2020 roundup: Interviews with 5 Sugar Land, Missouri City community leaders

Missouri City Mayor Yolanda Ford and City Manager Odis Jones at his swearing-in July 31. (Courtesy city of Missouri City)
Missouri City Mayor Yolanda Ford and City Manager Odis Jones at his swearing-in July 31. (Courtesy city of Missouri City)

Missouri City Mayor Yolanda Ford and City Manager Odis Jones at his swearing-in July 31. (Courtesy city of Missouri City)

From two new city managers to community leaders guiding our children, schools and sports teams through the coronavirus pandemic, here are the people the Sugar Land-Missouri City edition of Community Impact Newspaper featured in 2020.

April: Mike Goodrum

Former intern Mike Goodrum steps into Sugar Land city manager role

Mike Goodrum officially became Sugar Land’s third city manager in the city’s 60-year history in January. He follows Allen Bogard, who served as city manager for nearly two decades.

Formerly the city manager of Coral Springs, Florida, Goodrum got his start in city government as an intern for the Sugar Land Parks & Recreation Department. He worked his way up into an assistant city manager role before moving to Coral Springs in mid-2017.


“From the time I was an intern here, I wanted to be the city manager of Sugar Land,” Goodrum said. “I saw that it was a special place, and so many people have invested in me here—Allen Bogard being the biggest one that’s mentored me from the beginning.”

July: Zenae Campbell

Ask an expert: How should I talk to my children about the death of George Floyd, coronavirus and other traumatic events in the news?


With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to upend many families' daily routines and the death of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of police officers in the news, Community Impact Newspaper spoke to Zenae Campbell, the vice president of program services and club operations at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, about how parents should talk about these topics with their children.

Campbell said while these are difficult conversations to have, it is important that parents create a safe space for discussion and use these current events as a way to educate children. In the following Q&A, she provides tips for parents looking to start this dialogue.

August: Chris Hill

Sugar Land Skeeters begin two-month summer league at Constellation Field

Sugar Land Skeeters President Chris Hill said when the coronavirus pandemic derailed the team's normal schedule, the organization looked for ways to stay engaged with the community.

The team upped its social media presence, and starting July 10, it hosted the Constellation Energy League, in which a group of four teams played 56 games in July and August at Constellation Field.

“[Our fans] miss coming out to the ballpark,” Hill said. “It is a lot less about baseball and more about community. So, how do we figure out how to do that safely? That's what our mission has been: to provide entertainment for our fans and to provide a place for our players to play.”

October: Odis Jones

Missouri City's eighth city manager brings economic development background to city

For Odis Jones, Missouri City’s eighth city manager, public service has always been in his blood. Jones grew up in the city of Detroit, where his mother was a community activist and his brother went on to be a police officer.

“As a young man I grew up understanding the value of contributing back to the community,” Jones said. “That was ingrained in me at a very young age, and I wanted to make sure that I put my heart and attention into working as hard as I can to help communities prosper.”

Jones attended college at Central Michigan University on a football scholarship, where he studied sociology. He went on to receive a Master of Public Administration degree from Western Michigan University.

“After realizing that I would be better off in life trying to make a living for myself with my brains and not my body, I decided to commit myself to this thing called public service,” Jones said.

December: Jim Rice

Fort Bend ISD trustee Jim Rice steps into role as Texas Association of School Boards president

Fort Bend ISD trustee Jim Rice is serving as the Texas Association of School Boards president for the 2020-21 year—a role in which he said he will advocate for the betterment of public education.

Through his work at the TASB, at the FBISD board of trustees and as chair of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce’s Education Division, Rice dedicates a large part of his life to informing himself and others about the importance of education, he said.

“The more that you know and understand about how our community works—from public education, to municipal and state and national government, to our judicial system, to our health and human services that are available in the county—and how you can help, I just felt called to do that,” he said.
By Claire Shoop
Claire joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2019 as the reporter for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 where she studied journalism, government and Arabic. While in school, Claire was a fellow for The Texas Tribune, worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and spent a semester in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing cards with her family and listening to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.


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