January 26th brings one of the most highly valued Chamber events of the year – The Economic Forecast Luncheon. Continuing in the same vein as previous events, once again we will learn about the economy, trends, and get other valuable planning information from Dr. Bill Gilmer.
Dr. Gilmer is Director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University’s Bauer College of Business and is one of the nation’s leading economists. He served as the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas for 23 years, retiring as a Senior Economist and Vice President. Channel 11, KHOU TV Anchor Len Cannon will emcee the luncheon. Make plans to attend and reserve your table as space will be limited. The event takes place at the Sheraton Houston Brookhollow Hotel, 3000 North Loop West. Registration opens at 11:00 and the event time is 11:30 p.m.
The Chamber is pleased to offer a Health & Wellness Luncheon that will take place on December 7 at the Sheraton Houston Brookhollow Hotel from 11:00 – 1:30 p.m. Certainly this a concern for all of us and the Health & Wellness Luncheon was developed to provide the opportunity for exploring and expanding the knowledge of where and whom to go to for help. The luncheon will feature tables with representatives for all groups involved in health & wellness.
The keynote speaker will be Harris Count Judge Ed Emmett whose official responsibilities also include being director of the Harris County’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Harris County citizens are fortunate to have an experienced County Judge who has an enviable record of effectively anticipating, responding and managing sometimes unforeseen emergencies. Another significant speaker will be Allison Winnike. She is a Research Professor and Director of Research for the Health Law & Policy Institute at The University of Houston Law Center, where her teaching and research interests focus on public health law and health legislation and policy. Professor Winnike is the editor and contributing author to Control Measures and Public Health Emergencies: A Texas Bench Book and Preparing for a Pandemic: An Emergency Response Benchbook and Operational Guidebook for State Court Judges and Administrators.
This luncheon offers a one-on-one situation to meet, talk with and establish contacts useful for identifying prime health & wellness related resources one may need now or in the future. Recent news events have focused on consumers facing greatly increased medical cost coverages, so experienced industry professionals can offer advice and methods of dealing with organizations and individuals to get the best result.
This month we recognize a very prominent member of the community, Alli Jarrett. Alli renovated the former clothing store, “Harold’s in the Heights” on 19th street which now serves the community with a Southern Creole restaurant known as Harold’s Restaurant, Bar & Terrace and Alli’s Pizzaria. The original Harold’s store was an institution in the Heights.
A native South Carolinian, Alli grew up in Kingstree, SC which was 60 miles north of Charleston. She is a graduate of Williamsburg Academy, attended the University of South Carolina on a golf scholarship and received her degree in Physical Education, Sports Medicine.
Beginning her business career in the family business, Alli remembers sweeping the floors, stamping playing cards and running the cash register in Jarrett’s Specialty Company showroom. Later she would become sales manager for an orthopedic manufacturer and spend 15 years with the United States Golf Association (USGA). Remember that golf scholarship?
Accepting a position as Director of Regional Affairs for the USGA, Alli chose Houston and the Heights as her base from which she managed 7 states and Mexico. Houston’s airport system also allowed her to return to her roots in Kingstree in only 2 hours. Joining the Chamber was a natural because her family had long embraced its value and benefits for small businesses.
Actively involved in many organizations including church, golf and restaurants, Alli also enjoys scuba diving, cooking, and things that bring people together. This successful business woman is passionate about her restaurants and takes pride in the fact that in its two years, the restaurant was named on Alison Cook’s “Houston Chronicle Top 100 list” in 2014 and 2015. Thank you Alli for your support and for your promise to keep the Harold’s name alive for many years.
No doubt you have seen a rather tall gentleman at a Breakfast Connection, ribbon cutting or some other Chamber luncheon or event. Wonder no more, because he is Cody Holder a Community Aide in Commissioner Jack Cagle’s Precinct 4 office. Cody was born in Lake Jackson, grew up in Angleton and finished his early education at Angleton High School. It was then onto Texas A & M University where he received his Bachelor of Arts, Political Science degree.
A Houstonian since 2012, Cody moved to Houston to pursue music full time. Today he enjoys playing music and earlier taught music to members of a church band and sold tickets for a show hosted by KSBJ, a Contemporary Christian Music radio station. His Chamber participation is in keeping with his goal of giving a physical representation of Commissioner Cagle and Precinct 4.
His pursuit of a career in public affairs and government relations was certainly influenced by his parents, both of whom are State Judges. Working on their respective campaigns he learned how to socialize, interact and meet new people. His political side is the primary reason why he enjoys staying up-to-date on current events locally and nationally.
