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Business in Fort Bend January 2016

Rendering of Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land.

Rendering of Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land.


ACE SL, LLC (ACE) and the City of Sugar Land have partnered to develop the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, the region’s first state-of-the-art, indoor performance venue. The $84 million project will further position the city as a destination location for culture and entertainment.

Located off of U.S. Highway 59 and University Boulevard, Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land is situated on a portion of 38.5 acres of City property. It will set a new standard for live performance venues and will be equipped to host a wide array of programming including national music and comedy artists, children and family entertainment, theatrically-staged productions and cultural and performing arts attractions. It will also be open to the community for local graduations and community theater performances.

“This is a project unlike any other in the Houston-region, one that supports tourism and economic goals that have been identified throughout more than a decade of discussion––including support from a citizen-led Visioning Task Force and a public vote in 2008,” said Mayor James Thompson. “Along with a new 50-acre business site for Fluor, the Texas Instruments campus, the future expansion of Class A office space, and plans for a hotel/conference center and other amenities, the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land is the cornerstone of an exciting development that will increase tourism, provide unique destination activities for local and regional visitors, promote capital investment and create new jobs.”

Designed for flexibility, the 200,000-square-foot venue incorporates innovative moveable walls that can expand and contract to create four different seating capacities that range from an intimate setting of 3,400 seats to a maximum of 6,400. It also features 14 luxury suites, corporate hospitality areas, and the latest sound, light and video technology. Other offerings include space to house up to 18 trucks and buses, as well as 2,500 guest parking spaces.

“We are excited to provide the greater Houston area with a multi-functional, state-of-the-art performance venue located in Sugar Land, Texas,” said Gary Becker, ACE SL. “Its customizable features and flexible design allow us to easily transition from one performance to the next.”

In addition to its upscale design, ACE SL partnered with prestigious companies for sponsorships. In February 2015, Smart Financial Credit Union was awarded the naming rights of the performance venue, agreeing to a five-year term with a five-year option to extend. Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land is another notable sponsor as the official automotive sponsor. The luxury partnership includes a VIP lounge for suite and premium seat holders, the Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land concert series, automotive displays, audience engagement opportunities such as interactive kiosks and test drive events, and exclusive reveal events to showcase new Mercedes-Benz models. Other sponsors for the facility include Silver Eagle, Think Energy and PepsiCo.

“Smart Financial is proud to support Sugar Land as it develops into an entertainment hub for tourists and locals alike. We are a locally based Texas institution and we believe in giving back to the growing communities we serve,” said Gary Tuma, President and CEO of Smart Financial Credit Union. “We cannot wait to open the doors and welcome the community into this beautiful, state-of-the-art venue.”

The Smart Financial Centre will attract large-scale, national performances and position Sugar Land as a destination location for culture and entertainment. It follows the installation of Constellation Field, home to the Sugar Land Skeeters. ACE SL, LLC and the City of Sugar Land broke ground on the Smart Financial Centre in December 2014. Linbeck Group, LLC is serving as the construction manager for the facility, which was designed by Martinez + Johnson Architecture. It is projected for completion in fall 2016.


Sugar Land Town Square.

Sugar Land Town Square.


Rangeland Energy has leased 8,199 square feet of Class A office space in Sugar Land Town Square at U.S. 59 and Highway 6.

The midstream energy company will relocate its headquarters to 2150 Town Square Place above Sugar Land Town Square’s collection of more than 50 shops, boutiques and restaurants. The newly leased space also is next to the 300-room full-service Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

Office tenants in Sugar Land Town Square enjoy the convenience of garage and surface parking, proximity to mid-rise residential and First Colony Mall, and pedestrian-friendly access to shopping and dining.

Don Janssen represented Planned Community Developers in the transaction. Robert LaCoure and Will Florence of Lee & Associates represented the tenant.



Sugar Land celebrated the completion of the reclaimed water treatment facility located at the City’s south wastewater treatment plant in October. A partnership with Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District (MUD) 128 taps an unutilized water source for the benefit of the City and the MUD, paving the way for future innovative water resource management projects.

The increased use of reclaimed water is a strategy identified in the City’s Water Master Plan and contributes to meeting the groundwater reduction requirements of the Fort Bend Subsidence District.

