10Sep, 2019

Fun Alert: Don’t Miss the “Chamber54” Chairman’s Gala

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No there won’t be fireworks, but “Chamber54” is the exciting theme for this year’s Gala. Members and guests are encouraged to bring the theme to life with fun clothing and accessories that take us back to the “Disco” days of the 70’s!   By the late 1970’s, most major U.S. cities had thriving disco club scenes and one of the most famous was the renowned Studio 54 in New York City. Extravagant and sexy fashions were the popular choice of celebrities as they danced to music by the Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, the Village People, Michael Jackson and more.

The evening of September 20 at the Junior League Building brings a revival of those days as the Chairman’s Gala takes place that evening. Be sure to be there for all the fun, the drama in spirited silent and live auction bidding; placing your bets at the casino tables for a chance to win impressive prizes; and of course, a sumptuous dinner and entertainment. Be sure to purchase your $20 ticket for the wine raffle because that will give you a chance to win one of the 4 baskets filled with 12 desirable wines and other items. The complimentary reception beginning at 6:30, and ending at 7:30, offers plenty of time to review the silent auction treasures and enjoy cocktails with your fellow members

An impressive array of silent auction items awaits your bid. Just to name a few, there are:

An antique white gold & diamond ring (donated by Houghton’s Jewelers),  a private Penguin Tour Encounter for four at Moody Gardens (from Moody Gardens and Houston Highway Credit Union), a Home and Garden Apple 4K TV (donated by Houston Highway Credit Union), two orchestra tickets to Houston Ballet’s: Forged in Houston (donated by the Houston Ballet Foundation), Happy Hour at Harold’s for six (provided by Harold’s in the Heights), an Island Paddle Experience for 5 (provided by Island Paddle, LLC), a Camrose & Kross replica of Jacqueline Kennedy’s Howlite Necklace and Bracelet (donated by Jessica Leone). More awaits you so plan on winning your item during the silent auction.

Get ready for even more exciting prizes that will be auctioned off live by the auctioneer. There is sure to be one that you want because this year’s items include:

Comprehensive Chefs Package for Your Kitchen

Where to begin? This array of kitchen aids is one-of-a-kind beginning with a KitchenAid Artisan Design, Pearl Silver Mixer and stand. Complimentary items included are various attachments of all types, bakeware sets, stainless steel and glass bowls, oven mitts, kitchen towels, baking mats and KitchenAid recipe binders, best recipes book plus a useful 17-gallon hot dipped steel tub to hold party beverages. Package generously donated by Matt Kelly of Memorial Hermann, Brian Gilbert of Members Trust of the SW Federal Credit Union and Ricky Hurst of CenterPoint Energy.

Sports Lovers Swag PackageTruly designed for the sports fan who loves Houston sports. Beginning with our two-time NBA Champions Houston Rockets, your Toyota Center tickets will let you watch the team and its new player Russell Westbrook embark on its 53rd season. Then going “small ball,” you will watch all the action at the Houston Open Golf Tournament to be held at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble. So, after being inspired by the pros, you will enjoy a series of golf lessons from a professional instructor. Step up to the plate and make the winning bid. Package contributed by Jessica Leone of Frost Bank, MaryBeth Wegner of SendOut Cards and Jason Cantrelle of State Farm.


Disney “Aulani Resort” in Exotic Hawaii

What a way to kick off 2020 with a 5 day and 4 night get-away at the fabulous Disney Aulani Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii. A party of two will depart Houston on February 17th with $1,500 in an airfare allowance ($750 per person), and airport transfers of $100. Besides sunning on the beach, other amenities include two restaurants serving: “The Bounty of the Islands” and Contemporary Island Cooking, 3 lounges, live entertainment by Hawaii’s renowned musicians and storytellers, a fitness center, Laniwai Spa, stargazing, and of course pools, waterslides and more.  Enjoy a gift basket getting you ready for the beach where you will find towels, sunscreen, towel clips and a beach bag. Package courtesy of Teresa Briggs and Craig Atkinson of Houston Highway Credit Union, Dee Farino of Third Coast Impressions and Jack Van Pelt of JVP Jewelers & Jewelry.


