We have partnered with Katherine Smith Elementary for donations to give to families at a pop-a-trunk event on October 10, 2020.
Katherine Smith Elementary is a Title 1 school for low income students.
They are seeking donations of Walmart, HEB, Kroger or Target gift cards in increments of $10 and $20. Any assistance is appreciated.
Donations can be made between now and October 10th at the Chamber office.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to ensure they are in the office to accept donations.
We would also like to thank outgoing board member Craig Atkinson. Craig has been involved in all of the Chamber’s major events since joining as well as a member of our Finance Committee.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce (GHACC), it is my pleasure to announce our Interim President, Dee Farino.
After Dee joined in 2005, she immediately became involved as an Ambassador, which eventually led to joining and chairing numerous committees including Gala and Crawfish Festival. Dee has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2006, became Secretary of the Executive Committee in 2007 and Chairman of the Board of Directors 2009-2010; 2017-2018; 2018-2019.
While Dee serves as Interim President, she will take a leave of absence from the Board of Directors.
Dee’s Chamber knowledge was essential in the Board’s decision and we are confident that her experiences will help us through these uncertain times and lead us to a new tomorrow.
Please join us in welcoming Dee as we transition to greater heights!
Chairman of the Board
Recognizing that continuing education online, in the classroom, or even both, represents a cause for growing concern among teachers whom must adapt to extraordinary teaching conditions. To aid teachers with much needed support in the midst of pandemic times, the GHACC is establishing an “Adopt a Teacher” program. The online program will pair up teachers, from schools that are allied with the Chamber’s Education Committee, with sponsors who will provide supplies, materials, prayers, and other needs as identified by each teacher. Sponsors will have the opportunity to support an individual teacher or teachers from a selected school; choose to support their child’s school; or provide assistance as an alumnus of a particular school they attended. Sponsors will be solicited from local businesses, employers, customers, Chamber members and the community. Providing this form of support will be beneficial to each teacher and contribute to creating and maintaining a successful learning environment.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census be taken every 10 years to count all people-both citizens and non-citizens-living in the United States. Every household in the U.S. is asked to answer a short series of questions that will influence policymaking and planning for the next decade.
April 1 is Census Day where the U.S. Census Bureau wants the nation to respond to the 2020 Census, either online, by phone or by mail telling the bureau where they live and other information about themselves and their families. With the advent of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the deadline for responses has been extended to mid-August. Feel free to use either the form previously mailed, by phone (by calling 844-330-2020) or online (at my2020census.gov) because an accurate count provides vital information. An accurate count determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and influences dollars directed to public funds that are allocated for critical public services like emergency response, schools, hospitals, public benefits, roads and bridges over the next 10 years.
The advent of Covid-19 has clouded plans and operations for the 2020-2021 school year and with the beginning of school re-openings now scheduled, many questions have arisen. Governing the state’s educational system is the Texas Education Agency (TEA). On July 17, TEA released public health planning guidelines for the 2020-2021 year in order to prepare students, teachers and staff to safely return to school campuses for daily, in-person instruction.
HISD, the local independent school system, which serves more than 200,000 students has formulated and announced its plans and policies. The HISD Communicable Disease Plan Task Force, a group of key employees, educators, parents, community members and health care officials were charged with reviewing safety guidance from local, state, and federal health and education officials. The district also considered feedback from parent and teacher surveys distributed over the summer. With an Instructional Continuity Plan, the district sought to ensure that learning will continue throughout the year. Interim School Superintendent, Dr. Grenita Lathan made the announcement.
All HISD students will begin the school year virtually on September 8, 2020. Virtual instruction for all students will continue for six weeks through Friday, October 16, 2020. On Monday, October 19, face-to-face instruction for all students will begin. However, this date is subject to change based on Covid-19 conditions across the city and recommendations from local, state and federal health officials. Parents will have the option to opt out of face-to-face instruction entirely for the fall semester and school year.
To find out more information regarding the re-openings, you may review the HISD website, www.houstonisd.org/reopening. Information from the TEA may be obtained at www.tea.texas.gov/about-tea.
A Message from the Chamber Chairperson
I am posting this letter to bring you up-to-date on the activities and actions your Chamber has taken as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Obviously, the Chamber has been compelled, just as you have been compelled, to change and alter anticipated personal, as well as business plans and actions. This has likely been most noticeable in the unfortunate cancellation of our meetings, ribbon cutting celebrations and other special events. These measures were taken not only as a result of governmental decisions, but also as a concern for the safety and well-being of our members and their loved ones.