The new facility receives water from the wastewater plant and treats it to improve water quality for irrigation in public areas. Pipes and irrigation components using reclaimed water are identified as non-potable by the color purple and special signage. MUD 128 will utilize up to two million gallons of treated wastewater for filling amenity lakes and irrigation within the Riverstone development. The facility’s design and construction was funded by MUD 128. It will be operated by the Brazos River Authority. For more information, visit


john Zerwas md

John Zerwas


State Representative John Zerwas filed for re-election to the Texas House, District 28. In making his announcement, Zerwas pledged to continue to fight for conservative results on issues that are important to the
district and state.

“It’s critical that we elect representatives to the Texas Legislature who are willing to stand up and deliver results for Texas families,” said Zerwas. “I’m running for re-election to continue the fight for border security, lower taxes, excellence in education, and patient rights.”

Last session, Zerwas worked to pass $4 billion in business and property tax cuts, provide an additional $1.5 billion for public schools, pass stronger border security measures, pass a balanced state budget that left a surplus of $11 billion in the state’s Rainy Day Fund, and pass legislation to protect pastors who refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

An anesthesiologist, Zerwas also opposes the affordable healthcare reform program and has fought to protect patient’s rights.

“The federal government is not the solution to our healthcare problems,” said Zerwas. “We need to look to the free markets to help drive down the cost of care for those who need it most.”

Guided by his faith, Zerwas also fought to defend pro-life and pro-family values. He supported legislation to defund Planned Paren­thood and has been endorsed for re-election by the Texas Alliance for Life.


Anthony Snipes

Anthony Snipes


Following a competitive eight-month recruitment process, veteran public administrator Anthony Snipes, who has extensive experience managing municipal projects nationwide, has been unanimously appointed by Missouri City councilmembers to be the Show Me City’s seventh city manager.

Snipes’ public service career spans more than 20 years and includes successes in strategic initiatives involving budgeting and performance management, public/private partnerships and organizational development.

Snipes was working as a consultant in Austin before accepting the position and is “looking forward to working with the City’s exceptionally talented team of professionals and partnering with them to achieve the City’s strategic goals.” He will officially started his new role on Dec. 1 and will earn a salary of $185,000.

Before joining the ‘Show Me City’, Snipes was an administrator in Dayton, Ohio, Fort Worth and Austin where he implemented proactive programs and led innovative initiatives. Snipes’ career also includes service with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Macon-Bibb County
Economic Opportunity Council, Florida
State Legislature, Florida State University
and the City of Tallahassee.

Snipes, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from Mercer University and a master’s degree in public administration from Florida State University. He will oversee 338 employees and a combined annual budget of more than $105 million.

“Anthony is a great choice for the position, and City Council is excited he accepted the invitation to continue our strong legacy of leadership. We look forward to him working with our great team of managers and employees to continue making Missouri City one of the top 50 places to live in the country,” said Mayor Allen Owen.


Sylvia Morgese

Sylvia Morgese


Harvest Green, Houston’s first master-planned community with an on-site farm and community and backyard gardens, has named health and fitness enthusiast Sylvia Morgese as its full-time lifestyle director.

With a passion for garden-fresh produce developed from childhood visits to farmers markets, Morgese will plan resident-only classes, farm-to-table dinners with guest chefs, wine dinners, gardening classes and other activities befitting this one-of-a-kind Fort Bend community at the Grand Parkway and West Airport Boulevard. “We’ll have activities for residents of all ages,” Morgese said.

Now preparing for her fifth marathon, Morgese also will oversee personalized wellness programs for residents while coordinating fun runs and walks for all ages. Plus, a Lifestyle Merit Program will allow children to earn merit badges for completing classes in gardening, culinary, safety and first aid, giving back to the community and others. Those who complete all of the program’s classes will be presented their very own Lifestyle Merit Badge.

Morgese earned her bachelor’s degree in sport and exercise science from the University of Central Florida where she rowed for the NCAA Women’s Crew team. During her career, she has planned wellness and social programs for a hospital, school district and government employment base.   She also is active in yoga, having taught classes for all ages, and enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors.

