Community Impact

Avenida blossoms
Over the last few years, projects at the Avenida de las Amercias have steadily transformed the area from a bland, sleepy street on the edge of downtown into a hub of pedestrian and entertainment activity. The sweeping changes to Avenida Houston and improvements to the George R. Brown Convention Center ...

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Houston First Sponsors the Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Awards Ceremony
Houston First sponsored the Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 3. (HFC Board Members Sofia Adrogue and Paul Puente in group photo) The Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Awards (MHHA) Committee seeks to recognize exemplary Hispanics who have made outstanding contributions toward improving the quality of life within ...

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HFC Supports Houston Hispanic Chamber Elected Officials Reception
The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Elected Officials Reception convenes local, state, and national leaders with the local business community. It is the largest gathering of Elected Officials in Houston. The event provides local entrepreneurs and business owners direct access to influential leaders and decision-makers. Houston First was proud ...

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Houston First sponsors 3 SER Amigos Gala
Houston First sponsored the 3 SER Amigos Gala earlier in October. SER exists to help individuals from low-income communities to transform their lives through education, training, employment, and financial empowerment services. SER honored their 3 SER Amigos, Stephen Fraga, Rick Jaramillo, and Armando Perez. READ MORE ABOUT SER

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Houston First CEO Dawn Ullrich named one of Top 30 Influential Women of Houston
Houston First CEO and President Dawn Ullrich was named one of the Top 30 Influential Women of Houston by D-Mars, a local advertising, marketing, communication and media company. She received the honor at an annual award gala on Sept. 29. Because she was an "Icon Honoree," she was one of only eight recipients who was given ...

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My UH, My Houston
Houston First hosted the University of Houston during Weeks of Welcome for the My UH, My Houston event at the George R. Brown Convention. Leah Shah, Houston First PR Director, spoke on behalf of Houston First regarding all the great things to do in Houston!  The University of Houston partnered ...

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HFC helps make bronze awards gala golden
Caption: Joel Cowley, president and CEO of RodeoHouston, with IABC Houston Bronze Quill Chair Andrew Van Chau of QuoVadis Strategies, left, and outgoing IABC Houston President Jordan Temple of BP. The Houston chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators presented Joel Cowley with its annual Executive Communicator of the ...

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Houston First Spotlight: Bradlink LLC
Houston is known as an entrepreneurial city, and Helen Callier, President and CEO of Bradlink LLC., is one of the reasons why. She took her passion for business and determination to overcome challenges, and started her company in 2004. Bradlink LLC is a technical services firm covering three core service ...

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HFC supports accomplishments in the workforce
Houston First served as sponsor for the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Women’s Leadership Conference & Business Expo. This year’s event, held June 30 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, highlighted women’s accomplishments in the workforce and encouraged all people to reach the apex of their personal and professional lives ...

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HFC Sponsors the Women Business Enterprise Alliance Expo
HFC sponsored the Women Business Enterprise Alliance Expo recently at the GRB. Houston First Director of Communication, Carolyn Campbell, was the emcee for the evening.

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Houston First applauds GHF scholarship winners
Houston First supported the Greater Houston Frontiers annual scholarship banquet on May 4 at the Hess Club.The Frontiers provide 27 local students with $26,500 in scholarship funding toward their upcoming college education.Houston First staffers Mary Ann Grant, Analisa Terrell and Roger Harris were among those on hand ...

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HFC supports Asian Heritage Month event
Houston First sponsored the Asian Chamber of Commerce’s “Celebrating Asian Heritage Month” luncheon on May 11 at the Hess Club.Audience members heard success stories from four professionals in the Asian community: Tetsuro Amano, general counsel of Japan, Neeta Sane, trustee of Houston Community College, Y. Ping Sun of Rice ...

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HFC venues site of Leadership Houston programming
A portion of the new Leadership Houston class in front of “Wings Over Water” at Avenida Houston.Houston First sponsored Leadership Houston, Class XXXV, in a series of events at Jones Hall, Wortham Center and the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 5.  Leadership Houston aims to enlighten, empower ...

