Rising Leaders: A Crash Course to Understanding the West Houston Association

In November of 2022, WHA graduated it’s seventh class of Rising Leaders. When our Rising Leaders program began in 2016, it was designed simply as a way of encouraging member engagement with WHA through a handful of special events and networking opportunities. Over the years, however, the initiative has evolved into a structured educational program involving seven sessions that each focus on topics in alignment with WHA’s Committees & The 2060 Plan. As of today, over fifty West Houston leaders have graduated from this program.

The program provides a fast-track introduction into topics and issues of interest to the association and its members including but not limited to: sustainability, regional mobility, flooding, and quality planned development. At these sessions, class members have the opportunity to learn, network, and engage with experts, industry leaders, and creative problem solvers and thinkers who each highlight different ways to improve the quality of life across the Greater West Houston region.

The most recent graduates of the program include:

Andres Aranzales Vogler & Spencer Engineering Project Manager
Aaron Carpenter Allen, Boone, Humphries, Robinson, LLP Associate Attorney
Christine Crotwell Masterson Advisors Director
JT Gaden EHRA Engineering Project Manager
Emily Heineman Caldwell Companies Community Relations
Andrew Lang BGE, Inc. Senior Planner
Mackenzie Osborne Inframark Account Manager
James Parker Costello, Inc. Project Manager
Caleb Stone Howard Hughes Corporation Project Manager

Here are some of their thoughts on the program:

“In my world we tend stay in our little box that pertains to development. Learning about all the different topics got me thinking of how WHA relates to my day to day. I would absolutely recommend this program.”
Caleb Stone, Howard Hughes Corporation

“Hearing from experts from each committee, opened my eyes to how much good WHA does for not just our industry, but for the millions of people in West Houston. Living and working in West Houston all my life, it made me happy to know that we have this great organization shepherding this region into a better quality of living.”
JT Gaden, EHRA Engineering

“The seminars put me in places that allowed me to meet influential colleagues in my industry. Each seminar either expanded on what I thought I knew or elevated my understanding about things such as parks, Low Impact Development, or how mobility can affect my city. WHA showed me what it means to advocate for my city and helped me get involved in arenas that are typically outside the boundaries of my career in water operations. I look forward to continuing my growth within WHA.”
Mackenzie Osborne, Inframark

“The WHA Rising Leaders program was rewarding and beneficial for my professional career as it allowed me to expand my network and gain insightful knowledge from peers in engineering, as well as other disciplines that play critical roles in quality planned development within West Houston. I learned a lot from the cohorts and seminars meeting with industry leaders to discuss lessons learned and strategies for overcoming challenges during planning, design, permitting, or construction.”
Andres Aranzales, Vogler & Spencer Engineering


Our next cohort will start in April of 2023. If you are interested in being part of the program just let us know!