“Sylvia’s background is ideal for what we’re looking for in a Lifestyle Director,” notes Shay Shafie, general manager of Harvest Green. “She’s an enthusiastic, high-energy person who will hit the ground running.”

Harvest Green, a 1,300-acre master-planned community by The Johnson Development Corp, features new homes by D.R. Horton, Darling Homes, David Weekley Homes, Highland Homes, Lennar, MHI Homes, Meritage Homes, Newmark Homes, Perry Homes, Trendmaker Homes, and Westin Homes with brand-new model homes now open.



Studio 7 Salon owner/hairdresser Sherryl Belski is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of her business at Tuscan Village Salons. Since she opened the doors in January 2006, she has offered her services to the community, specializing in haircuts, color/highlights and perms for women, men and children. She has been a hairdresser for 33 years. Her business is located at 4807 Hwy. 6 in Missouri City.


Dr. Michael H. Koo

Dr. Michael H. Koo


Board-certified cardiologist Michael H. Koo, M.D., is joining Houston Methodist Cardiology Associates.

“It’s an honor to join the team that has a long history of bringing the most advanced and sophisticated cardiac care to Fort Bend,” says Koo. “My approach to patient safety and comfort is a perfect fit with the culture and mission of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.”

Koo earned his medical degree from New York Medical College. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center and held fellowships in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ Health System and Stony Brook University Medical Center, respectively.

Koo is board certified in cardiovascular disease, nuclear cardiology, echocardiography and internal medicine, and is board eligible in interventional cardiology. He speaks both English and Korean.

“Dr. Koo brings strong skills in interventional cardiology to our team, along with a compassionate approach to patient care,” says John Passmore, M.D. “We are pleased to have him work alongside us as we continue to grow the level of cardiac care available here in Fort Bend and surrounding counties.”

To make an appointment with Koo or any of the physicians at Houston Methodist Cardiology Associates, visit houstonmethodist.org/online-scheduling or call    713-776-9500.


Rep. Aycock (center) is pictured at the TASA/TASB Convention with TASB Board of Directors Ron Crier (left) and Jim Rice (right).

Rep. Aycock (center) is pictured at the TASA/TASB Convention with TASB Board of Directors Ron Crier (left) and Jim Rice (right).



The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) recently named Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, chair of the House Public Education Committee who recently announced his retirement from the Texas House, as the recipient of the association’s first ever Champion of Education Award. TASB does not traditionally give this award, but the association chose to recognize Aycock’s service in a special way.

Aycock received the award due to his unwavering dedication to Texas public schools and the students the schools educate. Due to the demands of public service on family, TASB also extended its gratitude to Aycock’s wife for her support.

Aycock has represented District 54 in the Texas House of Representatives since 2006 and will serve until his retirement at the end of the 2015 session. During his legislative career he served on the Culture, Recreation and Tourism; Agriculture and Livestock; Defense and Veterans’ Affairs; Higher Education, and Redistricting committees and most notably as chair of the Public Education Committee during the 2013 and 2015 sessions.


Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.


Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital earned an “A” for patient safety in the Fall 2015 Hospital Safety Score ratings program.

The Hospital Safety Score uses performance measures from a broad range of government and industry organizations – includ­­ing the American Hospital Association, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others – to grade hospitals on how well they protect patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections while in the hospital.

More than 2,500 U.S. hospitals are rated twice each year on 28 measures of publicly available safety data. The survey is overseen by a panel of leading physicians and hospital safety experts from around the country.

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital was one of 773 hospitals nationwide – less than one-third of those surveyed – to earn an A grade in survey results released this month.

“Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s A grade is a powerful reminder of its commitment to putting patient safety above all else, and we are pleased to recognize the persistent efforts of your clinicians and staff to protect your patients,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, which administers the Hospital Safety Score.

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s ongoing patient safety effort includes the development of detailed protocols and best practices focusing on a wide range of safety risks, along with in-depth training, ongoing communication and regularly scheduled audits to ensure that staff members are aware of and are following proper safety processes.

“Patient safety is central to our mission,” says Chris Siebenaler, CEO at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “Our A grade from the Hospital Safety Score survey shows that we are keeping our patients safe while they are under our care.”


