Business in Fort Bend February 2017
FBISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES NAMES NEW CAMPUS, DISTRICT LEADERS
During the Dec. 12 Regular Board Meeting, the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees named new leaders. Rodney Chant is the new director of athletics; Damian Viltz is the new executive director of facilities and operations; Robert Scamardo is the new legal counsel; and Jason Soileau is the new principal of Arizona Fleming Elementary.
Chant is coming to FBISD from Pasadena ISD, where he currently serves as the director of athletics. Prior to that, he was the assistant athletic director for Pasadena ISD. Chant began his career in 2003 at Pasadena Memorial High School. Chant earned his bachelor’s in all level physical education with a minor in speech from Howard Payne University. He also obtained a master’s degree in mid-management from the University of Houston – Clear Lake.
Viltz comes to FBISD with more than 20 years of military experience. He retired at the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, and recently served as the Chief Staff Officer of Naval Beach Group One. Viltz earned his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Prairie View A&M University. He also has a Master of Business Administration in financial management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA and a Master of Arts in administrative leadership from the University of Oklahoma.
Scamardo brings more than 25 years of legal experience to Fort Bend ISD. He is currently an attorney at Rogers Morris & Grover, LLP. Scamardo started his career in 1985 as a legislative aide for Senator John D. Rockefeller IV. Scamardo eventually moved up the ranks as an associate, attorney and partner at other law firms before landing in his current role. Scamardo obtained his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy with a minor in history from St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, LA.
Soileau has been named the new principal of Arizona Fleming Elementary School. Most recently, Soileau served as assistant principal at Kelly Lane Middle School in Pflugerville, Texas. In 2003, Soileau was awarded Teacher of the Year at Sherrod Elementary in Arlington ISD and in 2016 he received the Kelly Lane Staff Member of the Year. Soileau earned his Bachelor of Arts in special dducation and elementary education from McNeese State University and a Master’s degree in administration and supervision from Northwestern State University.
HOUSTON METHODIST PRIMARY CARE GROUP WELCOMES JOHANAN HSU, M.D.
Houston Methodist Primary Care Group is pleased to welcome Johanan Hsu, M.D., board-certified family medicine physician, to the office located at 16605 Southwest Frwy., Suite 400, on the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital campus. Hsu joins an experienced team of both internal and family medicine physicians, and will continue to provide the same high-quality health care that the Fort Bend community has come to expect.
Hsu graduated from Rice University and earned his medical degree from Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in College Station before completing his family medicine residency at Christus-Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi. Hsu specializes in both preventive care and the treatment of acute illness in patients of all ages. He is an active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
In his spare time, Hsu enjoys hiking, star-gazing and playing instruments such as the violin, piano, guitar and the Chinese erhu and guqin. Although medicine is his first passion, music has also played an immense part in his life. He was invited to participate in the Texas Music Festival, which showcases the talents and skills of young professional musicians.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hsu, or another primary care physician with Houston Methodist Primary Care Group, visit houstonmethodist.org/primarycare or call 713-395-MPCG (6724).
BELLAIRE MOBILITY PROJECT RIBBON-CUTTING CEREMONY
County officials gathered for the Bellaire Mobility Project Ribbon-Cutting ceremony on Monday, Dec. 19. The ribbon-cutting marks the completion of the four-lane concrete boulevard from Parkway Lakes Lane to Lakehead Lane completing the missing links for the four-lane boulevard from Grand Mission Boulevard to Grand Parkway.
County Judge Bob Hebert said, “This Bellaire Boulevard project is now open and provides for unimpeded traffic flow from FM 1464 through the Grand Parkway and on west to FM 723 .”
LAMAR CISD SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER RECOGNITION
January is School Board Recognition Month and Lamar CISD has joined other districts across the state in thanking these local leaders for their dedication and willingness to serve as advocates for our children and public schools. As elected officials, they are the voice of their communities, serving first and foremost in the best interest of our community’s schoolchildren.
“Even though we’re making a special effort in January to show appreciation to our board members, we realize their many contributions reflect a year-round commitment,” said Dr. Thomas Randle, Lamar CISD’s Superintendent of Schools. “They generously give of themselves to ensure the decisions directly impacting our local schools are made by representatives of this community, people who are close to our schools and know our teachers, parents and students.”
Members of the Lamar CISD Board of Trustees are James Steenbergen, president; Kathryn Kaminski, vice president; Kay Danziger, secretary; Anna Gonzales, member; Dr. Tyson Harrell, member; Melisa Roberts, member; and Frank Torres, member.
