind the second row of seats will swallow all the family Christmas presents and the tools to put them together. We like the optional 3-liter, supercharged V-6 with its 380-horsepower. That’s more than enough power to pull away from almost every other SUV on I-45. The smooth shifting 8-speed automatic transmission delivers the grunt to a full-time all-wheel drive system. This combo receives a rating of 18 MPGcity and 23-highway. Handling and ride quality are confidence-building characteristics, without the rough-and-tumble attitude of some others in this performance luxury class. MSRP starts at $54,895.

Jaguar F Pace

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Any Jag gets your blood pumping but the all-new F Pace brings a special feeling of excitement to the brand’s first SUV. With its large, rectangular grill, high mounted headlamps and oversized brake cooling inlets, there is no mistaking this SUV for anything other than a Jaguar. Available tire and wheel combos add the custom touch you’re looking for. The interior is plush with big,

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is the elite of off-road SUVs. And our guess is, one of the most underused vehicles for which it is designed. There is no mistaking this luxury sport-ute for anything other than a Land Rover. Its squared shoulders, exposed, faux, front and rear skid plates and overall conservative styling exudes a sense off-road agility in a slick, modern package. The Range Rover Sport has one of


Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

the most beautiful interiors known to man with rich leathers, adjustable everything and controls that make

off-roading a breeze. Passengers get the same luxury treatment as pilot and co-pilot with plenty of room behind the second row to carry all the support gear for hunting and fishing in the outback. The Sport offers four engine choices but we highly recommend the 5-liter supercharged V-8 with 550 horsepower. We drove it and fell in love with it. Get it. And that adjustable air suspension will have you asking why it isn’t standard equipment on all vehicles. MSRP begins at $70,945.

Space Center Houston camps to challenge future explorers


ew tours, robots and exhibits are shaking up Space Center Houston’s winter day camps. These weeklong experiences will challenge future explorers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics topics through an immersive week of hands-on activities Dec. 19-23 and Dec. 26-30. Children ages 4-11 will examine the solar system, experience the physics of rocketry and maneuver innovative robots. “Campers will have fun and engage in experiential learning, solve real-world space science challenges and explore the world of robotics through design and programming,” said Daniel Newmyer, director of education for the nonprofit. “At our science and space learning center, our winter camps encourage problemsolving using the scientific method and rigorous science experiments to plan future missions.” The nonprofit’s camps are immersive experiences exploring physics, engineering and robotics. Changes this winter include tours of Space Center Houston, including the one-of-a-kind Independence Plaza exhibit complex. Also new are the North American premiere of Space Center Houston’s fall exhibit, Astronaut, presented by the city of Webster, and a behind-the-scenes tram tour at NASA’s Johnson Space

Center. Campers will receive a T-shirt as part of their registration. Space Center Houston offers a variety of hands-on experiences using innovative Sphero®, Dash, Ozobot, VEX and Lego® robots. Campers will design, build and test robots to overcome real-world challenges and simulate situations that could be encountered during space exploration. The new Spherious Robotics camp will use the Sphero ® applications to code robots to simulate future exploration of Mars’ and Jupiter’s moons. Campers will perform underwater challenges and virtually maneuver the robot through a maze. The Journey to Space camp will provide a diverse week where campers explore, experience and discover space. Each day will focus on the science needed for astronaut trainees. Students will launch rockets, conduct experiments and have fun with robotics. The Space Exploration camp will engage youth with exciting challenges about space exploration and will delve into the world of robotics using Dash and Sphero ® robotics. The Exploring Beyond camp uses exciting engineering design challenges, the fundamentals of physics and hands-on robotic lessons to teach campers about the future of deep-space exploration. Each weeklong camp ranges between $225 and $350. Space Center Houston members and NASA employees receive a 10 percent discount off registration year-round. Care is available before and after camp times for an additional charge. Register today before camps fill up by visiting or call (281) 283-4755. DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine




ishing has always been

one of the favorite pastimes for a large percentage of our population. If you are a fisherman or, more appropriately phrased, fisherperson, then we can skip reciting all of the fun and benefits of this sport. A concern of many on the fishing scene today is whether this sport is still affordable to families on limited incomes? This question cropped up again recently when one of the favorite family fishing parks, Seawolf Park on Pelican Island in Galveston, raised their admission fees.

“During my childhood, fishing was my greatest joy.” an increase of 50 percent for adults and 33 percent for children and senior citizens. Prior to enactment of the increase, the rates were the same for both residents and non-residents and were $6 for adults and $3 for kids and seniors. Today nonresidents of Galveston Island pay $9 and $4 respectively while Galveston residents did not see an increase in their admission fees. This added burden on families and other groups of anglers is just another straw added to the Eight-year-old Aden Viet Johnson with an impressive redfish. camel’s back and raises the question of when will that The increase applies only to incremental straw finally breaks its non-residents of Galveston Island; back. however, that includes a large number For the benefit of the younger of the park’s visitors. readers, let’s take a look at how Beginning Dec. 1, 2016, nonrecreational fishing has evolved over residents of Galveston Island will see the past 60 years.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

During my childhood, fishing was my greatest joy. I looked forward to my parents taking me to the water to enjoy a day or an afternoon of fishing. There were almost endless numbers of piers and docks available for fishing and just about every dock or pier owner had no problem with families and children fishing and crabbing from their facility. For me, using natural baits purchased at the bait stands was a real luxury, as my family balked at paying 50 cents for a box of dead shrimp or squid. Often generous anglers fishing near me on piers would offer a few pieces of dead shrimp after seeing me try to catch fish with chicken parts. So for the Kent family, an afternoon spent on fishing piers from Seabrook to Galveston was an inexpensive way of enjoying a Saturday or Sunday. As the decades rolled on, more and more of the piers and docks were lost to storms and other events leaving less and less affordable fishing spots for families and others on limited income to enjoy. Today the situation is worse than ever, with few pier and dock owners willing to allow the public to fish from their facilities. The reason is obvious, fear of liability. While there are a few free fishing piers around, the more popular public fishing piers are commercial and require an admission fee. So, let’s

take a look at what it costs a family of four on a limited budget to go fishing for the day versus to a movie or other recreational activity. The cost of admission is anywhere from free, meaning free fishing piers, beachfront, or anywhere they can access water without being considered a trespasser to say the rate at Seawolf Park which would be $26 for two adults and two children. Gasoline from Houston (round trip) would be in the five gallon category which based on today prices would be about $10 or less and bait could cost from $3 to $10. Most likely a picnic lunch or dinner would be carried, so we will not place a price tag on that. The other big cost is for fishing licenses. The adults would need fishing licenses if they fish, kids under 17 are exempt. That cost would be in the range of $70 for two adult saltwater fishing licenses for the entire year. How about going to a movie? That cost could easily run $26 or more and the attraction of popcorn and candy would be hard to resist, so out comes the wallet. Other activities likely would cost at least that much or more, so while hardly anything is free of cost today, fishing outings can still be integrated into the family budget as one of the less costly activities. This is especially true when considering that other activities usually take up just a few hours while fishing can be a day-long experience with memories attached. Let’s all work to keep it that way!

