THE WOODLANDS, TX – (Thursday, September 10, 2009) – Four individuals and one business have been selected as the 2009 Hometown Heroes. Jude Compofelice, Heather Montgomery, Steve Sanders, Ted Washington and The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion are the honorees that will be recognized and praised for their many contributions to the community at The Woodlands Celebration of Excellence Gala, benefiting Interfaith of The Woodlands.

The gala will be held on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, according to Dr. Ann Snyder, President and CEO of Interfaith of The Woodlands. The 2009 Hometown Heroes were chosen by a Selection Committee composed of Hometown Heroes alumni, a group that includes 75 residents of The Woodlands and six businesses that have contributed to the educational, civic, cultural and spiritual fabric of the community. The annual tradition of honoring Hometown Heroes began in 1999 as a part of The Woodlands 25th Anniversary Celebration and has continued ever since.

“The Hometown Heroes serve as a positive role model and consistently assist the community through volunteerism, compassion and dedication,” Snyder said. “The Hometown Heroes embody the true value of The Woodlands’ community.”

Jude Compofelice, her husband, Joseph, and their two children Anthony and Kiersten moved to The Woodlands in 1989. Kiersten currently lives in The Woodlands while Anthony and his wife Rachael reside in Houston.

Through the years, Compofelice has shown her commitment and dedication to The Woodlands, contributing to many organizations through her volunteer efforts and generosity.

Compofelice organized the major fundraising event for CASA Montgomery County for many years. The event now has become one of the premier annual galas in the region due to the early efforts of Compofelice. Along with CASA Montgomery County, she has been involved with many organizations from their infancy including the Inaugural Board of St. Luke’s The Woodlands Hospital; being an early patron of The John Cooper School; and an early member of the Grogan’s Point Association. Compofelice was one of the first recipients of the Montgomery County Women’s Council of Organizations Women of Distinction Award. She was nominated by the Grogan’s Point Association.

Compofelice has hosted numerous fundraising events in her home to benefit organizations such as Montgomery County Youth Services and the New Danville Community. She has also served as an Advocate for the Montgomery County Women’s Center and assisted with its Reaching Pines Transitional Supportive Housing Community.

“A true insight to Jude’s generous nature can be gleaned from her frequent shopping expeditions to fill the food pantry at Interfaith,” said friend Marsha Williams. “She will bring a carload of groceries to the food pantry on a regular basis with no expectation of recognition.”

Heather Montgomery, her husband, Gary, and their three children are pioneers of The Woodlands, making the community their home since 1976. Five of the Montgomery’s nine grandchildren reside in The Woodlands and surrounding areas with four grandchildren living in Ohio. Montgomery recently retired from her position as District Director for Congressman Kevin Brady’s office to spend more time with her grandchildren.

As evident with her family, Montgomery has a sincere desire to enrich the lives of others. She has served the United Way in various positions - Board of Directors Gulf Coast United Way, working as a liaison for Montgomery County programs; Montgomery County United Way Board of Directors; Chairman of the Allocations Committee; and Chairman of the Success by Six Initiative.

She has also volunteered for a number of community causes including Chairman of the Lone Star College Foundation Gala; Event Chairman for the Women’s Leadership Council; Vice Chairman of The Friendship Center Board of Directors and Chair of the Board Affairs Committee; President and Founding Member of The Woodlands Hospital Auxiliary; and Member of the Task Force committee that organized The Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church. Montgomery is also a 2009 recipient of Interfaith’s Service of Excellence Award.

Resident of The Woodlands Steve Sanders and his wife, Kathy, have two adult sons. Ryan is a Captain in the Air Force and is currently stationed in Little Rock, Arkansas where he lives with his wife Lauren and their nearly one-year old daughter, Avery Beth. Son Jimmy Bounds is a resident of New Danville.
In both his professional and personal life, Sanders has a stellar reputation in The Woodlands as an engaged, concerned citizen who is passionate about being involved with his community. Professionally, Sanders has been employed with the Memorial Hermann Healthcare Systems for 27 years, serving in various CEO positions. In 1994, he was named Chief Executive Office for Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital. Under his leadership, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands has grown from a 90-bed hospital with 300 employees to a 300-bed state-of-the-art medical facility, employing 1,300 people.

Personally, Sanders has served on health-related boards and committees including the 2009 Corporate Chair of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk; 2008 Chair and Board Member of the American Heart Association Montgomery County Division; Board Member and Past Co-Chair of the Healthcare Alliance of Montgomery County; and 2008-2009 Chair and Board Member of HOSPAC.
He has also volunteered countless hours for many organizations, in a leadership capacity, including serving as a Board Member of the Lone Star College District Foundation; Past Chair and Board Member of Leadership Montgomery County; 2008-2009 Chair and Board Member of Montgomery County Youth Services; 2000 Campaign Chair and Past Board Member of the Montgomery County United Way; Board Member of The Rotary Club; Board Member and Past Chair of the South Montgomery County Economic Development Partnership; Board Member and Past Chair of the South Montgomery County Woodlands Chamber of Commerce; Past Board Member of the South Montgomery County YMCA; Board Member of The Woodlands Community Service Corporation; and Board Member of The Woodlands Fire Department. Sanders has received the prestigious 2009 Dan S. Wilford Award from Memorial Hermann Healthcare Systems; the 2006 Shining Star Award from The Community Clinic; and the 2004 Citizen of the Year Award from the South Montgomery County Woodlands Chamber of Commerce.

