Photo Galleries

The Central Fort Bend Chamber welcomed SurePoint Self Storage – Richmond at their new Fort Bend County location at 5310 Pointe West Circle in Richmond, TX. Staff, guests and family members took part in ribbon cutting photos, enjoyed networking and learned of the available services offered.

SurePoint Self Storage Partner, Robert Loeb gave appreciation to those in attendance stating, “This is our first facility for SurePoint Self Storage in Houston and we are excited about offering our product to the people of Fort Bend County.  We offer a high end product in terms of safety, cleanliness and security.  This has been a two year project in the making and I would like to thank each of you who have played a part in putting this project together”. Mr. Loeb went on to thank the Chamber and expressed his excitement to become involved within the community.  SurePoint Self Storage has been a member of the Texas Self Storage Association since 2002, offering individually alarmed units, 24/7 digital video recording, computerized access gate entry, moving supplies and materials and much more.

For more information, visit their website at: https://www.surepointselfstorage.com.

The Central Fort Bend Chamber is a 105 year old non-profit membership organization dedicated to creating a strong local economy where businesses can prosper. The Central Fort Bend Chamber advocates for over 1,000 local businesses led by a volunteer board of directors who are dedicated to sustaining Fort Bend County’s quality of life, and keeping our community and economy vibrant.

For more information on the Chamber or its programs, call 281-342-5464 or visit www.CFBCA.org.

 

Annie Jo turned 106 years old on March 14th, 2017. She has lived at Providence Place Senior Living for 10 years, since April 5, 2007. She is the sweetest person ever, always played bridge and stays active. Here are a few pictures we took with just a few of all the friends that came to her birthday party.

 

The Central Fort Bend Chamber’s monthly networking Breakfast in the Bend on March 7th was hosted at the new Aliana Market H-E-B located in Richmond. Jim Russ with EHRA Engineering and Chairman of the Central Fort Bend Chamber, welcomed over 100 guests and introduced Claire Rogers, Executive Director, Fort Bend County Museum Association as the guest speaker.

Ms. Rogers reviewed some of the programs offered by the Fort Bend County Museum Association (FBCMA), sharing exciting news about their new exhibit, Preserving Fort Bend County through the Arts. Ms. Rogers also spoke of upcoming plans to expand the Fort Bend County Museum stating, “Our future plans are to hopefully have a place in Fort Bend County to show all of our county’s history”. Claire stressed the importance of partnering with other organizations that have the same mission to preserve and educate the public on the history of our county stating, “We want to foster all the communities in the county to come together to show off their history and culture”. Claire spoke on upcoming events for FBCMA, including the “Peace, Love & Texas, Lone Star Stomp,” to be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the George Ranch Historical Park Arena.

Leah Luedeker, Unit Director of Aliana Market H-E-B and host of the Breakfast in the Bend thanked everyone for allowing her to share the distinctiveness of the new Aliana Market stating, “We are unique in the market as we are the only Texas Back Yard Store. We hang our hat with putting on events to create a shopping experience with our customers and creating excitement within the store”. She also spoke about H-E-B’s commitment to freshness, convenience and variety at the new Aliana Market. As the number one food provider in Texas, it is H‑E‑B’s goal to be responsive to customers who are seeking the highest quality in food choices at the lowest possible prices.

Following the event was the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Aliana Market H-E-B Curbside.

For more information on Fort Bend County Museum or to read about the exciting upcoming events and exhibits, please visit: www.fortbendmuseum.org.

For more information on Aliana Market H-E-B please visit: www.heb.com.

The Central Fort Bend Chamber is a 106 year old non-profit membership organization dedicated to creating a strong local economy where businesses can prosper. The Central Fort Bend Chamber advocates for over 1,000 local businesses led by a volunteer board of directors who are dedicated to sustaining Fort Bend County’s quality of life, and keeping our community and economy vibrant.

For more information on the Chamber or its programs, call 281-342-5464 or visit www.CFBCA.org.

 

(February 23, 2017) The long-awaited Courtyard Wine Bar had its “Grand Debut Weekend” Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 2nd – 4th at the Live Oak Art Center in Columbus.  The Courtyard offers an extensive variety of wines from all over the world, a wide collection of craft beers as well as menu of Petite Fare – a delightful selection of gourmet Small Plates. The Courtyard Wine Bar is one of a small handful of not-for-profit bars in Texas, an emerging trend whereby profits go to support a charitable cause.