Nationally recognized for heart care Bay Area Regional first and only hospital in Houston to achieve Chest Pain Center Accreditation with PCI and resuscitation



ay Area Regional Medical Center is the first and only hospital in Houston and only the fifth in Texas to achieve Chest Pain Center Accreditation with PCI and Resuscitation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). This is the highest level Chest Pain Center Accreditation designated by SCPC.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

(L to R) Jose Cuellar Silva, M.D., Electrophysiologist, Dipsu Patel, M.D., Interventional Cardiologist, Chau Nguyen, M.D., Interventional Cardiologist, Ahmed Ahmed, M.D., Interventional Cardiologist, Kodlipet Dharmashankar, M.D. Interventional Cardiologist, Fethi Benraouane, M.D., Interventional Cardiologist, Mohamed Shalaby, M.D., Cardiologist.

“With national recognition as a leader in heart care, we prove once again that we are dedicated to providing exceptional state-of-theart heart care, as demonstrated by our status as Houston’s first and only Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI and Resuscitation,” said Tim Schmidt, CEO at Bay Area Regional. “Our goal is to make a positive difference in people’s lives, and we are doing that daily with a dedicated cardiology team and

“Our goal is to make a positive difference in people’s lives, and we are doing that daily with a dedicated cardiology team and expert cardiovascular physicians and surgeons.” expert cardiovascular physicians and surgeons.” Hospitals that receive accreditation status have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. “Our approach to any cardiac patient is evidencebased and protocol-driven, which allows a reduction in treatment time during the critical early stages of a heart attack,” said Dr. Dipsu Patel, Interventional Cardiologist at Bay Area Regional. “Accreditation status proves that Bay Area Regional provides a rapid response to heart attack activation in order to provide the quickest treatment and improved outcomes.” Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. The goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment, and increase

the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment. The mission is to “improve lives and promote health and wellness in the Houston Bay Area with evidencebased medicine and exceptional care, said Trish Fountain, RN and Chest Pain Coordinator at Bay Area Regional. “By receiving a higher standard accreditation, we have proven our commitment to providing quality care of Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) patients and promoting community awareness of Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC).” SCPC’s Accreditation process ensures that hospitals meet or exceed a wide set of stringent criteria and undergo a comprehensive onsite review by a team of accreditation review specialists. By achieving SCPC’s Chest Pain Center Accreditation status, Bay Area Regional demonstrated expertise in the following areas: •

Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system

Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly

Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms

Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures

Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel

Maintaining organizational structure and commitment

Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack

If you experience symptoms of a heart attack, do your heart a favor and let Bay Area Regional’s Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI and Resuscitation diagnose and treat you. For more information, visit

About Bay Area Regional Medical Center Bay Area Regional Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality medical care while making a difference in people’s lives. A beautiful and modern healing environment, Bay Area Regional provides exceptional care, delivered with the latest and safest medical technologies. The hospital first opened its doors in July 2014 with 104 beds and is currently under construction to double the capacity, including expansion of the emergency room, operating room and cardiac catheterization lab, as well as a Women’s Center and NICU. With over 400 physicians on the medical staff, Bay Area Regional offers services such as heart and vascular care, orthopedics, neurosurgery, bariatrics, radiology, general surgery, physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine, pain management and more. For more information about Bay Area Regional Medical Center or to find a physician, visit


Chest discomfort Chest pressure Chest ache Chest burning Chest fullness


Weakness Shortness of breath Sweating Nausea Dizziness

What is the difference between men and women? Heart attack symptoms can be different between men and women. Why does this matter? Women are less likely to seek immediate medical care and are more likely to die. Men normally feel pain and numbness in the left arm or side of chest, but in women, these symptoms may appear on right side. Women feel completely exhausted, drained, dizzy or nauseous. Women may feel upper back pain that travels up into their jaw area. Women may think their stomach pain is the flu, heartburn or an ulcer.

DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016


Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Photos by Mary Alys Cherry

BAHEP President Bob Mitchell, right, welcomed a number of elected officials to the reception featuring an address by Congressman Brian Babin. Joining him are, from left, Mayors Jon Keeney of Taylor Lake Village and Michel Bechtel of Morgan’s Point, State Rep. Dennis Paul, Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark, Dr. Babin, Seabrook Mayor Glenn Royal and Galveston County Commissioner Ryan Dennard.

Babin takes BAHEP on space journey By Mary Alys Cherry


ith space so much a part of our lives locally, Congressman Brian Babin decided to update members of Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership on how the industry is faring on Capitol Hill when he addressed them at Lakewood Yacht Club. While a lot has been happening in Washington, Dr. Babin, chairman on the House Subcommittee on Space, decided to focus solely on the space industry, using the title, “The Reality of Deep Space Exploration – Leadership, Policy, Planning, Resources and Partnerships.” “I hope you have on your flight suits because you’re going to feel like you’ve been to Mars and back…I am going to give you an update on things at the deep space level, all the way down to sea-level, right here in Houston!” with quite a bit of politicization in the mix. Everything is politicized, he told the crowd at the Oct. 26 gathering.

