Living Legend: Kim Gagne

Fifth Ward native, Emmy Award winning producer inspiring Houstonians with newly-released book

HOUSTON — “Your zip code doesn’t determine your worth,” and “go be great,” are two of the phrases that Kim Gagne uses to motivate the masses. And “masses” is definitely an accurate term when it comes to the sheer volume of her “TV babies” she’s groomed and mentored over her 20-plus year career.

From Houston – to across the nation – and home again, this wife, mother of three and two-time Emmy Award winning producer – now author and entrepreneur – has been kicking down doors which took her from Fifth Ward to the Steve Harvey show, where she reigned as the jet-setting supervising producer, helping Harvey and his show grow to national acclaim.

Gagne has held almost every title possible as a newsroom veteran – working in hard news, consumer producing, live talk show production, syndicated television and court TV – before taking on yet another leadership role at Harvey’s hit show in Chicago. She also served as executive producer for The Neighborhood Awards, which honored community leaders and business entrepreneurs, hosted by co-founders Harvey and Rushion McDonald.

Her newly-released book, “How to Win,” gives a candid look into the behind-the-scenes, day-to-day struggles and successes of managing motherhood, marriage and a career known for eating people up and spitting them out. Not on her watch! Lines of fans and supporters have flooded book signings across the city for Gagne’s memoirs.

Now as CEO of MaxThat Communications, Gagne is on a mission to make Houston a major entertainment hub.

“Houston is such an amazing city. I think a lot of celebs who come here love it. That’s why they buy houses here, or you see them spotted around town. I really know the possibility of what Houston could be as an entertainment city when it comes to film and TV,” Gagne said. “We are really behind because there is no infrastructure. We are challenged by that whereas Atlanta is now considered the new Hollywood. There’s Austin, Dallas, and even Bastrop where New Republic Studios is located. I want H-Town on the map and I think having folks like Travis Scott shining a light on Houston is going to help as we try and get more notice from production companies.”

Recently, Gagne’s company was instrumental in successfully promoting and bringing OWN’s “Greenleaf” star, iconic actress Lynn Whitfield, to Houston for a major media tour around the city and an intimate evening with fans at Winston Contemporary Art gallery in the Upper Kirby area.

To her credit, Gagne has also been key to the success of many shows, including City Under Siege (FOX-TV), Great Day Houston (CBS-KHOU), Texas Justice (Twentieth Television/FOX-TV) and Judge Alex (Twentieth Television/FOX-TV).

Gagne is a graduate of Jack Yates High School and the University of St. Thomas , where she earned a BA Communication. In following her own “go be great” advice, she continues to work upward in hopes of accomplishing another career goal she set for herself: to one day produce the Grammy and BET Awards.