Celebrating Excellence and Growth: Highlights from WHA’s 2023 Public Officials and Awards Reception

QPD Committee Chair Brian Gates, Paulina Baker and Russ Bynum from Hillwood, WHA President/CEO Alan Steinberg

On October 11th West Houston Association held our annual Public Officials and Awards Reception at the Junior League. The event was moved to a location near 610 in line with the 2024 WHA Development Map that now extends from 610 to Sealy, Hempstead to Rosenberg.  

Each year, WHA recognizes the hard work and dedication of the public and elected officials who serve the greater West Houston region, honor WHA members who are making significant contributions to the organization’s mission and highlight projects that have made a positive impact on the quality of life for those who live here. The event welcomed public and elected officials representing three counties and a half-dozen municipalities from across the 1,000+ mile greater West Houston region. Additionally, we presented four awards. 

The event started with recognizing a new Quality Planned Development (QPD), Pomona by Hillwood, located in the Manvel area. WHA has been working with developers beyond the traditional greater West Houston region to promote higher quality development for the entire Houston region. Pomona is the first QPD to receive recognition under the enhanced framework and even higher standards that were incorporated into the program in 2022. 

IMPACT Award recipient Bill Callegari & Star of Excellence award recipient Byron Hebert

In connection with the ideal of recognizing high-quality development, City of Katy Administrator Byron Hebert was presented with the 2023 WHA Star of Excellence.  This award recognizes non-members who have made substantial contributions to the Greater West Houston area, and whose work complements our shared vision. Administrator Hebert understood that population growth was going to change the City of Katy and recognized the importance of working with land developers to create well managed, high-quality development that would be beneficial to the city. His work, along with that of City of Katy mayors and councilmembers over the past decade has proven instrumental in paving the way for Katy’s emergence as a thriving urban hub. 

The event also marked the seventh time the WHA IMPACT Award has been bestowed since its creation almost 20 years ago. The IMPACT Award was created to honor the exemplary work of individuals who set high standards for quality growth and the pace for others to follow. WHA is proud to add William “Bill” Callegari to the list of distinguished past recipients. Bill’s legacy in the Texas Legislature including legislation allowing for water districts to create parks and recreational facilities and work in his professional career leading water companies and helping start the Texas Association of Water Board Directors are examples of the impact he has had on the greater West Houston region and across the state. 

Andrew Lang (BGE, Inc.), a member of WHA’s Rising Leaders Class 7, was recognized with a Compass Award for his work on the 2024 WHA Development Map. Upon finishing the Rising Leaders program, he immediately stepped up to take responsibility, along with his team at BGE, for updating the map. Over the last six months over 300 volunteer hours have gone into expanding and updating the map. 

The development map was on display and in keeping with expanding access and ease-of-use, the map was provided for the first time on WHA branded USB storage drives rather than in print form. The map will also be available for download free of charge from the WHA website and we are working on a GIS based Map App that will be accessible in 2024.