Terry Vaughn, left, is the new chamber chairman of the board. He is presenting Mike Carr with the citizen of the year award. Photo by Tom Broad

For Mike Carr, it’s always been about the kids, the future generation.

“Mike has so many interests in our community,” Humble Mayor Merle Aaron said in a special video played at the Lake Houston Chamber’s Annual Awards Extravaganza Jan. 24 at The Overlook in Atascocita, “but for Mike, it’s always been about the kids and his special interest in preparing Lake Houston’s future leaders. His involvement with our Boy Scouts has been huge, teaching our young men and women respect for God, family, country and the flag, and always putting others before self.”

The packed room chuckled as Aaron then proceeded to tick off a multitude of Carr’s community endeavors, including the Humble ISD BBQ Cook-Off, the Humble Livestock Show and Rodeo, Humble Rotary, Good Oil Days, the Humble Museum, and Humble Area Assistance Ministries.

“As Mike would say, ‘Let’s get this done, we can talk later,’” the mayor said as he ended the video. “We are so proud that you work in Humble and you live in Humble. Thanks Mike, enjoy your honor.”

The long-time Humble attorney is the Lake Houston Chamber’s 2019 Haden McKay, M.D. Citizen of the Year and was one of several Lake Houston residents honored for their community undertakings and accomplishments.

It also was an opportunity for outgoing chair Sam Schrade to pass the chamber gavel to incoming chair Terry Vaughn and for Vaughn to introduce his executive committee and outline his 2020 goals.

Vaughn’s executive board will include Chair-Elect Danny Sullivan, Schrade, Erica Johnston, Jason Stuebe, Tim Baker and Corinn Price.

Vaughn also revealed that the incoming chamber board members are all graduates of the Chamber’s Leadership Lake Houston program which was developed to identify and develop future leaders for Lake Houston. The incoming board members are Adam McAlpine, Dru Gutierrez, Austin Bird, Danny Sawyer and Millie Garrison.

“We have some exciting changes in store for your chamber this year,” Vaughn teased. “We will continue to combine the chamber and the Lake Houston Economic Development Partnership. Soon we will reveal a new logo. We’ll travel to Washington, D.C. again this year, we’ll focus on flooding, continue all of our many events and continue to develop future leaders.”

During a particularly impassioned and moving moment, Chamber President Jenna Armstrong implored members and the community to attend the Feb. 20 special board meeting of the San Jacinto River Authority to hear public comments on the temporary, seasonal lowering of Lake Conroe for 2020.

Discussing the January meeting on the same subject, she said, “There were 150 of us and at least a thousand of them wearing red shirts that said, ‘Stop the Drop.’ We were faced with high emotions and boos. It was a long night. We need you to be there Feb. 20, and we need to change the dialog.”

Armstrong said it was tough to “… sit and listen to our elected officials get booed.”

She emphasized that yelling and screaming won’t help.

“We’re not convincing the people of Conroe, but the members of the river authority,” she said. “Thank the board for reducing the lake level and show them the need to continue lowering the lake until the Lake Houston gates are built.”

Armstrong said she would be working with her counterpart at the Conroe Chamber to bring civility to the debate. Schrade quipped that, when he attended the Conroe board meeting, “… it felt like we were at the Alamo.”

Information about the “Lives Over Levels” campaign can be found at lakehouston.org/recoverlakehouston.

Schrade listed a number of chamber successes in addition to the seasonal lowering of Lake Conroe during 2019 including FEMA authorizing the Army Corp of Engineers to continue dredging the sand bar after emergency dredging had concluded, distributing in collaboration with the Lake Houston Economic Development Partnership more than $125,000 in grants to businesses recovering after Hurricane Harvey, welcoming more than 150 new members, and launching the new Business Roundtable luncheon and the Pinnacle Business Awards luncheon.

In addition to the Citizen of the Year award, Chris Johnsen received the Chairman’s Award, Deborah Rose-Miller received the Rising Star Award, and Dr. Katherine Persson received Spirit of the Chamber Award.

The February luncheon, Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 11:30 a.m. at The Clubs of Kingwood, is the chamber’s annual Economic Outlook featuring Craig Fehr, investment strategist for Edward Jones. Fehr is a co-host on Bloomberg TV and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Reuters. At Edward Jones, he is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic trends and market conditions and helping investors reach their long-term financial goals. For reservations, go to lakehouston.org.

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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