“Lamar CISD benefits from the tireless work and countless hours contributed by these elected officials who work without pay. Please help us thank these dedicated citizens for their efforts to make a difference and their unfailing commitment to the continued success of our students now and in the future,” Randle said.
OAKBEND MEDICAL CENTER RECEIVES NICHE DESIGNATION
For the second year in a row, OakBend Medical Center has earned the NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) designation. This designation recognizes OakBend’s ongoing commitment to geriatric nursing care. The NICHE program is designed to upgrade the quality of care for older adult patients by increasing awareness of geriatric issues, improving staff competence in nursing care of the elderly, and supporting the implementation of hospital geriatric protocols.
NICHE’s goal is to achieve systematic nursing change that will benefit the care of older adults in all healthcare settings, and its vision is for all patients 65 and over to be given sensitive and exemplary care.The mission of NICHE is to provide principles and tools to stimulate a change in the culture of healthcare facilities to achieve patient centered care for older adults.
In December 2014, OakBend opened its ACE (Acute Care for the Elderly) Unit, the only unit of its kind in Fort Bend County. The 13-bed Unit promotes the NICHE concepts.
NICHE provides materials and services necessary to stimulate and support the planning and implementation process. The focus is on programs and protocols that are dominantly under the control of nursing practice. Or, in other words, areas where nursing interventions have a substantive and positive impact on patient care.
FORT BEND LAWYERS CARE RECEIVES $10,000 FROM THE TEXAS BAR FOUNDATION
Fort Bend Lawyers Care (FBLC) recently received a $10,000 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation. The nonprofit legal aid organization helps provide equal access to justice for low-income residents of Fort Bend County on civil matters in a variety of ways. The Texas Bar Foundation grant will enable FBLC to expand support for qualified pro se litigants by holding seminars and workshops to acquaint them with legal processes and procedures.
Executive Director Sharon K. Steckler considers it an honor and privilege to receive the award from the prestigious and well respected Texas Bar Foundation. Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $16 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, The Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitably-funded bar foundation.
Citizens of Fort Bend County will benefit greatly from the services the Texas Bar Foundation’s grant enables FBLC to provide.
RICHMOND‘S CITY MANAGER AWARDED PUBLIC ADMINISTRATOROF THE YEAR
The University of Houston Master of Public Administration Program annually honors outstanding public elected officials, as well as appointed officials, in the greater Houston Metropolitan area. The 2017 MPA Program has recognized Richmond City Manager, Terri Vela, as the Public Official of the Year, with the award being presented March 3, 2017.
This year the MPA program is honoring two elected officials –– Judge Ed Emmett, Harris County and Tom Ramsey, Mayor- Spring Valley Village; and two appointed officials, Vela and Tina Paez, director of regulatory affairs, City of Houston. The University of Houston MPA program, for the sixth year, honors public officials who ‘provide positive influence on the ideals of public service in the greater Houston metropolitan area. The selection panel is comprised of seven MPA alumni and one MPA student. Some of the criteria for these selections are outstanding performance in a challenging work situation; demonstrated commitment to ethics and ethical decision making; and placing welfare of citizenry above personal, professional and political motives.
Under Vela’s guidance the citizens of Richmond approved a new Home Rule Charter in May 2013 to manage changes and growth as Richmond moved into the 21st century. This began what seemed to be Richmond’s transformative years. More than a year later she guided the elected officials through the process of adopting a new Comprehensive Master Plan followed by a Unified Development Code, and then directed the redrawing of new zoning maps. In 2015, Vela implemented the strategic annexation strategy followed by development of Richmond’s Parks and Trails Master Plan. The City also broke ground on their Surface Water Treatment Plant in 2014 to comply with the Fort Bend Subsidence District mandates.
Three historic floods, each unprecedented, affected the Richmond area in 2015-2016. Vela supervised Richmond’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and monitored all rescue efforts in each flood event. Under her guidance, Richmond became a model of how to coordinate activities before, during and after an unprecedented natural disaster.
Richmond continues to stay connected to its historic past and values through all these recent changes, thanks to the direction of Vela. She has exhibited outstanding performance in challenging work situations, time and again, while remaining committed to ethical decision making for the citizens of Richmond.
MEMORIAL HERMANN SUGAR LAND HOSPITAL RECEIVES TEXAS TEN STEP RE-DESIGNATION
Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital was again designated as a Texas Ten Step facility by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The program encourages breastfeeding as the preferred feeding method for newborns and infants. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land has been designated a Texas Ten Step facility since 2011.
