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The Woodlands Business Apr 2015

Bruce Tough

Bruce Tough


The Woodlands Township Board of Directors Chairman Bruce Tough has been nominated for the Houston Metropolitan Area Public Official of the Year award. The 4th Annual Public Official of the Year Ceremony was held on March 6, at the University of Houston Hilton – Waldorf Astoria Ballroom.

This award recognizes the work of Houston metropolitan area public officials, who through their accomplishments and tireless efforts, ensure the public’s everyday needs are addressed and the public good is served. Alumni, staff and students of University of Houston’s Master of Public Administration Program gather and rank the nominations for the annual award. They look for examples of public officials who addressed a particular public challenge in an ethical and collaborative way in the previous year.

This year, five finalists were selected. These individuals exhibit qualities consistent with those espoused by the MPA Program – trust, accountability, performance, ethical decision-making and crossing jurisdictional boundaries to solve problems. Other finalists for this year’s award are H.D. Chambers, Superintendent for Alief Independent School District; William Frazier, Managing Attorney for the Office of Child Protective Services for Harris County, Chris Reed, City Manager for the City of Nassau Bay; and Francisco Sanchez, Liaison/Public Information Officer for Harris County.

“Considering the dedication and accomplishments of the other nominees, I’m quite honored just to be considered for this award,” said Bruce Tough, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Woodlands Township.


Allison Berry

Allison Berry

Ann Dee Brahms

Ann Dee Brahms


Jo Anne Johnson & Associates, a top producing real estate group with Keller Williams in The Woodlands, has announced the addition of two elite agents to its team. Allison Berry, listing partner, and Ann Dee Brahms, a buyers specialist, will support the growing demands of the team’s business.

“We are fortunate to add the excellence of these agents to our team. They are highly respected in the industry and sincerely valued by their clients. Allison and Ann Dee exceed the standards of client service, which fit the core values of our business. We will continue to keep our focus on what truly matters most – our clients. Our team will certainly benefit from their expertise, but more importantly, our clients will benefit from their experience and integrity,” said Jo Anne Johnson, founder and team leader of Jo Anne Johnson & Associates.


Deborah Spoon

Deborah Spoon

Paola Gorman-2

Paola Gorman


Patricia Thacker


The Conroe ISD Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the principals for three schools. Deborah Spoon was named Principal of Cox Intermediate School; Patricia Thacker was named Principal of Armstrong Elementary School; and Paola Gorman was named Ford Elementary School Principal.

Deborah Spoon began her career in education 19 years ago in Conroe ISD as a special education aide and has held positions as a special education teacher, Language Arts teacher, and school counselor prior to becoming an assistant principal. For the past six years, she has served as assistant principal at Cox Intermediate School. In thanking the Board, Spoon said, “I actually started my journey at CISD as a student. I am a product of CISD in the first graduating class of McCullough High School. So I’m very proud of that. I also started in CISD as a paraprofessional so being named principal is very surreal. Thank you for that.”

Patricia Thacker has been Interim Principal of Armstrong Elementary since July 2014. “I’m extremely excited and honored for this opportunity,” Thacker stated. She continued, “Armstrong has held a special place in my heart these past five years and I’m excited to continue working with the students, the parents, the community, and the staff at Armstrong.” Prior to serving in campus administration at Armstrong Elementary, Thacker was a math teacher and district mathematics coach.

Paola Gorman began in education as a Pre-K teacher. She then went on to be a bilingual teacher for third and fourth graders before transitioning to a district bilingual and ESL instructional coach, and has been an assistant principal since 2013. In addressing the Board, she said, “I want to thank you for this opportunity. It’s a privilege to be here tonight and I’m very humbled and honored to be named the principal of Ford Elementary.” _________________________________________________________________________________


Six years ago, Houston-based CRAVE cupcakes owners Elizabeth Harrison, Peter Cooper and Brad Dorsey catered to Houstonian’s cupcake cravings by opening one of the city’s first cupcake shops. Two years later they captured the hearts of West University residents when CRAVE debuted a second location. Recently, the trio hope they did the same with The Woodlands community by introducing an equally tantalizing concept that opened at 2501 Research Forest Drive on March 2.

A new concept for The Woodlands, CRAVE represents a multifaceted dining venue with both fast casual and dining options. Envi­sioned to serve as a gathering place that would appeal to the various needs and tastes of businesses, hotel guests and residents in and around the Woodlands, CRAVE offers continuous food and coffee service from morning to evening in a comfortable and stylish space that encompasses indoor and alfresco seating.

The venue merges their popular cupcake offerings with a barista-style coffee counter and pastry service. Guests can enter CRAVE through one of two indoor areas that merge at the front.


(L-R): Blake Wilcox; Faith Bailes, realtor relations director for Woodforest; and Jeff Morris.

(L-R): Blake Wilcox; Faith Bailes, realtor relations director for Woodforest; and Jeff Morris.


Woodforest’s top Realtors of 2014 share more in common than multiple sales in the South Montgomery County development. Both are also residents of Woodforest.

