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Houston City Scope June 2017

Members of the Houston Remodelers Council volunteering at an Agape Development Gateway House. (Photo – Terry Swenson)


On April 29, members of the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association partnered with HomeAid Houston to paint, repair and update two well-used homes that will provide the young men and women at Agape Development’s Gateway Houses safe, comfortable living spaces in which they will be proud to live during this important transitional period of their lives.

Located in Houston’s historic Third Ward, the faith-based Agape Develop­ment’s Gateway Houses are part of a residential program to help people from 18-25 years of age “make the transition to healthy adulthood by assisting with housing, utilities, food and transportation while providing counseling, job preparation and guidance in continued education. The goal is to help them to become independent adults who are not only able to support themselves through gainful employment, but are also able to support their community through volunteering, church membership, and active community involvement.”

This is the latest charity project undertaken by the award-winning Greater Houston Builders Association’s Remodelers Council.

Organized by Remodelers Council Executive Board Member, Sherry Pruitt, owner of Whodid It Designs, LLC, the council renovated two houses, one for men and one for women, to improve their function and design and to better serve Agape Development’s current and future residents who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.


Pat Marks of the Houston Arboretum, Hull Award winner. (Photo – Houston Arboretum)


Houston Arboretum’s Associate Director, Pat Marks, was recently awarded the Garden Club of America’s Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award for Early Environmental Education. She is among 13 other recipients around the United States to be recognized for her outstanding achievements towards early childhood environmental education. Pat has been an active environmental educator for over 40 years. Recipients are given $1,000 to further facilitate them in creating environmental awareness and showcasing the beauty of the planet to children.


The Book of Whispers tells the story of Jake McClain Driver (left) as told by his dad, Mickey (right). (Photo – thebookofwhispers.com)


The Book of Whispers is the story of Jake McClain Driver, a talented, passionate, brilliant young man who fought a courageous battle with bipolar disorder. It was a battle he lost, but not without a fight. It is also the story of his father’s quest to save him.

Through The Book of Whispers, the reader experiences firsthand the struggles of a young man battling an insidious mental illness that ultimately took his life.

In his expressive, intensely personal poetry, Jake shares the world through his eyes as he battles the demons of a debilitating illness. The poetry is even more meaningful when read within the context of Jake’s all-too-short life.

For more information or to purchase a copy, visit thebookofwhispers.com.



Charles “Chuck” D. Stokes, Memorial Hermann Health System’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, was named among the Top 25 COO’s in medicine by Modern Healthcare, a list which recognizes high-achieving leaders across the healthcare sector and the increasingly demanding roles they play.

Judges scored nominees on the scope of duties within their organizations; strategic execution; synergies and collaboration across multiple departments and programs within the organization as well as in the community; ability to establish a culture of innovation and transformation; organizational improvement in patient experience; and staff satisfaction during the COO’s tenure.

“Chuck’s steadfast dedication to Memorial Hermann and our community, coupled with his unwavering passion for our patients, has spurred innovation and collaboration throughout our System,” said Dr. Benjamin Chu, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann. “His impressive accomplishments and outstanding leadership over the last four decades have made him a trusted advisor and friend, and I congratulate him for this incredibly deserving honor.”

“I am honored to be among the first recipients of this prestigious award from Modern Healthcare,” Stokes said. “Since the beginning my of career as a critical care nurse, I have been fortunate enough to learn from some of the best industry leaders and mentors who have helped me grow and excel, and today I am incredibly humbled and privileged to help lead the operations of the largest health system in southeast Texas.”


Trumpet Flower, conceived by Houston sculptor Patrick Renner, consists of slats of brightly colored recycled wood and a steel frame, which functions as both a public art piece and a shade canopy. The chairs and tables underneath are an inviting location for pop-up meetings and picnic lunches.


The Houston Downtown Management District has announced the extension of a popular public art initiative at Main Street Square following a successful first year. Art Blocks, which activated the three-block pedestrian plaza bordered by Walker and Dallas Streets beginning in February 2016, will continue with a selection of temporary art projects through the end of 2017.

“The Downtown District and the Downtown District Public Art Committee launched Art Blocks last year as a way to repurpose, redefine and reenergize Main Street Square, and the response from visitors, workers and residents has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Bob Eury, executive director of the Downtown District. “We are thrilled to extend a few of the works and introduce new ones.”

Trumpet Flower, conceived by Houston sculptor Patrick Renner and produced by the Flying Carpet Collective, will remain on view at One City Centre through December 2017.

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