Lifelong Humble native and business owner Jess Fields was revealed to be the Lake Houston Chamber’s 2018 Haden McKay, M.D. Citizen of the Year.

- Jess Field revealed Jess Field revealed as 2018 Haden McKay, M.D. Citizen of the Year -

Chamber Chair-Elect Sam Schrade made the announcement at the conclusion of the chamber’s annual Salute to Small Business Luncheon Nov. 29 at The Club of Houston.

“This award has a very special meaning for me,” Fields told the group. “My father, Jack Fields, Sr., was named Citizen of the Year in 1972 and my brother, Jack, Jr., received the award in 2001.”

Fields is owner and president of Rosewood Funeral Home, one of the few family-owned funeral businesses in Texas. The Rosewood family includes four funeral homes in Humble, Porter, Pasadena and Atascocita, two cemeteries and a crematory.

Fields will be honored at the chamber’s Annual Awards Extravaganza Friday, Jan. 25, at 11 a.m. at The Overlook in Atascocita. Recipients of the Spirit of the Chamber, Rising Star and Chairman’s Awards also will be announced. The event will honor outgoing Board Chair Corinn Price, the 2018 board of directors and the 2018 committee chairs.

Prior to the Citizen of the Year announcement, the chamber praised Lake Houston’s small businesses with two speakers well-versed in the small business industry.

Mike Ross praised Lake Houston’s businesses for “…having the courage to do something others didn’t.”

Ross, manager of corporate innovation and development for the luncheon’s presenting sponsor, Insperity, offered two challenges to small business owners attending the luncheon.

“Never stop learning. There is so much more to learn. And you need to challenge your own employees to learn,” Ross said. “My second challenge is to look for opportunities to give back to your community.”

“Lake Houston was built on your shoulders,” Ross told the group, “and we celebrate and salute you today.”

Miguel Lopez, executive director of the Lone Star College Small Business Development Center, singled out three Lake Houston small business owners for their entrepreneurial spirit and for being named finalists in Lone Star’s annual Small Business of the Year awards.

The business owners were Nikole Davis of Pretty Little Things in the Young Entrepreneur category; Schrade of DNA Studios LLC in the Minority Owned category; and Daniel and Judith DiGregorio of Postal Annex Kingwood in the Franchise Owner category.

“Running a business will never be risk-free,” Lopez said, “that’s why the Small Business Development Center works to help small businesses lessen that risk.”

While the Gulf Coast region is a good place to open a business, Lopez said 70 percent of all start-ups have failed by Year 5.

“The brutal reality,” Lopez said, “is that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. You must be reliable, self-sufficient and a risk-taker.”

Lopez encourages small business owners to the center at 832-813-6674 or lonestar.sbdcnetwork.net. He praised the importance of networking as well as participating in the chamber.

“We offer one-on-one business advice,” he said, “and can give you the tools you need to improve your bottom line.”

The Small Business Development Center assisted 410 new clients last fiscal year, Lopez said, in such areas as financing, marketing and developing the “soft skills” needed to run a successful business.

Schrade summarized the Small Business Salute with one phrase, “Aim at nothing – and you’ll hit it every time.”

In place of their monthly luncheon, The chamber will host the Elected Officials Reception and Breakfast Dec. 11 at 8:30 a.m. at the Golf Club of Houston, 5860 Wilson Road, honoring retiring Congressman Ted Poe, who will receive the Spirit of Commerce award, and recognizing and honoring all local, state and national elected officials.

For more information or to register for the breakfast or Award Extravaganza, visit .

Tom Broad
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Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, hoabinhre, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.