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Houston First has a ball at Alley gala
Alley managing director Dean Gladden and wife Jane and event chairs Florence and Tom Langford.Houston First went back in time to help sponsor the 1970s-themed Alley Theatre Ball on May 6 at Silver Street Studious.Music for the throwback soiree was, appropriately, provided by the legendary Motown group The ...

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HFC participates in Kinder Institute event
Houston Parks Board chair Tom Bacon addresses the audience. Houston First was part of the sponsorship group for the Kinder Institute Luncheon on May 1 at the Marriott Marquee hotel. Thomas G. Bacon, Lionstone Investments founding partner and chairman of the Houston Parks Board, was the event honoree. Rice University ...

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Houston First supports Hispanic chamber
HFC's Wanda Adams shares a light moment with Mayor Sylvester Turner. Houston First Corporation was a contributor sponsor for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 40th anniversary luncheon and business expo on April 26 at the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel. Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston City Council Members and Harris County Judge ...

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Houston First hears Mayor’s State of City address
UH alum Sylvester Turner backs the Coogs’ new football coach, Major Applewhite.Houston First played a sponsorship role in the GHP’s State of the City address by Mayor Sylvester Turner on May 4 at the Marriott Marquis. It was Mayor Turner's second address with the Greater Houston Partnership and ...

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Houston First Spotlight: True Vines, Inc.
Persons walking through Houston First buildings may notice the beautiful plants that adorn the hallways and offices.  If they do, they are taking note of the work of True Vines, Inc. True Vines, headquartered in Missouri City, Texas, and owned by Deborah Watts, has been providing plant maintenance services ...

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Houston First active in local ALF program
Houston First Corporation sponsored the American Leadership Forum's Joseph Jaworski Leadership Award dinner on April 26 at the Houstonian. Mayor Sylvester Turner was among the speakers for the local Gulf Coast chapter event.  Among the honorees were Ann and Kenny Friedman, flanked in the photo above by Houston ...

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HFC helps underwrite Young Audiences gala
Houston First Corporation was one of the contributing sponsors for the Young Audience of Houston gala held at the Junior League of Houston on April 5. Richard A. Carranza, superintendent of Houston Independent School District, and Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, were the evening’s ...

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HFC collaborates with MyUH, MyHouston
Houston First Corporation partnered with the University of Houston for an award from the Association of College Unions International. The university received the Collaborative Program of the Year Campus Award for the MyUH, MyHouston event held in 2016.  The award is given to programs that exemplify the positive outcomes ...

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HFC plays sponsorship role for Gov. Abbott’s State of State
Houston First was one of the sponsors for the Greater Houston Partnership’s 2017 State of the State event April 18 at the Hilton Americas-Houston. Gov. Greg Abbott addressed a sold-out audience at the downtown hotel. The governor noted that in 2016 Houston experienced unprecedented growth, gaining more than 125,000 ...

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Houston First’s Sunset Coffee Building wins Landmark
Houston First was one of the sponsors for the Houston Business Journal 2017 Landmark Awards on April 20 at the Omni Hotel. The annual competition recognizes Houston’s top development and real estate projects. HFC’s Sunset Coffee Building took home first place in the historical renovation category while the George R ...

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Houston First sponsors HAA gala featuring Broadway star
Houston First Corporation was a sponsor for Houston Arts Alliance’s glamorous gala evening, featuring six-time Tony Award-winning performer Audra McDonald, on April 6 at the Hotel Za Za. HAA chair Philamena Baird, event co-chairs Regina Garcia and George Lancaster and honorary chairs Phoebe and Bobby Tudor were among those on ...

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HFC, Visit Houston discuss business at Asian Chamber event
Houston First Corporation was a presenting sponsor at the Asian Chamber of Commerce luncheon on April 13 at the Hess Club. Peter McStravick, the corporation’s chief development officer, Roger Harris, HFC’s development specialist manager, and Jorge Franz, senior vice president of tourism, discussed Houston First and Visit Houston’s combined impact ...

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HFC backs books in Beyond the Page luncheon
Houston First Corporation helped underwrite Houston Pubic Library Foundation’s Beyond the Page benefit luncheon on April 12 at the new Marriott Marquis dowtown. The event keynote speaker was New York Times best-selling author Rebecca Skloot, whose book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” has sold more than 2.5 million ...

