2023 Hometown Hero Announcement from Interfaith of The Woodlands
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Interfaith of The Woodlands is honored to announce the selection of the 2023 Hometown Heroes. The tradition of Hometown Heroes began in 1999, in celebration of The Woodlands 25th Anniversary. This year, four individuals, a couple and two organizations have been named to the distinguished list of Heroes, each recognized in a unique way for the lasting impact they have made on The Woodlands community.
Shirelle Chimenti, Sheriff Rand Henderson, Danny and Angie Signorelli, Theresa Wagaman, and Ann Wolford, Conroe ISD and Cypress Woodlands Junior Forum, will officially join 146 other distinguished individuals, businesses and organizations as Hometown Heroes during The Woodlands Celebration of Excellence Gala on Friday, March 31, 2023. Recognized for their many contributions to the community, these honorees have each demonstrated exemplary leadership and a dedication to preserving Mr. George P. Mitchell’s vision for The Woodlands community.
The 2023 Hometown Heroes were announced last night at a gathering on the Terrace at The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway surrounded by family, friends and Hometown Heroes from 1999-2022. The event venue was sponsored by Howard Hughes Corporation with food, drinks and decorations generously provided by Truluck’s The Woodlands.
“Each year, our community nominates individuals who they believe are deserving of this honor. We are blessed, here in The Woodlands area, to have so many neighbors who choose to share their time, talents and treasures, giving back and making positive impact to make our community the best place to live, work, play and pray! We had an amazing evening, under the stars, publicly announcing the Heroes at The Woodlands Towers. We look forward to celebrating all of our Hometown Heroes at the Gala in March, while remembering those that have come before us, whose contributions have created this very special place we call home,” shared Missy Herndon, President & CEO of Interfaith of The Woodlands.
Criteria for the selection of the Hometown Heroes includes: serving as a positive role model, having a history of volunteerism, sacrificing personal gain to achieve noble goals, exhibiting leadership and courage and embodying the values of The Woodlands community. Nominations were open to the community in the late Spring, and presented to a selection committee comprised of previously awarded Hometown Heroes.
The Woodlands Celebration of Excellence Gala is the largest annual fundraiser for Interfaith of The Woodlands. Generously sponsored by dozens of local businesses and organizations, all proceeds benefit Interfaith’s community programs and services. For sponsorship opportunities or individual tickets, please visit hometownheroesgala.org or contact Amanda Poole, Interfaith’s Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 832-615-8225.
2023 HOMETOWN HEROES BIOS:
Shirelle Hebert Chimenti was born and raised in the suburbs of New Orleans, LA. She is a former Miss Louisiana, USA and was 3rd runner up in the 1994 Miss USA pageant. She moved to The Woodlands in 1999 and continues to live here with her husband of 27 years, Dr. Brian Thomas Chimenti and their two amazing children Mason Thomas and Ashlyn Grace.
In addition to having been on the Interfaith of the Woodland's Celebration of Excellence Gala committee, which she co-chaired in 2018, Shirelle co-founded and co-chaired DOCS, Doctors Outreach for Community Service, which raised funds for Interfaith of The Woodlands Community Clinic, formally known as Montgomery County Community Clinic. She has also Co- Chaired the The American Heart Association’s, Montgomery County, Go Red for Women Luncheon, Tea on the Lawn benefitting New Danville, Annual Fund for The John Cooper School, and Open Your Purse for Change benefitting the Montgomery County Woman's Center. In 2021 Shirelle co-chaired the Habitat for Humanity gala where her family generously donated over 80 acres to the organization. Over the years, Shirelle has hosted numerous fundraisers and benefits at her home for all of these organizations and others, including several shopping parties benefitting HOPE, The Will Herndon Fund. She has also been involved with, Montgomery County Food Bank, The Leukemia/ Lymphoma Society, and Art for Fashion.
Shirelle was an Interfaith 2019 Service of Excellence award recipient and 2022 Habitat for Humanity Honoree. She says being named a Hometown Hero is one of the biggest honors of her life and is beyond touched and grateful for being included amongst a group of Woodland’s legends!