Jeff Morris with RE/MAX The Woodlands and Spring sold the most homes in Woodforest, the third year he has led in community new-home sales. His achievement was closely followed by Blake Wilcox with Blake Wilcox Properties, who has become one of the community’s greatest champions since moving there in 2013.

“Our friends see how much we like it here and want to be part of it, too,” said Wilcox who has sold to several friends and previous neighbors. Wilcox said it’s the community’s family-friendly atmosphere, welcoming neighbors and proximity to Woodforest Golf Club that has resonated with his buyers. “Our neighbors are the best part about living in Woodforest,” he said.

Wilcox and Morris accounted for more than $6 million in new-home sales in Woodforest during 2014. Other Realtors recognized for multiple sales in the community include David Flory with RE/MAX Professional Group and Brian Mathieson with Keller Williams Realty The Woodlands and Magnolia.

The firm selling the most new homes in Woodforest last year was Keller Williams Realty The Woodlands and Magnolia, with 67 sales. RE/MAX The Woodlands and Spring ranked No. 2 among Woodforest’s top-selling real estate offices, with 35 sales.

“Realtors contributed heavily to our success in 2014, assisting in 333 new-home sales in Woodforest last year,” said Virgil Yoakum, general manager of Woodforest. “Without their belief in Woodforest, we would not have been able to be listed among the nation’s 20 top-selling master-planned communities for a third consecutive year.”



The Memorial Hermann In the Pink of Health committee has announced 2014 net proceeds of $620,000. These funds, combined with $33,000 left over from previous years, will infuse more than $650,000 into breast and ovarian cancer resources for the community.

“Our friends, neighbors and colleagues have done it again – thanks to their generosity, we surpassed 2013’s fundraising by $80,000,” said Andrea Alexander, 2015/­2016 co-chair of the Memorial Hermann In the Pink of Health committee.

“On behalf of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital and the In the Pink of Health committee, Andrea and I want to thank our supporters,” added Karey Miller, 2015/2016 co-chair. “They can trust that their donations will be dispersed to deserving entities that serve women battling breast and ovarian cancer.”

The major beneficiaries of the 2014 funds include: $450,000 – Cancer survivorship center affiliated with Memorial Hermann The Woodlands set to open this year. The center will offer a variety of classes and support groups for all cancer survivors; $55,000 – The Breast Center at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital for educational and support services, and other special needs, including Radiant Wraps; $52,500 – Interfaith Community Clinic to fund mammograms and transportation to medical appointments for local underserved women; $45,000 – The Rose, a local nonprofit that provides access to screening, diagnostics, and treatment services to any woman regardless of her ability to pay; $12,500 – Angel Flight, a nonprofit charitable organization of pilots, volunteers and others who arrange for free air transportation for any legitimate, charitable, medically related need; $1,000 – Judith L. Robinson Foundation to assist in its mission to increase awareness of ovarian cancer and its symptoms; $37,000 – A reserve fund for emergent needs identified throughout the year.

“The funding received from In the Pink is critical to the women who are patients at the Interfaith Community Clinic. These are uninsured women who would otherwise have no access to breast wellness exams,” said Dr. Ann Snyder, President & CEO of Interfaith Community Clinic. “In the Pink funds donated to the Clinic allow these women to receive mammograms, ultrasounds and screenings that could ultimately save their lives. In the Pink funding also enables the Clinic to provide travel vouchers for women with no means of transportation to have access to mammograms. We are extremely thankful for In the Pink’s incredible partnership.”

Representatives from several of the organizations, including Interfaith Community Clinic, will make presentations during the next several months to educate the 2015 Committee about their specific plans for the funds.

In the meantime, planning for the 15th Annual Memorial Hermann In the Pink of Health Luncheon is well under way. The event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 9 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, visit inthepinkofhealth.org.


Lindsey McKean

Lindsey McKean


The J. Beard Real Estate Company, LP, has recently executed a 7,000+/- square foot long-term lease for Woodlands Fabrics & Interiors at River Bend Station in Conroe, TX. The tenant was represented by Lindsey McKean of The J. Beard Real Estate Company. River Bend Station’s landlord was represented by Jared Dubin with Interra Properties.

Woodlands Fabrics & Interiors specializes in creating beautiful home interiors, offering distinctive collections of fabrics, accessories and furniture made in America and around the world. Designers are available to assist with any interior design projects of any size, local or worldwide. Attention to detail and an unparalleled commitment to customer service sets Woodlands Fabrics & Interiors apart.

Headquartered in The Woodlands, The J. Beard Real Estate Company, LP, is a commercial real estate leasing and brokerage firm that offers services which encompass leasing, brokerage, site acquisition, property management, development, consulting, and landlord/tenant representation services.


The substitute personnel of CISD.

The substitute personnel of CISD.


The Conroe ISD Board of Trustees realizes many individuals make positive contributions to campus life and campus climate by regularly acknowledging these individuals as Ambassadors for Education. On Feb. 17, the Board of Trustees recognized and honored substitute personnel and showed their appreciation by presenting Ambassador Awards to 15 substitute teachers from across the District who support campuses through their dedicated service.

