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Partnership Members Respond to COVID-19

Published May 12, 2020 by Julia McGowen

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Members of the Partnership are helping fight COVID-19 here in Houston and around the country in many different ways. Learn about some of our member companies who are making a difference. 

Donations & Assistance 

United Way of Greater Houston and Greater Houston Community Foundation: Launch of Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund 
The Greater Houston COVID-19 Fund will focus on funding support services that stabilize basic needs by providing access to food, health care, shelter, utility assistance, transportation and other unmet basic needs that have arisen as a result of the pandemic in the short-term and will respond to developing needs over time as resources are available. Learn More

Partnership Member Donors to Recovery Fund: 

  • Houston Endowment Inc. – $1 million 
  • Phillips 66 – $1 million 
  • Enbridge – $300,000 
  • David & Bonnie Weekley – $250,000
  • Calpine Corporation – $200,000
  • Burns & McDonnell – $150,000 
  • Wells Fargo Foundation – $150,000 
  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation – $100,000 
  • Bank of Texas – $100,000 
  • CenterPoint Energy Foundation – $100,000 
  • Crown Castle – $100,000 
  • Deloitte – $100,000 
  • Houston Texans Foundation – $100,000
  • The Kroger Co. Foundation – $100,000 
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co – $100,000 
  • Motiva Enterprises – $250,000 
  • Kinder Morgan Foundation –$50,000 

JPMorgan Chase: Donates Over $1M to Houston-Area Nonprofits for COVID-19 Challenges – May 29
The contributions will aid the nonprofit in providing food, housing and utility assistance during the coronavirus pandemic. Learn More

Reliant: Donates $130,000 to Houston Methodist Hospital for COVID-19 Healthcare Solutions – May 28
The donation establishes the “Reliant Innovation Fund,” enabling critical care innovations that will drive the future of healthcare in a post COVID-19 world. Learn More

Sempra LNG:  Sempra Energy Foundation Awards $215,000 in Grants to Nonprofits Impacted By COVID-19 – May 12
The foundation has awarded 12 grants to nonprofit organizations in Southeast Texas to support the increased volume of services provided to vulnerable individuals and families affected by COVID-19. Learn More

Kinder Foundation: Houston Food Bank Gets $1 Million Boost  – May 6
The foundation's gift will help the nonprofit hire laid-off workers, rent equipment and provide meals to those in need. Learn More

BP: Donates Jet Fuel to COVID-19 US Relief Efforts  – April 29
Donations to FedEx Express and Alaska Airlines help speed delivery of personal protective equipment and other essential goods nationwide. Learn More

University of Houston: Partnering with Health System to Provide Protective Equipment  – April 29
Harris Health System tapped the University of Houston to make medical face shields for doctors and nurses at the system's two hospitals — Ben Taub and Lyndon B. Johnson. Learn More

Junior Achievement: Providing Online Learning Experiences – April 23
With schools closed, Junior Achievement is providing free online learning experiences that students can do on their own, with a parent or other caring adult, or with teachers via a digital/virtual environment. Learn More

Neuhaus Education Center: Delivering Virtual Curricula – April 23
Neuhaus Education Center has made their curriculum available online as a downloadable resources for teachers and families. Learn More

Engie North America: $100,000 Contribution to The Houston Food Bank  – April 21
Their local contribution will help The Houston Food Bank distribute emergency food boxes and produce to partner agencies working to provide food assistance and direct deliveries to homebound people with little or no access to food resources. 

Crown Castle: Ensuring 55,000 Students Have Tools to Access Distance Learning  – April 20
Crown Castle’s Connected by Good program has donated to non-profit organizations and school district foundations across the country to get laptops and mobile hotspots to students who need them most.