Sheriff Rand Henderson
Sheriff Rand Henderson is a native Texan and lifelong public servant with both law enforcement and corrections experience who has served the Montgomery County community since 1994. He was elected Montgomery County Sheriff and was sworn into office January 1, 2017. He is married and has 2 children.
Rand Henderson graduated from the Texas Peace Officer Academic Licensing Academy (TPOALA) receiving his Peace Officer license and commission from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in 1994. He moved his way through the ranks of the Sheriff’s Office holding the positons of Patrol Deputy, Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain before being elected to the office of Sheriff.
He has held prominent roles in Emergency Management serving as incident Commander during hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike. He was selected to serve as the Law Enforcement Branch Commander and Public Information Officer during the Magnolia wildfires of 2011. He has also served on anti-terrorism planning committees with the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) as well as criminal justice committees with the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC.) Rand has also served as an adjunct professor of Criminal Justice at both Lone Star College and his alma mater, Sam Houston State University.
Rand is a graduate of the FBI National Academy (Session #232) and the Leadership Command College (Class #48). He holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University. He holds a Master Peace Officer Certification, Law Enforcement Instructor License, Crime Prevention Inspector License, and a Texas Jail License. He is a lifetime member of the NRA, Montgomery County Fair Association, The 100 Club, Sam Houston State University Alumni Association, and the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas. The Henderson family worships at First Presbyterian Church of Conroe.
Danny and Angie Signorelli:
Making a positive impact on their community is all in a day's work for Angie and Danny Signorelli, founders and owners of The Signorelli Company (TSC). This dynamic couple keeps adding to the decades of time, talent, and resources they give to serve others.
Over their history, Angie, Danny, and The Signorelli Company family have collectively raised and donated over $4 million, most notably by creating endowed college scholarships for high school graduates in East Montgomery County and currently by spearheading the development of the Angel Reach Village, a community of homes for young adults who have aged out of the foster care system. The list of other nonprofit organizations this generous couple and their company have financially supported is just too lengthy to list, numbering around 40, and includes worthy causes ranging from healthcare to social services to youth sports, to name a few.
A 3rd generation Montgomery County resident, Danny has volunteered for a broad range of civic and community causes and readily accepts a challenge he cares deeply about. He is passionate about encouraging others to get involved too. Along with mentoring employees at his own company, Danny works with students and young adults at Leadership Montgomery County, Urban Land Institute, and the Texas A&M MRE program, encouraging them to be active in their communities, use their voices and talents, and give back. In his 'spare time,' Danny volunteers as the John Cooper School pole vault coach, where his athletes won both women's and men's state championship titles last year. He currently serves in leadership roles at Preserve the Woodlands PAC, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and in the development of Angel Reach Village. In 2020, he served as the chair for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light-theNight Montgomery County, leading the chapter to raise more money than all other chapters in the nation. Angie Signorelli started her career as an English teacher for at-risk students and soon learned that her personal connection with students helped them overcome the challenges they faced. In fact, the Signorelli family took in one student to live with them so she could safely finish out her last two years of high school. Now in her thirties, this student will be graduating with honors from Sam Houston State University this year and be the first in her family to graduate from college. This ignited Angie's passion for doing more, and after having her first daughter, Alexa, Angie attended graduate school at the University of Houston and became a licensed social worker. Twins Bella and Nico arrived soon after, and then daughter, Milla, and caring for her four children became Angie's focus, along with volunteering for worthwhile causes. After the children were off at school, Angie returned to the social work she loved, first at Conroe-based Connecting Families, helping families and individuals gain access to counseling and mental health services when they could not afford them. Now she works part-time at Angel Reach, providing counseling and parenting assistance to children and their caregivers in the foster care system. Providing access to mental health services for those in need remains a passion. Angie is also a tireless advocate for the Montgomery County Women's Center, serving on the board and co-chairing many fundraisers for the shelter. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the John Cooper School, on the Montgomery County Community Development Citizen Advisory Committee, and on the Advisory Board for the Angel Reach Kinship program. She has served as an adjunct professor at Stephen F. Austin University's Lone Star Campus, educating and mentoring students in the social work program.
