The Woodlands Business February 2016
WOODFOREST AGAIN RANKS AMONG THE NATION’S TOP 20 MPCS
Woodforest has again ranked among the nation’s 20 top-selling developments, according to annual lists recently released by two independent research firms.
Woodforest was tied for the No. 19 spot on a list compiled by Robert Charles Lesser & Co and was tied for No. 20 on the tally released by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. The South Montgomery County development recorded 415 homes sales in 2015.
“This is the third consecutive year Woodforest builders have sold more than 400 homes in the development and Woodforest has ranked among the nation’s 20 top-selling communities,” said Virgil Yoakum, general manager of Woodforest. “In addition to our location, the wide array of housing we offer has contributed to our success. Buyers can find something for everyone, from townhomes to multimillion-dollar mansions.”
There were five Houston developments among the top 20, including Woodforest’s sister community of Riverstone in Fort Bend County. Both are projects of The Johnson Development Corp.
“The competition was close across the nation with only a handful of sales separating No. 14 to No. 20,” Yoakum said. “Texas continues to have an exceptionally strong housing market, with more developments than any other state on either list.”
Woodforest opened several new neighborhoods in 2015, including releasing more than 200 homesites in the development’s “south district.” More neighborhoods will debut this year, Yoakum said, including Pine Island, a 100-acre gated, walkable neighborhood of classic architecture and nostalgic streetscapes. Twenty builders currently offer homes priced from the $190,000s to the millions in Woodforest. More information is available at woodforesttx.com.
CONROE ISD FACILITIES PLANNING COMMITTEE RECOGNIZED
The Conroe Independent School District Board of Trustees gave special recognition to the 2015 District Facilities Planning Committee at a recent meeting.
The committee, comprised of 23 community members from all geographic areas of the district, worked with district personnel and various consultants to review the current and future needs of CISD. The committee was charged~with making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees to address those needs while impacting the tax rate as~minimally as possible.
Members of the 2015 District Facilities Planning Committee recognized were Cody Bartlett, Ted Bell, Belton Byrd, Brad Chappell, Jeff Clark, Paul Cote, Bryan Fowler, Linda O’Dell, Rick Hatcher, Frank Ildebrando, Stacie Jahn, Rob Koester, Kim LeJeune, David Matos, Tammy McCutchen, Joe Michels, Scott Moore, Chad Patterson, Lynda Sasser, Danielle Scheiner, Gil Staley, Dexter Upshaw and George Waggoner.
Deputy Superintedent Dr. Chris Hines introduced the members to the Board of Trustees for recognition. Additionally, trustee Ray Sanders presented each member with a plaque.
THE WOODLANDS CVB NAMES 2016 BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS
The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau, which positions The Woodlands as a destination for group, business and leisure travel, has announced new officers for 2016 including Gordy Bunch as chairman, Jeff Long as vice chairman and Dr. Ann Snyder as secretary/ treasurer.
As volunteers, the officers serve with four others to comprise The Woodlands CVB Board of Directors.Those other individuals include Fred Domenick, general manager for The Woodlands Waterway Marriott; JJ Hollie, president and CEO for The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce; Don Norrell, president and general manager for The Woodlands Township; and Greg Parsons, vice president of hospitality for The Howard Hughes Corporation. The board sets policies and recommends the budget for the CVB’s marketing programs and sales outreach.
Reprising his role as chairman for the third year, Bunch is a decorated U.S. Coast Guard veteran, named Entrepreneur of the Year for the Gulf Coast for 2015 and founder, president and CEO of The Woodlands Financial Group (TWFG). Bunch launched TWFG in The Woodlands with $10,000 capital in 2001. Today, it ranks in the Top 30 of the 38,000 largest insurance agencies in the nation.
The Woodlands CVB welcomes new to the Board members Jeff Long and Dr. Ann Snyder from The Woodlands Township Board of Directors. Long is an engineer who came to The Woodlands from California and is retired from municipal government and public works. He has volunteered for other community organizations and committees including The Woodlands Community Association board of directors (where he served as president), the Design Standards Committee, Joint Ad Hoc Cost Recovery Committee and Election Committee.
Snyder and her husband, Jerry, have called The Woodlands home for 26 years. She is the President & CEO of Interfaith of The Woodlands and Interfaith Community Clinic, a position she has held for more than a decade. Snyder has devoted countless hours to giving back through her service on numerous boards. She not only was the first woman president of The Woodlands Rotary Club, she was named one of Houston’s 2015 Most Influential Women.
Bunch noted, “New in 2016, The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau will shift away from the production of community festivals and events to a defined focus, which will realign the organization with more traditional goals of a Convention and Visitors Bureau, maximizing hotel occupancy. I look forward to the input and experience both Ann and Jeff will surely bring to the board.”
Technology plays a major role in this new plan as the CVB is developing a concierge style mobile app to elevate the experience of a visitor while in The Woodlands, which in turn will encourage repeat visitation. In addition to the app, the CVB is enhancing its website with more visitor-friendly features like an itinerary builder and an interactive visitor guide.
