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Business in Fort Bend January 2012

Stacey Crews was named director of communications for Fort Bend ISD. She has more than 15 years of experience in public relations and corporate communications, as well as five years of experience in Fort Bend ISD as an English teacher.

Before joining the district, Crews was a public affairs specialist for Devon Energy Corp, where she developed and managed outreach programs for operations areas in Texas and Louisiana, and provided counsel and leadership on all internal and external communications. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Texas A&M University and her certification in secondary English from Texas A&M – Corpus Christi.


Joanna Hagler was named principal of Commonwealth Elementary School. She was principal at Armstrong Elementary School for three years, and before that the principal at Horn Elementary School in Alief ISD. She has also worked as an assistant principal, Language Arts/Early Childhood coordinator, Language Arts specialist, science specialist and teacher. Hagler received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Texas A&M University, and her Master of Education degree in Mid management from the University of Houston.


Lori Ruckman is the new principal at Armstrong Elementary School. She formerly worked as an assistant principal at Scanlan Oaks Elementary School, where she served for four years. She is a graduate of the 2010-2011 Fort Bend ISD LEAD Principals’ Academy and has worked as a summer school principal and facilitator. Ruckman received her Bachelor of Science degree in Reading Specialization from Southwest Texas State University, and her Masters of Education degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston.


Nina Schaefer was elected to the Texana Board of Trustees in October and will represent Fort Bend County. She is the proud sister of a client of Texana who has intellectual disabilities. Schaefer has served on the board of Richmond State Supported Living Center Volunteer Services Council for a number of years. Additionally, she has served on boards for many nonprofit organizations, in her church, and has been active in community service organizations for many years.

Schaefer graduated from Houston Baptist University with honors in two majors, English and political science. She then graduated from South Texas College of Law and has been practicing law in Fort Bend County for more than 25 years.


Janet Kirksey, a fifth-grade science teacher at Quail Valley Elementary School, has been chosen as the Professional Employee of the Month for November for Fort Bend ISD; and Laurie Norris, a Special Education aide at Sugar Mill Elementary School, as the Auxiliary Employee of the Month for November.

Kirksey is great team player, who goes out of her way to make her colleagues feel motivated and appreciated. She is a natural problem-solver and prides herself on providing students with quality instruction and real-life learning experiences.

Norris is known for her patience and dedication to students, which is evident by her efforts to ensure that each student has a successful day of learning. She is likewise supportive of her colleagues and is known to volunteer her time to perform numerous tasks for her team.


Chef Michael Cordúa is bringing his award-winning food to ecstatic steak lovers with the opening of Churrascos in the Lake Pointe Village Shopping Center. Churrascos is known for its charcoal-grilled center-cut tenderloin based in chimichurri.

Guests have an array of choices including smoked crab fingers, ceviche copacabana, pollo enscamisado, cilantro salad dressing, and the “original” tres leches and alfajores.

With 7,500 square feet the Sugar Land eatery can seat 250 guests inside and on its lakefront patio. The restaurant is open daily for lunch, happy hour and dinner. Its popular Sunday brunch menu features more than 60 items, and cool, Latin cocktails.


Janet Leatherwood, chief nursing officer at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, was recently honored as one of 2011’s “Twenty Outstanding Nurses” by the Texas Nurses District 9 Foundation, a chapter of the Texas Nurses Association (TNA). TNA District 9 is an eight-county region comprised of approximately 39,000 registered nurses.

The award was presented at the group’s 21st annual Nursing Celebration on Nov. 10 at the University of Houston Hilton Hotel. “It is a privilege and an honor to be recognized by the Texas Nurses District 9 Foundation,” said Leatherwood.

The annual awards recognize nurses from all areas of practice, including patient care, education, research and administration.  Nurses are nominated by colleagues, family members and friends and a distinguished panel selects the recipients based on multiple criteria.

“We have known for a long time that Janet is a special nurse so it is especially gratifying to see her recognized by her peers,” said Methodist Sugar Land Hospital CEO Chris Siebenaler. “Janet works tirelessly to improve the skills, expertise and professionalism of our nursing staff while exemplifying the Methodist ICARE values of integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence in everything she does. She is extremely deserving of this honor.”

Leatherwood currently serves as chairperson of the University of Houston-Victoria President’s Regional Advisory Board (PRAB), member of the University of Houston-Sugar Land School of Nursing Advisory Board, and is a member of Texas Organization of Nursing Executives. She has been published in a number of healthcare journals.

Leatherwood earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Houston Baptist University and a Master of Science in Nursing degree from University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.


