President’s Desk: January 2022

Howdy WHA Members! 

We hope that you have all had a great holiday season and wish you a happy and healthy new year. Here at the West Houston Association, we are excited for what we have planned for 2022. 

In case you missed it at our Awards Celebration, we have some new leadership for 2022. Our new Chair of the WHA Board of Directors is Marlene Gafrick (MetroNational) and Vice Chair is Lee Lenard (BGE). Serving with Gafrick and Lennard as Board Officers are Rainer Ficken (Brookfield) as Treasurer and Alia Vinson (ABHR) as Secretary.  Jim Russ (EHRA) is also new to the Executive Committee, and Howard Cohen (SPH) & Mark Gehringer (Howard Hughes) were elected to the board.  

We also have a few changes in committee leadership. Thank you to Liz Parent (5engineering) serving as Vice Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee, Brian Gates (Brookfield) serving as Vice Chair of the Quality Planned Development Committee, and Natalie Chaney (RPS Group) serving as the Vice Chair of the Sustainable Infrastructure Committee. We also took the liberty to update the committee web pages for 2022, so please take a look! 

You can also find a list of events and committee meetings on the website. The majority of our 2022 forums are already planned out and the rest will be added to the website as we finalize the details.  A new event for 2022 includes a half-day Sustainable Infrastructure conference hosted jointly with HCC & Texas A&M’s School of Architecture on February 11th. Two other upcoming events of note include a Harris County Update which will be a breakfast featuring County Administrator David Berry on March 9th and our 2nd Annual Rising Leaders Topgolf Tournament taking place the afternoon of May 26th. 

Speaking of Rising Leaders, the next cohort of the program will start in April. Participants are nominated by WHA’s Quality Growth Partners. If you are interested in participating, please reach out to one of our Quality Growth Partners or contact Jennifer Boggs. 

2022 also brings two interns to WHA, Alan Roman and Jennifer Moreno. They are both studying Political Science at the University of Houston will be joining us from January through April. They will be working together on our communications strategy with a specific focus to highlight aspects of the greater West Houston region aligned with our committee work and issues of interest. You can learn more about them on the “staff” page of the website and you may also see them at some of our committee meetings and events. 

We have an exciting year planned for 2022. If you would like to be more involved in leading quality growth across the greater West Houston region, start by attending some of these events and joining a committee. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the committee chairs or WHA staff. 

Thank you for what you do for the Greater West Houston Region!