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2017 Award Winners

Brenda Arnold-Scott

Deputy Director, Planning, Grants Management, and Support Services, Housing and Community Development

A child advocate, Brenda is a shining example of what it means to give back. Since 2014, her efforts have helped to put shoes on the feet of children in need through her Happy Feet Project, an annual back-to-school shoe drive.

Founder of the Children’s Therapeutic Outreach Program, Brenda organizes efforts to donate stuffed animals to agencies that counsel abused children. Brenda also serves as a Pastor, is active in women’s outreach, and provides guidance to nonprofits that support various social causes.


Cheryl Kelly

Senior 911 Telecommunicator, Houston Emergency Center

Cheryl’s heroic efforts helped to save the life of a child and her siblings during a 911 call. Her reassurance and guidance helped to locate the children and brought calmness to an otherwise tragic scene.

Cheryl’s kind spirit is well-known at the Cathedral of Faith Baptist Church, where she teaches children’s bible lessons. She also educates the public about 911 services including language and translation services and text-to-911 technology.


Eric Rhoden

Project Manager, Design and Construction, General Services Department

As a volunteer deputy for the Harris County Sheriff's Office Reserve Command, Eric patrols District 3 in East Harris County several days a week. His volunteerism ensures the safety of residents during welfare checks, domestic violence calls, vehicle accidents, and much more.

Eric went through 13 months of training in the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Training Academy. He was one 25 out of 300 applicants selected, and one of 13 who graduated. He is truly a community gem.


Gloria Moreno

Deputy Assistant Director Financial Reporting & Operations, Finance Department

For more than 25 years, Gloria has volunteered at St. Patrick Catholic Church teaching catechism classes. She also serves as Chair of Avenue of 360, a nonprofit that improves health outcomes for patients seeking medical care and people living with the HIV/AIDS virus.

She not only advocates for those in need, but she continuously serves her community through her work as a Precinct Chair for the Harris County Democratic Party, as a member of the Second Ward Super Neighborhood, and as co-founder of PSR East Harris County.


Gwendolyn Goins

Division Manager, Public Information Office, Municipal Courts

A spiritual person, Gwendolyn has been active member of the 5th Ward Church of Christ for more than 35 years. She has worked closely with the church’s Ladies Day Program, the Children’s Bible Hour, and assisted with youth groups.

Gwendolyn also mentors dramatic arts students, donates annually to Univeristy of Houston-Downtown Drama Department’s scholarship fund, and has served on UHD’s Board of Directors for Alumni Community Engagement. Recently, Gwendolyn spearheaded a local youth symposium.


Kellen Sweny

Vital Statistics Registrar, Health Department

Kellen’s interactions with both internal and external clients have increased their access to vital services. Active in her church, she cares for children in the nursery, leads a bible study, and serves on her church’s community outreach committee. Her current cause, Movers for Moms, raises awareness for domestic violence victims.

The nonprofit group relocates victims from dangerous situations. Kellen not only raises funds for this nonprofit organization, but also actively seeks donations of hygiene supplies for local women’s shelters.


Reginald Taylor

Section Chief Operator, Wastewater, Public Works and Engineering

With a city career that spans two decades, Reginald is seen as a mentor. His passion for mentoring compels him to help often-overlooked communities. Every Saturday for the last 17 years, Reginald has driven one-hour to the Huntsville State Petitionary to lead the Prison Outreach Ministry.

For the past 8 years, he has helped to improve the life of senior citizen by driving him to church on Sundays, and regularly visits him at his assisted living facility. His selfless efforts are changing lives for the better.


Vernita Jones

Assistant Director, Administrative Office of City Council, Finance Department

Vernita is a vital asset to city council and council staff. When not managing the needs of council, she’s busy volunteering at McGee Missionary Baptist Church. She provides sign-language translation to hearing impaired church attendees, serves on the usher board, is Vice President of the Marriage Ministry, and serves as a Church Nurse.

In 2014, she helped to design and implement the Council District Service Funds, which funds various council member projects including the installtion of street lights, the beautification of neighborhoods, after-school programs, and so much more. Her commitment to her faith and family fuels her passion for public service.

Brenda Arnold Scott









Cheryl Kelly






Eric Rhoden






Gloria Moreno






Gwendolyn Goins








Kellen Sweny







Reginald Taylor






Vernita Jones
Last modified on Monday, 17 July 2017 16:39
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