Cheniere: Commits More Than $1 Million to Global COVID-19 Relief Efforts – April 16
Cheniere Energy, Inc. pledges more than $1 million to organizations that provide essential services to those most in need and at risk during the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn More

Camden Property Trust: Establishes $1 Million Employee Fund – April 16
The Houston-based apartment owner Camden Property Trust has made $1 million available to help its employees for coronavirus-related expenses. Learn More

BHP Petroleum: Establishes $2 Million Community Relief Fund – April 15
The fund is aimed at supporting health services and other community needs in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Learn More

Hess Corporation and Sysco: Partnering to Provide Meals to Unemployed Hospitality Workers – April 13
In coordination with Second Servings of Houston, the two companies have teamed up to establish the "Dinner's On Us" program, which will distribute 10,000 meals each week. Learn More

Astros Foundation/Crain Worldwide Logistics: Donating Medical SuppliesApril 10
The partnership between the Astros Foundation and Crane Worldwide Logistics, which was announced on April 1, has resulted in millions of medical supplies being delivered to Houston hospitals within the Texas Medical Center. Learn More

CenterPoint Energy Foundation Announces $1.5 million COVID-19 Relief Fund – April 6
The contribution will go to nonprofit organizations, agencies and causes that are committed to supporting those who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. Learn More

BBVA USA: Commits More than $3.7 Million in Community Support – April 6
The company is committing more than $3.7 million in community support to  organization providing community support in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Learn More

ExxonMobil Donates 1 Million Meals to Houston-Area Food BanksApril 4
The employer of 11,000 people in the Houston area, announced that it will donate $250,000 to Houston-area food banks to provide people in need with 1 million meals. Learn More

AT&T: Supporting Families and Educators with New FundApril 3 
AT&T has created a Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund to give parents, students and teachers tools they need for at-home learning. The $10 million fund also will provide families resources to maintain meaningful connections and stay well while isolated from one another. Learn More

Camden: Launch of Fund for Residents Without Income Due to Coronavirus  –  April 2 
Houston-based apartment company Camden Property Trust has launched a $5 million program to provide financial support to residents who lost their source of income as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Learn More 

AT&T: Feeding First RespondersApril 2 
AT&T has committed $5.5 million to provide much needed support – in the form of nourishing meals – for first responders, medical personnel and others in need impacted by COVID-19. The effort began with a $1.5 million contribution to World Central Kitchen. Learn More

NRG: Pledges $2 Million to COVID-19 Relief Efforts  – April 1
NRG Energy, Inc.announces broad efforts to support first responders, community relief efforts and teachers. Learn More

COMCAST: Offering Free Resources for Kids K-12 – March 31
COMCAST has made nearly 2,000 hours of programming and thousands of free titles available to Xfinity video customers to give children and parents quick and easy access to educational programming by grade level. Learn More

Veolia North America: Donating 40,000 Masks to Hospitals March 26 
Veolia is working to get the company's stockpile of surgical masks to hospitals in six cities that need them to keep patients and healthcare workers safe. Learn More

Bank of America: Commits $100 Million in Support of Communities Around the World March 17 
The funds will help increase medical response capacity, address food insecurity, increase access to learning as a result of school closures, and provide support to the world’s most vulnerable populations. Learn More

Aiding Coronavirus Response Effort 

Medistar: Houston Researchers Create Air Filter that Can Kill the Coronavirus – July 10
A collaboration of scientific minds in Houston led to the development of what could be a game-changer in the fight against the coronavirus. Learn More

Rice University: Ignites Innovation in Response to COVID-19 CrisisApril 24
A host of efforts among Rice students and staff members have emerged, from assembling care packages for essential employees to engineering lifesaving devices and establishing new research aimed at COVID-19 solutions. Learn More

ExxonMobil: Shifts to Hand Sanitizer Production – April 24
The company will initially produce 160,000 gallons of hand sanitizer that will be donated to medical providers and first responders across the nation. Learn More

Yellow Rose Distilling: Supplies Crucially Needed Hand Sanitizer to Houston First Responders – April 23
The distillery donated nearly 500 gallons of hand sanitizer to the Houston Fire Department and will continue to bottle the product indefinitely until the need subsides. Learn More

BP: Donating Houston Supercomputer Capacity to COVID-19 Research ConsortiumApril 16
New consortium will provide COVID-19 researchers worldwide with access to the most powerful high-performance computing resources that can significantly advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the virus. Learn More

Houston Community College, San Jacinto College, TX/RX and Other Education Institutions: Create Community Partnership to Address Protective Gear Shortages – April 8
Houston Community College, San Jacinto College, University of Houston at Sugar Land, Fort Bend County Judge’s Office, TX/RX Labs, Alief ISD and Houston ISD have joined efforts to help address personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages for local area medical professionals and first responders in the fight against COVID-19. Learn More

