“I joined the board because I believe in and take pride in the Hobby area and want to see it return to the thriving area it once was,” said member Ann Collum, a retired HISD teacher. “I strongly believe that the Hobby District is the best chance we have to recapture renewed growth.”
Collum was passionate about starting the Hobby Area District because of her deep ties to the area.
“I’ve been a part of this since the idea bloomed, so to speak,” she said about founding the district. “I’ve lived in Glenbrook Valley nearly 49 years, so I’ve seen and remember a lot.”
Board member Keyur Amin, chief operating officer and owner of Gateway Hardware & Industrial Supply, is newer to the area, but he joined the board to pitch in and help.
“I want to contribute to make the Hobby Area district the most desirable community in Houston to raise your family and grow your business,” he said. “Your business will grow if you help your community grow.”
No matter how they spend their days, each board member has invested in the community and wants to see area businesses thrive.
For Board Chair Helen Bonsall, who is General Manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Hobby Airport hotel, that means seeing the area the way travelers and prospective developers and customers see it.
“I helped start the Hobby Area District and I’m glad I did,” she said. Her personal motto is: “Think before you speak and put yourself in the customer’s shoes.”
Elizabeth Castro Gray, CEO of Lamppost Capital Management, which renovated The Reserve at Belfort apartments, recently joined the board because management districts can fill in the gaps where government services lapse.
“I’m an active conservative and I hate high taxes and government waste,” she said. “That’s why I love the Hobby Area District: It gives us our money’s worth to make this area an even better place.”
Board member Vincent Marquez is also new to the board but has been involved in community redevelopment for about 27 years. President and CEO for the Northside Redevelopment Center, a Texas nonprofit, Marquez also has deep roots in the area.
“My daughter is raising her family in the district, and it is all coming full circle because when I was 18, I worked at installing the alarms at Broadway Square.”
Board member Liliana Rambo, chief terminal management officer for George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airports, knows first-hand the importance of strategy and technology in getting big things done.
Joe Edd Nelson, a native Houstonian, joined the board because he is passionate about helping the community.
Darryl Bailey, like all of the members of the board, said he had a bigger purpose in mind when he signed on.
“I joined the board because I want to serve my community,” said Bailey, who is a psychotherapist and owner of Kingdom Counseling Services. “I was raised by a father who instilled in me the value of and need to assist and serve others. Give and good things will happen.”
Got to hadistrict.org to see a schedule of board and board committee meetings.
— By Brian Rogers