This dynamic couple will celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary this November, and their legacy of community service, which can trace back to their earliest days together, is still very much in the making.
Theresa Wagaman is a native Texan who grew up in El Paso, graduated and earned a BA in Communications and English from Texas Tech University. After graduation, she and her spouse Scott moved to the east coast and then Louisiana before returning to Texas to raise their children, Nathan and Natalie in 2004.
After moving to The Woodlands, Theresa got involved with the Alden Bridge Village Association and dedicated her time to support Conroe ISD. She stays heavily involved with our students and teachers and has found the best way to do this is through volunteer service. She served multiple terms on PTO Boards, as a member and president, as well as on scholarship committees, and providing continuing education programs for teachers. Elected in 2021, Theresa serves as 2nd Vice President of Conroe ISD Board of Trustees. Theresa has long been dedicated to her community, through philanthropy, and volunteerism. Most notably serving as the 47th President of The Woodlands Rotary Club, a Graduate of Leadership Montgomery, Class of 2021, a long-time Sustainer, Junior League of The Woodlands, Past-President of the National Charity League, Bluebonnet Chapter, served on the Montgomery County YMCA Board, she is an Eagle Scout Mom and an Ambassador to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Montgomery County.
Growing up in El Paso, Texas, Theresa witnessed poverty firsthand by just looking across the Rio Grande River as they drove down I-10. Her parents Louis and Margaretann Bustamante volunteered their entire lives, Louis with CASA and Margaretann with too many organizations to list, (yes, I am my mother’s daughter). They also instilled in me, two of their best character traits, the desire to volunteer and give freely. By honoring me, you honor them and all they taught me about giving of myself to others. Not because I must, but because I want to. It is my greatest hope that I have shown this to my children Nathan and Natalie, during the times we have volunteered together. My children are my greatest joy and my family my greatest love. Theresa is a licensed Residential Realtor with Compass Realty, serving The Woodlands, Spring, and surrounding areas for over 14 years. She loves to read non-fiction and, walk/hike with her dogs and try new restaurants with her family. They are members of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church.
Ann’s professional career has been devoted to mission-driven work. She moved to The Woodlands, Texas in 1997 from Santa Fe, New Mexico where she worked for the Santa Fe Community Foundation. It was there that she began work in the philanthropic sector and developed a passion for community capacity building and fundraising.
When Ann moved to Texas, her work involved many “firsts” as she was hired into new positions where her role was to build a department from the ground up and develop successful communication and fundraising programs from that infrastructure. She established Interfaith of The Woodlands’ Development and Community Relations Department; Memorial Hermann Foundation’s first Development office at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands; and she became the first Director of Business Development and Physician Relations at Huntsville Memorial Hospital. Ann launched the US Oncology Foundation as its first Executive Director and served as Director of Charitable Giving for US Oncology (now McKesson).
Ann especially enjoys working with volunteers and professionals in the nonprofit field to build capacity in their organization. She thrives on helping groups find the “uniqueness” that sets them apart from other worthwhile organizations. Her twelve years in the healthcare field give her a unique grasp of the challenges facing healthcare organizations, physicians, and those who utilize their services.
Ann’s community service includes leadership positions on local nonprofit boards, including The Montgomery County Community Foundation, South County Community Clinic, Rotary Club of The Woodlands and The Woodlands Rotary Club Foundation. She is the past president of the Rotary Club of The Woodlands and The Woodlands Rotary Club Foundation, and the South County Community Clinic (now Interfaith Community Clinic). She currently serves on The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors and serves as chair of the Advisory Council for Angel Reach. She is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is a past board member of Leadership Montgomery County. Ann was a mentor at Hailey Elementary School for years and is eager to return as a volunteer once the program is re-implemented.