Intel: Commits $50 Million with Pandemic Response Technology Initiative – April 7
The initiative aims to combat the coronavirus through accelerating access to technology at the point of patient care, speeding scientific research and ensuring access to online learning for students. Learn More

Harmony Public Schools: Creating Face Shields – April 7
A team of education engineers at Harmony Public Schools have turned their "Innovation Lab" into a workshop to help healthcare workers. Learn More

Houston Methodist: First to Transfuse Donated Plasma from Recovered COVID-19 PatientMarch 29 
The local health care giant is the first in the nation to be approved by the FDA to transfuse donated plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient to other critically ill patients. Learn More

Union Pacific: Supplying Communities with the Goods to Survive a Pandemic March 27 
Whether it's stocking a home pantry or having the supplies to support essential services at hospitals, police and fire stations, and restaurants, the items in greatest demand are riding the rails as freight trains move the goods communities need most in a national emergency. Learn More

Accel Lifestyle: Manufacturing Medical Masks  – March 27 
The owner of apparel line Accel Lifestyle is using her antibacterial fabric to make masks for health care workers. Learn More

Houston Community College: Making Face ShieldsMarch 26 
HCC is making face shields in response to the lack of personal protective equipment for healthcare providers out on the front lines. Learn More

HEB: Launch of Texans Helping TexansMarch 20 
H-E-B has launched Texans Helping Texans, a community-outreach initiative that’s guided by digital innovation, compassionate philanthropy and the generous spirit and strength that brings together all Texans during uncertain times. Learn More 

Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information. And sign up for email alerts from the Partnership as the situation develops. 

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The Partnership convened nearly 700 business leaders, diversity and inclusion officers, HR professionals, recruiters and ERG leaders at the third annual Houston NEXT: An ERG Summit October 15-19. The summit explored how Houston can and should take a leadership role in addressing diversity, equity, inclusion and justice for our region and workplaces. Through presentations and discussion groups, thought leaders and attendees shared best practices, challenges, recruitment/retention needs and suggestions on championing D&I in the workplace. Here are 10 key takeaways:  Diversity and inclusion should carry as much weight as any other business measurement in your organization. Diversity of thought and including different voices at the table can help drive business impact and outcomes. Encourage leaders to include a diversity and inclusion component within their performance review metrics.    Use employee resource groups (sometimes called business resource groups) and employee networks to engage people around common passions and interests. Dr. Terri Cooper discussed how Deloitte uses their employee councils as a source to host courageous conversations. “The purpose of these councils is to bring together people of different backgrounds and different experiences to engage in conversations regarding what’s happening in the community, employee well-being, professional development and perhaps most importantly, issues relating to diversity and inclusion.”   Executive sponsors, allies and advocates are key supporting elements that allow for employee resource groups (ERGs) to have the greatest impact. Organizations must consider how to measure the success of their ERGs. Are they tied to your talent attraction and retention efforts? Do you look to ERGs for promotions, leadership abilities, etc.? Do you source ideas from your ERGs for innovation within your organization, like policies and procedures?   ERGs and employee networks are all about deliberate action and driving culture. Jeff Dingle shared that accountability, matched with elaborate training and a culture of inclusive thought, is the deliberate action Jacobs is taking to drive culture further toward an inclusive environment.   It is important to continue to drive research to understand the needs of each generation in the workplace. In a 2017 Deloitte study, it was apparent that many new professionals in the workforce no longer wanted to be seen from a one-dimensional perspective. Young professionals were looking for ways in which they could embrace their multi-dimensional characteristics, come together and create a more collaborative environment to learn from each other, share experiences and truly create an inclusive culture.      Waste Management's Tiana Carter emphasized organizations are reevaluating all aspects of business as a result of the pandemic. Take the step to consider a workforce evolution taskforce, comprised of individuals with different backgrounds, at different levels and different subject matter expertise, to evaluate the need to evolve an organization's business model, workforce, processes, procedures and pandemic response efforts. Be in a position where you are ready to act. You may not have all the answers right now, but transparency is more important and valuable for employees and team members. Be okay with the possibility of having to say, “we may not always get this right but we’re going to try.” It’s that effort that makes people want to go on a journey with you.    All diversity and inclusion efforts start with communication, transparency and accountability. It is important your inclusion and diversity strategy is based on the needs of the employees and what they want, versus what you think they may want and need. Work to understand your employees through courageous conversations at all levels, pulse point surveys, discussion forums and share the results.   Attendees shared what an inclusive corporate culture should look like. It's where employees feel they can bring their true selves to work every day without the fear of being judged. Employees are completely comfortable to speak their mind, certain levels of leadership are in the room for D&I discussions and employees can speak comfortably without fear of retribution. Everyone has a voice and access to resources.    The distributed approach adopted by Matt Mullenweg's company Automattic gives employees a great deal of personal freedom and autonomy to get the job done in a space of their choosing and in their own way. “When people are really happy and fulfilled in the rest of their life, they bring their best self to work,” Mullenweg said. He interviews managers in his Distributed podcast to share best practices and he also shares his Distributed Work's Five Levels of Autonomy and encourages companies that can "enable their people to be fully effective in a distributed fashion can and should do it far beyond after this current crisis (the pandemic) has passed."   Mullenweg shared there is a difference between remote and distributed work. "The work must get done. When you're in the early levels of distributed autonomy, the people who aren't in the office might actually be remote. They might be operating at 70-80% of someone who is there (in the office). That's a perfect opportunity to identify that and see what you need to do in how you hold meetings, how you communicate and operate to allow them to be fully productive." If you can operate decentralized and work in a distributed model, "you'll be primed to succeed in the coming decades."  Learn more about the Partnership's Talent Resources Group here. Click here to learn more about the Partnership's work to advance racial equity and justice. 
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New Partnership Members in September