Peter R. Huntsman

Peter R. Huntsman


Peter R. Huntsman, president and CEO of Huntsman Corporation, has been named to the Memorial Hermann Health System Board of Directors, effective Jan. 1.

“Memorial Hermann is a nationally recognized healthcare provider that has served the Houston region for more than 100 years,” Huntsman said. “I look forward to serving with an organization that has provided such a vital service to our community. The challenges and opportunities of the healthcare industry will be an important base of our quality of life as the Houston region continues to be a global leader in so many areas.”

Huntsman Corporation is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. Its operating companies manufacture products for a variety of global industries, including automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, healthcare, detergent, personal care and appliances.

“Peter is a tremendous businessman, civic leader and humanitarian,” said Will Williams, chair of the Memorial Hermann Health System board. “We are thrilled to have someone of his caliber on our board. We will welcome his insights and perspective about how Memorial Hermann can continue to provide the highest quality, safest and best patient care in this region.”

Huntsman also serves on other executive boards and councils including those of the Wharton School of Business, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, Montgomery County Women’s Center and the Interfaith of The Woodlands. He also helps to direct a number of domestic and international humanitarian projects funded by the Huntsman family and Huntsman companies.   Huntsman also serves as CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation and the Huntsman Family Foundation.


Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital.

Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital.



Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital was recently named a finalist for the 2015 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence and was recognized by the Baldrige judges for its strategic best practices.

High-performing organizations that are candidates for the national award but are not selected as a recipient are eligible for recognition of their best practices in six of the seven Baldrige Criteria categories. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land was the only applicant recognized for its best practices this year.

“This recognition is affirmation that we are on the right track in our journey to excellence,” says Greg Haralson, senior vice president and CEO, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land. “I’m confident that our journey will soon lead us to the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.”

The Baldrige Award recognizes U.S. manufacturing, service, and small business organizations for their achievements in quality and business performance. Organizations may now apply for the award in three additional categories, healthcare, education and nonprofit.

To date, more than 1,600 U.S. organizations have applied for the Baldrige Award with only about six percent receiving the highest honor. Since 1999, when the healthcare award category was added, only 20 healthcare organizations have received the award.

Earlier this year Memorial Hermann Sugar Land became the first Houston area hospital to earn the Texas Award for Performance Excellence given by the Quality Texas Foundation. The Quality Texas Foundation was chartered to recognize the best organizations in Texas using a similar, extensive evaluation process and the Baldrige criteria.


(L-R): Regina Morales, president/CEO Central Fort Bend Chamber; Jeff Haley, Central Fort Bend Chamber chair elect; Roger Adamson, CEO The George Foundation; Melissa Garcia-Martin, Central Fort Bend Chamber chair and Claire Rogers, The Fort Bend County Museum Association.

(L-R): Regina Morales, president/CEO Central Fort Bend Chamber; Jeff Haley, Central Fort Bend Chamber chair elect; Roger Adamson, CEO The George Foundation; Melissa Garcia-Martin, Central Fort Bend Chamber chair and Claire Rogers, The Fort Bend County Museum Association.


The Central Fort Bend Chamber held their November membership networking Breakfast in the Bend event at the George Ranch Historical Park hosted by the Fort Bend County Museum Association. More than 100 Chamber members were in attendance. Roger Adamson, CEO of The George Foundation, spoke about how the Founda­tion’s heritage and history came about and shared its strategic approach to the grant process. The Foundation currently has 125 active grants, the largest granted to Texas State Technical College. The Foundation was established by Albert and Mamie George in 1945, the mission of The George Foundation is: “to partner with the community to leverage the foundations and resources to positively impact Fort Bend County and its residents.”


Vincent M. Morales, Jr. filed as a candidate for County Commissioner Precinct 1 at the Fort Bend GOP Headquarters. Fort Bend GOP Chairman Mike Gibson congratulated Morales on his candidacy.

Vincent M. Morales, Jr. filed as a candidate for County Commissioner Precinct 1 at the Fort Bend GOP Headquarters. Fort Bend GOP Chairman Mike Gibson congratulated Morales on his candidacy.


Former Rosenberg Mayor Vincent M. Morales, Jr. has filed to continue his service to the citizens of Fort Bend County by running for Precinct 1 Commis­sioner. Morales served the City of Rosenberg as Mayor from May 2011-2015.

