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Lake Houston area residents named to SJRA board

Chron logo Chron 2/7/2018 By Melanie Feuk, mfeuk@hcnonline.com

Two Kingwood residents and one Montgomery resident have been appointed to the San Jacinto River Authority board of directors by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The appointments of Kingwood residents Mark Micheletti and Kaaren Cambio, and Montgomery County resident Charles "Ed" Boulware were announced Monday, Feb. 5.

Appointing SJRA board members from the Lake Houston area was one of the requests outlined in the Lake Houston Chamber of Commerce's Plea for Three letter writing campaign through their Recover Lake Houston initiative.

"Governor Abbott's action in response to the thousands of Plea for Three Lake Houston letters and emails sent to the governor's office and to other state officials from area residents is proof that the capitol is hearing the Lake Houston Area loud and clear," according to a chamber press release.

Kingwood resident Kaaren Cambio is one of three Lake Houston area residents to be appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to the San Jacinto River Authority board of directors. © Courtesy Of Kaaren Cambio Kingwood resident Kaaren Cambio is one of three Lake Houston area residents to be appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to the San Jacinto River Authority board of directors.

Micheletti is the executive director of Berkeley Eye Center. He was a certified public accountant and helped begin the Lake Houston Economic Development Partnership, for which he is the board chair.

He has also been on the boards of area nonprofits and performs charitable work with St. Martha's Catholic Parish and an annual Christmas toy drive.

His term on the SJRA board will be for six years.

"(Micheletti) has been involved with our Long-term Recovery Task Force from the beginning," said Jenna Armstrong, Lake Houston chamber CEO. "His house flooded, so he has a vested interest in moving forward. He has a great understanding of what happened and ideas as far as improving."

The chamber's long-term Recovery Task Force helped gather letters of support from officials and dignitaries on behalf of Micheletti.

"One of the things that was important to us was that they're forward-thinking and able to say, 'The past is the past, but what can we improve moving forward?' That's hard to do if somebody is angry and accusatory and goes in looking to cause problems," Armstrong said. "It's all about taking the right approach and working collaboratively."

From working with him for several years she is confident in his fairness and ability to question things in a respectful way that encourages problem solving.

Cambio is a deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood and is a USO volunteer at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

She just retired from being the Caymus Resources president. She's a member of both the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's Scholarship and Tours Committee, as well as the Kings Trails Chapter of the National Charity League, where she is a past president.

She graduated San Diego State University with a bachelor of business administration.

Cambio's term on the SJRA board will last until Oct. 2019.

Boulware worked for Shell Oil Co. for nearly four decades and is now retired. He was formerly the April Sound Men's Club president. Boulware graduated Texas A&M University with a bachelor's degree in computer science.

"We look forward to meeting them and beginning the orientation process," said Jace Houston, SJRA general manager. "It is a learning curve. It's not just a new entity, but most people are just entering in to the water business, so it's a new area for them. So, we have an organized process of sitting down, getting them oriented to the operations and welcoming them to everything we do and we're excited to start the process."

Houston said having both upstream and downstream perspectives represented on the board is valuable.

"It is very valuable to for everyone to have not just a say in the process, but a deep understanding of the process so there is less chance of misunderstanding," Houston said.

Armstrong believes that a key way in which having Lake Houston residents represented on the SJRA board may benefit the community is by enhancing communication between the SJRA and other entities.

"The communication process is a huge point – communicating with other communities, other offices, making sure all affected areas know what's coming," Armstrong said.

The decision to appoint Lake Houston area residence to the SJRA board gives a boost to the task force's efforts, according to Armstrong.

Kingwood resident Mark Micheletti is one of three Lake Houston area residents who were recently appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to the San Jacinto River Authority board of directors. © Courtesy Of The Lake Houston Area Chamber Of Commerce Kingwood resident Mark Micheletti is one of three Lake Houston area residents who were recently appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to the San Jacinto River Authority board of directors.

"We have finally gotten the attention of Governor Abbott and it's good to know we're being heard," Armstrong said. "I think we finally have a voice and it's a good time for us to move forward toward a long-term strategy."

Mark Micheletti and Kaaren Cambio, both Kingwood residents, have been appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to the San Jacinto River Authority board of directors. © Photos Courtesy Of Lake Houston Area Chamber Of Commerce And Kaaren Cambio Mark Micheletti and Kaaren Cambio, both Kingwood residents, have been appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to the San Jacinto River Authority board of directors.

Houston City Council Member Dave Martin approached the LHACC with the Plea For Three concept, including the push to get Lake Houston area residents appointed to the SJRA. State Rep. Dan Huberty and state Sen. Brandon Creighton were other elected officials who have been supporting the cause.

"I fully intend to continue working with the entire board of directors and the general manager as well as all stakeholders to ensure that SJRA fulfills their duties to the highest degree," Creighton said in a press release. "I believe the new board members will add much needed representation from different parts of the river basin."

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