Based on the World Health Organization/UNICEF’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, the program aims to assist birth facility’s support of breastfeeding mothers before, during, and after delivery; encourages them to identify breastfeeding resources for the mother after she is discharged; and assists facilities in improving on national performance measures such as the Centers for Disease Control’s Breastfeeding Report Card.
Memorial Hermann Sugar Land joins a growing number of Texas birth facilities that are supporting new mothers and their decision to breastfeed. The goal of the Texas Ten Step Program is to increase breastfeeding initiation rates to 82 percent.
Texas Ten Step facilities are asked to address 85 percent of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, be designated as a Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite, evaluate their breastfeeding policies, maternity care practices and educate all healthcare staff routinely with evidence-based courses.
Memorial Hermann Sugar Land offers a wide array of women’s services including an outpatient lactation center, high risk pregnancy clinic as well as a 10-bed Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Memorial Hermann Sugar Land is also a recipient of a 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence. For more information call 281-725-5000.
JOHNSON DEVELOPMENT GIVES TREES A NEW HOME IN VERANDA
As Johnson Development readies its newest master-planned community for homes and families, the developer is giving new life to decades-old trees that might otherwise be sacrificed.
Crews have already moved 13 trees – all pecans – to make way for a needed detention pond in the Richmond community. Eight of these trees have been replanted in the median of Williams Way Boulevard, while five were moved to a staging area. The developer expects to relocate up to 30 trees.
“Relocating the trees has several benefits,” said Trey Reichert, vice president and general manager of Veranda. “Most importantly is that we are able to save trees that we would normally have to cut down in order to develop the surrounding area. But it also gives the community an instantly mature landscape that you would typically only find in established developments.”
The relocation process started in August, when landscape architect Clark Condon and environmental design identified trees that were healthy. The trees were then pruned at the roots with the root ball being wrapped, watered and fertilized as needed for several months before being transplanted. The final step before being dug up was to prune the branches.
“We’ve done similar relocation programs in other Johnson Development communities, but the project in Veranda was easier because we didn’t have to cross any power lines,” Reichert said. “The trees were able to stay upright and only moved a short distance.”
The trees – most of which were about 10 to 15 inches in diameter– were moved using a 168-inch tree spade. In addition to the median, trees will be planted along other major roadways in the community.
“In typical community landscaping, you would purchase a 3- to 4-inch oak tree that is maybe 15 to 20 feet tall,” Reichert said. “These trees are three to four times larger. It definitely makes a statement.”
Veranda is a 590-acre community located near the northwest corner of Williams Way Boulevard and U.S. 59. It will offer up to 2,500 homes, with the first homes expected to begin construction in early 2017.
Veranda is Johnson Development’s seventh Fort Bend community, joining Cross Creek Ranch, Harvest Green, Imperial, Jordan Ranch, Sienna Plantation and Riverstone, the state’s top-selling master-planned community.
Other current Houston projects of Johnson Development Corp. include Edgewater, Fall Creek, Grand Central Park, Harmony, Tuscan Lakes, Willow Creek Farms and Woodforest. Johnson Development also is overseeing the Viridian community and Trinity Falls in Dallas-Fort Worth. For more information, visit johnsondevelopment.com.
SUGAR LAND EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATE IN HOLIDAY GIVING
City of Sugar Land employees sponsored 112 children and adults for the Fort Bend Rainbow Room Christmas Angel Project.
The Fort Bend Rainbow Room is a charitable organization dedicated to helping children and families in crisis by supporting the efforts of caseworkers. During the holiday season, the City partners with the Fort Bend Rainbow Room to participate in the Christmas Angel Project to give children and adults in protective custody the opportunity to request Christmas gifts.
The City has participated in the Christmas Angel Project since 2006. This year, Sugar Land employees fulfilled the Christmas wish lists of 92 children and 20 adults with the help of various City departments, including police, fire-EMS, parks and recreation, public works and others.
“It’s amazing how our employees step up every year to give back to our community,” said Executive Secretary and Rainbow Room Christmas Angel Project coordinator Delia Callaway. “We are proud to see the number of employees involved in this project grow more and more each year.”
CENTRAL FORT BEND CHAMBER HOSTS RIBBON CUTTING FOR FORT BEND HISPANIC HERITAGE FORUM
The Central Fort Bend Chamber hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for a member, Fort Bend Hispanic Heritage Forum, on Dec. 8. The Forum was established in 2005 as a Rosenberg-based nonprofit/nonpartisan corporation dedicated to the preservation of the Hispanos community and its diverse heritage by promoting a positive atmosphere through educational, social and civic events. The Forum’s main focus is raising funds for scholarships.