In 2011, Ann established The Wolford Group, a consulting firm to help nonprofits realize their potential, whether it is helping them refine their vision, raise awareness about their services, conduct a capital campaign, develop a fundraising program, or a strategic plan. Nonprofit clients range from start-up nonprofits to multimillion-dollar organizations. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with others through professional presentations and education. She has served as an adjunct professor in the School for Nonprofit Management at Angelina College since 2021 where she teaches Nonprofit Marketing.
Ann lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband Kent and dog Sammy. They have a blended family of 5 children and three grandchildren. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University, Ann loves family time, reading, Pilates, cooking, and time with friends.
Conroe Independent School District
Established in 1892, Conroe ISD is a 348-square-mile school district that is geographically diverse and includes The Woodlands, Shenandoah, Oak Ridge North, Conroe, and Grangerland, as well as several other smaller towns, communities, and unincorporated areas. As the 9th largest district in Texas and the 60th largest in the U.S., Conroe ISD serves approximately 71,000 students across 67 campuses and is one of the fastest growing districts in the State with current enrollment growth exceeding 3,000 students per year. In addition to being the largest school district in Montgomery County, Conroe ISD is the largest employer with over 10,000 employees. The District offers competitive salaries, is committed to providing quality professional development, and is proud to have the second lowest tax rate in the Houston metropolitan area at $1.1146. In 2021, over 4,600 Conroe ISD employees responded anonymously to a third-party survey resulting in the District being named a Top Workplace by the Houston Chronicle. In 2022, Conroe ISD was named as one of America’s Best-in-State Employers for Texas by Forbes.
Conroe ISD offers a comprehensive academic program with a graduation rate of 97.3%, the highest level in decades. In 2021-2022, Conroe ISD students earned a combined 9,455 dual credit hours and passed over 6,500 AP exams earning nearly 20,000 college hours. The District’s athletic programs boast a tradition of excellence with perennially strong performances at the local and State levels, multiple State championships annually, and eight UIL 6-A Lone Star Cup awards for athletic and academic achievement. Conroe ISD’s fine arts program offers an assortment of courses to meet the needs and interests of all students. In 2022, 41 high school students spanning Conroe ISD’s six comprehensive high schools were named Texas Music Educators Association All-State Musicians in the areas of band, choir, and orchestra. Conroe ISD was named a 2022 Texas Art Education Association District of Distinction for providing a well-rounded education that promotes and integrates visual arts curriculum. The District is also a 9-time recipient of the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education Award. Conroe ISD’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum provides students in grades 7 through 12 the opportunity to participate in a variety of course offerings across 13 career clusters and 29 programs of study. In the 2021-2022 school year, over 22,000 students in grades 7 through 12 enrolled in at least one CTE course. For 2023, and the second consecutive year, Conroe ISD was named by Niche as the Best School District and Most Diverse School District in Montgomery County.
The District was also ranked as the Best Place to Teach and the Best District for Student Athletes in Montgomery County. Conroe ISD is one of only two districts in the State to be recognized for 12 consecutive years for high academic achievement while maintaining cost-effective operations by Texas Smart Schools, formerly known as the FAST report. The District has also been ranked second out of the 200 largest districts in Texas for three consecutive years for academic and financial performance according to the Education Resource Group. Conroe ISD is a community of individuals working together to achieve the best for students. The accomplishments of the students, teachers, and administrators along with the support of the community have helped make Conroe ISD a great place to be.
Cypress Woodlands Junior Forum
Cypress-Woodlands Junior Forum is a growing women’s service organization in the corridor north of Houston including Cypress, Tomball, Spring, Montgomery County, and The Woodlands. Started in 1982, the group is dedicated to volunteer services, leadership and philanthropy in the community by partnering with individuals, families, schools, organizations and corporations. Members strive to impact others through education, crisis intervention, and interaction with an aging population and support for people with disabilities.
Known for its compassion, integrity and steadfast involvement in community service, CWJF strives to fulfill the needs of the community. CWJF impacts the community with its Signature Programs, Scholarship Program and other various service-focused projects. Cypress-Woodlands Junior Forum is proud to celebrate 40 years of continued service to our community!