Night on the Brew Tour Package

Ok party folks, here’s a package for you and your 5 guests. The tour package begins with 3 rooms for 1 night at Sara’s Inn. Leave for the tour on a Saturday afternoon of your choice, and subject to Sara’s Inn room availabilities. Take with you $150 in Uber gift cards and a gift card from The Creek Group for dinner. Uber delivers you to the brewery which can be either Karbach Brewing Company or Eureka Heights Brew Company. Beer tokens and swag from each brewery will accompany the enjoyment of a variety of beers sure to please.  Try out the suds as you take this Houston brew tour. Package sponsored by Tony Allman, PrimeWay Federal Credit Union, Taylor Woodard of Raymond James, Amy Ritter of Allegiance Bank and Sara’s Inn, Eureka Heights Brew Company, Gary Mosley of The Creek Group and Karbach brewing Company.



22Aug, 2019

Pre-Gala Party Showed Off Fashions

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 Chamber members, staffers, Yellow Rose Derby Girls and professional models all took part in the Gala Pre-Party held on Tuesday, August 20 at Eureka Brewery. Donning period costumes and clothing from the disco (1970’s era) it truly was a return to that Disco era, complete with bell-bottoms, peace signs, tie-dye, wigs, and capes. It all tied-in nicely with the Chamber’s upcoming Gala themed “Chamber54” which will be held on September 20 at The Junior League.

Clothing and accessories were on hand from Chamber member The Fashion Time Machine and many of those items were on sale and displayed on the runway. Thank you, Mary Keene, for all your assistance. April Petronella, of Petro Fox Education, coordinated the event. Her hard work was clearly evident as the fashion parade entertained a large audience eager to re-visit or learn more about the 1970’s, when Studio 54 in New York City was a popular venue. The club was known for discotheque-goers who often wore expensive and sexy fashions. At the same time the disco music movement was driven by the baby boom generation.

Special thanks to Evan Camp of Eureka Heights Brewery for hosting the event, providing the fashion runway space and offering tasty brews. Jack Case, Jr. of Jason’s Deli brought in ample sandwiches, chips, fruit and vegetables to satisfy a hungry audience and models. It was truly an enjoyable fashion show and set the stage for even more at the Chamber Gala. Please check our website for full details, buy a table, or a ticket. The Gala will feature a sumptuous dinner, dancing, live and silent auctions, gambling, a wine raffle and much more. Attached are photos from the fashion show as a preview of what’s to come.




8Aug, 2019

2019-2020 Chamber Board

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In accordance with the by-laws, a nominating committee was appointed in June by the Board of Directors.  The committee presented nominees for Board approval in July. The slate of nomicees will be presented to the membership at the annual member meeting on September 12th which is the Breakfast Connection.  All members are invited to attend.

Board members who are continuing to serve include:  Tony Allman, PrimeWay Credit Union, Craig Atkinson, Houston Highway Credit Union, Dee Farino, Third Coast Impressions, Brian Gilbert, Members Trust of the Southwest Federal Credit Union, Jessica Leone, Frost Bank, Jack Van Pelt, JVP Jewelers, Amy Ritter, Allegiance Bank, and Taylor Woodard, Raymond James.

Board members returning to the Board for three year terms are:  Teresa Nicolas-Briggs, Houston Highway Credit Union,  Matthew Kelly, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights, Dr. Lindsey Pollock, Garden Oaks Montessori School, MaryBeth Wegner, SendOut Cards, Jason Cantrelle, State Farm, and Rick Hurst, CenterPoint Energy.

10Jun, 2019

Memorial Hermann Health System Earns 2019 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award

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HOUSTON (June 10, 2019) – Memorial Hermann Health System is proud to announce that it has once again received the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for continued leadership and superior contributions to ENERGY STAR. This is the sixth time Memorial Hermann has been recognized with this award.

“I applaud the 2019 ENERGY STAR Award Winners,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum. “Their innovation and leadership enhance America’s economic competitiveness. Reducing costly energy waste improves air quality and public health while protecting the environment.”

The highest honor among ENERGY STAR Awards is the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year—Sustained Excellence Award. EPA presents the Sustained Excellence Award to partners that have already received ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year recognition for a minimum of two consecutive years and have gone above and beyond the criteria needed to qualify for recognition.  Winners hail from small, family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 organizations – representing energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors.

“It’s a great honor to again be recognized by ENERGY STAR as a leader in energy efficiency,” said Michael Hatton, vice president of facilities engineering services at Memorial Hermann.  “Our teams work extremely hard to maintain patient comfort while positively impacting the bottom line and protecting the environment and it’s empowering to be acknowledged for a job well done.”

For a complete list of 2019 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit

For more information on Memorial Hermann, visit


6May, 2019

New Feature: Chamber Connections!

