2022 FINALISTS2 | The Daily News | Citizen of the Year Finalists | 2022 Visit us at www.texasf irst.bank or stop by any one of our 27 locations to learn more.
For more than 40 years, we’ve been a part of your community, providing nancial services for you, your family, and your business. As community bankers, we exist to help make your dreams a reality. Be it opening your child’s rst savings account, getting a loan to buy your rst house, setting up treasury services to help your business succeed, or anything in between, we can help you. MEET THE FINALISTS 3 Sam Collins 3 Joe Compian 4 Caroline Dorsett-Pate 4 Melissa Duarte 5 Lawanda Hardeman-Ward 5 Lorraine Hunter-Simpson 6 Dr. Annette Jenkins 6 Amber Jinkins 8 Donna Kearney 9 Mary Lou Kelso 10 Winifred Langham 11 Fidencio Leija Jr. 11 Casey McAuliﬀe 12 Doug McLeod 12 Susan Myers 13 Roshawn Pope 13 Julia Ramirez 14 Karen Rose 14 Dr. Pei-Yong Shi 15 Sheila Smith The 2022 Citizen of the Year will be revealed during a special event May 25 at The Tremont House in Galveston. Visit galvnews.com/coy to ﬁnd out who took home top honors. 2022 | Citizen of the Year Finalists | The Daily News | 3 In what ways are you involved with the community? I volunteer with several nonproﬁt organizations, including, but not limited to, the Nia Cultural Center, Juneteenth Legacy Project, Greater St. Matthews Baptist Church. Hitchcock Chamber of Commerce and several preservation organizations. I am involved with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Texas Historical Commission, Galveston County Historical Commission and Hitchcock Heritage Society. What do you like most about serving the community? It gives me an opportunity to give back to the community that gave so much to me. What motivates you to get involved in your community? When my mother died in 1987, so many people stepped in to encourage me and help me. I know that there are other young people needing support and mentors. With regard to history, I love studying history and telling stories. What does it mean to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year? It is an honor to be listed among other Galveston County residents as a Citizen of the Year ﬁnalist. I try to represent Galveston County to the best of my ability, and I am sure each ﬁnalist would do the same. Galveston County is our home and a great place to live. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? Giving back is an investment in others. We live in a society that often focuses on the individual, but our communities are better when we focus on making them better for all of us collectively. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be? Work harder to graduate college before my paternal 2022 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS SAMUEL COLLINS CITY OF RESIDENCE » Hitchcock OCCUPATION » Financial consultant In what ways are you involved with the community? Community involvement is life extending. Per “Senior News,” volunteering for as little as two hours per week results in “improved mental, emotional and physical health.” I want to live as long as possible. Therefore, I have a long history of community involvement that began in the second grade of Travis Elementary School in Galveston when I joined the Junior Red Cross Club. Now at age 67, I proudly say that I have maintained my aﬃliation with the American Red Cross throughout my life. I believe it has extended my life and made a positive diﬀerence in the lives of others. My Red Cross volunteerism formed the foundation to expand my awareness and, ultimately, my involvement with other national service organizations such as Rotary, the Optimists, Lions Club, Knights of Columbus and LULAC. It also has been my pleasure and honor to serve on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities, the Galveston County Community Action Council, the former La Marque ISD Educational Foundation, the Texas City ISD Foundation for the Future, The Children’s Center, The Holy Rosary Parish Council, Gulf Coast Interfaith and the League of United Latin American Citizens. Finally, recognizing the dynamic contributions of immigrants to the strength of our country and to assist in their assimilation, I have proudly worked with Ser Y Haces, a recognized immigrants assistance center as an instructor for citizenship classes. What do you like most about serving the community? Service to my Galveston County community has been both a learning experience and a way to share my knowledge and experience. Many years ago, upon graduating from La Marque High School, I was oﬀered a generous scholarship to attend the prestigious School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. I graduated from Georgetown with a promise to honor my unknown benefactors with action to improve the lives of others. There have been times in my past when I have been denied an opportunity to participate because I did not have enough money, did not know the right people to join the group, or did not look like others. What I love most about serving my community is that it truly is an equal opportunity moment. The late Martin Luther King Jr. best summed up community service when he said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Read full proﬁle at galvnews.com. JOE COMPIAN CITY OF RESIDENCE » La Marque OCCUPATION » Semi-retired and La Marque councilman, District B grandfather died. I graduated a few months after his death, and he missed my graduation. He was looking forward to my graduation and it is one of my biggest regrets. What’s something that most people don’t know about you? I almost drowned in Maui, Hawaii, in July 2004. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Give a man a ﬁsh, feed him for a day. Teach a man to ﬁsh, feed him for a lifetime. “GIVING BACK IS AN INVESTMENT IN OTHERS. ... OUR COMMUNITIES ARE BETTER WHEN WE FOCUS ON MAKING THEM BETTER FOR ALL OF US COLLECTIVELY.”4 | The Daily News | Citizen of the Year Finalists | 2022 In what ways are you involved with the community? I have worked as the executive director of the Galveston Island Humane Society for 20 years. While I am a strong community supporter, my position and dedication to GIHS consumes most of my time. What do you like most about serving the community? I take great pride in the role our organization has taken in the community. We have seen improvements in the programs we have created serving the island pets and, in turn, island residents. What motivates you to get involved in your community? I want the community to take pride in our work at the shelter. Knowing we have very positive support from people and businesses indicates we are doing our job well. What does it mean to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year? I am very humbled by the honor. There are so many deserving leaders in our community. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? I believe we should give back to the community we call home. Individuals and businesses working together make this a place to be proud of. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be? Not sure how I could have done it, but I wish I had spent much more time with family. That was not easy with my responsibilities. What’s something that most people don’t know about you? I have a large family — husband, children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren. Of course, I have a few pets also, but that’s probably expected. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? So many, but I think one of my favorite is, “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” 2022 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS CAROLINE DORSETT-PATE CITY OF RESIDENCE » Galveston OCCUPATION » Executive director In what ways are you involved with the community? I am blessed to be involved in the community each and every day. Working in a school district aﬀords me the opportunity to engage with students, parents, community members, business partners and city oﬃcials. The partnerships we have built in both Texas City and La Marque are amazing. Bringing individuals together to ensure the wellness, education and safety of our students and the future of the communities is nothing but inspirational. Additionally, I am on the board of directors for the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce, I participate in all Texas City Economic Development Council meetings, am a member of the ITC Advisory Council and the TCISD Foundation for the Future. I am a member of the Texas City Rotary Club and attend the Texas City- La Marque Community Advisory Council meetings to provide updates on TCISD. We also have brought our community, parents and educators together to develop long- range facility plans for the district as well as a strategic plan. We also have been working with a culturally responsive leadership team to address equity across TCISD. Lastly, we partner with the city to address the needs of the community through opening our campuses as warming shelters, supporting families aﬀected by the tornado and serving meals to our community in need of assistance. What do you like most about serving the community? The community is a reﬂection of the work that is done in the educational systems. Any opportunity we have to serve the community strengthens the commitment that I have made to develop the whole child and provide all opportunities for our students to reach high levels of success. The district provides educational opportunities for our citizens, including English classes and supporting students with disabilities. The only way to educate our students and bridge the gap between families and the educational system is to be a part of the community. Attending events, participating in committee work, sharing the positive experiences, being a cheerleader for the community is a part of leading a district. Building trust and demonstrating a high level of commitment to all is rewarding to me. Every decision, every experience, every opportunity to support and volunteer makes a diﬀerence and that is what I was intended to do. It is the impact that brings me my greatest joy! Read full proﬁle at galvnews.com. MELISSA DUARTE CITY OF RESIDENCE » Texas City OCCUPATION » Superintendent “I WANT THE COMMUNITY TO TAKE PRIDE IN OUR WORK AT THE SHELTER. KNOWING WE HAVE VERY POSITIVE SUPPORT FROM PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES INDICATES WE ARE DOING OUR JOB WELL.” “EVERY DECISION, EVERY EXPERIENCE, EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO SUPPORT AND VOLUNTEER MAKES A DIFFERENCE ...” 