Even the space program has been driven by politics, he said before taking them back to the early days of the Obama administration when the local area took a big hit as the Constellation Program that focused on space exploration was canceled and thousands lost their jobs. “Just a few weeks ago, the president published an (opinion article) saying that he wanted to send humans to Mars. While I appreciate his sentiment, I only wish that eight years ago he had not abandoned that path. For nearly eight years, President Obama’s space policy has lacked specificity – basically we will go somewhere, sometime on a vehicle. . . and while his words now about going to Mars are encouraging, they are about eight years too late. “It is unconscionable how NASA and its industry team have been whipsawed over questionable priorities,” Dr. Babin said, pointing out that the administration had diverted billions of NASA dollars “from exploration and human space flight to global warming and climate

Harriet Lukee, C.A. Shields, Jane Gayle and Bob Payne, from left, were at the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership reception.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

Brian Freedman of Boeing, from left, visits with Kevin Templin of NASA and Dr. David Kring of the Lunar and Planetary Institute at the BAHEP reception at Lakewood Yacht Club.

change research. Protecting the space agency’s human space flight budget and exploration budget are my priorities, and quite frankly I’m ready to get on with our exploration program,” he added. Babin said he strongly supports full funding of the space agency’s commercial programs. “It’s in our best interest to have this domestic capability -- the sooner the U.S. has safe and reliable commercial transportation to the ISS, the sooner we can end our reliance on the Russians and invest that funding for our initiatives. I want American astronauts flying on American rockets, from American soil as soon as possible,” he told the crowd, going on to praise Boeing’s installation of its first two simulators for training astronauts at the Johnson Space Center for flights aboard the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Turning his thoughts to the International Space Station, Dr. Babin said “it’s important for Congress to fully fund this program and keep it flying as long as it’s sustainable. It’s an enabler, a test-bed for our deep space human exploration missions and we still have much to learn about the long-term impacts to astronaut

Brandy Gates of UTMB, Janet Brown of Space Center Houston and Joan McKinney of Norman Frede Chevrolet, from left, arrive at Lakewood Yacht Club for the BAHEP reception.

Oceaneering Space Systems VP and GM Mike Bloomfield, right, stops to talk with Harv Hartman, retired director of human resources at JSC.

health.” The congressman also updated the audience on the establishment of the Texas Space Congressional Caucus, which is co-chaired by Babin and Rep. John Culberson, along with many members of the Texas congressional delegation. “For decades, in large part due to you all, our region has had a very active space industry advocacy team of local industry leaders, led by BAHEP, with strong support from local, state and federal elected officials to promote the broader interests of NASA and the human space flight programs at the federal and state level. “However, the acute interests of JSC and the local space industry have not been watched as closely as I would like, and we have created this Caucus to bring focus on JSC and the programs that are essential to JSC. I believe a strong JSC leads to a stronger human space flight program and a more robust overall space industry. With the Caucus in place, he said, “You can bet, when there is space work to be done in these areas, we are well positioned to fight like hell for it to be done right here at JSC!”

Faces in the crowd included, from left, UHCL Science Dean Dr. Zbigniew J. Czajkiewicz, Phu Nguyen of Green Bank, UHCL Business Dean Dr. Ted Cummings and CCISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith.


KBRwyle celebrates opening of new offices


KBR President and CEO Stuart Bradie addresses the crowd as KBRwyle employees celebrate their move to their new quarters at 2400 NASA Parkway. With him are Congressman Brian Babin, left, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Space, and Dr. Vernon McDonald, president of KBRwyle’s Science, Technology & Engineering Group. Photo by Mary Alys Cherry

Cruise Terminal getting a new role

Agents reach new heights

The long-vacant $100 million Port of Houston Cruise Terminal soon will be getting new life. The Port of Houston Authority announced during the Greater Houston Partnership’s State of the Port Luncheon that it has reached agreement with Auto Warehousing Co. to turn the terminal into an auto processing facility. The terminal is expected to handle about 36,000 imported vehicles annually and the agreement will result in about 150 jobs when the facility is fully operational. The first ship is expected to arrive this month, the Port said, adding that it was unable to compete with the Galveston port, which is about three hours closer to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Bay Area/Clear Lake office of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene raised $95,000 at its 2016 fundraising celebration for programs benefiting the Sunshine Kids – children fighting cancer. Now in its ninth year, the Halloween-themed gathering in the jam-packed Bay Area Community Center pushed the gala’s total donation to the Sunshine Kids to an eye-popping $700,000 since its inception. The agents also collect clothes and other necessities for Bay Area Turning Point, provide Care packages for military personnel, canned goods for the Souper Bowl of Caring and assist disabled and low income families.

Bank helps fight homelessness Mayor Sylvester Turner has announced a $1 million grant from JPMorgan Chase to support Houston’s ambitious efforts to end chronic homelessness through The Way Home – the Houston region’s nationally recognized homeless housing initiative. The award makes JPMorgan Chase the first corporate donor to support The Way Home’s development of permanent supportive housing for homeless Houstonians. The Way Home has now raised $7 million towards its $15 million goal to finish creating 2,500 units of housing for chronically homeless individuals. These vulnerable individuals have all been homeless for a year or more and suffer from a disabling condition.


Friendswood CPA is among top 30 A Friendswood woman, Robin Hall was one of 30 women who has been named one of CPA Practice Advisors 2016 Most Powerful Women In Accounting. Hall is the owner of VARC Solutions. In honoring 30 women from across the country with the awards, CPA Practice Advisor celebrates the increasing presence of women at the highest positions in accounting firms and organizations that oversee the profession, and recognizes those who have had the most impact. Nominations were open to the public on CPA Practice Advisor’s website www.CPAPracticeAdvisor. com, and the final selection of this year’s recipients was determined by the publication’s editorial staff and advisory board.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

BR, Inc. celebrated the official opening of the Houston offices of its KBRwyle subsidiary and the launch of the KBRwyle brand Oct. 25 at its office across from NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The office, located at 2400 NASA Parkway, is the base of operations for KBRwyle’s work with NASA including the approximately 900 KBRwyle employees operating in and around the Johnson Space Center.  KBRwyle is the brand under which KBR’s U.S. Government Services business now operates and includes recent acquisitions Wyle, Inc. and heritage Honeywell Technical Solutions, Inc. KBRwyle provides capabilities that span the full spectrum of the life-cycle of defense, space, aviation and government programs. 

U.S. Congressman Brian Babin, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Space, who also represents the congressional district in which the KBRwyle office is located, as well as many of employees working there, was on hand to present an official congressional certificate of recognition congratulating KBRwyle.   “This is a very pivotal moment in KBR’s history,” KBR President and CEO Stuart Bradie said.  “Today represents an intersection of three Houston institutions with strong Houston lineages – KBR, the heritage Wyle, Inc. and NASA.”  “KBRwyle takes us into a new theater of providing high-end technical and differentiated services.  It’s an exciting time for KBR and we are pleased to be here today to celebrate this office and KBRwyle,” Bradie continued.

La Marque EDC buys building The La Marque Economic Development Corporation recently purchased 1130 1st St., formerly Guaranty Federal Bank, and is currently renovating. A ribbon cutting ceremony and open house will be scheduled in January. Several city employees, EDC Executive Director Alex Getty and the EDC’s new public relations specialist, Colleen Merritt, will occupy the building.

care, children’s asthma, inpatient psychiatric services, stroke, venous thromboembolism, perinatal care, immunization, tobacco treatment and substance use.