Ted Washington and his wife, Janice, moved to The Woodlands in 1981. Washington has been an important part of The Woodlands’ history and has attended most major events with a camera in hand.
He has lent his expertise, both in photography and technology, to many non-profit groups in The Woodlands including Interfaith of The Woodlands, Montgomery County United Way, Montgomery County Women’s Center, The Friendship Center, New Danville, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The Woodlands Symphony, The Houston Symphony, Woodforest Charitable Foundation, The South Montgomery County Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, The Woodlands Photography Club and the Lion’s Club Family Christmas.

Ted has a fantastic work ethic – he doesn’t quit until the job is done and done right, according to longtime friend Susan Vreeland-Wendt. He’s the same way with personal relationships. He has been married to Janice for 30 years, and he never fails to support family and friends. He truly believes in being committed to other people. During Hurricane Katrina, Ted and Janice had 11 family members living with them for several months until they got back on their feet.

When Ted’s 15-year-old nephew, Ellis, was having trouble with school and family relationships, Ted and Janice took him in for several years. Ellis had just gone home to his mother when a tragic accident took his life. Ted suffered a great deal with Ellis’ death but managed to show up for work everyday. His strength was encouraging to many people.

“Ted Washington defines what a Hometown Hero really is – someone who does not seek the limelight for himself, but helps everyone else achieve their goals and dreams,” said Vreeland-Wendt.

The Center for the Performing Arts at The Woodlands, home of The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion - an outdoor amphitheater that provides world-class entertainment - is celebrating its 20th Season in The Woodlands. The Pavilion opened on April 27, 1990 with headliner Frank Sinatra. Founder of The Woodlands, George Mitchell, named The Pavilion after his wife, Cynthia.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion has long played a greater role in the community than just an entertainment venue. The non-profit organization raises more than $1 million dollars annually to supports its educational outreach and performing arts programs. The Pavilion creates programs for the local community but also addresses the needs of the Greater Houston region. More than 30,000 students across a 13-county area, including Montgomery County, are impacted every year by The Pavilion’s educational outreach programs.

One of the accomplishments of The Pavilion includes its complimentary ticket program for non-profit organizations and opportunities for local organizations to earn funding through The Pavilion’s relationship with Aramark. The funding results in approximately $200,000 annually towards local organizations including The Woodlands High School Booster Club, The Woodlands College Park High School Band, Oak Ridge Senior High School Operation Graduation and many more. Every year, The Pavilion hosts four local high school graduations.

The Pavilion is the official “Summer Home of the Houston Symphony” and “Home Away from Home of the Houston Ballet”. The Pavilion offers free seating for all
performing arts concerts, making the arts accessible to individuals and families. To date, The Pavilion Partners, the volunteer organization of The Pavilion dedicated to the performing arts for entertainment and educational enrichment, has awarded over $325,000 in scholarships to local area students pursuing a degree in the fine arts.

Criteria for the selection of the Hometown Heroes included, but were not limited to:
• Positive role model
• History of volunteerism
• Sacrificing personal gain to achieve noble goals
• Leadership and courage
• Embodies the values of The Woodlands community; family values, importance of education, the arts and culture, environmental consciousness
• Dedication to public service

The Celebration of Excellence Honoring Hometown Heroes is the largest annual fundraiser for Interfaith of The Woodlands, the primary social services organization in the community. The event is sponsored by many businesses and organizations in The Woodlands. To purchase a table or make a donation, contact Mary Jo O’Neal, Interfaith’s Development Director, at [email protected] or at 832-615-8221.

For more information, contact:
Ginny Berry Lorrie Parise
Public Relations/Marketing Manager Marketing Manager
Interfaith of The Woodlands The Woodlands Development Company
832-615-8248 281-719-6344
[email protected] [email protected]

Performing Arts Season Generously Sponsored By

Sponsors | Live Nation Sponsors / Huntsman Sponsors | The Howard Hughes Company Sponsors | Pepsi Sponsors | Texas Children's Hospital Sponsors | The Wortham Foundation Sponsors | Woodlands Township Sponsors | Pavilion Partners Sponsors | Woodforest Naitonal Bank Sponsors | Aramark Sponsors | Xfinity Sponsors | Sewell

Live Nation Venue Sponsors

Sponsors | Live Nation Sponsors / Huntsman Sponsors | Pepsi Sponsors | Woodforest Naitonal Bank Sponsors | Xfinity Sponsors | Citi Sponsors | Bud Light Sponsors | Saint Arnold Brewing Company Sponsors | Nissan