Married to Alyssa, they enjoy traveling when time permits and Cody says “She keeps me extremely motivated to be the best in whatever I do.” Cody’s spare time, if any, is taken up by biking, running, playing sports and hiking. In addition, his family includes two sisters and 6 nephews. The Chamber takes pride in Cody’s support and is impressed with his personal pride in being a husband, son, brother and uncle.
Phil Stewart is our featured member for February and his varied and colorful background accomplishments could fill all 20 pages of this publication and more, however, we have attempted to hit the highlights and there have been many! He made his debut on Christmas Day in Houston; yes he was a Christmas baby and a wonderful gift for his proud parents.
He was not destined to stay in Houston because in the following years he was in Tulsa, Boston, Little Rock, Shreveport and eventually came back to attend college at the University of Houston. His other higher education activities involved Louisiana State University, the University of Denver, and he did Post Baccalaureate studies and earned a degree from the University of Denver.
Opting for career variety, Phil started as a cameraman for Channel 26, worked as a part time disc jockey and also built parts of his exemplary career in regional and national sales, in radio, at a magazine, in an advertising agency and in newspaper positions. Today he is a senior account manager for The Leader Newspaper and a proud member of the Chamber. In fact, when he was hired he was made the Chamber representative, a good move since he has consistently been active in many Chambers across the country.
Certainly his credentials are impressive but there is much more. Phil is President of the Professional Tour Guide Association of Houston and you may have even have seen him as the railroad engineer/conductor for the Hermann Park Railroad at the Zoo. Railroading is in his blood because he has held numerous offices for model railroad organizations and is an accomplished train layout builder. In fact the layout he built for the “Houston Passenger Train Operations in 1949” was featured in national magazines, on local television and in newspapers.
We don’t know if all his travels are by train, but he has been to all 50 states and 14 foreign countries. There is even more travel in his family since Leslie, his wife is an international flight attendant for United. Rounding out the family are sons Daniel and Aaron. Catching our breath, we soundly applaud Phil for his diversified successes and achievements.
A familiar face you have been seeing recently at most Chamber events belongs to Tanner Touchstone. Tanner has approached his membership with the goal of getting known, and becoming a valuable source for individuals, families and small businesses who are choosing their health benefits.
A West Texas native, he grew up in Lubbock and took on a challenging job at the tender age of 14. The job, well it was being a score keeper, announcer and field maintenance employee for a baseball park. He proudly states “From this experience I learned the value of a hard day’s work and how to stand up for my decision making.” His experience there gained him valuable insights on how to behave in challenging situations.
He and wife, Kelli came to Houston in 2010 when she became a journalism teacher at a private school. Although not living in the Heights, they quickly discovered the charm and small-town attributes of the area and in 2013 they moved in. Tanner is a licensed health and life agent for USHEALTH Advisors and with his emphasis on becoming integrated into the community he was attracted to the Chamber. As a resident and an agent working for a company helping small businesses, the Heights Chamber was a natural fit because it provided a great way to start meetings and supporting the local businesses.
Tanner is a rookie member of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Gate Keepers Committee. With a love of the outdoors, their home is right across the street from the White Oak Bayou, so it is easy to hit the trail along with their dog, Hank. From an enjoyment standpoint, Tanner loves travel and exploring new cultures. Admittedly a “foodie,” he is always on the lookout for new places to sample their fare. Joining the Chamber is easy and Tanner has gone well beyond just being a member. His experience and qualifications are beneficial to fellow members and we salute his enthusiastic experience he readily shares with our members. Congratulations, Tanner.
Welcome is certainly an appropriate word for this month’s featured member, Tiffany Salinas of Welcome Wagon International. This native Houstonian grew up in “Big H” and attended St. Pius X High School. From there it was onto the University of Incarnate Word where she studied fashion merchandising and added a minor in business marketing.
Beginning what was to be her customer-oriented, retail business career, Tiffany was an Express sales person, a make-up artist at Sephora and a brand ambassador for Saks Fifth Avenue. Setting her sights on becoming an expert sales professional, she has become a marketing executive for Welcome Wagon. Joining the Chamber was a natural for Tiffany because she wanted to be more involved in her community and help businesses and new neighborhood residents with the advantageous services provided by her employer.
Since becoming an Ambassador for the Chamber Tiffany has gained new business contacts, welcomed new members, participated on committees, and built a reputation for herself as a dynamic woman that relishes helping others. In her spare time, she likes ghost tours, traveling, cooking, working outside and road trips. Truly she is a woman of diverse interests because they include liking ladybugs, old horror movies, museums and zoos, making cupcakes, 1950’s style clothing and anything Disney. The Chamber appreciates you, Tiffany, and your dedication and enthusiasm for being a member. Congratulations on your many accomplishments.
