Katy Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Gala, “A Tribute to Katy” is a Success

The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated its Annual Gala, “A Tribute to Katy” on Friday, February 17, 2017 with a record crowd. The event was chaired by Lori Gunn and held at the Safari Texas Ballroom. The elegant evening included a seated dinner. The Gala guests enjoyed complimentary commemorative portraits sponsored by Houston Methodist West Hospital. Sponsors of the Valet Parking were Modern Pest Control and Silver Eagle sponsored the beverages for the evening. Floral Arrangements were provided by Randall’s and graphic and printing design was provided by CAS Graphics. Custom Signage was provided by DL Creations – Custom Chalkboards. A dancing exhibition was provided by Arthur Murray during dinner for our guests. Entertainment was provided by Password and the guests danced until after midnight to the sounds of Password.

The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce recognized and thanked their outgoing Directors – Lisa Houghton, Alton Frailey, and Woody. As a token of appreciation each outgoing Director was given an engraved clock to recognize their service to the Chamber.

The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce inducted the 2017 Board of Directors and Officers at the Annual Gala. City of Katy Mayor Fabol Hughes administered the Oath of Office to the 2016 Officers and Directors.

The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce 2017 Chairman of the Board – Marcus Henneke (Dagley Insurance & Financial Services), Vice Chairman of the Board – Sam Schultze (Country Park Portraits), Secretary – Christa Clifton (Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital), and Treasurer – Richard White (AXA Advisors LLC). The Immediate Past Chair is Tad Adams (Adams Law Firm, L.L.P.). City of Katy Mayor Fabol Hughes is Ex-Officio and Ann Hodge serves as President/CEO.

The Board of Directors for 2017 are Craig Brooks (Prosperity Bank), Marcus Dillon (Dillon CPAs, PLLC), Denise Einkauf (Waggin’ Tails Pet Ranch), Cristy Fontanilla (Fontanilla Accounting Solutions), Ida Franklin (Venus Construction), Kelly Gaines (Members Choice Credit Union), Greg Henry (XperNet Services, Inc.), Schottsie Hill (Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church), Dr. Lance Hindt (Katy Independent School District), Jason Hodge (Medical Fitness Pros), Margaret Laney (BP), Del Lawson (Modern Pest Control), Barbara Lazor (Lazor Healthcare Consultants, LLC), Nicole LeBoeuf (AMP Lending), Linda Nichols (Dahl Team Properties), A. Kevin Troutman (Fisher & Phillips, LLP), and Wayne Voss (Houston Methodist West Hospital).

The Chamber recognized our 2017 Volunteers of the Year, Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year. A new Award was added this year in honor of Patsy and Stan Stanley. The Stan and Patsy Stanley Entrepreneur Award was presented for the first time. These awards were presented at the Gala:

Volunteer of the Year – Chaille Voelkel

Chaille Voelkel – Volunteer of the Year

Chaille (Williams) Voelkel was born and raised in Houston. She married her husband Bob in 1977. They moved to Katy in 1992, to allow their children Kolby and Kelsey to attend Katy ISD schools and be near family. Kolby and Kelsey are both married now and still live in the area, along with Chaille’s three sisters, one brother, and her mother who is celebrating her 85th birthday today!

Chaille’s volunteering started at church when their children were young, she and Bob were on the church council and youth sponsors for 16 years. When she joined the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce in 1993, Chaille became an active volunteer, helping with the Rice Harvest Festival, golf tournament, and annual galas. She has served on the Membership Committee and is past Chairman of the Ambassador’s Committee.

Chaille has volunteered at the Krause Center and with the Amobi Okoye Foundation. She is a member of the KISD Leadership, Katy Rodeo and an honorary member of the Taylor FFA and Mayde Creek FFA. She is a Lifetime Vice-President at the Houston Farm & Ranch where she has chaired many committees including the Law Enforcement & Firefighters Wild game Cook-off and the Harris County Fair & Rodeo. She has been a volunteer for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo for the past 16 years, serving on the Katy Go Texan Committee and Wine Committee. Chaille will be a lifetime member at the end of this year.

She is the co-founder of Support the Girls with Bonny Green, an event that raises money for women who could not afford mammograms in the Katy Area. In 2014, she also co-founded with Norman Walker, a 501(c)3 organization called Friends for Wishes. The group raises funds through an annual BBQ Cook-off and Wine Tasting for Make-A-Wish, an organization that grants wishes to children with life threatening medical conditions. Chaille’s group has raised $250,000 sponsored wishes for over 35 children in the Houston area.

