23Jun, 2020

Board Nominations

By |

Chamber Seeks Nominations for Board of Directors
The GHACC is now accepting applications and nominations for its Board of Directors. If you are interested, or know of someone who would be a good Board Member, please submit your resume to
A standard Director’s term is 3 years, although occasionally there is an introductory 1 year term.
All applicants must be members in good standing. The deadline for applications is July 17th.
 Thank you,
Your Chamber Staff
17Jun, 2020

Athletic Water Bottle Marketing Opportunities

By |

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

The Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee actively serves our community, and with your support will continue the tradition. Thank you.

12Jun, 2020

Heights Chamber Recognizes Outstanding Educators

By |

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.

Helms Elementary
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.

Clifton Middle
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:

26May, 2020

Please Spare a few Minutes for the 2020 Census

By |

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 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.

26May, 2020

Business Building Relationship Skills

By |

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.

21May, 2020

Chamber Education Committee Update

By |

In light of the coronavirus and the scrambling from all educators as well as the rest of society, this spring, The Education Committee focused on the annual scholarships and have plans to try and honor all teachers in the fall upon their return to schools.  The students entering the military also had to be put on a different type of recognition as the recruiters and counselors did not have up to date information.  This recognition is also planned for end of school, early summer.  It will be generic as we do not have names.  So, instead of having a partial list of teacher honorees displayed earlier, it was felt that working for an end of school recognition (if more names are submitted) would be better.  Teachers/Educators have just recently gotten into a work mode that allows time in their day to collaborate with outside agencies more.

Basic needs are such a need right now for so many of the students and their families and this is a reality; schools were sent from Houston Highway Credit Union a resource manual to help address rent, utilities, food.

Education is a strong focal point of the Chamber and serving the educational community is an area the Chamber strives to be a resource for their needs.  Traditionally, the Education Luncheon was the highlight of putting all the recognitions together!  This year it is different–and the recognition of teachers, educators, schools, military and scholarship winners will continue to go on this summer.  Look for new postings throughout the weeks.  Thank you for understanding!  Cindy Reibenstein, Chair of the Education Committee.

Cynthia F. Reibenstein, LCSW, ACSW Diplomate in Clinical Social Work

18May, 2020

Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner’s Office Donated Face Masks

By |

Elizabeth Stinsman, Director of Community Assistance Department, and representing County Commissioner, Jack Cagle, has graciously donated 3,000 face masks to the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce for distribution to schools, businesses, and the community.

The Chamber was recognized for its incredible outreach in providing responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stinsman stated: “It is because of your hard work and dedication to those we mutually serve that our community will persevere. The Commissioners office is pleased to play a small part in your important role of providing and serving, not only the constituents of Precinct 4, but also the residents of Harris County.”

The masks were delivered by Precinct 4 workers, Peggy Peyton and Patti Parks. Cindy Reibenstein, Chair of the Chamber’s Education Committee expressed the Chamber’s gratitude for the masks which will be helpful in providing protection and continuing to flatten the virus curve. Mr. Mike Niggli, principal of Waltrip High School accepted the masks from Chamber Intern, Dina Padovan, a Sergeant with the University of Houston Police Department and a student in the University’s Graduate College of Social Work.

In addition, the Chamber is providing masks to area schools including: Garden Oaks Montessori, Helms Elementary, Katherine Smith Elementary, Heights High School, Washington High School, Northside High School and Black Middle School.

14May, 2020

Congratulations, Scholarship Winners!

By |

This year The Education Committee of the Greater Heights Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the 21 students who will be receiving $1000 each towards pursuing their education at the college of their choice. With the COVID-19, Zoom interviews were held of the top 50 applicants. The traditional Education Luncheon will not happen this year and therefore the celebration of this award will be done in a couple of ways. There will be social media, school website, business website and chamber website publicity along with area newspapers and sponsors received decals for their business entries. The students will each be receiving a personalized yard sign with the sponsor name and logo and chamber name and logo. Each student will also receive a certificate and the student presentation will be captured so celebrations can continue through social media.