Business members attended the ribbon cutting ceremony to show their support and welcomed Fort Bend Hispanic Heritage Forum and its Board of Directors to the Chamber family. The Board of Directors are Joe Vera, Lupe Uresti-Cabello, Janie Warstler, Linda Rubalcaba and Ray Aguilar. Vera was presented a ribbon cutting certificate from Crista Rollock with Christa Rollock Insurance on behalf of the Chamber Ambassador Committee. Vera thanked the Chamber for the warm welcome and to all who support their cause. “We are glad to be a part of this community and to offer our services in support of higher education for all students,” said Vera.
The creation of the Fort Bend Hispanic Heritage Forum was derived from a dream by the late Ernie Rodriguez who wanted to help provide better education for young students in the Fort Bend community. Vera says, “We are happy to extend our arms out to the community and Fort Bend County. With Ernie’s idea, we were able to form this organization and raise funds for over 175 scholarships in the county with the help of our partners. We’ve also issued a few scholarships in surrounding counties as well. We don’t turn away any student who wants to apply.”
The Forum will be hosting its third annual Awards Banquet on March 9 at the Rosenberg Civic Center. “We are looking for assistance again this year to continue our commitment of opening the doors of higher education to students seeking scholarship opportunities,” says Janie Warstler.
Visit hispanicheritageforum.org for more information.
HOUSTON REGION TRANSPORTATION ADVOCACY GROUP INAUGURAL TRANSPORTATION PANEL
Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert participated in the Houston Region Transportation Advocacy Group’s (TAG) inaugural transportation panel on Dec. 5. Participants also included Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal, Waller County Judge Trey Duhon, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, and Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta. Moderators of the panel of area county judges included TAG Chairman Jack Drake and Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Rail District, Maureen Crocker. The county judges were posed questions related to mobility and were asked to address the questions with a regional perspective.
Hebert said, “With the growing pains counties in this region experience related to mobility, working together to establish a long-range transportation plan, including rail, highways, and port planning, is imperative to our ability to provide the future infrastructure needed to support the growing population.”
FORT BEND JUNIOR SERVICE LEAGUE DONATES $14,000 TO TEXANA CENTER
Texana Center has received a $14,000 grant for the autism program in Rosenberg. These funds will be used to help renovate and replace a 20-year-old playground that has rusted and does not meet childcare licensure standards. As children with autism spectrum disorder today are being diagnosed at a much earlier age, Texana needs a playground suitable for children as young as 2-5 years old.
For most children, the playground is typically the first place where they connect with other children and with the world at large. Play is important for developing; thinking, language, emotional, problem solving and creative skills in children. Play does not come naturally to children with autism; they have to learn the play skills that come easily to most typically developing children. The playground provides a great learning tool for children with autism and will allow Texana to teach skills such as; how to climb, slide, swing, jump, twist, spin, explore, and interact with the equipment. Social skills will also be taught so that the children learn how to play with others, share and take turns.
Kate Johnson-Patagoc said “The Fort Bend Junior Service League has really made a difference to our autism programs and we are thrilled to as a beneficiary of their amazing Sugar Plum Market. This playground will make a huge difference to the younger children in our program as we teach skills that will change their lives and for that we thank all the members for their work.”
MARSALIA FAMILY MAKES DONATION TO OAKBEND IN RECOGNITION OF CARE GIVEN TO FAMILY
The Marsalia family wanted to find a way to say thank you to the doctors and staff at OakBend Medical Center for making the final days of their wife and mother’s life a bit easier.
With the hospital’s Vision 2020 Campaign in place, the family decided to purchase one of the six new benches anchored in front of the OakBend Medical Center’s Jackson Street campus and dedicate it to the ICU nurses.
“‘Tis the season to be thankful, grateful and appreciative,” said Shana Nesvadba on behalf of The Marsalia Family. “That’s what we feel for what we now call our extended family at OakBend Medical Center. We are thankful for the exceptional care my mother received. We are grateful for the numerous staff members that truly showed our family love and generosity. But most of all, our deepest appreciation goes to the ICU nurses and staff. You went above and beyond your call of duty. On top of your everyday job, you all made what was a very hard time in our lives as comfortable and bearable as possible. For this we are truly blessed that God put you in our path. There is a special place in heaven for all of you! Thank you and many blessings to you all.”
The family invited some of the ICU team and doctors that cared for Mrs. Marsalia to join them in the bench dedication. It was a chance to reunite under happier circumstance and one more opportunity to say thank you in person.