The 5-Star Accredited Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce held the Chairman’s interGALActic celebration on Friday, January 25, 2019 at Safari Texas Ranch in the Infinity Ballroom. The annual event paid tribute to the leaders and volunteers of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce who served the chamber in 2018 and welcomed the new leadership for 2019.

Immediate Past Chair, Malisha Patel, SVP and CEO of Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital and Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital, presented the Community Spirit Award to Sonal Bhuchar, a trailblazer, a giver, a pioneer, a leader, a legacy, and a force all packaged into a caring and giving heart. Sonal Bhuchar has devoted many years of service to the Sugar Land and Fort Bend county community. She embodies the soul, the essence, and the energy of the Fort Bend Chamber’s Community Spirit award. Joining her to accept the award were her husband, Subodh, and many friends and family. Sonal’s heartfelt remarks were received by a standing ovation from the audience.

The Chairman’s Award was created and is presented to an individual who continually demonstrates support of the chamber’s mission. Rick Conley of Fluor Corporation, a Fort Bend Chamber’s 5-Star Chairman’s Circle member humbly accepted the award and expressed his gratitude to the chamber.  Rick is well-respected amongst his peers and committed to giving back to the chamber by serving on the chamber’s Board of Directors, and as chair for the Internal Committee. He is a graduate of the Fort Bend Leadership Forum Class of 2014 and the Excellence for Non-Profit Leadership Class of 2012.

The awards continued with Patel acknowledging the leadership and service of immediate past Chairman, Sterling Carter (President – Sterling Physical Therapy and Wellness) and Treasurer, Benjamin Swan (President – Windrose Surveying & Land Services); retiring Board Members, Farha Ahmed (Owner – Farha Ahmed Attorney at Law, CLLC) and Anne Marie Ponce De Leon (Medical Doctor – Dr. Shel Wellness and Aesthetic Center); and retiring Division Chairs, Ashlea Quinonez (Director of Government Relations – Memorial Hermann Health System); Dustin Fessler (Attorney – Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey PC); and Barkley Peschel (VP – Colliers International: Fort Bend).

Incoming Chairman, Rehan Alimohammad (Partner – Wong Fleming, LP) introduced the 2019 Executive Officers; Chair Elect, Jonathan Pursch (VP – Frost Bank); Immediate Past Chair, Malisha Patel (SVP and CEO – Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital and Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital); Treasurer, Keith Borgfeldt (President – Spartan Wealth Management LLC); Legal Counsel, Dustin Fessler (Attorney – Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey PC); and President & CEO, Keri Schmidt along with the 2019 Board of Directors, Three Committee and Division Chairs.

Following the awards, intergalactic guides led the cosmic crowd into the Space Cantina for more libations, fun, games AND live music from the Royal Dukes Band! From Marvin the Martian to Mork from Ork, guests channeled their “innergalactic” alter egos and dressed in festive attire.

Universe Sponsors were: CHI St. Luke’s Health – Sugar Land Hospital, Consolidated Communications, Fluor Corporation, PrimeWay Federal Credit Union, Rice & Gardner Consultants, Inc., and Sterling McCall Automotive Group.

Our Galaxy Sponsors were:  Audi Sugar Land, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Blue Jungle Marketing, HCSS, Houston Methodist Sugar Land, Johnson Development Corporation, MD Anderson Cancer Center – Sugar Land, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, Mercantil Bank, now Amerant Bank, NALCO Champion, An Ecolab Company, Naushad and Narmin Kermally, Pamela Printing Company, Rich Products Corporation, Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey PC, Safari Texas Ranch, Signarama of Sugar Land, Sugar Lakes Family Practice, Wharton County Junior College, and Windstream Communications.

About the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce

As the only 5-star accredited and single-county chamber in the nine-county area surrounding the Houston Metroplex, membership provides both immediate and long-term benefits for your business and helps build momentum for our community’s future.