The twenty-one scholarship winners are as follows:  Adams Insurance sponsored six students: from WaltripAliyah Douglas and Feliece Hossman; from Lutheran NorthTabitha Waiser and Geonna Waddell and from Houston ChristianAdam Kral and Ellie Chaves. Frost Bank sponsored Morgan Hicks from St. Pius X; Houston Highway Credit Union sponsored Brooklyn Jade-Torres and Angelilque Martinez from Northside; Members Trust of the Southwest Federal Credit Union sponsored Chandler Solomon from Heights; Memorial Hermann Greater Heights sponsored Ymani Banks and Anaisa Gomez from Heights;  PrimeWay Federal Credit Union sponsored Sloan Hudson and Sabrina Ysaguirre from Heights; Willie Diefenbach-Jones with Send Out Cards sponsored Carla Alexander from Northside; Third Coast Impressions sponsored Jennifer Montalvan from KIPP; The Tom and June Kimball Memorial Scholarship sponsored MacKenzie Payne from Northside; Reibenstein and Associates sponsored Angela Espinoza from St. Pius X; Reynolds and Associates sponsored Andrew Requena from St. Pius X and the Greater Heights Chamber sponsored Adrian Herrera from Heights and Juan Bustos from Northside.  These young men and women will make a difference in their chosen field of study.

I hope you will take the time to congratulate seniors this year as it is tough missing out on all the traditional celebrations that they and their parents have been looking forward to their entire 18 years. Thank you for the sponsors for stepping up and making this year’s scholarship winners have a personalized celebration!

Thank you

Cindy Reibenstein, Education Chair

Click on the pictures below for more information.


Thank you again to our Scholarship Sponsors:

J&K Memorial SendOut Cards
Third Coast Impressions















5May, 2020

In Memory of Norma Skowronek

By |

The Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce extends its sympathies to the family of Norma Skowronek, a former member of the board of directors. Norma passed away on March 18, 2020 in the company of her loved ones. She was a true local community person, growing up in Houston, attended Waltrip High School, and recently attended their 50-year reunion.

A distinguished banker during her business career, she made countless friends during her lifetime and gave willingly of her time to local professional and social organizations. After joining the Greater Heights Chamber, she served as a valued member of the board for 3 terms and served on numerous Chamber committees. She was the first female President of the Rotary Club of Houston Heights, and spent many hours volunteering at the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo where she served as a lifetime member of the Calf Scramble committee.

In 2010, she married Mike Skowronek, also a Chamber member who served as chairman, treasurer and interim president at several points during the Chamber’s history. Norma enjoyed many shared experiences with Mike including spending time at lake LBJ, solving every Wheel of Fortune puzzle and attending countless birthday parties, games, recitals and especially grandparents’ day.

Norma leaves an extended family and many friends including the many relationships she made as a Chamber executive and member. In closing, we chose a quote about Norma found on her Class website: “Norma touched so many lives. She had a gift for making every person she met feel at ease, and she never forgot a face.” She is gone, but never forgotten.”

29Apr, 2020

Former Chamber President Passes

By |

The Greater Heights Area Chamber of commerce board of directors and staff mourn the passing
of former president David Santana. David was elected as GHACC President and took office on
March 17, 2008. When the announcement was made in the Chamber newsletter, LINKED, he said: “I look forward to working with the Chamber’s Board of Directors, our committees, our members and building relationships with other key Houston constituents as well. I encourage your phone calls or emails regarding our Chamber and will welcome the opportunity to get acquainted. If you want to talk about fishing or golf that’s fine with me too!”

During his Chamber tenure, he was truly an “advocate for the Heights.” Working to helping
members during the economic recession in 2008, and facilitating recovery efforts during and
following Hurricane Ike. As president, David added Jacob Millwee to his staff as Director of
Member Services, a hire that would ultimately lead to his serving the Chamber for 11-years, five
of those as president.

Resigning as president in 2009 to enter the family business, David embarked on a path that
would find him working at family businesses and later assuming teaching positions at Garden
Oaks Elementary Montessori School and Waltrip High School. Working in conjunction with a
Chamber member, they established the Eugene Field Elementary School’s Mentoring Program.
During his teaching position with Waltrip, he assisted with beginning the school’s first
Montessori curriculum. He was a valued member of both faculties, and his personalized teaching
methods, demeanor and knowledge endeared him to many of his students and their parents as

David was a native Houstonian and a graduate of Sharpstown High School. He earned his
Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of St. Thomas and received his Masters of Education in Secondary Education also from St. Thomas. Prior to joining the Chamber, he held numerous executive positions with non-profit organizations and a Chamber in Florida.

On behalf of the Chamber, we extend our sincere condolences to David’s family. He will be missed by those of us who worked with him and treasured his friendship.