Hospital named Top Performer Clear Lake Regional Medical Center has been recognized as a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States. The medical facility was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2015 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, stroke and perinatal care. It is one of only 1,043 hospitals out of more than 3,300 eligible hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2014 Top Performer distinction. The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions. The performance measures included in the recognition program including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical

Port job creation surged in 2015 Nearly 148,000 new jobs have been generated by cargo and vessel activity at Port of Houston terminals since 2011, Port of Houston Authority Chairman Janiece Longoria announced during the Greater Houston Partnership’s annual State of the Port event. An economic impact study by Martin Associates determined that public and private marine terminals at the Port of Houston had a statewide economic impact of $265 billion in 2014, which is 16 percent of Texas’ total gross domestic product, Longoria said.

League City elects 3 to City Council League City voters filled three city council seats -- Positions 3, 4 and 5 -- on Nov. 8. Residents re-elected Todd Kinsey to Position 4 with 15,492 votes; elected Larry Millican to Position 3 with 16,457 votes and Greg Gripon to Position 5 with 16,175. About threefourths of the votes were cast during early voting. The newly elected council members were to take their oath of office during a Special Council Meeting on Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. in the Council Chambers and then participate in the City Council meeting that followed. 


CCISD spotlights Brook junior Syamantak Payra By Mary Alys Cherry


lear Creek ISD honored

one of its brightest young students at the monthly school board meeting, leaving the audience in awe as Clear Brook High junior Syamantak Payra showcased the prize-winning device he invented for a fraction of what similar devices can cost patients. The low-cost electronically aided device, a knee brace that allows someone with a weakened leg to walk more naturally by actively bending the knee, won him the Intel Young Scientist Award and a $50,000 prize at the International Science Fair in Phoenix, Ariz. The award is one of a number of his achievements. He had perfect scores on both his SAT and ACT tests for starters –- one of only two CCISD students to attain this accomplishment in recent years. The

Syamantak Payra and Kavita Selva were honored at the Clear Creek ISD Board of Trustees meeting for their recent wins at the International Science Fair in Phoenix, Ariz. Payra also showed off his most recent achievement, a low-cost electronicallyaided knee brace that allows an individual with a weakened leg to walk more naturally and won him the Young Scientist Award at the fair. Payra attends Clear Brook High and Selva is a student at Clear Lake High.

other was Patrick Pan, a summa cum laude Clear Lake High 2014 graduate. And, he’s such a good speller

that he not only won the Texas Spelling Bee, he was a semi-finalist in the National Spelling Bee in 2013 and runnerup in 2014. The son of Pramatha Payra and Sanjukta Ghose of Friendswood, he is also a gifted musician and writer and almost always wears a big smile. In describing the device, Payra said it “alleviates problems faced by kneeankle-foot-Orthoses wearers, restoring a natural, comfortable, safe walking gait – increasing mobility, decreasing pain and greatly improving quality of life.” More than 6 million people in the U.S. alone who lack leg muscle function due to illnesses like multiple sclerosis, spinal injury or polio need special devices to help them walk. But because normal walking requires knee-bending, conventional KneeAnkle-Foot-Orthoses devices can cause health problems such as gait deviations, hip/back pain, joint/ muscle damage and the use of excess energy. For years, there has been no commercially available Knee-AnkleFoot-Orthoses device that assists in walking by actively bending the knee, until now.

Four alumni and a university professor were honored at the University of HoustonClear Lake’s 2016 Alumni Celebration at Space Center Houston. Here, UHCL President William A. Staples, from left, joins the honorees for a photo -- Evelyn Miralles (Distinguished Alumna), Christine “Christy” Harper (Distinguished Alumna), Lisa A. Jones (Outstanding Professor), Kristi Koncaba (Early Achievement) and Robert C. Hasson Jr. (Marilyn S. Sims Leadership Service Award).

Five honored at UHCL Alumni Celebration


ive professionals

were honored as exemplary leaders in their fields at University of Houston-Clear Lake’s annual alumni awards. Held at Space Center Houston, the reception and dinner celebrated all of UHCL’s graduates and singled out five “who have made a significant contribution to service in the classroom, on campus, and out in the local community,” said Patrick Lawrence Cardenas, assistant director of Student Life, chair of the Alumni Association Executive Council and the event’s master of ceremonies. Distinguished Alumni Awards

went to Christine (Christy) Harper, manager of Human Factors Strategic Research and Initiatives at HP Inc. (B.S. ’92 BS, M.A. ’94), and Evelyn Miralles, principal engineer innovator and business technology strategist at CACI International, NASA Johnson Space Center (B.A. ’92 BA, MBA ’12). The Early Achievement Award was presented to Kristi Koncaba, president and chief operating officer of Houston-based Texan Bank (B.S. ’97, M.A. ’05). Robert C. Hasson Jr., principal of Park View Intermediate School in Pasadena ISD (M.S. ’96, Ed.D. ’11) was the recipient of the Marilyn S.

Sims Leadership Service Award, named for a longtime UHCL alumna known for her lead-byexample stewardship. The annual Outstanding Professor Award went to Lisa A. Jones, associate professor of Multicultural Education from UHCL’s College of Education. Nominations come from UHCL alumni, faculty and staff, and the community at-large. Applications are available all year at http:// Application deadline is set in the spring semester of each year in order to be considered for the next celebration, which is held in the fall.

The devices that have been available typically don’t bend at the knee. They’re also expensive, often costing up to $100,000 and patients often need several weeks of training to use them properly. Syamantak’s solution is both inexpensive and easy to use, CCISD explained. He started with an offthe-shelf brace that only costs about $2,000. To this he added a motordriven actuator. (That component looks a lot like the shock absorber on a car.) Its motor moves a piston in and out, which flexes the knee. A small computer that clips to the user’s belt or slips into a pocket controls that motor. That computer, in turn, receives signals from a sensor that reports the position of the opposite leg. Together, all of the parts in Syamantak’s system will add only about $500 to the cost of the starting brace. Plus, the new system can be used with less than an hour of training, the Indian American teen notes. He designed the software in the system’s computer to learn how the patient walks, he explained. That means that the more someone uses it, the better it performs.

