The Houston Zombie Walk is a Halloween themed 501 (c) charity with a primary mission of raising money for their selected scholarships and charity partners. By supporting college education, they seek to support education paths that may not always have the biggest support financially. All proceeds benefit their ‘Too Ghoul for School’ scholarship fund at www.tgfschool.org. A wide variety of scholarship categories include: Performing & Visual Arts, Veterinary Technician, First Responders, and a special Board of Directors Cut. Previously the charity had a successful history of raising and distributing financial assistance to organizations supporting children’s charities, domestic animal welfare and wildlife rehab.
The organizations model is for their followers to give back to the community while having the most fun! By bringing the idea of Halloween into the community through our events, they attract a wide variety of followers from all walks of life. According to Darren Tompkins, Board Chair and COO, “This is essentially the coolest way ever to support your community!” Another strength of the organization is how they spend volunteer time at other charitable events to help support local groups that may need volunteer help.
A series of unique fund-raising events take place during the year. In March they stage their “Carpocalypse” Car and Motorcycle Show. The Halfway to Halloween Bash at the House of Blues is held in June, followed in October by the 2018 Houston Halloween Festival. Christmas time finds them staging their Christmas with Krampus Wresting and Holiday Spectacular. Learn all about the organization at www.houstonzombiewalk.org. The Chamber salutes Houston Zombie Walk and their many volunteers for their valuable contributions in time and resources invested in our community.
Phil Stewart is our featured member for March and his varied and colorful background accomplishments could fill all 20 pages of this publication,, 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 rock and roll 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 Regional Account Director of McElvy Media and representative for 4 different area newspapers. A proud Chamber member, in fact, when he was hired, he was made the Chamber representative, a good move since he has consistently been active in 8 different Chambers across the country.
Certainly his credentials are impressive but there is much more. Phil is Past President of the Professional Tour Guide Association of Houston and a Certified Professional Tour guide. In 2016 he bought Discover Houston Tours. 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 38 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 and appreciate his comment: “the Heights Chamber is the best!”
We’re excited to announce our 2nd Annual Food Truck Festival in the Heights! Lots of mouth-watering options to choose from: burgers, tacos, Asian, fusion cuisine and desserts…there’s something for everyone! Advance purchase tickets are available for $5; $10 the day of the event. Come join us for some of the tastiest food in the Heights! More info on our Events page…
The annual Chamber Crawfish Festival got started with an array of school bands, musicians, and other participants proudly marching through the heart of the Heights. Thank you to our Grand Marshal, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale of Gallery Furniture! Plenty of steaming crawfish plates were served along with pizza from Papa Murphy’s, hot dogs from Good Dog, and ices from Rita’s.
Thanks to the hard-working Crawfish Festival and Parade Committee members (including Committee Chair Teresa Briggs, Dee Farino, Cindy Reibenstein, Craig Atkinson, MaryBeth Wegner, Roberto Rodriguez, Matt Kelly, Debbie Heusi, Vicki Fleeger), our volunteers, and the Chamber staff for their perseverance.
And a big thank you to all our sponsors!!
Houston Highway Credit Union, Members Trust of the SW Federal Credit Union, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights, PrimeWay Federal Credit Union, Blake Credit Union Services, CenterPoint Energy, Central Bank, Heights Hospital, Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen, Allegiance Bank, Gainesborough Waste, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, P& J’s Cajun Cookin’, TDECU, Texas Outhouse, Frost Bank, Heights A/C & Heating, Onsite Maintenance, Prosperity Bank, TransAct Title Company.
The Crawfish Festival provided an opportunity to watch and hear the finalists in the “Idol of the Heights” singing contest as they made their final performances on stage to win cash prizes of $1,500, $700 and $300. No one envied the judges making a very tough decision, but the winners were finally named: First place went to Stephanie Melodies; Second place honors to Alli Sifflet; and Third place was Kameron Ross. A big round of applause to ALL our performers this year. Great job!
Thanks for the hard work by committee members: Chair Paige Cassel, Hector Castellanos, Taylor Woodard, Jan Stephenson, and Jill Johnston of the Chamber staff.
A big thank you to our sponsors of Idol of the Heights!
Allegiance Bank, Dan Electros Guitar Bar, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hartz Krispy Chicken on Pinemont, Jan Stephenson Graphic Design, Karbach Brewing Company, McIntyre’s, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital, Silver Eagle Distributors, and Taylor Woodard Financial of Raymond James.
Memorial Hermann today launched Virtual Clinic, an innovative program designed to help patients access medical care from the comfort of their homes, offices, schools or wherever they may be.