The Courtyard Wine Bar is a venture of the Live Oak Art Center (LOAC), located at 1014 Milam Street in Columbus, an independent not-for-profit organization seeking to increase the community’s understanding and appreciation of art and its evolving role in contemporary culture. LOAC promotes the arts by presenting exhibitions, developing educational programs and providing an environment for creative expression. All Courtyard Wine Bar profits will support the many programs of the Art Center.

Dubbed “a gallery of wine within a gallery of art” by Courtyard Wine Bar General Manager, Sandy Epps, this new addition seeks to reintroduce the community to the Live Oak Art Center and bring in an audience who have never been there before. “After all, wine and art have historically gone hand in hand. What could be a better fit?” said Mrs. Epps. “Here we’ve created a warm and friendly space where you can meet friends and enjoy a selection of world class wine, craft beer and Petite Fare that you can’t find elsewhere.”

The Courtyard Wine Bar is open at 4:00 pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  On Thursdays, plans include featuring flights of wine, visiting wine experts, cheese and food pairings, cooking demonstrations, etc.  Fridays your host will be LOAC Executive Director, Shawn “The Biermeister” Roberts offering various beer flights each week and on selected dates the new live music series “The Courtyard Wine Bar LIVE” featuring performances from artists from around the globe.  On selected Saturdays, The Courtyard Wine Bar presents the “Pop Up Chef Series – Fine Dining in a Small Plate Atmosphere” with unique small plate menus prepared exclusively for The Courtyard Wine Bar by a series of different guest chefs from around the Region.

Events announced for the “Grand Debut Weekend” are:

Thursday evening, March 2nd, Katy-based wine expert, Trevor Perry from Republic National Distributing Company, offering tastings and special discounts on wines distributed by Republic National.

Friday night, March 3rd will feature live music from 8:00 to 10:00 pm with acclaimed Austin singer/songwriter, Shelley King.  Shelley’s blend of original blues, rock, folk, country, soul and gospel led her to become the first woman named Official State Artist – Musician by the Texas legislature.  She has won Austin Music Awards for Song of the Year and Best Roots Rock Band.

Saturday March 4th, the Live Oak Art Center presents “Texas Women in Watercolor” Exhibit Opening where five Texas Women artists from Houston and Austin will have their watercolor artwork on display and will be in house to talk about their journey as Artists.  Later in the evening, the Pop-Up Chef Series welcomes Columbus native, Jacques Christensen.  Chef Christensen’s career began in Columbus working for Chef Wade Schindler at both Poody’s restaurant and Party Thyme catering.  He later became a chef at Buffalo Creek Winery, a popular restaurant and event destination in Brenham, before moving to Houston where he is now a private chef specializing in French/American cuisine.  Reservations are recommended for Saturday nights.  Reservations should be emailed to info@courtyardwinebar.com.

The Live Oak Art Center is located in the historic Brunson Building, built in 1891 and home to the Brunson Saloon. The building was purchased in 1985 by LOAC. The Courtyard Wine Bar is in the back of the building and includes the original bar from the Brunson Saloon which was painstakingly restored over the course of the past ten years. The bar opens up to a magnificent courtyard where chairs and tables have been added along with a brand new outdoor bar, lighting, sound system and Chef’s kitchen.

The entire venture has been funded by restoration grants and generous donations.  President of the LOAC board of directors, Roger Wade, said the back patio was not being put to good use. “We expect The Courtyard Wine Bar to increase visitors to Columbus, help revitalize the historic downtown area and bring in new audiences for the Live Oak Art Center.  Our dream is for it to also generate revenues that will permit us to expand our art programs.”  Mr. Wade and his wife, Marilyn Brasher Wade (also an LOAC board member) are active members of the Colorado County community and have been very involved in the area’s historic preservation.

The Brunson building hasn’t been used as a saloon since 1919. “Now, nearly 100 years later, by launching The Courtyard Wine bar we’re bringing the Brunson Saloon history around full circle,” said Mrs. Epps.

By Katy Area Chamber Of Commerce

Houston, TX — (March 2, 2017) – Rover Oaks Pet Resort was named “2017 Business of the Year” by The Katy Area Chamber Of Commerce on February 17, 2017. Among the deciding factors for which a business is selected for this prestigious award are the business’s involvement in civic and community organizations, initiatives taken and contributions made to improve the community, and their demonstration of excellence as a Katy area business.

Upon opening the doors of its original location in 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. Co-Founder and President of Rover Oaks Pet Resort in Houston, Steve Smith, partnered with pet lover/businesswoman Joy Lee to open Rover Oaks Pet Resort in Katy on September 11, 2006.