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A primary benefit of being a member of the Chamber is the opportunity to build business and personal relationships through attendance at events and effective networking.  These benefits can translate into business for each, referrals for each, and similar beneficial activities.  This new feature will incorporate comments and suggestions from members for inclusion in the section.  If you have an example of mutually buying or purchasing from another member, or obtaining a valuable referral from another member, please email a short summary to Larry Plasek at Our goal is to demonstrate our watchword that our “Members do business with people they know, like and trust.”  Thank you for your support of this new web addition.

6Mar, 2019

Annual Education Luncheon May 21st!

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Our annual Education Luncheon honors high school seniors who have been awarded Chamber scholarships as well as those area seniors who are entering the military.  We will also honor the Teacher of the Year, Staff Person of the Year, and Educator of the Year.  And we are pleased to welcome Jonathan Horton, two-time Olympic Gymnastics Champion and Houstonian, as our special guest and keynote speaker.

The goal of the luncheon is to provide as many scholarships as possible to deserving students. Donors are being solicited as we would like to continue our $1,000 per scholarship but other levels will also be awarded.  The number of scholarships and amount is determined by your donations. Donations of any amount are welcome and groups can combine donations toward a full scholarship. A variety of sponsorship packages are available: Summa Cum Laude are $2,500, Military are $2,500, Magna Cum Laude are $2,000, Cum Laude are $1,500, Valedictorian are $1,000, and Salutatorian are $500. The final deadline for inclusion in the event program is May 9.

Non attendee sponsors are welcome and for $100 businesses can be the sponsor of a lunch for a scholarship recipient’s parent or school performer.

The members of the Education Committee are over 70 strong with schools and businesses who meet monthly to work towards making our community education strong at all levels, Elementary through high school, public, private and parochial. Donations or sponsorships can be obtained by contacting Jill Johnston at the Chamber, All sponsorship levels are Tax-Deductible and are the only annual Chamber event to provide this opportunity. The Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce Community Fund is a 501c3.  Since the inception of the scholarship program, the Chamber has awarded scholarships representing over $350,000.

5Mar, 2019

Chamber Crawfish Festival and Parade Attracted a Crowd!

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March 2nd was the day of the Chamber’s annual Crawfish Festival and Parade and it was a fulfilling day in more ways than one. First, the crawfish (often called mudbugs), were delicious and we sold out of them. Second, the parade with Grand Marshal Norman Adams, wound down 20th and 19th streets and attracted countless viewers to see the bands, schools, vehicles, and other participants.

Continuous entertainment filled the Budweiser stage throughout the day and culminated with the crowning of the three winners of the Idol of the Heights singing contest. A host of vendors displayed their wares or promoted their services and were met with much interest from folks attending the festival. Not to be forgotten was the kid’s area where a bounce house and other games delighted them.

All-in-all it was a terrific day and the Chamber appreciated the hard work by committee members, volunteers and many others that helped to make it an outstanding day. Great appreciation is extended to these sponsors whose support was invaluable in helping to make the annual event a success.


Thank you to our sponsors!

$5,000 + Sponsors

$2,500 Sponsors

$1000 Sponsors

Law Office of Anne E. Kennedy  

$500 Sponsors

Allegiance Bank

Eklektik Interiors

Shooting Star Promotions


$250 Sponsors

Cardinal Financial; Flying Fish; Frost Bank; Heights Eye Society; Houston EscapeRoom; Onsite Maintenance; Pure Prosthodontics; renew ACUPUNCTURE; Signarama; You’ve Got Maids


5Mar, 2019

Mayor Turner to Declare March 15th American Legion Centennial Day

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HOUSTON – March 4, 2019 – The American Legion is turning 100 and American Legion Post 560 in Houston is planning to celebrate.

The post, located in Garden Oaks, was chartered in 1946. The organization as a whole traces its roots to March 15-17, 1919, in Paris, France, in the aftermath of World War I. The American Legion was federally chartered on Sept. 16, 1919, and quickly became an influential force at the national, state and local levels, dedicated to service to veterans, strong national defense, youth and patriotism.

Post 560, currently numbers 400 members plus 160 in the affiliated American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion.

“The American Legion Family of Houston is excited to share both the legacy and the vision of our organization,” Post 560 Commander Tony Moreno said. “We’ve done a lot of good, and intend to keep doing it for a second century.”


Veterans, family, friends, and the community are invited to an Anniversary Reception on Friday, March 15, 2019 from 5:00-6:00 PM at Garden Oaks American Legion Post 560, 3720 Alba Road, Houston, Texas 77018.  D ress is casual attire (with Legion Caps, if possible).


MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER will be our very special guest. He is presenting a proclamation to our commander declaring March 15, 2019 as AMERICAN LEGION CENTENNIAL DAY in Houston, Texas.