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Houston Bridges Project connects communities
Houston First is spearheading a project that will transform a series of bridges connecting Downtown and Midtown with EaDo and Third Ward into dynamic mosaics. The Houston Bridges Project uses photographs of the city taken by local schoolchildren to create pixelated mosaics on eight bridges over I-69 between Bell and ...

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HFC mentors in the Coogs’ house
Houston First employees Brian Stonesifer and Heather Hernandez were guest speakers at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management on March 23.Heather spoke to a group studying entertainment venue management on how bookings are sold and Brian highlighted the client services aspect of ...

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Houston First plays a part in SPA’s golden gala
Houston First  was a proud sponsor of the 50th anniversary gala for the Society for the Performing Arts on April 1 in the Grand Foyer of Wortham Center.HFC board members Irma Diaz-Gonzalez, Desrye M. Morgan and Paul J. Puente, as well as Houston City Council Member Karla Cisneros, were ...

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HFC joins forces with Galaxy Gala
Houston First Corporation was a major sponsor for the star-studded Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala on March 31 at the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel. Actors Gary Sinise and Chuck Norris added a Hollywood flavor to the proceedings with their presence. Sinise provided musical energy too as he played guitar in his ...

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Houston First in middle of Center for Houston’s Future event
Houston First was proud to be one of the sponsors for the Center for Houston’s Future annual leadership luncheon at the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and his wife, Gwen, were honored at the March 22 event. Dr. Robert Ivany, president of St. Thomas University, was the ...

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HFC provides backing for hotel group’s monthly meeting
Houston First Corporation lent its support to the monthly membership meeting for the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston Thursday at the downtown Hyatt Regency Houston.Iannelli Dyer, the South Texas manager for Expedia, addressed the audience.  Expedia is the leading online travel site that connects travelers of ...

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HFC cookoff team gets high marks
Houston First was an enthusiastic – and successful! – participant in this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest March 2-4. In fact, judges voted HFC as the runner-up for most colorful team. Shown above with their banner, and flanked by rodeo committee members, are Belen Timmins ...

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HFC joins fun in Read Across America Day
Houston First was a Community Partner participant in a Read Across America Day event March 2 at Anderson Elementary School.Wanda Adams and Arcy Munoz represented Houston First as guest readers in the celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday at the school in District K.  Donald Perkins, chief of staff ...

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HFC supports Buffalo Soldiers Museum Gala
Houston First was in the house in a sponsorship role for the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum’s 17th annual gala on February 24. The gala paid tribute to former military, students and athletes with proceeds benefiting  museum programming, arts and education. The event took place at the museum at 3816 Caroline ...

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Waterman addresses Hotel & Lodging Association
Mike Waterman, executive vice president of Houston First Corporation and president of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, was the keynote speaker at the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston’s monthly membership luncheon. Waterman briefed the local hotel industry on life after the Super Bowl in Houston. HFC ...

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Houston First serves as sponsor at Golden Fork Awards
Houston First served as one of the sponsors for the Greater Houston Restaurant Association’s Golden Fork Awards Gala held February 18 at The Corinthian. The Golden Forks event brings together 600 restaurant industry leaders to raise funds for the Texas Restaurant Association Foundation, the ProStart culinary curriculum, a local scholarship ...

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HFC contributes to success of ReelAbilities
Houston First Corporation was one of the contributing sponsors for the ReelAbilities Film Festival held at venues throughout Houston from February 19-23.ReelAbilities is a free film and arts festival dedicated to presenting films, art exhibitions, performances and speakers that celebrate the lives, stories, and talents of people with disabilities ...

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HFC supports Black History Month
In a salute to Black History Month, Houston First Corporation was a proud sponsor of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre performance of “Relentless Excellence” on February 13 at Hobby Center. Performed on Hobby's Zilkha Hall stage, Relentless Excellence showcased a multi-ethnic dance troupe that  dazzled the audience with a ...

