Lake Houston officials honored Texas State Rep. Dan Huberty and Houston City Councilmember Dave Martin at the Lake Houston Chamber’s annual Elected Officials Reception Dec. 13 at the Golf Club of Houston.
Huberty and Member Martin received the Spirit of Commerce Award, the second time the honor has been awarded and the first time it was shared by two elected officials.
“We sought to select one recipient but, after much discussion, we determined these two elected officials deserved to be honored,” said Erica Johnston, chair of the Chamber’s Public Affairs Committee which selects the honorees.
The Public Affairs Committee initiated the Spirit of Commerce award in 2018 to honor a local elected official who supports pro-growth, pro-business legislation and initiatives impacting Main Street businesses and enhancing the local economy. The committee evaluates voting records, actions and initiatives, comparing them to the chamber’s legislative priorities, mission and strategic plan.
A video prepared by the Humble ISD Communications Department featured multiple current and past elected officials and community leaders praising both Huberty and Martin.
Mark Micheletti, who represents Kingwood on the Harris County Flood District Board, called Martin a “pitbull” when it comes to flood issues that affect Kingwood.
“I remember Dave asking me if he could bring Houston Mayor Turner out to my flooded home to hold a press conference about the flood recovery,” Mitcheletti recalled.
Former Congressman Ted Poe, who received the first Spirit of Commerce Award in 2018, called the successful passage of Huberty’s education bill in the last session “a miracle” and a “huge feat” because the vote was unanimous.
In his own video, Mayor Sylvester Turner, who also was present at the reception, praised Huberty’s and Martin’s tenacity, saying he dreaded saying “no” to Martin, telling the group “… I couldn’t be prouder to call them friends.”
In accepting the award, Martin said he and Huberty accepted it only as figureheads.
“We both have to acknowledge the chamber, Jenna, Mark and the staff, and the chamber members because, after Harvey, they were able to bring us all together in a common cause,” Martin said.
Huberty acknowledged the chamber staff as well for their leadership and support after Hurricane Harvey, and thanked wife, Janet, and daughter, Brianna, who were present, and Chief of Staff Casey Christman and admitted “…growing up in Ohio, I never thought I would be sitting next to the mayor of the fourth largest city in the United States.”
In introducing the honorees, Johnston cited Huberty’s landmark education legislation House Bill 3 and his support of disaster recovery and resiliency legislation, specifically $30 million for Harris County to purchase and operate equipment to remove sand and silt deposits in the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston.
In honoring Martin, Johnston cited his flood recovery work, including removing the silt and debris from the waterway and securing funding for and “fast-tracking” the construction of new gates on Lake Houston, calling Martin one of her “… favorite agitators in the best sense of the word.”
Johnston encouraged Lake Houston residents to participate in the Public Affairs Committee.
“It takes a lot of people to get good things done,” she said. “We’ll be taking a trip to Washington D.C. in April when members will have the opportunity to visit with our representatives and promote the business of Lake Houston.”
Other elected officials who attended the reception were Harris County Clerk Dr. Diane Trautman; Harris County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Judge Laryssa Korduba; Harris County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Judge Lincoln Goodwin; Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg; Harris County Constable Precinct 4 Mark Herman; City of Humble Mayor Merle Aaron; City of Humble Councilmember Norman Funderburk; City of Humble Councilmember Charles Cunningham; San Jacinto Community College Trustee Marie Flickinger; Humble ISD Trustee Lori Twomey; Humble ISD Trustee Robert Scarfo; and Humble ISD Trustee Robert Sitton.
The Lake Houston Chamber will celebrate its 96th anniversary during the Annual Awards Extravaganza Friday, Jan. 24 at The Overlook in Atascocita. New Board Chair Terry Vaughn and 2020 directors will be installed. Mike Carr will be honored as the Dr. Haden McKay Citizen of the Year. Recipients of the Spirit of the Chamber, Rising Star and Chairman’s awards will be revealed. To make a reservation, visit lakehouston.org or call 281-446-2128.