“Health care is our business, but so is technology,” said David Bradshaw, executive vice president and chief marketing and strategy officer at Memorial Hermann. “In the past several years, we’ve seen a tectonic shift in patient care beyond the traditional setting thanks to the emergence of new technological capabilities. While our patients still expect high-quality and safe care, they now want it on their terms, and more often than not, at their fingertips. To meet the demand, we’ve developed a host of consumer-driven digital tools, including Virtual Clinic, to help patients manage their health care — both inside and outside our walls.”
Memorial Hermann first introduced video consultation for select post-surgical appointments and case management services in January 2017. Today, the program is expanding to adult primary care and urgent care visits via Virtual Clinic.
Virtual Clinic offers video consultations via computer, tablet or smart phone with a variety of Memorial Hermann affiliated physicians. Appointments can be made for adult primary care and urgent care services through Memorial Hermann Medical Group. Dr. David James, Chief Executive Officer for Memorial Hermann Medical Group, explains, “There’s a lot of urgent care type visits that can be taken care of just by doing good history and asking the right questions. From earaches and allergies, to colds and flu, to stomach aches and digestive issues and more, now the doctor’s diagnosis is only a click away.”
Pediatric post-surgical virtual visits also are available through Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.
“Virtual Care is a game changer for our patients and their families,” said Dr. Matthew T. Harting, M.D., a UTHealth pediatric surgeon affiliated with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. “Surgery can be a stressful and time-consuming event for families, consisting of pre- and post-surgical appointments, as well as the surgery itself. However, this new program alleviates some of the stress. With Virtual Clinic, families don’t have to worry about making the trek back to the hospital for routine post-surgical appointments. They can now attend the follow-up appointment and see their physician without ever having to leave the house.”
Virtual appointments are available daily. Additional physicians and services will be added in the coming months. Virtual Clinic does not treat emergency or life-threatening issues, chronic illness or provide medication refills.
Virtual Clinic is a program of Everyday Well. Everyday Well represents a new approach to managing health, offering a care delivery platform aimed at providing Houstonians enhanced access to Memorial Hermann’s network of primary care physicians along with a host of innovative online tools and services that deliver the utmost in convenience for patients to live well and stay well every day.
For more information on Virtual Clinic, visit www.memorialhermann.org/virtualclinic/ or call 832-658-MHVC (6482).
Gaye Jackson, owner of Gaye Jackson’s Flowers in the Heights, grew up in Spring Branch, graduated and set out for Texas A & M University where she majored in Psychology. Beginning her ultimate floral career, she first worked at a friend’s flower show and totally enjoyed the experience.
Following college, Gaye spent some time doing marketing and real estate. No doubt furthering her business experience, and soon-to-be, floral profession. However, feeling the urge to become her own boss, this dynamic lady “bit the bullet” and went into business on her own. Or as she says, “If it didn’t work, I would get a real job!” Wow, did it work, because her real job these days is satisfying customers and bringing joy into lives. At one time she had 3 stores.
Gaye excelled in the floral business being named “Very Best” Wedding Florist for 9 straight years, and in the “Top 100 Fastest Growing Businesses in Houston”. Joining the Chamber, Gaye recognized it for its business-building capabilities and appreciated its commitment to enhancing the entire community.
Gaye spends her spare time involved in the River Oaks Business Women’s Exchange Club and traveling. With her son Jackson (born to a proud mother at age 50), they have been to China and are planning an extended stay in Kauai in July of this year. On November 11th, she celebrated her 40th year in the floral business, certainly a major milestone in her life. Always smiling, Gaye Jackson is a Chamber member representative of living life to the fullest, and a beautiful flower that continues to bloom!
This month we are spotlighting The Periwinkle Foundation, one of our newer Chamber members and a local pediatric cancer non-profit. Periwinkle is a Community of Healing through camps, arts and survivor programs, which are provided at no cost to children and families affected by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses who are cared for at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Each year more than 14,000 children, teens and families are touched by Periwinkle programs, including Camp Periwinkle, Camp YOLO, Periwinkle Family Camp, Periwinkle Day Camp, Camp Days at Texas Children’s Hospital, the Long Term Survivor Program and the Periwinkle Arts In Medicine Program, which culminates each year in a traveling exhibition of art by children touched by cancer and blood disorders. Through camping, recreational and arts programming, and a collaborative community of over 20,000 supporters, The Periwinkle Foundation provides opportunities for these special children and their families to heal emotionally, lead fuller lives and become stronger survivors.