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HFC's Visit Houston brand sponsors Lunar New Year
Visit Houston, a brand of Houston First Corporation, was the title sponsor of the 2017 Lunar New Year Houston celebration. Revelers participated in Year of the Fire Rooster festivities on February 4-5, also known as Super Bowl weekend, in southwest Houston at Viet Hoa Center. Houston First’s Jorge Franz, shown ...

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Super Bowl LI event leaves lasting legacy
By David MincbergSo, what’s next?That’s the question this morning as Houstonians wake up after Super Bowl LI. The teams are leaving today, as are their fans. The NFL brass and its corporate partners will be returning to their home bases. Soon to be gone are the temporary stages, temporary ...

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HFC lends support to Partnership's annual meeting
HFC’s Wanda Adams and Roger Harris flank Houston Council Member Brenda Stardig at the event. (Photo by Richard Carson) Houston First Corporation supported its neighbors in Partnership Tower by attending the Greater Houston Partnership’s 2017 annual meeting. The big event took place across the street from Partnership Tower at the ...

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Houston First backs Scholarship Soiree
Houston First Corporation made a financial investment in the city’s future leadership as a sponsor of the fourth annual Scholarship Soiree January 21 at the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel. Entitled Ninety Shades of Maroon & Grey, the event is presented by the Jesse H. Jones School of Business Alumni Chapter of ...

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HFC among honorees at Business Procurement Forum
Houston First was recognized for its yearlong support of the Greater Houston Business Procurement Forum at the organization's annual awards ceremony on December 13 at Houston Community College Southwest.  GHBPF was established in 1991 and is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Tuesday's event was designed to recognize and ...

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Houston First rules in HLAGH's 2016 charity bike build
Houston First Corporation was once again the champion in the Hotel Lodging Association of Greater Houston's 17th Annual Bike Building event on December 14. More than 60 children chosen by Child Advocates received bikes at the event. Twenty-five eight-person teams each built two BMX bikes. Event sponsors were Houston ...

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Houston First focusing on enhancing freeway scenery
HFC joins Scenic Houston, others to eliminate 'patchwork pattern' to maintenance, beautification Houston First and Scenic Houston have organized a working group of representatives from local management districts, civic organizations, elected leaders and other entities to focus on ways to improve the scenic makeup along Houston’s freeway corridors. A group ...

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Avenida Houston improvements earn Innovation Award
Houston First Corporation was the recipient of the Innovation Award at the Mayor’s Outstanding Proud Partners Awards. The 32nd annual luncheon was presented by the Keep Houston Beautiful organization on November 7 at the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel. Houston First was recognized for its ongoing improvements to the Avenida Houston convention ...

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HFC board member Katy Caldwell honored
Houston First board member Katy Caldwell was one of 10 women in Houston named to the Class of 2016 for the Texas Executive Women (TEW)/Women on the Move award.  Caldwell and the others were recognized November 15 at the Bayou Center Event Center. Caldwell is the executive director ...

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HFC's Mincberg co-chairs museum awards luncheon
Houston First board chairman David Mincberg was an event co-chairman for the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Excellence in Science and Math Luncheon on November 9 at The Briar Club. The big awards presented were the Wilhelmina C. Robertson Teaching Excellence Awards in Science and Math and the Evelyn S ...

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HFC supports NAACP Freedom Fund gala
Houston First turned out in numbers to support the NAACP Houston Branch Freedom Fund Advocacy & Awards Gala  on October 28 at the Hilton Americas-Houston.The coveted Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award was presented to three individuals who have served individually and collectively as beacons of civil and social justice: Archbishop ...

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Mayor, Dave Ward feted at HFC-sponsored gala
Mayor Sylvester Turner and record-setting news anchorman Dave Ward were the men of the hour when Houston First sponsored for the annual Crime Stoppers of  Houston Annual Gala October 27 at the downtown Hyatt Regency. The mayor was saluted for his long track record of promoting public safety.  Ward ...

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Houston First backs Children's Charity event
Houston First lent its support to the Houston Children’s Charity’s 20th annual gala November 5 at the Hyatt Regency. Houston Astros star Carlos Correa was the honorary chairman of the event and local news anchor Dave Ward was the master of ceremonies.

