“Small Business Becomes Big Business”

HOUSTON – Recently, the Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development, Inc. headed by Chairman Roy Douglas Malonson, held its Monthly Networking Luncheon located at 6112 Wheatley Street, 77091. Ministers, local pastors, residents of the community, educators, political representatives and small business owners all gathered to attend. The luncheon is a networking tool and informative session where attendees network, dine, ask questions and remain informed on various changes and plans in the making at various entities.

Chairman Roy Douglas Malonson called the luncheon to order and hosted a raffle drawing where several members of the audience won gifts and door prizes. Once the drawing was completed, Pastor Joseph Baker (Guiding Light Missionary Baptist Church) passed the microphone around the room so that each person could introduce themselves and their affiliated organization, business, industry or agency. Once introductions were completed, Pastor Baker blessed the food and everyone commenced to much networking. Once all were assembled back in the perspective places, Chamber Coordinator Anthony Stewart welcomed two new chamber members, Mrs. Shawn Hunter of Hunter’s Trucking and Bro. Alexander Muhammad of Eastern Design Homebuilding. Each of the members were presented with certificates.

Dr. Lason Hines, a new addition to the AHCBED was introduced. She is a Director of, Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture in the School of Architecture at Prairie View A&M University. She is also an associate professor who teaches grad school for community development programs. As she addressed the audience she said, “I am passionate about where we can go together, but I need your help”. She also listed a few of her plans for the AHCBED in the not too distant future.“There are exciting things coming up at the chamber – assessing businesses and seeing where they are and how we may help them, line dancing, business round tables and other programs are now underway” said Dr. Hines. She then introduced, Ms. Derreka Shelton who will also be working beside her. Dr. Hines encouraged attendees to become more involved with the chamber and to support it financially as well.

Next, the keynote speaker was introduced in the person of, Steve D. Stephens who is the Chief Executive Officer of Amegy Bank of Texas. Stephens is no rookie in the banking industry. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston; he began a career with Texas Commerce Bank. There he joined the lending officer development program and quickly soared through the ranks by becoming senior executive vice president in commercial lending for Texas Commerce. In 1990, he was an integral part of establishing Amegy Bank. Since that time, he has led Amegy Bank’s commercial banking, retail and private banking activities and now serves as president.

During his address, he expounded on several issues that are going on within the city of Houston. The oil and natural gas industry was a subject he briefly addressed. He explained how 100 billion barrels of oil a day are being produced. Thereby creating a 1 ½ percent oversupply of oil, which is responsible for the lowered gas prices everywhere. In contrast, in the 1980’s there were 64 billion barrels of oil being produced a day, with a 20 percent oversupply of oil. However, 30 years ago there was only a eight percent dependence on oil.

As Stephens summed up, he informed the crowd of the exceptional footsteps that Amegy Bank has made since its inception. “Within 25 years, Amegy has advanced from a small business bank to a SIFI bank (Systemically Important Financial Institution SIFI) he shared.” A SIFI bank is, any firm as designated by the United States Federal Reserve, whose collapse would pose a serious risk to the economy.

In closing, Stephens discussed some of the SBA loan process and ensured attendees that Amegy takes pride in servicing small business loans. “In 2014, we were $2 million of loans short of being the number one SBA bank in Houston” he said. Ultimately he exclaimed, “Small business becomes big business!” Upon completion of his presentation, Stephens was presented with a President Barack Obama bust by Attorney and Judge Oswald Scott, as a token of appreciation from the AHCBED.

Following, Chairman Malonson asked long-time Acres Home resident, retired educator and community activist, Mrs. Ruby Mosley the opportunity to have words of expression. She was prompt in speaking and simply stated, “I bought my poll-tax receipt right here in Houston for a dollar and a half, we came from a long ways and it was God’s gift that he gave it us – but what are we doing with it?” She continued, “We have to learn and take advantage of where we came from to appreciate where we are and have plans to moving forward to tomorrow.” Finally, she recognized City Councilwoman of District A, Brenda Stardig for all of the work that she has down in and for the community. She is a long-time resident of District A and has remained a leader within it for over four decades. Stardig devoted a great deal of her time and resources into District A, long before she ever sought a position in public office for the it.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Chairman Malonson acknowledged and thanked the caterer, Tippy’s Soul Food and the George Washington Carver Jazz Band under the direction of Mr. Mike McCullough. He then reminded the gathering to be mindful of those whom we elect into public office.

We have so many politicians that love us to get elected and they don’t do nothing for us – but they look just like us”, he said. Rev. Dr. Rhenel Y. Johnson, pastor of St. Andrews United Methodist Church closed the luncheon out with a word of prayer and supplication. Overall, the luncheon was a success. Once dismissed, several guests were interviewed by Michael Skelton who is the owner of Meeko Spark TV, to preview visit www.aframnews.com.

The next Monthly Networking luncheon will be February 05 and Dr. Wanda Bamberg, Superintendent of Aldine Independent School District will be the speaker. For more information about becoming a member of the AHCBED or upcoming events, contact Anthony Stewart at (713) 692-7161 or email info@acreshomecenter.org.