Please rest assured that the guiding principles of the Chamber have not changed, merely postponed, and that our focus remains on helping and assisting our members and their businesses thrive following unprecedented situations. Our weekly Zoom conference calls have provided relevant and informative topics of value plus enabling members to continue to interact with each other. Influential Zoom participants have provided valuable insights into insurance issues, loan application procedures, business-enhancement and other useful guidelines.
Our Facebook pages have been devoted daily to individual member businesses to promote them. Our website membership directory continues to allow members to contact and do business with fellow members they know, like and trust. In short, all of these actions are in keeping with our reputation for delivering valuable networking opportunities. In addition, we are monitoring fellow Chambers to determine any additional strategies being used that could benefit our membership.
Do we miss seeing our members in person? Of course, we do! Your Chamber takes pride in having loyal and participating members and I am confident that when these difficult circumstances cease, we will resume providing the member benefits and values you receive and deserve from your membership. In the meantime, if you have ideas or thoughts on how the Chamber can assist you, please send me an email and I will follow-up, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continuing support and best wishes for not only your health but your families as well.
Chairperson of the Board
As our area student athletes begin to participate in summer and fall sports programs, the Covid-19 virus has created changes in procedures and needs – mainly in water bottles. Athletes can no longer share water bottles so there is an acute need for each participant to have their own hydration bottles. The need is for student athletes at area middle and high schools, and the Chamber is requesting your assistance.
If you currently use water bottles in your marketing programs, would you be willing to donate a quantity to the schools in need? Your logo on the bottle can provide valuable exposure for your business. Our schools are limited from a resource standpoint, so this represents a void your business can help to fill. If you cannot supply may we ask that you contact friends and associates to see if they would be willing to donate.
An additional way to participate would be to make a financial commitment. so that the Chamber can then order water bottles with your logo for distribution to the schools. There will or can be photos of your community support for you to display on your website. For more information please contact Cindy Reibenstein, Chamber Education Committee Chair at email@example.com.
The Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee actively serves our community, and with your support will continue the tradition. Thank you.
This year the educational system was rocked a significant curve and our area schools met the challenge. Teacher of the Year (TOY) at each campus led the way as their peers voted them in.
Teacher of the Year was Tamara Williams and Beginning or Rookie Teacher of the Year was Gabriela Garrido with Maria Hernandez being the Bilingual Teacher of the Year.
Garden Oaks Montessori Magnet
The Elementary TOY was Ms. McCord and Middle School TOY was Ms. Ortiz with Ms. Saenz the Beginning TOY and Ms. Macias ESL and Ms. Dore, Bilingual TOY.
Kathryn Smith Elementary
Tiffany Bennett was TOY and Evelyn Andrews was ESL TOY and Yolanda Guzman was Science TOY and Carlos Montoya was Bilingual TOY.
Amanda Bland was TOY and Kabara Gibson was Beginning TOY.
Washington High School
Chardai Grays was TOY and Aldrich Smith was Beginning TOY.
Northside High School
Christopher Prince was TOY and Candace Munoz was Beginning TOY.
Lutheran North High School
Blythe Barreto was their Teacher of the Year.
Waltrip High School
Jesse Espinosa was TOY.
Each educator contributes time, knowledge and loads of caring as they prepare lessons and ‘be with’ the students. Administrators and team leads will be busy this summer planning for a successful upcoming year although we are not sure how they will look yet.
The Greater Heights Chamber of Commerce Education Committee looks forward to working with all the schools in the area; the businesses are ready to partner with you. If you are interested in becoming involved in this committee, just shoot Cindy an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope that you have been able to schedule time to participate in the weekly Thursday Zoom meetings being conducted by the Chamber. These have been instrumental in helping to foster communications among members, finding answers or shared solutions to difficult questions, and maintaining the “family-like” hallmark of this Chamber. Certainly, these unusual circumstances and uncertainty have made business and social relationships increasingly difficult. The last Zoom meeting focused on the importance of networking and building mutually beneficial business relationships because that is an investment in the future. Business conditions are unlike any we have experienced before, so relying on your previous networking contact activities and relationships created through your participation in Chamber events can be invaluable. Revisiting those activities can continue to lead to new business opportunities or referrals that may help fellow members.
A very useful guide to building successful business relationships is summarized with benefits and tips on a website titled Money Crashers. We believe it is a worthwhile source as a reminder of the rewards that can accrue from implementing some of these strategies. This is the link:
The next Chamber Zoom meeting is scheduled for this coming Thursday, June 18 at 11:00 a.m. The event is listed on the Chamber website and you are invited to participate.