A new convention incentive program will be launched in 2016 to help drive new convention business to The Woodlands market. The CVB will continue to offer added benefits and services to organizations and meeting planners who book their conventions to The Woodlands.
Bunch added, “Along with the other CVB board members, I am dedicated to successfully promoting The Woodlands as a destination for leisure, convention and business travel in 2016 and beyond.”
For more information, call 281-363-2447 or go to visitthewoodlands.com.
MEMORIAL HERMANN NAMED ONE OF 50 TOP CARDIOVASCULAR HOSPITALS
Four Memorial Hermann hospitals have been collectively named among the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals in an annual national study conducted by Truven Health Analytics.
Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital have been named among the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® five times and the 50 top Cardiovascular Hospitals seven times.
The Truven study, now in its 17th year, singled out 50 hospitals that achieved superior clinical outcomes in this critical area of hospital care. Like the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® study, the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals survey uses rigorous processes to calculate and measure hospital service lines which leverage industry-leading, risk-adjusted methodologies developed and maintained by Truven Health scientists over many years.
The Truven Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study measures eight key performance areas: risk-adjusted mortality, risk-adjusted complications, core measures (a group of measures that assess process of care), percentage of coronary bypass patients with internal mammary artery use, 30-day mortality rates, 30-day readmission rates, severity-adjusted average length of stay, and wage- and severity-adjusted average cost. The study has been conducted annually since 1999.
“The outstanding dedication these four hospitals have shown to patient safety, patient-centered quality care and positive outcomes has become part of the Memorial Hermann Health System culture,” said M. Michael Shabot, M.D., executive vice president and chief clinical officer, Memorial Hermann Health System. “Truven is known for establishing the highest benchmarks attainable and recognizing only those who can meet extremely high standards. We are extremely proud of these hospitals in doing so.”
For the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study, Truven Health researchers analyzed 2013 and 2014 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, 2014 Medicare cost reports, and 2015 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare data.
CONROE ISD EARNS MERITORIOUS BUDGET AWARD
Conroe Independent School District has received the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International’s Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) for excellence in budget presentation during the 2015–2016 budget year.
The MBA program promotes and recognizes excellence in school budget presentation and enhances school business officials’ skills in developing, analyzing and presenting a school system budget. After a rigorous review by professional auditors, the award is conferred only on school districts that have met or exceeded the program’s stringent criteria. This is the 16th year the district has received such a distinction from ASBO.
ASBO Director of Certification and Recognition Programs Vee Boehringer noted that, “[this] is a true reflection of the district’s commitment to fiscal integrity.”
In addition to receiving the MBA, the District received the state’s highest rating of “P” for “Passed” under the Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas (FIRST) demonstrating the quality of Conroe ISD’s financial management and reporting system, the Texas Honors Circle District Award for receiving a five-star rating from the Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST) for having high academic standards with spending efficiency five years in a row, and a 1-1 rating from Education Resource Group for Academic and Financial Performance eight years in a row. For more information, visit asbointl.org/MBA.
LMC CLASS OF 2016 ENJOYS GOVERNMENT SESSION WITH ALUMNI
The Leadership Montgomery County (LMC) Class of 2016, along with LMC alumni, enjoyed a day hearing the latest updates in national, state and local government at the recent LMC Government Session.
The session, held at the Conroe Tower, was directed by Steve Williams, assistant city administrator and chief financial officer for the City of Conroe. Each year, LMC alumni are invited to the Government Session to meet the class, visit with other alumni and hear updates from their government officials.
Conroe Mayor Webb Melder welcomed everyone to the session over breakfast sponsored by Glen Bernstein and Vic’s Precision Automotive.
The class and alumni heard from U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady via video from Washington D.C., followed by a Q&A session with Brady’s district director Todd Stephens. Afterwards, they visited Commissioner’s Court to hear a presentation from County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador.
Senator Robert Nichols and State Representatives Mark Keough, Cecil Bell, and Will Metcalf gave perspective into government at the state level.
On the municipal level, leaders including Paul Virgadamo, city administrator for the City of Conroe; Greg Smith, city administrator for the City of Shenandoah; Jack Yates, city administrator for the City of Montgomery; Nick Wolda, director of community relations for The Woodlands Township; 435th District Court Judge Mike Seiler; County Court at Law 2 Judge Claudia Laird; County Attorney J D Lambright; and Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Trey Spikes. The day ended with the LMC Leadership Series, facilitated by Chad Patterson and LMCalumni.
LARRY HARVEY APPOINTED TO EFTA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
HFG Wealth Management, a comprehensive financial planning and wealth advisory firm in The Woodlands is pleased to announce HFG Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Larry Harvey, has been appointed as a Board Member to the Education for Tomorrow Alliance (EfTA) for the 2015-2016 term.
EfTA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting the business and education communities in Montgomery County. With innovative programs focused on science, technology and career preparation, EfTA has become the portal through which business leaders can access and strengthen local education. The vision of EfTA is to equip every student with the knowledge and skills to be career and college ready. EfTA programs serve students in Montgomery County with a focus on students in the Conroe Independent School District, as well as local private school and homeschooled students.