“Over the past ten years, I’ve learned that there is nothing like the spirit of community in Katy, Texas,” said Steve Smith, Co-Founder of Rover Oaks Pet Resort in Katy. “While the city has grown immeasurably since 2006 when we first opened our business, it has still maintained an incredible spirit of community that you can’t find anywhere else. We are delighted to be a part of that community, and we are truly honored to accept this award,” he added.

“Our staff has worked tremendously hard over the past ten years and together, we are honored to accept this award recognizing our dedication to the Katy community. We will continue to make the betterment of our community a top priority in the years to come,” said Joy Lee, Co-Founder and General Manager of Rover Oaks Pet Resort in Katy.

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 unrivaled depth of reliability and trust with clients needing boarding, daycare, grooming and training services for their 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.

Activities, Events Celebrate Those Who Help People In Need

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 — They deliver food and water during floods. They rush to home fire sites – in Houston, nearly 30 per week – to offer water, blankets and other comforts. They carve out time to deliver hygiene products to homeless veterans and teach children how to prepare for disasters. Others give up weekends to help install smoke alarms in communities where they are needed.

These are American Red Cross volunteers and they, as well as Red Cross donors and others who come together to prevent and alleviate human suffering, are being celebrated as everyday heroes during March is Red Cross Month. 

“March has been recognized as Red Cross Month by United States presidents for more than 70 years,” said MaryJane Mudd, Regional Communications Officer, American Red Cross of the Texas Gulf Coast. It shines a light on those who selflessly dedicate their time, talent and treasure to help the Red Cross serve those in need.

In calendar year 2016, more than 4,845 volunteers throughout the Texas Gulf Coast responded to 1,138 home fires, installed 6,351 smoke alarms, educated 2,316 youth in disaster preparedness, opened nearly 3,924 cases to assist military families and veterans, trained 71,672 in First Aid, CPR/AED/Aquatics and Water Safety, distributed 80,000 units of critical blood products to 15 hospitals and provided 1,078 senior and chronically ill people 27,328 one-way trips to important medical appointments.

“We could never do these things without our everyday heroes and we are honored to celebrate them,” said Mudd.

Houston March is Red Cross Month activities and events include:  

City Hall Lighting in Red & White

Monday, March 6 – Friday, March 10

900 Baby St., Houston

Red Cross Month Proclamation

Tuesday, March 7

1:30 p.m. – City Council Member Amanda Edwards presenting

Susan McEldon, KHOU-TV President & General Manager, Chair of Greater Houston Red Cross Board, receiving

Houston City Hall Chambers, 900 Bagby St., Houston

Wrapped in Red Luncheon Featuring Dan Rather

Thursday, March 23 | 12:00 p.m.

Hilton Americas – Houston

1600 Lamar St., Houston

Ticket information at redcross.org/luncheon

American Red Cross Wednesday Spirit Nights

March 8: Berryhill Restaurant, 1717 Post Oak Blvd

March 15: Freebirds, 3745 Greenbriar Dr., Houston

March 22: Raising Canes, 5326 South Rice Ave.

March 29: Elevation Burger, 3819 Kirby Dr., Houston

It’s easy to become a Red Cross everyday hero, Mudd noted. People can be ready for an emergency by creating a preparedness plan for their homes or testing their smoke detectors and telling neighbors to do the same. 

“We are in critical need of Disaster Services volunteers right now, too,” she added. “Anyone who wants to learn more about that can call 713.313.1611. Finally, donations are always welcome and much needed. Just go to redcross.org to donate.”

Celebrations include weekend-long demos of program activities and group exercise classes, a carnival

and an opportunity to try the Y for free 

KATY – Its doors are open, and YMCA officials are ready to make their newest and state-of-the-art center, the YMCA at Katy Main Street, 1350 Main St., official. On March 3, the YMCA of Greater Houston will host a grand-opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the second YMCA in Katy and one of the most unique centers in the Greater Houston area.

A brief ceremony, which will begin at 10 a.m., will include remarks from Paul McEntire, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Houston; Ann Hodge of the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce, David Ruzicka, chairman of the board for the Katy Area YMCAs; Carlos Valdez, chairman of the Board for the YMCA of Greater Houston; and Pam Filip, executive director of the YMCA at Katy Main Street.

From March 3-5, all are invited to try the new center free of charge. Those who choose to join before March 6 will pay no join fee, a savings of $125.