UHCL Continuing Education’s Winter Series ready to roll


he inaugural series of Friday Morning Continuing Education ended the last of October. The Winter Series is lined up and ready for its start date of Jan. 27, running through March 3. A Spring Series is slated to start on March 31. The Fall Series lectures were, without fail, enthusiastically embraced. Once again, exciting and enticing topics are slated for the Winter Series. Some of those are Walk through the Parthenon; Bombing Paradise: Nuclear Tests in the Marshall Islands; Writing an Ethical Will; Oscar Wilde: Dandyism and the Birth of the Modern Male; and History of Armand Bayou. The complete list of lectures can be viewed on the website: Participants can choose two of three different lectures offered each Friday morning at UHCL. One can attend as many or as few classes as their time permits. Registration for the series is $26, plus $18 per class. Join your fellow Clear Lake residents for this new program of enrichment. Registration can be done online or by contacting Christine M. Paul at UHCL at 281-2833033 or

DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Photo by JM Rogers

The 7th Annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta Results Are In


akewood Yacht Club

hosted another successful sailboat race when the 2016 J/Fest Southwest Regatta set sail. More than 60 boats competed in this 7th annual national event that provides J/boat owners an opportunity to race against avid sailors from all over the U.S. “While this is a relatively new regatta, it draws competitive J/boat racers from around the country,” says 2016 J/Fest Southwest Regatta Chairman Dave Christensen.

The awards ceremony held in the Lakewood Ballroom was well attended. Seabrook Mayor Glen Royal thanked the J/Fest Committee, Lakewood Yacht Club, the sponsors, and all of the racers and volunteers for continuing to make this a great event. The 7th annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta big winners are as follows: Casey Lambert of Blackburn Marine Racing took first place in the J/22 class; Natalie Harden won the J/24 class, and Chris Lewis took home the win in the J/70 class. Ray

Lakewood Youth Sailors Continue to Rack Up Wins in Youth Sailing Circuit


YC member Asher Zittrer took third in his fleet in the Laser 4.7 at the Southeast District of Interscholastic Sailing Association Cressy Qualifier event Oct. 1-2 hosted by the Sea Scout Basin in Galveston. Carson Shields was second in the Full Rig Lasers Division of the Cressy Qualifier. Three LYC youths took home the following trophies at the 2016 Laser


Gulf Coast Championship held Oct. 15-16 at Texas Corinthian Yacht Club in Kemah. Michael Morse took second in the 4.7 division just ahead of Matthew Morrell’s third place win, and Alexander Hankins was 11th in the Laser Radial fleet. Our youth sailors represented LYC well at the Texas Sailing Association’s 2016 Youth Circuit End of Year Regatta, hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club Oct. 22-23 in

Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

Bentele won among the J/PHRF (Sym) racers; Uzi Ozeri took home first among the J/105s, and J.D. Hill reigned supreme among the J/ PHRF (A-Sym) sailors. To view a complete list of race results, visit Christensen along with the entire J/Fest Committee would like to thank the sponsors. “The generosity of the event sponsors are what makes J/Fest Southwest Regatta a success each year.” 2016 sponsors were Lakewood Yacht Club, J/Boats Southwest, the

City of Seabrook, Bay Access, RejeX. com, Davis Marine Electronics, Yacht Equipment Service Center, True North Marine, North Sails, Hayes Rigging, Sparcraft Performance Engineering, UK Sailmakers, Blackburn Marine, OJ’s Marine, Alliant Marine & Energy Insurance, Edna A. Rice Executive Recruiters, Inc., Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine, Stix-n-Rig’n, Classic Cafe, Merlion, Marios Flying Pizza, Villa Capri and Iguanas Ranas Cantina and others.

Clear Lake. Tony Slowik won the Optimist Overall Fleet and 1st place in Blue Fleet, and Scott Mather won 1st place in the White Fleet. Piotr Smieja placed 5th, Kelly Bates 8th and Ethan Polsen 9th. The Green Fleet had 30 racers with Zachary Brown winning all but one race; Tanner Ward finished third followed by Nathan and James Pine, Mathieu Brown, Macie Bettis and Blake Polsen. Cole Gourley also finished in the top 10. Matthew Morrell finished 3rd ahead of Katie McGagh in the Laser 4.7 Division. Asher Zittrer won the 11 Deep Laser Radial Fleet with Lance Covington in 3rd.

Lakewood’s top Club 420 team was Alex Wise and Laurel Tyson in 3rd place. Carson Shields was one of only 30 in the country selected to compete in the Red Bull Foiling Generation Event, a U.S. qualifier for Worlds, and was one of the youngest competitors selected. The young sailors began the 2016 Cold Front series Nov. 5, with the next two Cold Front races occurring Dec. 10 and Jan 7. To learn more about our youth sailing program or about how to become a member of Lakewood Yacht Club, visit www.

Emmeline Dodd honored for dedication to nature By Mary Alys Cherry


mmeline Dodd, well known for her tireless dedication to nature as a naturalist, environmentalist, educator, advocate, and leader, has been recognized by Armand Bayou Nature Center with the 2016 Armand Yramategui Conservation Award. The presentation came at a luncheon at Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake, where Linda Retherford, president of the ABNC Board of Trustees welcomed the standing-room-only crowd, who came to honor the long-time community volunteer. “The award memorializes the renowned Texas conservationist Armand Yramategui (for whom the nature center is named),” said emcee Dan Seal, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership executive, explaining it is awarded to an area individual or organization “that best represents the community’s interests and efforts to conserve local natural resources for the benefit of native wildlife, ecosystem services, environmental education and public access to nature.”

Will Holder, president of Trendmaker Homes, presented the keynote address on how the Houston area currently is home to 6.6 million -- a total that will rise to 7.4 million by 2020 – and how his company and other developers are working to accommodate this growth, “We take land that has no characteristics and turn it into an asset – an area people can be proud of,” showing film of how scrubby looking land can be turned into a beautiful community. He knows the local area well, he said, having worked years ago for Friendswood Development Co. when it was developing some 6,000 lots into what today is Clear Lake City. His new development, the Reserve at Clear Lake, is not far from the nature center. It has 770 lots and

