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Greenspoint district fetes Drake, recognizes partners

GREENSPOINT – A surprise visit by former Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire was one of several highlights of the Greenspoint District’s recent reception honoring its 2012 partners and volunteers, and acknowledging the career and pending retirement of District President Jack Drake.

The evening opened with recognition of the Greenspoint District’s key partners and volunteers for 2012. Four awards were presented:

Digital Realty Trust was named Greenspoint’s 2012 Company of the Year for its continued investment in the area. Owner of the Greenspoint Data Park at I-45 North and the Sam Houston Parkway, Digital Realty Trust is in the midst of a two-phase redevelopment including construction of two purpose-built high-efficiency, high-performance computing data centers totaling nearly 138,000 square feet.

Greenspoint Volunteer of the Year was James Curry of Hines. Chairman of the Greenspoint District Board of Directors, Curry was recognized for his dedication to the district, demonstrated in the time and expertise he freely gives toward representing Greenspoint.

The Greenspoint Property Owners Association earned Partner of the Year honors for its development of a public plaza to showcase a signature piece of public art commissioned by the Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority. Titled “Paper Plane,” and due to be installed in early 2013, the sculpture is an origami-style plane rising 15 feet above the ground.

Mexico City Attorney Manuel Moctezuma of Chalela, Enriquez y Moctezuma, S.C. was named International Partner of the Year. Moctezuma is a member of the Greenspoint District International Economic Development Advisory Council, and he travels regularly from Mexico City for Advisory Council meetings. In 2012, he was instrumental in helping organize a Greenspoint trade mission to Mexico, and he provided introductions to attorneys in other countries who assisted in other district trade missions.

Following the awards, several speakers, starting with Whitmire, acknowledged retiring President Drake for his contributions to the community. Before taking on the assignment of gathering support to create the Greenspoint District, Drake served as assistant to Mayor Whitmire, Houston’s mayor from 1982-1992. Drake recruited department heads and managed Whitmire’s support staff for the first four years of her administration.

Others acknowledging Drake included Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Metro President George Greanias, Greenspoint business owner and volunteer Margaret Eyster of Magoo’s Print Shop, and Ray Laughter, Vice Chancellor of External Affairs for the Lone Star College System.

Additionally, Drake received:

A City of Houston proclamation, presented on behalf of Mayor Annise Parker by District B Council Member Jerry Davis.

A State of Texas proclamation, presented on behalf of Rep. Armando Walle by Sylvia Garcia.

A US Congressional proclamation, presented on behalf of Congressman Gene Green by George Maldonado.

Another highlight of the evening was the ceremonial transition of leadership of the district from Drake to Jerry Lowry, who the Board recently named as Drake’s replacement. A 13-year employee of the Greenspoint District, Lowry is currently executive vice president and chief operating officer. He will officially become president when Drake departs January 15, 2013.

Earlier in the day, at a meeting of the district’s Board of Directors, service awards were presented to four board members. Recognized for five years of service to the board was Dr. Wei Huang of American Bureau of Shipping. Earning recognition for having completed one year of service to the board were Grace Cervin of AGS Professional Services, Ed Hinton of High Mount Exploration & Production and Dave Egbert of Exterran Energy Solutions.