On March 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the YMCA at Katy Main Street will host a round of demos for much of what the new center has to offer, including TRX, Body Flow and Zumba classes and a Motion Magix kids’ zone. (See schedule below for all demos.) During the same time, there will be carnival-type activities for families and kids, including face painting, a “selfie station”, balloon making, games, a bingo map for visiting different areas of the new Y, and a drawing for Fitbits and other prizes. If the weather permits, the pool will be open for limited hours. Popcorn and juice will be on hand for refreshments.

On March 5 from 1 to 4 p.m., similar demos and festivities will continue.

YMCA at Katy Main Street

The YMCA at Katy Main Street took the best designs from YMCA centers around the nation and incorporated them into one 41,000 square-foot facility with extra modern amenities and a sleek, airy design.

The $12 million center offers the latest exercise crazes including TRX and aerial yoga. Its outdoor pool is heated and connected to private changing rooms.

The YMCA at Katy Main Street features strength training and cardio equipment, group exercise rooms, a basketball gym, Child Watch rooms to accommodate children from six weeks to 11 years old, an outdoor playground and sports fields, a cycle studio and coffee bar. It also includes health and wellness activities, aquatics, youth sports, after-school care, summer day camp, summer sports clinics, teen programs, senior activities and more.

The new center is expected to receive more than 400,000 visits a year. It will provide approximately $250,000 in community assistance and program/membership scholarships as well as create more than 200 area jobs.

Demo Schedule: 

Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

10:15 – Family Pickleball (Outside)

10:45 – Body Flow (Outside)

11:00 – Dance (Mind/Body Studio)

11:30 – TKD (Outside)

11:30 – Aerial Yoga (Personal Training Studio)

11:45 – Cheer (Outside)

12:00 – Zumba (Outside)

12:00 – TRX – (Personal Training Studio)

12:15 – Zumba Strong (Outside)

12:30 – Body Jam (Outside)

12:45 – DrumFit (Outside)

1:00 – Barre Workout (Outside)

1:00 – Exergames (Kids Zone)

1:30 – Motion Magix (Kids Zone)

Sunday 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

1:00 – Enhance Fitness (Outside)

1:15 – Silver Sneakers (Outside)

1:30 – CXWorx (Outside)

1:45 – Zumba (Outside)

2:00 – Zumba Toning (Outside)

2:00 – Exergames (Kids Zone)

2:15 – Body Pump (Outside)

2:30 – Body Combat (Outside)

2:30 – Motion Magix (Kids Zone)

2:45 – Mat Pilates (Outside)

3:00 – TKD (Outside)

3:15 – Soccer (Outside)

The long-awaited Courtyard Wine Bar will have its “Grand Debut Weekend” Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 2nd – 4th at the Live Oak Art Center in Columbus. The Courtyard offers an extensive variety of wines from all over the world, a wide collection of craft beers as well as menu of Petite Fare – a delightful selection of gourmet Small Plates. The Courtyard Wine Bar is one of a small handful of not-for-profit bars in Texas, an emerging trend whereby profits go to support a charitable cause.

The Courtyard Wine Bar is a venture of the Live Oak Art Center (LOAC), located at 1014 Milam Street in Columbus, an independent not-for-profit organization seeking to increase the community’s understanding and appreciation of art and its evolving role in contemporary culture. LOAC promotes the arts by presenting exhibitions, developing educational programs and providing an environment for creative expression. All Courtyard Wine Bar profits will support the many programs of the Art Center.

Dubbed “a gallery of wine within a gallery of art” by Courtyard Wine Bar General Manager, Sandy Epps, this new addition seeks to reintroduce the community to the Live Oak Art Center and bring in an audience who have never been there before. “After all, wine and art have historically gone hand in hand. What could be a better fit?” said Mrs. Epps. “Here we’ve created a warm and friendly space where you can meet friends and enjoy a selection of world class wine, craft beer and Petite Fare that you can’t find elsewhere.”

The Courtyard Wine Bar is open at 4:00 pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Thursdays, plans include featuring flights of wine, visiting wine experts, cheese and food pairings, cooking demonstrations, etc. Fridays your host will be LOAC Executive Director, Shawn “The Biermeister” Roberts offering various beer flights each week and on selected dates the new live music series “The Courtyard Wine Bar LIVE” featuring performances from artists from around the globe. On selected Saturdays, The Courtyard Wine Bar presents the “Pop Up Chef Series – Fine Dining in a Small Plate Atmosphere” with unique small plate menus prepared exclusively for The Courtyard Wine Bar by a series of different guest chefs from around the Region.