Christmas Boat Parade to kick off Yule season


or the last 55 years, the official beginning of the holiday season for the Bay Area has been the annual Christmas Boat Lane Parade on Clear Lake. This year the parade sets sail at 6 p.m. on Dec. 10 from South Shore Harbour Marina in League City and the Nassau Bay Lagoon. This parade was started by five gentlemen who decided to decorate their boats and parade around Clear Lake. It was cold, foggy and rainy as they pulled out of the marina to begin, and they had a hard time seeing in front of them.  The people at Jimmie Walker’s Restaurant (now Landry’s), had heard about the parade, so they kept looking for the boats through the fogged up windows. Finally they

covers 372 acres. So far, he said, 161 lots have been sold and 75 have closed. Besides building the same elegant homes one sees around Clear Lake, Trendmaker plans an abundance of green space with multiple pocket parks, he told the luncheon crowd. In fact, 100+ acres is being set aside for green space. “We try to offer affordable living choices and make the Reserve a place people can be proud of.” Dodd, the Galveston Bay Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists said in nominating her, “exemplifies a model conservationist as a Certified Texas Master Naturalist and an exceptional environmental educator. Emmeline’s passion to reconnect people with nature exemplifies the mission of the Armand Bayou Nature Center and the

vision of Armand Yramategui. “Emmeline shares her knowledge of local natural resources and skills as an effective educator to teach Master Naturalists, teachers and children across the state about the uniqueness of our natural resources. She has educated hundreds of students through the Master Naturalist Program. Emmeline inspires others and cultivates a spirit of conservation. Her conservation accomplishments are evidence that one person can make a real difference in preserving nature for future generations.” A retired College of the Mainland biology professor, she holds degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University and the University of Houston-Clear Lake. During her three decades at COM, she received the Excellence in Teaching Award three times, and in 1998 was named a Piper Professor as one of the Top Ten Professors in Texas colleges and universities and was elected state president of the Texas Community College Teachers Association. Other honors include being chosen a UH-Clear Lake Distinguished Alumna, as one of the Clear Lake Area Chamber’s “50 Faces” that shaped the Bay Area and a Men and Women of Heart Gala honoree. She also received the 2008 Chuck Buddenhagen Memorial Award from the Galveston Bay Area Master Naturalists and has devoted more than 2,500 volunteer hours to the Master Naturalists and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

their decorations become more creative and elaborate each year. Plans begin well in advance and are kept secret right up to parade night. Floating entries of all sizes include rowboats, sailboats and power boats. The boats have music, passengers in costume and all types of moving parts. Outstanding past entries include an airplane with a turning propeller, a hot air balloon, a brigade of toy soldiers, a moving train, a space shuttle “blasting” through the channel, a 40 foot tall Christmas tree with lights synchronized to Christmas music and a 42 foot flying dove with wings that moved up and down.   Following the tragedy of 9/11, a boater built the New York skyline out of lights with a fireman on one of the World Trade Center buildings. It was touching and heart wrenching to say the least. Just imagine 100 boats with thousands of lights reflecting off the water, the boat crews wishing onlookers a joyful holiday; it’s an unforgettable experience that captures the true meaning of the Christmas spirit. The Texas Navy’s Sam Houston

Squadron out of Lakewood Yacht Club with honorary Parade Marshall Admiral R.B. “Bob” Taylor and 2017 Parade Marshall Kemah’s very own Miss Texas USA Nancy Gonzalez will lead the parade and reach the Kemah Boardwalk around 7 p.m. The boaters will follow past the spectators at the South Shore Harbour Marina, the Nassau Bay Lagoon and down the channel to Seabrook and the Kemah Boardwalk.  Visitors are encouraged to spend the weekend in sponsoring city’s hotels League City, Kemah and Nassau Bay.  Go to www. for information.   The following morning local businesses sponsor individual prizes at the Awards Brunch inside South Shore Harbour Resort.  The grand finale of the morning is the presentation of the Mayor’s awards and the top five trophies presented in honor of the parade’s founders.   The Clear Lake Area Chamber parade committee produces the event every year.  For information and entry forms go to or call 281-488-7676.

Emmeline Dodd holds the Conservation Award she was presented by the Armand Bayou Nature Center Board of Directors at a luncheon at Bay Oaks Country Club. With her are, from left, BAHEP executive and emcee Dan Seal, ABNC Board of Directors President Linda Retherford, Trendmaker Homes President Will Holder and ABNC Executive Director Tom Kartrude.

appeared. Five decorated boats bravely paraded in the wind and rain down the channel and when the captains saw the people in Jimmie Walker’s loving it, Capt. Jack Campbell announced that this is our inaugural Christmas boat parade -- and it’s been a tradition ever since.   The parade has grown tremendously, attracting thousands of people to witness the brilliant display of boat lights that can be seen by viewers on land, and by the hundreds of boats anchored throughout the lake.  The restaurants along the shores and at the Kemah Boardwalk do a booming business while homeowners and apartment dwellers on the lake plan annual parties.  Some of the boaters have participated for over 25 years and

DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Photos by Mary Alys Cherry

Education Foundation honors 12 at 2016 Gala

Distinguished Alumni Award winners, from left, included Dr. Brian Woods, Northside ISD superintendent in San Antonio; Janet Brown, Space Center Houston director of finance; and Thomas W. Horton, former American Airlines CEO. A fourth award winner, Riley Salmon, a three-time Olympian in volleyball who won a gold medal in Beijing, was unable to attend. Woods and Horton are Clear Lake High graduates while Brown and Salmon are Creek graduates.

Super Stars Jerry Smith, a Merrill Lynch vice president; CCISD Elementary Teacher of the Year Kristi Roney of Falcon Pass Elementary; and Region IV Secondary Teacher of the Year Dale Jensen of Clear View High, from left, get together for a photo as the CCEF Gala gets under way.

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, right, visits with Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan and Kippy Caraway at the Clear Creek Education Foundation Gala at South Shore Harbour Resort.

Gala Co-Chairman Kim Barker, Kay Lee Benoit and Katy Bastedo, from left, await the arriving crowd for the Clear Creek Education Foundation celebration at South Shore Harbour Resort.


Former CCEF Citizen of the Year Harv Hartman and his wife, Carolyn, enjoy the gala.

CCISD Superintendent Greg Smith and his wife, Kathy, look over the crowd at the CCEF Gala.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

Citizen of the Year and SAIC executive Joyce Abbey receives congratulations from another award winner, Scott Rainey, a former CCEF board chairman who was presented the George B. Carlisle Distinguished Service Award at the gala.

Lt. Col. Kyle B. McCarthy, a 1984 Lake grad and winner of the Valor Award, visits with Carol and Jim Saxe, owners of the Putt-Putt Fun House and winners of the Dennis Johnson Memorial Small Business Award, as the CCEF Gala starts.

Once political opponents are happy to see one another as they arrive at South Shore Harbour Resort for the 2016 CCEF Foundation Gala. They are, from left, attorneys Becky Reitz and her husband, John Gay, and State Rep. Dennis Paul and his wife, Eliza.