When she is not volunteering, she enjoys gardening and traveling with Bob, quilting and crafts. Chaille has donated beautiful quilts for local fund raising auctions.

Volunteers who’ve worked with Chaille say she makes it look easy and fun; bringing great enthusiasm to every committee she serves on. Chaille is honored for this recognition and says she enjoys trying to make a difference in other people’s lives, “My volunteering comes from the heart! I volunteer because it makes me feel good inside helping others. I enjoy working with people, but could not have volunteered all these years without the support of my husband Bob and my children. ”

Chaille Voelkel has demonstrated a remarkable level of service and volunteerism and she is richly deserving of this recognition. The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce is honored to recognize Chaille for her outstanding contributions to the Katy community and as our 2017 Volunteer of the Year.

Business of the Year – Rover Oaks Pet Resort

Rover Oaks Pet Resort – Business of the Year

Steve Smith and his original business partner spent years researching the pet care industry and local pet owners’ desires. They found that pet owners who truly feel their dog or cat is a family member deserving the very best care were challenged when seeking boarding, training, and day care options. Rover Oaks Pet Resort became a solution for these clients when it opened a state-of-the-art facility in Houston offering boarding for dogs and cats, training, grooming and doggie daycare on October 15, 2001.

Rover Oaks quickly secured a reputation as one of the most trusted pet resorts in the Houston metropolitan area and clients encouraged the team to develop another location on the west side of town. Steve partnered with pet lover/businesswoman Joy Lee to open Rover Oaks Pet Resort in Katy on September 11, 2006.

There is nothing ordinary about Rover Oaks Pet Resort. Boarding options include private luxury suites furnished with televisions, soft pet sofa beds, and toys chosen for each individual guest. Guests enjoy custom meals with room service, gourmet “yappy hour” treats, one-on-one interactive playtimes in large grassy fields, group play, and nightly tuck-ins with bedtime stories and snuggle time. Feline clients are accommodated in comfy “Meow Manor” cat condos.

Over 75 pets are dropped off for Doggie Daycare at Rover Oaks each day. They enjoy a full day of professionally supervised activities including play time with their best friends, pool parties and birthday celebrations at fully equipped dog parks, pavilions, and indoor play areas. Some enjoy the Grooming Salon & Spa, where services include show-quality haircuts, simple wash-and go-baths, shed control treatments, whitening facials, and even doggie “peticures”.

Rover Oaks provides coaching and support that pet owners need to develop a long-lasting relationship with their dog. The highly trained and educated staff offers private lessons, puppy classes, obedience training classes and agility classes and a “Lodge & Learn” program that allows dogs to stay for several weeks while working with a professional trainer.

Rover Oaks Pet Resort has won over 30 awards in recognition of exceptional service and humanitarian efforts including the Better Business Bureau’s highest honors for the last 6 years. Owners and staff are also active volunteers in the community. For non-profit organizations and rescue groups, and particularly with Citizens for Animal Protection, Rover Oaks has donated thousands of service hours, fostered hundreds of dogs and cats, and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. Rover Oaks recently wrapped up its sixth annual Operation: War Dogs fundraiser, cumulatively raising more than $90,000 for that organization.

Since 2001, the Rover Oaks team has built an unrivalled depth of reliability, trust and connection with clients and pets. The demand for superior pet care and exceptional customer service, and pet owners’ eagerness to patronize a business that embodies such a standard, is the reason Rover Oaks has done so well since its inception.

The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce is grateful to Steve and Joy for their leadership and commitment to our community. We are honored to recognize Rover Oaks Pet Resort as the 2017 Business of the Year.

Citizen of the Year – Peter McElwain

Peter McElwain – Citizen of the Year

Peter McElwain was born in Philadelphia and raised in Toronto, but now considers himself a Texan with deep Katy roots. He graduated from the School of Architecture in Ottawa, Ontario in 1978. Three years later he married and in 1988, he and wife Darlene welcomed a daughter, Kristen. In 1998, McElwain was leading the facilities department at the London Board of Education in London, Ontario. It was an extremely fast growing school district and Peter McElwain’s success there prompted an invitation from Katy ISD Superintendent Dr. Leonard Merrell and the Board of Trustees to move his family to Katy and join Katy ISD as District Architect/Planner. At that time there were approximately 27,000 students in the district and rapid growth on the horizon.