Come share the legacy.

Be part of the future.

1Feb, 2019

Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon Provided Insights for 2019

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Close to 300 people were at the Sheraton Houston Brookhollow Hotel on January 30 to hear Economist Dr. Luis Torres. Dr. Torres is a Research Economist at Texas A&M Real Estate Center and a leading authority on real estate trends in Texas. His presentation provided insights into the economy not only from the U.S. perspective, but for Texas and the Houston area as well. Citing various studies, indexes, trends and projections, Dr. Torres addressed a variety of segments including real estate, energy, construction, both commercial and residential, and implications of the U.S. monetary policy and governmental decisions.

His presentation began with a statement about “Less growth and more uncertainty. His rational for the uncertainty cited “The fourth-quarter decline in oil prices; trade uncertainty; and volatility in financial markets.” Furthermore, he said “ Expansions don’t die of old age, but they get murdered because of: financial imbalances and the Federal Reserve raising rates too fast.  He further stated “The outlook surveys for U.S. and Houston point toward growth slowdown.

Click here for Dr. Torres’ presentation

Some key presentation points included:

A decline in the Texas Leading index, suggests jobs will grow 1.1 percent this year statewide.

A forecast of 137,000 jobs will be added this year.

Employment in December 2019 will be 12.8 million.

Oil prices dependent on many factors.

Residential construction slowed at the end of 2018.

Housing sales weakened at end of 2018, still a record year in sales.

In 2019, single-family housing sales projected to slowdown.

In 2019, the outlook for commercial real estate is positive.

In summary, he stated that the (1) “the economy is still doing fine. In 2019, it will be slowing but still registering positive growth.” “The housing market will grow in 2019.” “The office market has reached bottom, while retail and ware houses will continue to register strong growth.” “Energy and trade uncertainty will continue.” And finally, “no recession is expected in 2019, how about 2020?”

Jonathan McElvy, President and CEO of McElvy Media Group, was Master of Ceremonies. Through his newspapers and websites, in multiple markets, the organization delivers more than 600,000 print publications each week while reaching more than 100,000 unique visitors on their websites monthly.

Following his presentation, Dr. Torres cited their website, as a great source of information and referenced two additional websites. The first is for the outlook for the Texas economy:

The second is for housing insights:

Thank you everyone who made this event such a great success!


Gold:            Adams Insurance, Allegiance Bank, Lane Property Tax Advocates, Members Trust of the Southwest Federal Credit Union, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights, Spirit of Texas Bank

Silver:          Allegiance Bank, AmCap Home Loans, BNI-Heights of Professionalism, Frost Bank, Houston Highway Credit Union, Jack Cagle Campaign, Knapp Chevrolet, The May Group, Reibenstein & Associates, Reynolds & Associates

6Dec, 2018

Memorial Hermann Health System Named One of Nation’s “Most Wired” Health Systems for the 14th Consecutive Year

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 (December 5, 2018) – Memorial Hermann Health System once again earned a spot on the HealthCares’ Most Wired list, achieving the recognition for the 14th consecutive year based on a survey of hospitals across the nation. The list, compiled from a survey conducted by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), annually recognizes hospitals and other healthcare facilities that adopt the latest in technological solutions and strategically apply them to improve population health and operate more efficiently.


“Embracing emerging technology is vital to improving and better managing the care of our patients. Not only does it support the delivery of safe, high-quality healthcare, it also helps lower costs and provide a more seamless experience,” said Amanda Hammel, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Memorial Hermann.


The annual Most Wired survey, now in its 20th year, traditionally tracked the adoption of healthcare IT in hospitals and health systems. This year, CHIME took control over the Most Wired program and revised the questions and methodology to highlight strengths and gaps in the industry. The goal is to identify best practices and promote the strategic use of healthcare IT to elevate the health and care of communities around the world.


The report found two key areas that emerged in 2018: the use of foundational technologies such as integration, interoperability, security and disaster recovery; and the use of transformational technologies to support population health management, value-based care, patient engagement and telehealth. These foundational pieces need to be in place for an organization to leverage tools to effectively transform healthcare.


“The healthcare industry is facing a significant transformation opportunity. The more we embrace the rapidly evolving world of technology, the better we can care for people in a manner that is convenient and more consumer centric. We strive to use technology in a way that is both thoughtful and innovative and aligns with our commitment to help patients improve their overall health,” said Chuck Stokes, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann.


Learn more about Memorial Hermann’s care innovations and the use of digital tools to improve patient health.