Rosemary Lengefeld is Community Executive Director for the Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA located at 1234 West 34th Street and our featured member for November. Starting life many miles from Houston, Rosemary was born in Lewiston, Idaho which is on the West side of the state adjacent to the Washington State border.
She came to Houston in 1988 and attended Bellaire High School, the University of Texas in Austin, Lewis-Clark State and the University North Texas. The net results of this educational journey were an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Kinesiology. Rosemary recalls her first job took moves because she was a Montessori Assistant Teacher.
Rosemary has worked for the YMCA organization for 13 years at various locations and in many different roles. Yes, that Psychology degree did come in handy! Oh, did we mention that she is a lifeguard, swim instructor, personal trainer and group exercise instructor as well?
In her present position, her responsibilities include Board Development, Fundraising, Community Collaborations and Center Operations. And if that were not enough, she also is a member of the Height Rotary, the Oaks Business Association and the Association of YMCA Professionals.
Joining the Chamber was a natural for her because she values making business connections and networking with community leaders. You will find her rooting for the Texas Longhorns and finding time for enjoying cooking for her husband, Chris and daughter Ashlen. As a YMCA patron, this writer can testify to the outstanding work Rosemary does on behalf of the organization. Not only is she a major asset to the YMCA, she is an asset to the Chamber as well. Congratulations, Rosemary.
This month we go international with our member profile and recognize Shuchi (Sue) Sharma who was born and grew up in India. Her education was extensive and included obtaining a post graduate diploma in marketing management and her MBA in information systems & international business from California State University, East Bay.
Sue began her business career as a marketing officer for The Times of India newspaper; however other later accomplishments saw her become a senior account manager, senior international manager and marketing director. She made her way to Houston in 2006.
With her extensive business background, Sue understands the value of building not only Chamber relationships, but within the local community as well. Asked about her reason for joining the Chamber, Sue said: “The Chamber has a great reputation as a growing and proactive organization that does a tremendous job of promoting local business and interaction, promoting professional growth in education and community building.” (WOW, we could not have said it better ourselves, thanks Sue).
Sue is president and owner of Sign-Ups and Banners, a business that has been actively involved in the Chamber for many years under the Featherston’s. Chamber members and customers can expect the same level of service and quality products as before. Staying abreast of marketing and business trends finds Sue involved in the American Marketing Association, the Houston Apartment Association and the Houston Better Business Bureau.
As a rising star herself, Sue enjoys Astrology and anything philosophy related. But baking still holds her interest which pleases her “wonderful husband, 11 year-old daughter and 9-year old son.” Congratulations Sue Sharma, we welcome you into the Chamber and look forward to your participation and support.
Kim Hanley is the Marketing Manager, Corporate Healthcare Manager and Women of Wellness (WOW) Program Coordinator at St. Joseph Medical Center. Her early years were spent in Oregon, Ohio which is a suburb of Toledo. She did her undergraduate work at Youngstown State University and graduate work at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). The results were a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Advertising and Public Relations plus a Masters of Education, M.ED, Business, Computer, and Information Technology.
Her first job was as a business instructor at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Indiana University Pennsylvania where she taught business hospitality and accounting. While there, she found time to do recruiting and serve as assistant coach of the IUP men and women’s swim teams. In the summers from 2005-2011 she had coached the UT Longhorn Swim Team in Austin and soon found that the annual journeys from Ohio to Texas were tedious. Making the permanent move and seeking a job in Texas resulted in her working at the Tomball Regional Medical Center.
Kim joined the Chamber “to take advantage of networking opportunities, create business connections and serve the Heights community.” Service must be her middle name because she participates and serves in many local organizations. Active in Leadership North Houston class of XIX, she was awarded “Most Enthusiastic” classmate. In addition she served on the Community Service Project Committee and the Class XIX Program of Choice Committee.
With even more emphasis on service, Kim points out that she is a radKIDS Certified Instructor. It is a child empowerment program that stands for r-resisting, a-aggression, and d-defensively for children aged 5 – 12 years. Busy woman, yes, but Kim still finds time for networking, workouts, movies, traveling, of course swimming, dancing and reading. Vacations are spent visiting with her family in Ohio or Arizona, or jet-setting to meet them usually in sunny and tropical locations.
Oh yes, we would be remiss if we did not reveal the words she lives by, “Love Life and Just be Cool.” You are definitely cool, Kim, and we salute your enthusiasm for life and the Chamber.