Howdy WHA Members!
With the completion of my first 100 days in office as President/CEO of the West Houston Association, I wanted to take some time to reflect on what has transpired in the office and across West Houston. To keep you informed, each month I will continue to provide a short update on important developments and initiatives taking place within the West Houston Association.
Clearly, I took the helm at an interesting time. COVID-19 has had a major impact on our operations, in particular our in-person issue forums and committee meetings. We are hopeful to have in-person events in the future. With that in mind, we have moved the Elected and Public Officials Reception, a favorite event of many of our members, from September to a tentative date in mid-November. We appreciate your support in attending and sponsoring the virtual events and meetings. In fact, we have had similar attendance for most of our virtual events as we would have for in-person ones. We will continue to follow state and local guidelines regarding our events, and I look forward to the days when we can return to an in-person format.
Despite being at a distance, you can still make the most of your WHA membership though involvement with our committees. The WHA committees provide an opportunity to collaborate on issues, organize educational forums, and identify projects for action. Over the last three months committees have been active in developing the WHA legislative agenda, crafting messaging on sustainable infrastructure, discussing opportunities in education and workforce preparedness, writing letters of support for TxDOT projects, sharing new ideas in conservation and recreation, evaluating submissions for the WHA Sustainability Stars award, and more. Members engagement is important to WHA’s success. One of my initiatives over the last 100 days has been to encourage committee leadership on West Houston endeavors such that we, as staff, are here to support you rather than the other way around.
Part of empowering committees included some changes around the office to make it more inviting and efficient. We rearranged furniture and décor to provide more workspace and to encourage social distancing. We embraced available technology, including video conferencing and shared documents, to improve communication and digital access. We have reduced our office’s environmental impact by digitally archiving. We have also improved our online presence to include member written articles, updates to the WHA website, and increased our use of social media. We’re featuring articles about how our members are helping with the local community, to include Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and their efforts during COVID-19. To keep our members better informed and engaged, we also have plans for more videos and a website overhaul in 2021.
Engagement with the WHA membership is my most important priority. While I have had an opportunity to meet with many of you, there are still some I have yet to chat with. I want to know what you hope to see from the West Houston Association. Please never hesitate to reach out to me via e-mail or directly to my cell. Regardless if I’m in the office or not, I am happy to hear from you and am always working to make West Houston a great place to live, work and play.