Individuals recognized were: Kimberly Weatherson, Austin Elementary School; Gene Liga, Birnham Woods Elementary School; Debbie Harbin, Broadway Elementary School; Bonnie Hunley, Giesinger Elementary School; Beth Ringwold, Hauke Academic Alternative High School; Penny Ward, Kaufman Elementary School; Terry Parkening, Mitchell Intermediate School; Monte Myers, Oak Ridge High School; Deb Stuart, Ride Elementary School; Sonia Ostrander, San Jacinto Elementary School; Quentin Haynes, Travis Intermediate School; Mary Hoskins, The Woodlands College Park High School; Mitchell Alton Wicker, The Woodlands High School Ninth Grade Campus; Richard Matlock, Washington Junior High School; Carole Castillo, Wilkinson Elementary School.




For the fifth consecutive year, Schilleci’s New Orleans Kitchen in Market Street has been voted “Best Creole or Cajun in The Woodlands,” according to readers of community website Woodlands Online. Readers also ranked their favorites in categories such as service providers, schools, doctors and entertainment. The winners can be found at WoodlandsOnline.com.

“We are so thankful to our loyal guests for helping us achieve this top ranking,” says Wayne Schilleci. “It means a lot to our family and employees.”

Family-owned and operated, Schilleci’s New Orleans Kitchen offers elegant, New Orleans-style favorites such as Blackened Tilapia, Cajun Fettuccine Alfredo, Jambalaya, Po Boys, Fried Catfish and Seafood Gumbo. In addition to the variety of creole-inspired starters, salads and sides, Schilleci’s features authentic New Orleans Bread Pudding, Beignets and French Press Coffee.

Schilleci’s New Orleans Kitchen, located beneath the Hyatt Market Street, is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. For additional information, visit schillecis.com.



Two new North Houston luxury custom communities, The Woodlands Reserve and The Lakes of Shadow Creek, officially opened on March 5. The newly completed LEED certified model homes for each project will be open daily from 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

The Woodlands Reserve, a 55-lot gated community is being developed by The Woodlands Development Company (TWDC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Howard Hughes Corporation. Houston-based Frankel Building Group (FBG) is the selected custom homebuilder.

The Woodands Reserve is the only available new, custom neighborhood in the front of The Woodlands, exceptionally positioned within the established Village of Indian Springs off of Gosling Road and Woodlands Parkway.

The Lakes of Shadow Creek, a 44-lot, custom community is conveniently located just three miles from the future Exxon Campus and two miles from the Village Creekside Market, and is zoned to highly rated Klein ISD. The Lakes of Shadow Creek is also close in proximity to shopping, dining and entertainment in The Woodlands Town Center.



Kiddie Academy, a nationally recognized leader in education-based child care, has obtained a 2.1-acre parcel of land along Fish Creek Thoroughfare for a new location in Woodforest, the community’s first child care center. Construction on the 10,500-square-foot facility is expected to begin this summer, with the child care center opening in early 2016 for children ages six weeks to 12 years. The Academy will offer full- and part-time care, before- and after-school care and summer camp programs. Families may begin registering their children this fall. For details, contact woodforest@kiddieacademy.net .



The first new homes in Conroe’s Grand Central Park will include luxury patio homes, townhomes and single-family residences on 350 beautiful wooded sites, according to the development team for the 2,046-acre community by The Johnson Development Corp.

Construction of new homes will begin in early 2016 in the village to be known as Grand Central Park West at the northwest corner of the master-planned community, where residents will enjoy immediate access to Loop 336 and nearby I-45. The 350 home sites represent the first six sections of Grand Central Park’s residential community where more than 500 home sites have been strategically planned, all within a five-minute walk to natural settings of parks and open space.

“The residential component of Grand Central Park will offer a variety of luxury, lifestyle homes suitable for just about any buyer,” notes General Manager Virgil Yoakum of The Johnson Development Corp., who adds that new homes with a decidedly urban architecture are planned in future neighborhoods.

Grand Central Park’s new homes also will be in close proximity to 336 MARKETPLACE, a regional shopping, dining and entertainment destination within Grand Central Park expected to open in late 2016.

Yoakum says new homes in Grand Central Park West will appeal to professionals working at nearby corporate headquarters of Anadarko, Baker Hughes, Maersk and the new ExxonMobil corporate campus which is less than 10 miles south of the community. Grand Central Park is 10 miles from Lone Star Executive Airport and 30 minutes from George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Resi­dents also will be minutes from Conroe Regional Medical Center, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, St. Luke’s The Woodlands Hospital, Texas Children’s Health Center–The Woodlands, and Houston Methodist Hospital, opening in The Woodlands in 2017.

Home builders for Grand Central Park West and the timing of their model home openings will be announced by the end of summer 2015. To sign up for updates on Grand Central Park via email, go to GrandCentralParkTX.com.

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