Dr. Lesli Fridge, the new principal at Walker Station Elementary School, most recently worked for the Alief Independent School District as a human resources assistant director. She also worked as an assistant principal, guidance counselor and social studies teacher at Alief ISD. Prior to working for Alief, she worked as a social studies and reading teacher at St. Mary’s Parish School District in Louisiana. Fridge received her Associate of Science degree, Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Education degree from Nicholls State University; and her Doctor of Education degree from the University of Houston.


John R. Holmes was named director of facilities at Fort Bend ISD. Before joining Fort Bend ISD, he was employed with Aramark for seven years as a district manager and resident district manager. He was also director of operations for Community Treatment Solutions in New Jersey. Holmes received his Associate of Arts degree from Montgomery County Community College, his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business from Eastern University, and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.


Busy Body, a specialty home fitness store featuring the retail sale of exercise equipment and other related accessories, is open in Lake Pointe Town Center. This marks the store’s 12th location in the Houston area.

“We chose to relocate our nearby store to Lake Pointe Town Center because of the health-conscious shoppers in the area,” said owner Stan Terry. “Busy Body fits well among the list of tenants in the development such as Whole Foods Market and My Fit Foods.”

Located at 15890 Southwest Freeway, Ste.  100, Busy Body occupies 3,195 square feet of space. Fitness consultants at the store are trained to assist customers in assessing their needs to find the proper equipment to help them reach their fitness goals. Busy Body offers such popular home fitness brands as Precor, Cybex, Hoist, Vision, Landice and Vectra.


Pat and Cristy Alexander of Laredo and Jud and Drinda Cheuvront of Seminole learned about the role they can play in shaping the policy that affects this country’s farmers and ranchers. They were among 28 young agricultural producers selected to attend the 2011 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program. As members of Capital Farm Credit, which is part of the Farm Credit System, the couples interacted with government, financial and agricultural decision-makers and got an inside look at how the system operates.

During the sixth annual event, sponsored by the Tenth District Farm Credit Council, participants traveled to New York City and Washington, D.C., while the 2012 Farm Bill was taking form. Each lending co-op in the district chose participants who have shown outstanding leadership and involvement in the agriculture industry.

Pat manages a welding supply store, and his family owns and operates a ranch in Webb County. Cristy is the manager of her family partnership, which deals in real estate, mineral interests and a 25,000-acre cattle company. Both are graduates of Texas A&M University.

Jud and Drinda grow peanuts, cotton and wheat on a 12,000-acre family farm in western Gaines County that they operate with Jud’s parents and brother. Jud is board president for the Ocho Gin Co. and serves on the Llano Estacado Underground Water Conservation District board.

A visit to the U.S. House Chamber during a vote capped off the four-day trip, which included meetings with agriculture industry representatives, Farm Credit Council officials, and congressional staff in Washington, D.C. The group also had a briefing at the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation and toured a Wall Street brokerage firm.


The Great Greek Grill has opened in Lake Pointe Town Center. The restaurant’s menu features Greek quick-serve specialties such as gyros, pitas, gliders, Greek salads and more. Great Greek Grill has a Greek-inspired decorating scheme, including themed elements in all aspects of design.

Great Greek Grill is located at 15810 Southwest Freeway, Ste. 400. The popular restaurant now has five Houston-area locations open.


The Missouri City Police Department held a special ceremony in November to announce promotions and recognize new hires. (photo Courtesy of Missouri City)

Missouri City’s Finest Host Ceremony to
Recognize Promotions and New Hires

In a special ceremony held at the Missouri City Community Center in November, the Police Department honored officers who were promoted and recognized several recent hires, including members of the new Burglary and Auto Theft “BAT” Team.

A badge-pinning ceremony for those who were recently promoted included relatives and Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald. After a reading of the highlights of each officer’s career, they received their badges to honor the occasion. Those honored for recent promotions were: Capt. Brandon Harris, Sgt. Russell Terry, Sgt. Melissa Hill, Detective Andrew Robb, and Telecommunications supervisor Theresa Lyde.

Mayor Allen Owen spoke on behalf of the City Council Members present —Bobby Marshall, Don Smith, Robin Elackatt and Floyd Emery — and praised the sacrifices police officers make on a daily basis.

Asst. Chief Mike Berezin saluted members of the Burglary and Auto Theft Team, which was formed in September.  Members of the BAT Team are Sgt. Saul Luera, Detective Marcus Montemayor, Detective Caleb Rule, Officer Matthew Schlosser and Officer Jazton Heard.