To accommodate that growth, Peter McElwain has worked for the last 19 years with a talented and dedicated team to open 25 elementary schools, 9 junior high schools and 6 high schools along with several comprehensive renovations and additions at existing campuses all in support of excellent student learning. He also led the department to open educational support and administrative support facilities including: the Performing Arts Centers, the Leonard Merrell Center, the L.D. Robinson Pavilion and Billy Morgan Arena, the Gerald D Young Agricultural Sciences Center, the Robert Shaw S.T.E.A.M center , the Education Support Complex, the Student Activity Facility Stadium Complex, the South Transportation Center, the Maintenance and Operations Center, the Mark Hopkins Law Enforcement Center and the Franz Road Support Services Complex. An additional high school, junior high school, elementary school, and the Student Activity Facility and second Stadium are scheduled for completion this summer.

During McElwain’s tenure, school facility projects have been the recipients of several design related recognitions but every project has benefitted from his of great devotion and pride, regardless of the size.

Peter McElwain has served on the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Katy Area YMCA Boards of Directors for six years, and the Katy EDC Place Committee for four years. He has been a member of the Katy EDC Mobility and Public Infrastructure Committee and volunteered hundreds of hours as a mentor to two Katy ISD students, for seven and four years respectively.

The rapid growth anticipated when Peter McElwain came to Katy has surpassed expectations. McElwain shared “My time at Katy ISD has been the most rewarding of my life. Katy ISD is recognized as one of the main reasons that families move to Katy and on behalf of our team I am proud of the contribution which we have had in creating exciting and supportive academic, special education, fine arts, athletics and career and technology environments for our students.”

The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to name Peter McElwain as our 2017 Citizen of the Year, we extend our sincere congratulations on retirement after 19 years with Katy ISD, and thank the McElwain family for all they’ve done for Katy.

Stan and Patsy Stanley Entrepreneur Award – Greg Henry

Greg Henry – Stan and Patsy Stanley Entrepreneur Award

In honor of the incredible legacy of service and entrepreneurship demonstrated by Patsy Stanley and Stan Stanley, the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce is introducing a new recognition award this year – the Stan and Patsy Stanley Entrepreneur Award. The first recipient of this award is Gregory J. Henry.

Greg Henry graduated from the University of Houston in 1984, and immediately embarked his career as a computer engineer. He began installing complete computer networks and was instrumental in developing an automated design program for engineering companies that aided engineers in design of electrical diagrams, SCADA systems and pipeline design.

Greg worked his way up to become the lead engineer for Air Liquide America – a Corporation Fortune 500 Company before founding his own company, XperNet Services in 1995.

XperNet Services, Inc. delivers enterprise level solutions that include the development of computer-based infrastructures and business plans, design, rollouts, maintenance and upgrades; IT outsourcing, project management and prepaid blocks of maintenance time; experienced computer consultants to meet the myriad of needs imposed by complex software and hardware; bundled business programs; and high-quality web development solutions for both large and small corporations.

The company was ranked by the Houston Business Journal in late 1998 in the top 25% of fastest growing small businesses in Houston. Today XperNet is recognized as a leader in integrated system technologies offering clients the best computer support in the market. Greg attributes the success of his company to a focus on service, “We listen to their needs and respond directly, honestly, and consistently. We cultivate a client’s business growth by developing high-quality customized solutions, and providing them on their timetable, needs and budgets, not ours.”

Today, as the president of XperNet Services, Greg enjoys working in partnership with his clients ensuring their successful business endeavors pertaining to technology; bringing big-business capabilities to small businesses. Henry also owns KPM Management, an association property management company. KPM Management serves the business and nonprofit communities in all aspects of management.

Greg Henry is very involved in the Katy community. He is a board member of the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce and Chair the Technology Committee. He also serves on the boards for Grand Lakes MUD #2 and Katy ISD Partners in Education. He is a Life Time Member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and volunteers his time and talent for his church, schools, Boy Scouts of America, and more. Greg is also a licensed Amateur Radio Operator and holds a lifetime FCC 3rd Class Radiotelephone Operator permit.

Greg Henry has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to his wife Tracy, children Kyle and Katrina, the Katy community, and the growth and development of his business. Greg is well-known for bringing the highest level of integrity, honesty, and credibility to all his endeavors.

The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to award the inaugural Stan and Patsy Stanley Entrepreneur Award to Greg Henry and XperNet Services!

For more information, contact the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce at (281) 391-5289, or visit our web-site at www.katychamber.com.