JOYCE ABBEY, a long-time advocate for the advancement of STEM programming in public education, was honored by the Clear Creek Education Foundation as its 2016 Citizen of the Year Nov. 5, before a crowd of several hundred at the CCEF Gala. The Clear Creek ISD alumna and Clear Creek High graduate was one of 10 honored at the annual celebration in the South Shore Harbour Resort’s Crystal Ballroom. “As the SAIC employee communications and external relations director, Abbey is also known for her championing of human spaceflight. She spearheads the Aerospace Teacher Extern Program, which equips teachers to connect educational skills with what is happening in the workplace and industry, and the vast number and variety of career options available to students,” CCEF said. Others honored at the gala were: Scott Rainey, the George G. Carlisle Distinguished Service Award; Janet Norman Brown, Thomas W. Horton, Riley Salmon and Dr. Brian Woods, the Distinguished Alumni Award winners; Carol & Jim Saxe, Putt Putt Fun House owners who were recipients of the Dennis Johnson Memorial Small Business Award; Lt. Col. Kyle McCarthy (USMC Ret.) was presented the Valor Award  Jerry Smith, along with Dale Jensen, CCISD Secondary and Region 4 Teacher of the Year and Kristi Roney, CCISD Elementary Teacher of the Year received the CCISD Superstar Award. Faces in the crowd included Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, Mayors Pat Hallisey of League City, Julie Masters of Dickinson and Carl Joiner of Kemah; State Reps. Dennis Paul and Dr. Greg Bonnen; CCISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith and former Superintendents Dr. Sandra Mossman and Dr. Ron McLeod.

DECEMBER 2016 | Bay Area Houston Magazine




18th Annual Yachty Gras Celebration


he unique Yachty Gras

event that is held each year during the Mardi Gras Season begins a grand week of celebration for the Clear Lake area on Feb. 11, 2017 at 7 p.m. Welcome aboard the traditional “Kick-off Party” to be hosted by the Sundance Grill at Waterford Harbor. Admission is FREE and open to everyone, and the party will consist of hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, live and silent auctions. Net proceeds from this event will benefit Wounded Heroes of Texas. The original artwork for the poster by Dr. Maurine Howard titled, “Tenderness of the Sea” will be the poster theme for this year’s events. The following weekend, Saturday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., the Yachty Gras Grand Night Parade “Americas largest Mardi Gras Boat Parade” will begin from the Seabrook Channel and proceed past the Kemah Boardwalk. The elaborately decorated yachts will be throwing beads to the revelers viewing the parade along the route. Parade judges will be located at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company at the Kemah Boardwalk. Yachty Gras is a spectacular “Family Event” for viewing and participating in the Yachty Gras Grand Night Parade. Book your hotel, or Bed & Breakfast rooms early to come and enjoy a fantastic weekend of fun and revelry for the whole family. Dine at the finest

“Tenderness of the Sea” by Maurine Howard.

restaurants on the Gulf Coast and explore all the Clear Lake Area has to offer. “Laissez les bon temp rouler” sponsorships and in-kind donations are also available from $100 - $10,000+ with business name or logo on all marketing and advertising materials, the website and prominently displayed during each of the three day events. A special recognition announcement on radio and TV during the Kick-Off Sponsorship Party and if requested a representative from your organization can speak during the party. For more updated information visit: yachtygras. com or call 713-882-4040 and a representative will come to your office or business for sponsorship pickup.

The Nutcracker opens in December


he first two weekends

in December promise to bring holiday magic to you and to your family. Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre will be presenting the perennial favorite, The Nutcracker, at the University of HoustonClear Lake’s Bayou Theatre. The cast is composed of their accomplished Artists in Residence, as well as the BAHBT company dancers,

demi-characters, and other roles that are filled by audition. There are over 100 people in this traditional ballet that has charmed audiences for over a century. Performances are Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11. Friday and Saturday nights are at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m. Tickets can be obtained online at or by calling the BAHBT office at 281 480-1617.

Kiwanis directing the 4:30 lineup from Bobby Beach Park on Westward, followed by the Tree Lighting Ceremony at Walter Feigle Park and a gathering hosted by the La Marque Lions Club. To enter, call 409935-1408.

Clear Lake

The Nutcracker on tap. Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatre will present the popular holiday classic, The Nutcracker, the weekends of Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11 with performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the UH-Clear Lake Bayou Theatre. Tickets, which are $27.50 to $37.50 with discounts available, may be reserved by calling 281-480-1617. Toyland Fantasy Dec. 5. The Bay Area Museum Guild invites the wee set and their parents to its annual Toyland Fantasy Breakfast with Santa from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 3, at Bay Oaks Country Club. For reservations, email BAMG Open House Dec. 4. Bay Area Museum Guild will host its annual Holiday Open House from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the museum. Bay Oaks Holiday Market Dec. 5. The Bay Oaks Women’s Association will host its annual Holiday Market for club members and their guests, starting at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 5, at Bay Oaks Country Club. ALBA Holiday Party Dec. 12. Members of the Assistance League of the Bay Area will gather at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 12, for their annual Holiday Open House at the home of Cecilia Dismukes. Welcome Neighbors Dec. 15. The Bay Area Welcome Neighbors Club will meet Thursday, Dec. 15, for a holiday luncheon at Bay Oaks Country Club. For information or to make reservations, contact Nancy Guthrie, or call 281-333-3055. Chamber open house Dec. 15. The Clear Lake Area Chamber will host its annual Holiday Open House for members from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec.15, at its offices at 1201 E. NASA Parkway. Gardeners meet Jan. 4. Texas Master Naturalist Tricia Bradbury will speak on Plants for Shady Spaces when Gardeners by the Bay meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4 at Clear Lake United Methodist Church, 16335 El Camino Real, Building 3 corner of Seafoam and Buccaneer. Go to the parking lot behind the church on the corner of Seafoam and Buccaneer, then go to Building No. 3.  Questions - Marjorie 281-474-5051.


Musical opens Dec. 1. Nutcracker, the Musical brings holiday fun to the Bay Area Harbour Playhouse, 3803 Highway 3, Dec. 1-18 with curtains at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $17 for adults, $12 for students and seniors and $6 for children 12 and under. For tickets, call 381-337-7469.



Genealogy Holiday Party Dec. 10. Bay Area Genealogical Society invites its members and other genealogy enthusiasts to its annual Holiday Party Saturday, Dec 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Hope Village Cafe, 4541 FM 2351. The event benefits the Foundation for Hope Village. RSVP by Dec. 4 to Kim Zrubek at 281-9922636. Santa in the Park Dec. 10. Home for the Holidays – Santa in the Park will be held in Stevenson Park from 3 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, with a Tree Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks at 7:30 p.m., amusement rides coloring contests, music, dancers, choirs, holiday arts and crafts market, refreshments, and two snow hills with 40,000 pounds of snow! Pictures with Santa from 3 to 6 p.m. 

