The West Houston Association Rising Leaders Program is an exclusive two-year experience that will introduce the Rising Leaders to established leaders at WHA and the broader community to continue working for quality growth in the West Houston area. The program is one of the benefits of being WHA Quality Growth Partner sponsor. Sponsors, like Mark Kilkenny and Julie Peak, nominate promising individuals in their organization as Rising Leaders. Rising Leaders must have between 5 and 15 years of experience in a particular industry and must agree to participate at a certain level within the program.
The mission of the WHA Rising Leaders Program is to create and grow a network of emerging leaders and mentors within the West Houston Association. This network will share information and access to enhance understanding and the ability of these leaders to make positive changes in Greater West Houston.
WHA is pleased to introduce the nominated 2017 Rising Leaders. They value WHA’s tradition of excellence and understand the need to advocate for intelligent policy, legislation, and regulation to encourage quality growth and safe, prosperous communities.
Todd Hamilton serves as the Development Manager at Johnson Development Corporation/Cross Creek Ranch. Prior to joining the Johnson Development Corporation, he has worked at EHRA, BGE (Brown & Gay Engineers). He is managing the development of 3,200 acres of master planned community. Todd earned his Civil Engineer degree from Texas A&M and he is a licensed professional engineer.
DeKecha Shepherd serves as the Senior Project Manager at Costello. She has extensive experience in the land development engineering. She serves mostly to the West Houston region.
Greg Lentz serves as the Director at FirstSouthwest. Greg started his career as a Civil Engineer with RG Miller focusing on areas of land development throughout Houston and primarily in the West Houston area. While working at RG Miller, Greg earned his MBA from the University of Houston and soon thereafter transitioned to FirstSouthwest in investment banking specializing in special districts. Greg has worked on financings for municipal utility districts and TIRZs, including West Houston projects. His projects involve small isolated residential and commercial communities and some of the largest master planned communities in the West Houston area.
Jonathan (“Jon”) D. Polley joined Radcliffe Bobbitt Adams Polley as an Associate in 2007. Currently, Jon serves as the general counsel, bond counsel, and special counsel to various types of special districts including municipal utility districts and emergency service districts, water supply corporations, and private utilities. Jon graduated Magna Cum Laude from South Texas College of Law in 2006. He serves on the Legislative Planning Committee for the Association of Water Board Directors – Texas, Public Policy Council of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the WHA’s Sustainable Infrastructure Committee.
Andy Palermo serves as the Associate Principal and Department Manager for Hydrology and Hydraulics at EHRA and oversees the hydrology and hydraulics analysis and designs prepared for the firm’s many diverse public and private projects within Houston and surrounding areas. Andy earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas and a Certified Floodplain Manager. Andy is also an active member and participates in organizations including Flood Control, Drainage & Wetlands Committee at WHA, Stormwater Management Committee at American Council of Engineering Companies, Texas Floodplain Management Association, and Flood Committee at Houston Contractors Association.