2022 | Citizen of the Year Finalists | The Daily News | 5 In what ways are you involved with the community? Community and civic events coordinator/producer. What do you like most about serving the community? It’s all about my motto: “When we uplift others, we all win.” As well as knowing positive changes within our community is not impossible. What motivates you to get involved in your community? There is always a need to promote as well as stand up, speak up and bring others on board in unity to bring forth positive changes within the Afrocentric and Hispanic community in Galveston County and on Galveston Island. What does it mean to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year? First, I will say I am humbled, appreciative and surprised to have been nominated and be a ﬁnalist along with so many other amazing individuals. Most importantly, I give all of the glory to Elohim (God Almighty) for it is only by his will that being a ﬁnalist was manifested. I ask him daily to order my steps to be a blessing to others. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? Giving back means uplifting others, inspiring others and bringing forth a positive impact. One of my favorite quotes is from Marcus Garvey: “What you do today is worthwhile, inspires others to act at some future time.” If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be? Because of my strong belief in God’s promises that all of my days were pre-ordained by his power, while I was yet in my mother’s womb, I wouldn’t want to go back and do anything over. Any mistakes I made, any human choices — right or wrong — are blessings and lessons. 2022 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS LAWANDA HARDEMAN-WARD CITY OF RESIDENCE » Galveston OCCUPATION » Retired from the cosmetics industry In what ways are you involved with the community? I am the founder of the Leah Samone Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was created in memory of my young daughter who passed away at an early age. The committee awards scholarships to deserving high school seniors to make higher education accessible. We also perform random acts of kindness in the community by providing toiletries and clothing items to the homeless and annually donating Thanksgiving baskets to UTMB breast cancer patients and Christmas gift bags to assisted living residents. I am an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., where I coordinate voter registration drives and provide important political information to voters; I am a board member for the Galveston Children’s Museum, advisory board member for the UTMB Black Employee Resource Group (BERG), volunteer for The Salvation Army Galveston, and I LORRAINE HUNTER-SIMPSON CITY OF RESIDENCE » Texas City OCCUPATION » Administrative oﬃce manager “GIVING BACK MEANS UPLIFTING OTHERS, INSPIRING OTHERS AND BRINGING FORTH A POSITIVE IMPACT.” What’s something that most people don’t know about you? I love the sound of water ﬂowing, such as waterfalls and rain, as well as spending lots of serenity time on the beach in meditation. I speak positive aﬃrmations constantly. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Trust in my divine creator, respect and honor my worth, walk in my God-given purpose and stay positive ﬂow. “IT’S ALWAYS A BLESSING TO BLESS OTHERS.” collaborate with other organizations to make an impact in the community. What do you like most about serving the community? I love to see the smiles and the acts of gratitude from the recipients. I enjoy the feeling of joy and pure humility. It also provides me with a sense of purpose through meaningful change. What motivates you to get involved in your community? I want our community to be a positive space where everyone is proud to call Galveston home. I like to show acts of kindness to individuals, while paying attention to the needs of the citizens in our community. What does it mean to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year? Being named as a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year serves as a source of humility and joy. I am truly honored to know the community values and supports my work throughout the community. I will continue to give back to the community with positive and meaningful contributions. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? It is very important to give back to the community because it allows you to make positive contributions and assist with the needs of the community. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be? I would like to have spent more time in the kitchen with my mother to learn her recipes and how to cook special dishes. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? It’s always a blessing to bless others.6 | The Daily News | Citizen of the Year Finalists | 2022 In what ways are you involved with the community? I am involved in the community as a registered pharmacist of 51 years providing drug information to the citizens of the community. I served on the College of the Mainland Board of Trustees from 2005-11 as an advocate and voice for the students and community the college serves and as a teacher, mentoring and preparing the future pharmacists and pharmacy technicians of the community. I served on the advisory boards for both the nursing and pharmacy advisory boards helping to get the pharmacy tech program nationally accredited. In 2020, the pharmacy tech program was recognized as the No. 1 program in the state of Texas. Currently I serve as the vice chairman of the Galveston County Health District Board; drug information and speaker for the Season Saints at Greater St. Matthews Church, helping seniors who had no computer access to get registered for COVID-19 vaccines; member of My Sisters Keepers breast awareness committee; awarded the Stephen Holmes Community Legend Award; and recognized by the mayor of Texas City in February 2022 for Black Excellence achievements. What do you like most about serving the community? I enjoy helping to give hope, knowledge and compassion to the students and community I serve by teaching, mentoring and speaking to those in need of health care information. What motivates you to get involved in your community? Working together with others to bring out the best in our students, community and empowering them to reach for the stars and become the best they can be. Remembering all the people who motivated me and whose shoulders I stand on today. What does it mean to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year? It is a great honor for me, a young girl of humble beginnings, to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year for 2022. The work that I have done is speaking for me. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? It is important to give back to the community to help build stronger communities by creating change and knowledge for the future leaders of tomorrow. So many people in this community invested in me and my success by mentoring and exposing me to knowledge, hard work and integrity. We must invest in our youth of today and tomorrow if we want strong communities. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be? I would go back and attend medical school. Read full proﬁle at galvnews.com. 2022 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS DR. ANNETTE JENKINS CITY OF RESIDENCE » Texas City OCCUPATION » Retired pharmacist/pharmacy director In what ways are you involved with the community? I am a board member and treasurer for Sunshine Center, Better Parks for Galveston, Elks Lodge 126 and a Girl Scout Troop at Independence Village. I’m president of the International Oleander Society, and I recently resigned from the Resource & Crisis Center board to take the ﬁnance manager position because I felt I could make a bigger diﬀerence for the clients in this position. I am also involved with Christy’s Wish Foundation, Galveston Historical Foundation and Yaga’s Children’s Fund. I provide low-cost or free income tax return services to our older population. What do you like most about serving the community? I love helping people! Just the smallest gesture can put a smile on someone’s face, so you can imagine how happy people are when you are a part of something bigger, something that can make a huge diﬀerence in AMBER JINKINS CITY OF RESIDENCE » Galveston OCCUPATION » Finance manager “IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD THAT I AM IN A POSITION TO HELP OTHERS.” their lives, something like sheltering, clothing and feeding a family who are victims of domestic violence. It makes me feel good that I am in a position to help others. What motivates you to get involved in your community? I am a very passionate person, and if I see a need and I can help, I do. My motivation comes from my upbringing. I started serving my community when I was 8 years old. What does it mean to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year? Oh my gosh, it would be the biggest honor. I don’t volunteer for recognition, but this would be a great opportunity to encourage all service organizations to work together and support each other. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? I think anyone who has time, talent or treasure to share should have a moral responsibility to give back to the community. We all need to support each other because it’s the right thing to do. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be? I think I would go to medical school instead of business school. I would follow in my family’s footsteps and take care of sick people. What’s something that most people don’t know about you? As much as I love planning events and fundraising and meeting people, I am really shy until I get to know you. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Smile and be sweet!TOGETHER WE SUCCEED Congratulations, Superintendent Melissa Duarte, Ed.D., on being named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year. Texas City ISD strives to develop students poised to change the world. Having an empowering leader who uplifts others, celebrates success and leads by example makes a diﬀerence in our schools and builds and strengthens our community. Thank you for being a champion, advocate and mentor and inspiring our students and staﬀ to succeed! INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT TOGETHER WE SUCCEED www.tcisd.org 2022 | Citizen of the Year Finalists | The Daily News | 7TEXAS CITY 905 Logan 409-948-1771 FRIENDSWOOD 601 S. Friendswood Dr. #103 281-819-4280 GALVESTON - WEST END 13680 FM 3005 409-737-1488 LEAGUE CITY 2225 Phillips Road, Suite 100 281-332-3521 GALVESTON 222 Kempner 409-763-4641 SANTA FE 13227 FM 1764 409-925-3800 AR A-P 8 | The Daily News | Citizen of the Year Finalists | 2022 In what ways are you involved with the community? Mainly through Galveston Island Meals on Wheels. I have served this organization as a volunteer, president of the board and contributor to the board of directors. What do you like most about serving the community? Knowing I have contributed to serving the elderly and inﬁrm of Galveston for more than 30 years. What motivates you to get involved in your community? Values — always help those in need. What does it mean to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year? A true honor. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? For me, it is knowing I have given back to the community I live in. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be? Truly nothing! When my ﬁve daughters were young, I belonged to every organization at their schools and they were proud; I love helping. What’s something that most people don’t know about you? That I am Meals on Wheels to my neighbors! I prepare food for all who are in need of help, due to their health. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? The Serenity Prayer. 2022 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS DONNA KEARNEY CITY OF RESIDENCE » Galveston OCCUPATION » Homemaker “ALWAYS HELP THOSE IN NEED.” 2022 | Citizen of the Year Finalists | The Daily News | 9 Mary Lou Kelso We’re so proud of you! We only wish Dad could be here to see it, too! With much love - Amy, Jennifer, Rob, Andrew and Cate In what ways are you involved with the community? For the past 20 years, I have been involved as both a Master Gardener and Master Naturalist through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Galveston County Oﬃce and have served on The Friends of Moody Gardens Board. I serve on the Galveston Academic Excellence Booster Club Board, which recognizes the Top 50 students and teachers in the city each year. For the past several years, I’ve been a judge for the Galveston Youth Leadership Awards. I’m also a regular volunteer for the Galveston Historical Foundation, volunteering for the Homes Tour in May and Dickens on The Strand, as well as the Rosenberg Library annual Used Book Sale. What do you like most about serving the community? I like to know that I’m making a diﬀerence. While serving as president of The Friends of Moody Gardens, we started to hold an annual fundraiser to bring the attractions of Moody Gardens to more people in the community. Initially, the Friends’ mission was to bring all of the third-graders in Galveston to the Rainforest Pyramid, but as a result of our fundraising, we were also able to bring all ﬁfth-graders to the Aquarium Pyramid. Additionally, we brought groups, such as the Sunshine Center and Libbie’s Place, to see the Moody Gardens attractions and facilitated the traveling trunk show to visit the Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, senior citizen facilities and Pre-K programs. What motivates you to get involved in your community? My maternal grandmother, Ana Vlastelica Dipuccio, and her work ethic were a big inspiration to me. She emigrated to Galveston from Zagreb when she was 16 and was never able to return to Croatia. She worked hard her entire life to provide for her young family, working as a housekeeper at American National and taking in boarders after my grandfather died of the Spanish ﬂu in 1918. She never drove and lived a very modest life, but she was content. I like to think that I am carrying on in her footsteps. What does it mean to be named a ﬁnalist for Citizen of the Year? I never volunteer in order to be recognized or receive an award. I am incredibly honored and humbled to be a ﬁnalist for this prestigious honor. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community? Helping the community is the Galveston way of life. Where would we be if the survivors of the 1900 Storm didn’t put the island ﬁrst, rebuilding Galveston from the rubble? I also have a purpose and commitment to make the city even better now 122 years later. Read full proﬁle at galvnews.com. 2022 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS MARY LOU KELSO CITY OF RESIDENCE » Galveston OCCUPATION » Retired, Galveston Independent School DistrictNext >