The Greater Houston Partnership welcomed 10 new member companies in the month of September. The Partnership works to connect companies with resources, information and networking opportunities to help increase business while also providing a platform to influence the direction of the region. New members joining in the month of September include: Infrastructure Networks, Inc: iNET is a Houston-based company that owns and operates a telecom networks across major shale basins and provides expertise and field-support for remote connectivity.  Founded in 2011 with a mission to bring broadband wireless connectivity to upstream oil and gas operators in remote, rugged environments. Website   J. Flowers Health Institute: J. Flowers Health Institute specializes in providing truly comprehensive health and wellness evaluations for individuals who want to improve their quality of life.   Website  Southwest Schools: Southwest Schools is a state charter school, governed by the Texas Education Agency, providing an academic program that celebrates the diversity of student interests, cultures, and talents. Website  CHess Executive Insights LLC  Commercial Resource Installation: Commercial Resource Installation, a prominent installation company headquartered in Houston, TX, offers comprehensive and exceptional solutions to transform commercial workspaces to create a constructive workspace. With additional locations in San Antonio and Austin, CRI upholds a reputation of quality and excellence among past and present clients in the Gulf Coast region  Website  Express Home Services: In business since 2002, Express Home Services, LLC, specializes in all types of flooring, including wood, engineered wood, laminate, carpet, tile, vinyl, stone, and much more. They offer next day installation on all in stock products and free in-home estimates. The company is located in Arizona and opened a new location in Houston in October 2020. Website Houston Business Automation, LLC: Houston Business Automation provides technology-related consulting and development services with a focus on automating processes, creating custom data analytics, and developing web-based applications. Website  Sunstone Properties Trust, LLC: Sunstone Properties Trust is a real estate firm headquarters in Westlake Village, CA. The company acquires assets to generate growth in investor capital and improve the communities where they invest. Sunstone is actively involved in acquiring value-add multifamily assets, developing industrial properties in Qualified Opportunity Zones, rehabilitating and repositioning office properties, and developing LIHTC multifamily projects. Website  Star of Hope Mission: Star of Hope is a Christ-centered community dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women and their children. Website  goPuff: goPuff is a delivery service that brings thousands of products to your doorstep in minutes, from essentials to snacks. Website  Click here to see the Partnership's Membership Directory. To learn more about membership with the Greater Houston Partnership click here, or contact
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