News 2017-05-02T10:09:33+00:00
23May, 2017

Food Truck Festival Attracted a Hungry Crowd

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Chamber members and community residents certainly enjoyed the first ever Food Truck Festival in the Heights. It was a fun event with a wide variety of food truck offerings that ranged from BBQ to Lobster to Juice, to Italian Ices, to Crepes, Hot Dogs and more. Complementing the tasty convoy were merchandise trucks selling and promoting a variety of fashionable merchandise. Musical entertainment throughout the day was by Tianna Hall, the Houston Jazz Band and Mighty Pretty Mixtape.

Thanks to these participating food trucks: Boogie’s Chicago Style BBQ, Chubbz Grubbz, Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard, Happy Baking, Paleteria El Pibe, Yeti Sunshine, Chalu’s Wings, Cousins Maine Lobster, KicPops, Happy Endings Asian Fusion, The Crepe Machine, Bright Relish, Abu Omar Halal, Mi Cocina, El Dorado Corn and Pop Up’s by Chef Evelyn.

A separate area contained the “Haute in the Heights” Marketplace featuring Chamber members such as: Avryl Gordon Insurance, Connect Massage, Darling Way Boutique, Dignity Memorial, Flying Locksmiths of Houston, Houston Zombie Walk, ItWorks, Joe the Plumber, Northwest Chiropractic Center, and the Pure Parenting Shop.

Thank you to all our food trucks, vendors and participants who braved the heat to make this a successful event!


19May, 2017

“Making A Difference” Education Luncheon Honors Students And Educators

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Congratulations to our scholarship recipients, students entering the armed forces, and our outstanding educators in the area!  The program included opening remarks by Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, recognition of veterans by Richard Voorhees, Commander of the American Legion Post 360, a word from HISD by Anna Eastman, HISD Board Trustee and closing remarks by Alan Dettlaff, Dean of the University of Houston Graduate College Of Social Work.  Thank you to Cindy Reibenstein, the Education Committee, the participating schools and the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work Field Interns.  And thank you to all our sponsors without whom this event would not be possible.

13Apr, 2017

“Making a Difference” Education Luncheon

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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 welcome Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez who will emcee the event.   Please consider sponsoring a scholarship for one of these deserving high school seniors!

More info on our Events page!

6Mar, 2017

Gold Patron Profile

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Adams Insurance Service was founded in 1947 by Maurice Griffin Adams (M.G.) in a one room office on North Shepherd.  M.G. served his family, friends, and neighbors with dedication and commitment offering “Complete Coverage” for virtually all insurance needs.  Indeed, every renewal was delivered in person!  Integrity, loyalty, service, and wisdom were never common virtues, even in those days, but M.G. was determined to live up to them and pass them on to his son, Norman Adams.

Norman Adams joined the firm in January of 1964 and began learning the business of “customer service.” Today, Norman continues the firm’s rich tradition, and is joined by his son, Andrew (“Andy”) who joined the firm in 2002, and by his daughter, Tracy who joined in 2012. In fact, the trio deem themselves as “the insurance equivalent to local, organically farmed, all natural produce.”

Adams Insurance Service is unique among most insurance agents in that it employs no solicitors.  The new business comes almost exclusively from client referrals. That means the sales team is also the service team.  This policy makes the company accountable to its clients in a way few insurance agents are because the same people service the policies that are sold.

In recent times, many individuals have been blinded by falling premium rates and unknowingly accepted inadequate coverage. Even some brokers have been blind to these erosions. That is not the norm with this Chamber Gold Patron firm; where their recommended and implemented coverages   match each individual client’s needs. The firm is a full-service insurance broker for businesses and individuals, and to quote Andy: “We ride for the brand.” That’s cowboy lingo for describing the commitment they give to their clients and how completely they protect their client’s interests.

With an average of over 25 years in the insurance business, the Adams team is one of the best in the business. The Chamber takes pride in recognizing Adams Insurance Service, Inc. and Norman Adams as a Founding Director of the Chamber. Through the years, their support of Chamber activities and its goals have remained steadfast and consistent. For more information on the company, call 713-869-8346 or go online to

6Mar, 2017

Familiar Faces: Willie Diefenbach-Jones

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For our familiar face this issue, it all began in Kanakee, Illinois where Willie Diefenbach-Jones was born. A Midwesterner for all practical purposes, she grew up on a farm in a small town of 200 where they raised hots, cattle, corn and soybeans. She attended local schools and earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where students and faculty are known as Salukis.

Willie distinguished herself as an accountant and statistician for over 20 years with companies including Cigna HealthCare and United Health Care. She journeyed to Houston in 1981, turned around, and then returned in 1984. Today she is CEO of SendOutCards by WillieDJ where she combines state of the art technology using your smart photo with old school traditional mail. A Chamber member for more than 4 years, Willie says: “I love the Chamber and have always been a supporter of local businesses.” She saw the Chamber as being very active and one where she could get very involved with and help to support my local community. Her commitment to being active sees her serving as an Ambassador for the Chamber.

She is a Graduate of Leadership Houston and Managing Director of eWomen Network-Houston. Her family includes son, Austin Jones and two big dogs named Chase and Oatmeal, although she says they are commonly called “Oats and Barley!” (Guess they missed the initial chance to call Oatmeal, “Bank.”) Spare time sees Willie dancing, cooking, meditating, reading development books, developing leadership skills and piano playing. We salute Willie’s dedication, enthusiasm and work on behalf of “her” Chamber. She provides inspiration to everyone and maybe it’s a reflection of her modes Midwestern upbringing?

6Mar, 2017

Spotlight on Non-Profit

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New Heights Christian Academy was founded in 1993 in the home of our founding father, Dr. Richard Walters, who, today, is serving as headmaster of the school.  Dr. Walters attended several of the area schools in the neighborhood where New Heights Christian Academy is located.  The school’s location began in the Heights of Houston, and in 2006 moved to its present location, within the walls of Oak Forest Baptist Church, at 1700 W. 43rd Street. The school began as a homeschool with one student, teacher and principal, however, today its boasts an enrollment of 120 with a faculty of seventeen.  Our maximum enrollment is one hundred twenty-five students ranging from kindergarten through the twelfth grade.  NHCA also includes an early college program in cooperation with Houston Community College.  Every year, most of our high school graduates also receive their associate’s degree from HCC within a day of their high school graduation.

NHCA uses the very popular Abeka curriculum out of Pensacola, Florida.  The curriculum is Christian based, and is quite rigorous and challenging.  The school’s Fine Art Department features an award-winning Girls’ Choir, and yearly musical productions given by the entire student body, led by Mrs. Jessica Evans and Mrs. Ceci Castaneda.  The Girls’ Choir recently participated in the Texas Private Schools Music Educators Association Concert and Sight-reading Contest, where they received the Sweepstakes Award for rating number one in both concert presentation and sight-reading abilities.   The school also has an outstanding art program lead taught by local artists, Mrs. Delsie Cotton Walters and Mrs. Lynne Evans.

The tuition for attending New Heights Christian Academy is relatively low compared to most private schools in Houston and surrounding areas.  Several of our students are on scholarships (where more than two students come from the same family).  Our students come from various backgrounds and ethnicities.  We have students from many school districts around the Houston area due to the convenient central location of the school to downtown Houston where many of their parents work. For more information about the school, contact the school’s principal, Mrs. Victoria Grable, at 713-861-9101.