Events announced for the “Grand Debut Weekend” are:

Thursday evening, March 2nd, Katy-based wine expert, Trevor Perry from Republic National Distributing Company, offering tastings and special discounts on wines distributed by Republic National.

Friday night, March 3rd will feature live music from 8:00 to 10:00 pm with acclaimed Austin singer/songwriter, Shelley King. Shelley’s blend of original blues, rock, folk, country, soul and gospel led her to become the first woman named Official State Artist – Musician by the Texas legislature. She has won Austin Music Awards for Song of the Year and Best Roots Rock Band.

Saturday March 4th, the Live Oak Art Center presents “Texas Women in Watercolor” Exhibit Opening where five Texas Women artists from Houston and Austin will have their watercolor artwork on display and will be in house to talk about their journey as Artists. Later in the evening, the Pop-Up Chef Series welcomes Columbus native, Jacques Christensen. Chef Christensen’s career began in Columbus working for Chef Wade Schindler at both Poody’s restaurant and Party Thyme catering. He later became a chef at Buffalo Creek Winery, a popular restaurant and event destination in Brenham, before moving to Houston where he is now a private chef specializing in French/American cuisine. Reservations are recommended for Saturday nights. Reservations should be emailed to info@courtyardwinebar.com.

The Live Oak Art Center is located in the historic Brunson Building, built in 1891 and home to the Brunson Saloon. The building was purchased in 1985 by LOAC. The Courtyard Wine Bar is in the back of the building and includes the original bar from the Brunson Saloon which was painstakingly restored over the course of the past ten years. The bar opens up to a magnificent courtyard where chairs and tables have been added along with a brand new outdoor bar, lighting, sound system and Chef’s kitchen.

The entire venture has been funded by restoration grants and generous donations. President of the LOAC board of directors, Roger Wade, said the back patio was not being put to good use. “We expect The Courtyard Wine Bar to increase visitors to Columbus, help revitalize the historic downtown area and bring in new audiences for the Live Oak Art Center. Our dream is for it to also generate revenues that will permit us to expand our art programs.” Mr. Wade and his wife, Marilyn Brasher Wade (also an LOAC board member) are active members of the Colorado County community and have been very involved in the area’s historic preservation.

The Brunson building hasn’t been used as a saloon since 1919. “Now, nearly 100 years later, by launching The Courtyard Wine bar we’re bringing the Brunson Saloon history around full circle,” said Mrs. Epps.

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.

All Day Breakfast and Brunch Eatery to Open New Houston-Area Location in Katy, TX 

HOUSTON, TX February 20, 2017 — Vista Equities Group is pleased to announce that Snooze, “an .A.M. Eatery,” a fast growing culinary-driven breakfast and brunch concept, has signed a 4,098 sq. ft. lease at LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch. Snooze is anticipated to open by late 2017 and will be located off Cinco Ranch Blvd, conveniently adjacent to the 3-level East Gate Parking garage and the Grand Parkway.

Offering creative twists on classic breakfast dishes, as well as a selection of local, craft beers and morning cocktails, Snooze aims to change the way its customers think about breakfast. The new Snooze at LaCenterra will offer diners a selection of both sweet and savory renditions on classic breakfast dishes.

“We fell in love with the Houston area and we think Katy exemplifies the very best of what Houston has to offer. Snooze’s company mission is to be an integral part of the communities in which we are located and we believe that Katy is an incredible community,” said CEO of Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, David Birzon.

“We are thrilled to welcome Snooze to LaCenterra! Its unique dining concept, coupled with its commitment to supporting local causes and communities, makes for an exciting addition to LaCenterra, as well as to the Katy community,” said Lindsay Kaye, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for LaCenterra.

LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch is a 34-acre, over 360,000 sq. ft. (410,000 sq. ft. upon completion) mixed-use development located on the western edge of metropolitan Houston in Katy, TX. Located on the Grand Parkway just three miles south of I-10 with prominent freeway visibility, the property is nestled in the heart of Cinco Ranch, one of the nation’s premier master planned communities.

The eatery is also dedicated to supporting local causes and issues related to the neighborhoods where they live, as well as organizations focused on education and sustainability. In an effort to do so, one percent of sales from each Snooze makes its way back into the local community through the donation of in-kind goods (A.K.A. pancakes!) and services.

Snooze will be open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Additionally, Snooze at LaCenterra will offer catering to be picked up Mondays-Thursdays between 6:30am-2pm, and Fridays 6:30am-8am.

The lease was secured by Donna Keith of Vista Equities Group.  Snooze was represented by Jason Baker and Traci Holman with Baker Katz.