“The future of Fort Bend is bright and ripe with possibilities,” said Morales. “For four years, I have had the privilege of serving the citizens of Rosenberg. Now, I want to continue my work on economic development, infrastructure and mobility for not only Rosenberg, but for all of the cities and constituents in Precinct 1.”

During Morales’ tenure as mayor, his focus on economic development led to several corporations, including Aldi USA and Si Environmental Water Services Company, to choose Rosenberg for their headquarters. OCuSOFT expanded its headquarters in Rosenberg, and Superior Tank Company both located and expanded its facility in Rosenberg to 54,000 square feet representing another 100 jobs over five years.

In September 2014, the City of Rosenberg entered into a Memorandum of Understand­ing with Paragon Outlet Partners to develop a 400,000-square-foot outlet mall that is estimated to create 400 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs once open. The project is scheduled to be open for business in late 2017.

Morales worked to attract the new expansion of Texas State Technical College’s (TSTC) main campus to West Fort Bend County. The new 110,000-square-foot building will be situated on a 40-acre campus on I-69 with an additional 40 acres reserved for expansion, and construction has already begun.

Morales is married to Fort Bend County native Regina Klingle Morales, owner of RLM Advisory Group LLC, president/CEO of Central Fort Bend Chamber and president of GreenScape Associates, LLC. They have two children, Christopher and Justin. For more information, visit vincentmorales.com.


This 590-acre property in Richmond will offer up to 2,500 new homes that will embrace the legacy of one of Texas' most historic towns.

This 590-acre property in Richmond will offer up to 2,500 new homes that will embrace the legacy of one of Texas’ most historic towns.


The Johnson Development Corp. has acquired a prized, 590-acre property in Richmond near the northwest corner of Williams Way Boulevard and U.S. 59 for a master-planned community of new homes that will embrace the legacy of one of Texas’ most historic towns.

The Fort Bend community will offer up to 2,500 new homes where residents will enjoy convenient access to U.S. 59. Development activity is expected to begin by mid-2016 with construction of new homes projected for early-2017.

Johnson Development, along with IHP Capital Partners, acquired the property from the Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation of Richmond. Financing for the transaction is being provided by Trustmark Bank.

According to Pat McDonald,president and CEO of the Henderson-Wessendorff Foun­dation, the priority was to work with a developer dedicated to the creation of a first-class, sustainable community that respects the rich history of the area as well as the legacy of the Henderson and Wessendorff families.

The Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation also owns an adjacent 800 acres on the north side of Williams Way Boulevard where it plans to create a nature preserve and tourism center.

The new community will be Johnson Development’s seventh in Fort Bend County joining Sienna Plantation, Riverstone, Cross Creek Ranch, Imperial and the new Harvest Green and Jordan Ranch.


(L-R): Chris Siebenaler, CEO of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital; Dr. Julia Adrogue; Dr. Michael Koo; Dr. B. Keith Ellis; and Dr. Deepshikha Sharda.

(L-R): Chris Siebenaler, CEO of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital; Dr. Julia Adrogue; Dr. Michael Koo; Dr. B. Keith Ellis; and Dr. Deepshikha Sharda.


Houston Methodist Primary Care Group celebrated the official opening of its new location near Sienna Plantation, Lake Olympia and Riverstone with an open house enjoyed by more than 250 attendees.

The new facility – located at 8330 Highway 6, just west of Sienna Parkway – houses three family medicine physicians: Adelola Ashaye, M.D., Kerry Laursen, M.D., and Jessen Rajan, M.D., as well as physical therapy and lab services. “Houston Methodist continues to grow to meet the needs of the community,” says Chris Siebenaler, CEO of Houston Metho­dist Sugar Land Hospital. “Our investment in new facilities, like the new Houston Methodist Primary Care Group location near Sienna Plantation, is a reflection of the extensive growth of Fort Bend County.”

The state-of-the-art facility will offer patients of all ages a wide range of medical services in a convenient location, including same day primary care appointments, online scheduling, on-site laboratory for quick and accurate test results, on-site physical therapy and patient portal for secure communication with the patient’s care team.

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