Perry Ann Reed receives 2011 Community Angel Award for leadership in serving others
Since 1925, volunteers of The Junior League of Houston have performed significant community service in this city. One might think that being named president-elect of that organization would be sufficient to earn Perry Ann Reed Houston Woman Magazine’s 2011 Community Angel Award. But, community service has always been more about action than titles for Reed, who is also known for leaving her mark on others –– a defining characteristic of the Community Angel honoree.
The award was presented to Reed on May 24 at the Fifth Annual Nominate HER Awards Luncheon, held at the La Colombe d’Or Mansion.
If you challenged the CEO of a construction company to round up more than 250 volunteer workers within 72 hours to build a home in seven days, he or she might say you need a miracle worker. But that’s the kind of challenge Reed welcomed when ABC TV’s Extreme Home Makeover called for help in providing a new residence for the Johnson family.
Reed, a former schoolteacher, knew exactly which tools would help her do the job –– The Junior League’s network of 5,000 members and its Facebook page.
While the television makeover crew embarked on creating a new living space for Eric and Elaine Johnson and their five daughters, ages five to 14, Reed kept all the available work slots filled for the duration of the project and managed them seamlessly. But, she didn’t stop there. When the city’s building code required an iron railing to be built before work could continue on the second floor, Reed again used mass e-mail and The Junior League’s Facebook page as an immediate line of communication to find “someone who knew someone” who could act quickly to assist.
“She worked tirelessly to help find people and resources to make this project a real success,” fellow Junior League board member Katie Walthall Mehnert wrote when nominating Reed for the Community Angel Award. “Perry Ann touches everyone’s life. She’s unafraid to take on change and challenge with extreme grace.”
Reed admits she learned a lot about construction from this endeavor but also learned a lot about how volunteers of all ages –– from 20 to 60 –– could mobilize to make a dream come true for a family who also gives back to its community.
The Johnsons provide marriage and family counseling on a sliding scale or free in their neighborhood, where they saw the need for counseling to African American fathers. “By doing that, they have changed the lives of a lot of people and helped them realize the importance of a male role model in their families,” Reed said.
Born in Midland, Mich., Reed lived there until she was 17. She then attended Baylor University before graduating with a degree in education from Texas A&M. She taught kindergarten and gifted and talented fourth grade students in Katy ISD until 1994, when she stopped to take care of her ailing mother and her children, Hailey and Chase.
As strategic planning director for The Junior League, Reed led a team that created a four-year plan to transform The Junior League into a more externally focused organization of women dedicated to developing the potential of women and training them to be leaders and volunteers.
In addition to her work with The Junior League of Houston, Reed is also an active member of the Board of Stewards of St. Luke’s Methodist Church, was co-chair of the 2010 River Oaks Baptist School Gala and has served as vice president of communications for the National Charity League - Bayou City. She is also a 2010 graduate of the Center for Houston’s Future’s Business and Civic Leadership Forum, where she continues to contribute to a vision of what Houston will be in the year 2040.
Being named the recipient of the 2011 Community Angel Award is an honor Reed appreciates for what it means for the other six HER award recipients and all women volunteers throughout the city –– past, present and future.
“It means a lot to me, because all of the awardees have benefited greatly from the courageous examples of the Houston women who have preceded us,” she said. “They’re the ones who have opened the doors and given us the opportunity to contribute.
“The women who help drive and shape Houston understand all of us — not just myself — are also valuable role models for the coming generation,” she said. “We take this responsibility very seriously, and we need to make sure our daughters and granddaughters can continue to make a positive difference in the community. We’ve got to shape it, and pass it on.”
2011 HER Award Sponsors
Fashion Design Department of Houston Community College
Houston Community College
Marnoble Computer Sales & Service
Shea Writing & Training Solutions
The Vicki Milazzo Institute
Unity Church of North Houston
Wright Pawn & Jewelry Co.
Thanks also to these Friends of the 2011 Nominate HER Awards Program for their support and generous contributions.
Flowers by Nino
Minuteman Press Post Oak
The Perfect Touch Linens