The BAT Team is funded through the Texas Automobile Burglary & Theft Prevention Authority, which includes the salaries for one detective and two officers. City Council authorized the department to apply for the grant earlier this year.

New hires Stanley Lewis, Joseph Lewis, Ivory Lartigue, Allan Montoya, Mikosha Phoenix, Tracy Vives, Andrew Sonnier, Ashley Rogers, Bryan Rivera, Christina Barnes and Lakeesha Frazier were also welcomed during the ceremony.


Edward Broussard

“Show Me City” Welcomes
New City Manager

Following an extensive nationwide search, Missouri City Council members unanimously voted to appoint Edward A. Broussard as City Manager. He assumes the position on Jan. 2. Broussard, who has been city manager since 2005 for Hutto in the Austin area, brings 16 years experience in Texas municipal government. He previously was city manager  for Navasota from 2001 to 2005, assistant city manager for Woodway from 2000 to 2001, and assistant to the city manager for College Station from 1997-2000. He began his municipal career with various administrative positions for Lubbock.

Broussard is active in state and international city management associations.  He was Region 7 president in 2007 for the Texas City Management Association, served on that organization’s Board of Directors from 2009-11 and was named TCMA’s 2011 Administrator of the Year. Broussard also is a credentialed manager with the International City/County Management Association.

During his tenure at Hutto, the city was honored with numerous awards, including a statewide Technology Excellence Award in 2007, the Texas Municipal League Excellence Award in 2007 and 2008 for Communications and for Management Innovation, respectively, and the Keep Texas Beautiful Governor’s Community Achievement Award in 2010.

Broussard earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Texas A& M University in 1994 and his Master in Public Administration from Texas Tech University in 1997.


Gestational Diabetes:
What Expectant Mothers Should Know

Gestational diabetes, or diabetes occurring during pregnancy, affects approximately 5% of pregnant women in the United States. While the condition can cause health complications for both mother and child, with careful management, women with gestational diabetes may still have both a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

“Like other forms of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects the way the body uses blood glucose, or blood sugar,” says Rachna Bhala, M.D., board certified OB/GYN, on staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “During normal digestion, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and enter the bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone produced in your pancreas, helps move the glucose from the blood stream into your body’s cells, where it is used as the main source of energy. With gestational diabetes, insulin action is impaired, so glucose remains in the blood causing high blood sugar.”

What Are the Health Risks?

“Undetected and uncontrolled, gestational diabetes can affect the health of both mother and baby,” says Margaret Condit, M.D., board certified OB/GYN, on staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. Dr. Condit cautions that in expectant mothers, gestational diabetes may cause:

• Frequent urinary tract infections

• The unborn baby may grow too large and require a Cesarean section for safe delivery

• Increased risk of developing preeclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition that affects pregnant women

Babies born to women with gestational diabetes may develop:

• Low blood sugar

• Respiratory distress syndrome, a condition which makes breathing difficult

• Jaundice, the yellowish discoloration of skin and the whites of the eyes

• Low mineral levels in the blood

“Fortunately, most of the conditions that may affect the baby are treatable and mothers usually see a return to normal blood sugar levels shortly after giving birth,” Dr. Bhala says. However, women with gestational diabetes have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. In addition, children born to these women have a higher risk of diabetes and obesity.

What Can You Do?

Your best defense against gestational diabetes is a healthy diet, regular exercise and routine prenatal visits with your obstetrician. Because most women don’t experience symptoms when they develop the condition, obstetricians routinely test for gestational diabetes around the 28th week of pregnancy. “If it is determined that you have the condition, we will recommend frequent check-ups, regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, a healthy diet and exercise,” Dr. Condit says. “With proper treatment, you can still enjoy a healthy pregnancy and give your baby a good start in life.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bhala or Dr. Condit, or for a physician referral to an OB/GYN in your area, call 281-274-7500..

Who Is At Risk?

While researchers are unsure of the exact reasons some women develop gestational diabetes, they have identified factors that may make some expectant mothers more susceptible to the condition.

• Being older than age 25

• Being overweight

• Having a personal history of prediabetes, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, or a family history of type 2 diabetes

• Having had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy

• Having previously delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds

• Being of African American, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian heritage.

Diabetes Education

The Methodist Weight Management Center offers effective self-management training designed to meet the needs of anyone who has been diagnosed with diabetes or gestational diabetes. Their diabetes educators can tailor a program to suit individual needs. They provide hands-on education and experience, showing how small changes in daily food and exercise habits can alter the way people feel and improve the control of their diabetes. For more information, call 713-441-5975.


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