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.

24Jul, 2019

The Leader – “Readers’ Choice 2019” Chamber Members Honored

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Once again it is time to highlight our members who were selected by the public as winners in multiple categories of business, entertainment, restaurants and much more. The top three were publicized in the Leader’s edition of Saturday, July 20. We salute these fine Chamber members and are sure they are deserving of their honor. These are winners in the various categories:

Best Automotive Service/Products – First, Liberty Hoefpl Garage; Best Auto Dealer – First, Tommie Vaughn Ford; Best Oil Change – First, Liberty Hoepfl Garage; Best Bookstore – First, The Book Scene – Best Children’s’ Clothing Store, First, The Pure Parenting Shop; Best Gift Shop – First, Darlene’s Florist and Gifts; Best Grocery Store – First, HEB, Third, Whole Foods 365; Best Health Food Store – First, Whole Foods 365, Third, HEB; Best Jewelry Store – First, JVP Jewelers; Best Mattress Store – First, The Pure Parenting Shop; Best Resale Shop/Consignment – Second, Houston Junior Forum; Best Women’s Clothing Store, Second, Darlene’s Flower and Gift Shop; Best Bank/Credit Union – First, Allegiance Bank, Second, Prosperity on Yale and Third, Frost on North Shepherd; Best Insurance Agent – First, Tony May; Best Cleaning Service – First, You’ve got Maids, Second, Natural/Care Cleaning Service; Best Florist – First, Darlene’s Flower and Gift Shop, Second, Heights Floral Shop; Best Funeral Home – First, Pat H. Foley & Company, Second Heights Funeral Home; Best Travel Agency – First, Culturally Creative Travel; Best Day Care/Boarding – First, Paws Pet Resort; Best Pet Sitting – First, Paws Pet Resort; Best Grooming – First, Paws Pet Resort; Best Pet Treats & Food – First, Paws Pet Resort; Best Hospital – First, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights, Third, St. Joseph Medical Center; Best Physician – First, Dr. Jaclyn Harrison; Best Assisted Living – First, Village of the Heights; Best Chiropractor – First, Northwest Chiropractic, Third, Pioneer Chiropractic; Best Dermatologist – First, Dr. Alpesh Desai, Second, Dr. Tejas Desai; Best Massage Therapist – First, Connect Massage; Best Urgent Care – First, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights, Second, SignatureCare; Best Wellness Center – First, Northwest Chiropractic; Best Weight Loss – Third, Foye MD and Spa; Best BreweryEureka Heights, Third, Karbach Brewing; Best Coffee Shop – First, Slowpokes; Best Wine Bar – Third, WE Olive Wine Bar; Best Sports Bar – First, McIntyre’s; Best Family Entertainment Center – Second, HITS Theatre; Best Community Theater/Performing Arts Venue – First, HITS Theatre, Second, Opera in the Heights; Best Bakery – First, Ashley Cakes; Best Donuts – First, Shipley’s Do-Nuts, Second, Hugs & Donuts; Best Barbecue – First, Gabby’s; Best Tacos – Second, Torchy’s; Best Seafood – Third, Flying Fish; Best Specialty Store – First, WE Olive & Wine Bar; Best Place to Host a Party – First, Harold’s in the Heights, Third, WE Olive & Wine Bar; Best Flooring Store – Third, Floor Coverings International; Best Heating & A/C Service – Heights A/C and Heating; Best Mortgage Company – Third, AmCap Home Loans; Best Real Estate Company – Circa Real Estate; Best Non-Profit – Third, Houston Community College; Best Public School – Third, Garden Oaks Montessori School; Best Community College – First, Houston Community College; Best Workout Facility – First, Harriet & Joe Foster YMCA, Second, The Cage; Best Group Fitness – Second, Harriet & Joe Forster YMCA; Best Yoga – Second, Harriet & Joe Foster YMCA.


2Jul, 2019

Remembering Chairman’s Galas of the Past

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The annual Chairman’s Gala is a rich tradition that has brought fun, excitement, a noteworthy dinner, silent and live auction prizes and much more to members and guests. It has been a looked-forward to event for members in the fall as they enjoyed all the festivities plus discovering the winners of prestigious Chamber awards. Differing venues have hosted the events and they range from hotels, to the Heights Theater to the Junior League.

Boasting an abundance of themes throughout the years, attendees take active parts by dressing to the occasion, sometime even to extremes, but always in good taste. Receptions prior to the Gala, added in recent years, offer mix and mingle opportunities to view excellent silent auction items and make bids. Portrayed as the social event of the Chamber year, we proudly look back on some Galas from the past with their themes along with a few memorable photos.

Last year the theme was “Diamonds & Denim.” Preceding 2018 saw such other themes as “A Night at the Oscars, Moulin Rouge, Black Tie and Boots, Moonlight & Roses, Gatsby, and Masquerade.” In short, the events have showcased and celebrated diamonds and denim, western themes, movie themes and even famous historic sites. Delving a little deeper into the past saw members enjoying “Dinner, Dancing & the KING,” celebrating Elvis Presley of course!

This year’s theme, Chamber54 will take us back to the days of Disco. By the late 1970s, most major U.S. cities had thriving disco club scenes, and DJs would mix dance records at clubs such as Studio 54 in New York City. Hence, the theme chosen for the Gala taking place on September 20 of this year. Each Gala honors the outgoing Chairperson, and Dee Farino will be the honoree for 2019. We urge you to mark your calendar for this date and find out all the details of this fabulous event.



25Jun, 2019

National Geographic Magazine Honors the Heights

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National Geographic, the travel magazine that has been published continually since January 1, 1888, recently named the Houston Heights as one of the 28 friendliest neighborhoods in U.S. Cities. Joining the list were areas in Austin and El Paso along with Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, New York, and others.

An independent research company conducted the study. Using information joining analytics with statistics, the selection criteria included: walkability, home affordability, public spaces and the prevalence of places such as breweries, cafes, restaurants, etc. In addition, social media and perception data from Trip Advisor and Yelp were involved.






Beginning the article with a photo of 19th street, National Geographic made these positive comments regarding the Heights: “Mid-Century bungalows and turreted Victorian houses draw young couples and singles to walkable The Heights, an older neighborhood a short bike-trail north of downtown Houston. Restaurants, many in buildings, specialize in tacos, Vietnamese sandwiches, or Texas brisket.” In addition, “Nineteenth Street is filled with quirky coffee shops and local retailers, including AG Antiques, a décor emporium in an old dry goods store. The Art Car Museum exhibits lavishly tricked-out wheels, as well as local and international contemporary artwork.”

High praise no doubt, however, most of the inhabitants, businesses and visitors would heartily agree with the designation and honor. As a networking point for businesses and a contributor to our community, the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a valued member of the Heights for over 31 years.

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