Christmas Parade Dec. 10. The 30th Annual Christmas Lighted Parade will start at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 on Friendswood Drive. For details, contact the Friendswood Chamber.


Dickens on The Strand Dec. 2-4. Galveston’s world famous Victorian holiday street festival, Dickens on The Strand returns to the Island FridaySunday, Dec. 2-4, featuring parades, non-stop entertainment on five stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers and a host of other entertainers. For more information, visit or call 409-765-7424. “Grand” entertainment on tap. The Grand 1894 Opera House has simply “grand” entertainment to present for the month of December including Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 2 and 3; Jerry Jeff Walker Dec. 17 and the Queen of Country Music Loretta Lynn Dec. 18-19. Tickets may be purchased at The Grand’s Box Office, 2020 Postoffice Street, by calling 409.765.1894, 800.821.1894 or online at


Christmas in Kemah. Look for excitement to fill the air as Kemah celebrates Christmas in Kemah Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10, with the Tree Lighting at 6 p.m. Friday, Breakfast With Santa at 8 a.m. Saturday, followed by the Christmas Parade at 10 a.m. and the Christmas Boat Parade at 7 p.m. New Year’s fireworks Dec. 31. The community is invited to ring in the New Year with family fun and fireworks at the Kemah Boardwalk.

La Marque

Yule Parade Dec. 7. The City of La Marque is planning a Magical Winter Wonderland Parade Wednesday, Dec. 7 that features a new route and new theme but promises the same down home, festive family fun. The parade starts at 5:30 p.m., with La Marque

Bay Area Houston Magazine | DECEMBER 2016

La Porte

BATP Holiday Market Dec. 8. Bay Area Turning Point’s Winter Wonderland Holiday Market & Luncheon will be Thursday, Dec. 8, in the beautiful, waterfront room at Sylvan Beach Pavilion -- a great way to enjoy a nice lunch and kick-start your holiday shopping with an array of vendors. Singer Mickey Hobbs will headline a remembrance of Elvis, plus there will be live and silent auctions, a 50/50 raffle and door prizes during lunch. Tickets are $60 or fill a table for 8 and each guest only pays $54.  For reservations, email Lisa Dishman at ldishman@

League City

Holiday in the Park Dec. 2-4. The 19th annual Holiday in the Park Festival is set for Friday- Sunday, Dec. 2-4, at League Park. The three-day festival includes shopping, food and lots of entertainment. A festival highlight is the Grand Night Parade on Main Street Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. Other events include a holiday movie under the oaks, the children’s costume parade, pet parade and the holiday market. Chamber luncheon Dec. 9. The League City Chamber Year in Review Membership Luncheon will be held Friday, Dec. 9, at 11:30 a.m. at South Shore Harbour Resort to welcome its new Board of Directors and present awards. For reservations, call the chamber. Christmas Boat Parade Dec. 10. The League City 55th Annual Christmas Boat Lane Parade presented by the City of Kemah Saturday, Dec. 10, and featuring more than a hundred brightly decorated power and sailboats, will traverse Clear Lake and the Clear Creek channel from the South Shore Harbour Marina and the Nassau Bay Lagoon, past the Kemah Boardwalk to Galveston Bay. For information, call the Clear Lake Area Chamber, 281-488-7676 or go to

Nassau Bay

Yule classic opens Dec. 2. The popular holiday classic, A Christmas Story, will add to our holiday joy Dec. 2-18 at the Clear Creek Community Theatre, 18091 Upper Bay Road, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. matinees Saturdays and Sundays, with Santa at some performances. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and students and $10 for groups of 10 or more. For reservations, visit www. or call 281-335-5228. Symphony League party Dec. 14. Houston Symphony League Bay Area will have its annual Holiday Party at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the home of Vicki Buxton in Clear Lake.


Comedy now playing. The comedy, Santa Claus is Out Cold!, is now playing at the Pasadena Little Theatre, 4318 Allen-Genoa Road, through Sunday, Dec. 18, with curtains at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, plus one Thursday show on Dec. 15 that is a 2-for-$20 show. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. For reservations, go online to or call 713-941-1758. Chamber gala Dec. 6. The Pasadena Chamber will host its annual black tie (optional) gala at the Sylvan Beach Pavilion in La Porte at 6:30 p.m Tuesday, Dec. 6. Tickets are $75 each. To RSVP, call the chamber, 281-487-7871. Chamber luncheon Dec. 15. The Pasadena Chamber will have its annual awards and membership luncheon Thursday, Dec. 15, at the Palms Event Center, 15301 Gulf Freeway. Tickets are $25. For reservations, call the chamber, 281-487-7871. New Year’s Eve Gala. The Pasadena Little Theatre will host its New Year’s Eve fundraising gala Saturday, Dec. 31 at the theatre, 4318 Allen-Genoa Road, with gaming tables, slot machines, a midnight champagne toast, breakfast and silent auction. “Winnings” from gambling may be used to take a chance on wonderful prizes.

Historic Home Tour Dec. 10. The League City Historical Society will host its annual Home Tour Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets -- $13 in advance or $15 the day of the event -- are on sale at the League City Chamber and the West Bay Common School. Or visit leaguecityhistory. org or call 281-554-2994.


Chamber party Dec. 13. League City Chamber members will celebrate the season from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13 with their annual holiday party and open house at the chamber office, 319 E. Galveston St., Suite B.

Museum open house Dec. 4. The Bay Area Museum Guild will host its annual Holiday Open House at the museum in Clear Lake Park from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.

“Elvis” at Butler Museum Dec. 16. Butler Longhorn Museum will host the ever popular Vince King as Elvis in a very special holiday performance from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16 when he performs both Elvis songs and traditional holiday music. Tickets are $30. Call the museum at 281-332-1393 to make a reservation.

Vandermere to speak Dec. 6. The Webster Business Alliance Luncheon, which will be held Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Webster Civic Center, 101 Pennsylvania Ave. Lunch begins at 11:30 with the program by Marc Vandermere, the Voice of the Houston Texans, at noon. RSVP to 281-316-4135.

Chamber Open House Dec. 14. The Pearland Chamber will host a Christmas Open House for members from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, the Commerce Center, 6117 Broadway St.



Bay Area Houston Magazine December 2016  

Nationally recognized for heart care: Bay Area Regional first and only hospital in Houston to achieve the highest level Chest Pain Accredita...