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Houston First, GRB host 2016 Consular Ball
Houston First Corporation was a major underwriter for the 2016 Consular Ball “Houston: Champions in the Global Arena.” The city’s consular corps and many city dignitaries and stakeholders turned out in force for the annual gala October 15 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.  Mayor Sylvester Turner wrote ...

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Houston First finds its voice in Super Bowl literacy effort
Houston First and the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy read in a unified voice Friday to kick off 100 days until the 2017 Super Bowl. Houston First’s very own Wanda Adams and Arcy Muñoz were featured as reading captains for the event ...

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Houston First named Client of the Year by local SMPS chapter
Houston First Corporation was named Client of the Year by the Society for Marketing Professional Services at the local chapter’s annual awards gala on October 21 at the Astorian events venue.  The award is given to an individual, private company or entity in the Houston region that has commissioned architecture ...

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Houston First makes the scene at Scenic Houston gala
Houston First Corporation played a supporting role in the annual Scenic Houston Dinner on October 26 at Houston Country Club. Larry D. Johnson, president and CEO of The Johnson Development Corporation, was named the 2016 Scenic Visionary in recognition of his vital role in improving Houston’s appearance and image. Houston ...

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HFC plays platinum role at minority business expo
A major player in community investments, Houston First Corporation is a member of the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council and was recognized as a platinum-level sponsor at the council’s Business Expo on October 5-6 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Houston First’s procurement team hosted a booth in an ...

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Congressman discusses cybersecurity at Partnership Tower
Breakfast meeting is first public event held at HFC's new office building U.S. Congressman Michael McCaul, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, spoke on “Cybersecurity: Corporate Governance and Risk Management,” at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership and held in Houston First's ...

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Ex-Mayor Lee Brown honored by Museum of African American Culture
Bernard, Shirley Kinsey also recognized in HFC-supported, star-studded gala Houston First Corporation provided support for the Houston Museum of African American Culture at the organization’s annual gala on October 14 at the Citadel, a special events venue.    This year the Inaugural Lee P. Brown Outstanding Excellence Award was ...

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Houston First, Hispanic Chamber discuss business
HHCC members learn about doing business with HFC The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was the site of a business seminar featuring Houston First Corporation on October 21.Over 80 HHCC members attended the event to learn about doing business with Houston First, its supplier diversity program and other accomplishments ...

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Houston First sponsors AAMA's Taco Y Tacones
Gala is Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans' major fundraiser Houston First Corporation linked arms with the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans as a sponsor for the Tacos y Tacones Gala on October 22 at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria hotel. Tacos y Tacones is AAMA’s signature ...

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HFC links arms with business, education partners
Houston First Named Community Champion by Asian Chamber of CommerceHouston First Corporation has an ambitious goal to make our town one of the leading destination cities in the world by 2025.  Other global cities have enjoyed a head start in brand development over the youthful Houston.Houston First is ...

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Supplier diversity is what’s ‘good for business’ at Houston First
Unwavering  commitment, strategic  planning and a willingness to innovate are the chief attributes in Houston First Corporation’s successful supplier diversity program. Dawn Ullrich, president and CEO of Houston First, says the corporate ethos pays off on the bottom line, too. “Supplier diversity is not only the right thing to do ...

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Houston First adds depth to pool of grant funds for tourism promotion
Houston First Corporation has strengthened its commitment to leisure travel by increasing grant funds for tourism initiatives by $25,000. Houston First has committed $275,000 in grant money for projects that promote the leisure travel here. A year ago, Houston First issued 14 grants totaling $250,000 to create ...

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HFC takes bows before Ensemble Theatre, Young Audiences
American author Kurt Vonnegut's words are often sprinkled with satire. But when talking about the importance of creating art, his ideas are more straightforward. "To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it," Vonnegut once advised. Houston ...

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Ensemble Theatre honors Houston First
More than 600 people celebrated the Ensemble Theatre's 40th anniversary gala at the Hilton Americas-Houston, Saturday, August 20. It was a big night for the Ensemble and for Houston First, which was presented with the Corporate Partner of the Year award by the legendary theatre company. Houston's Mayor Sylvester ...

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