Who are this year's Hometown Heroes?

Interfaith of The Woodlands announced Thursday four residents, one local nonprofit and one local business will be honored at the 19th annual The Woodlands Celebration of Excellence Gala Oct. 7.

Rob Johnson, Amy Lecocq, Bob Milner and Melissa Young are the four residents who have been selected. Cassidy Joined for Hope—a nonprofit centered on preventing teen suicide—is this year’s recognized nonprofit, and The Woodlands Christian Academy is the selected business.

“Honoring Hometown Heroes is a treasured tradition that celebrates the amazing individuals, businesses and organizations that continue to enrich our community with numerous contributions,” said Missy Herndon, Interfaith of The Woodlands president & CEO. “Each honoree’s incredible generosity and dedication have made a lasting impact that will inspire generations to come.”

This year’s Hometown Heroes were selected by a committee of Hometown Heroes alumni, including 109 Woodlands residents and 14 businesses that have contributed to the educational, civic, cultural and spiritual fabric of the community.

Rob Johnson
Johnson and his wife, Christine, have lived in The Woodlands for over 20 years and have two sons, Matt and Dan. Johnson is the assistant general counsel of legal services at Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Johnson serves as vice chair for Interfaith of The Woodlands board of directors and was instrumental in starting the development committee at Interfaith. Johnson is an Interfaith Community Clinic board member and supports CASA of Montgomery County as well. He also volunteers and serves with several other organizations in The Woodlands area.

Amy Lecocq
Lecocq and her husband Richard Shapiro, moved to The Woodlands in 1994 and have two sons, Ben and John. Formerly a federal prosecutor for almost 20 years, Lecocq now volunteers with various organizations in the community.

Lecocq has devoted thousands of hours to ensure the success of many events and organizations including The Woodlands Arts Council, serving recently as president and remaining on their board of directors. The Woodlands Arts Council organizes and operates the annual Waterway Arts Festival—a 3-day outdoor arts festival that has brought over 200 juried artists to the community.

Bob Milner
Milner and his wife Teresa reside in The Woodlands and have four adult children, two grandchildren and five dogs. He is co-owner of Mercedes-Benz of The Woodlands.

Milner serves on several boards such as Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Montgomery County Crimestoppers, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, The Woodlands Economic Development Partnership, #21 Strong Foundation and The Woodlands Arts Foundation.

Melissa Young
Young has lived in The Woodlands since 1990. Young and her husband, Jeff, have two young sons. She is president of brand management company Corporate Incentives in The Woodlands and gives her time and resources to many local organizations in the community.

Young was recently selected to be vice chair of Leadership Montgomery County. She has mentored many LMC class members on class projects during the past two years. She is chair of Montgomery County Regional Council of the United Way of Greater Houston, a member of United Way of Greater Houston Board of Directors and a member on Thrive Council, a committee of United Way of Greater Houston. Young was also honored this past year with Houston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.

Cassidy Joined for Hope
This nonprofit foundation focuses on teen suicide and prevention in The Woodlands. After the loss of their teenage daughter, Cassidy, to suicide, Kim and Jud Hess created the nonprofit in her honor.

Less than five months later, Kim was compelled to share her daughter’s story with 1,500 people at an event in partnership with Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital and The Woodlands Development Company. With an overwhelming response and encouragement from others, Kim found the strength to continue to make it her mission to bring awareness to the growing problem of teen suicide in the community.

Cassidy Joined for Hope was able to award six scholarships through the Cassidy Hess Memorial Scholarship to College Park High School's Cavs Joined for Hope Club members. Cassidy Joined for Hope was recently the recipient of The Woodlands Art League’s, “Hearts for Hope” project.

The Woodlands Christian Academy
The independent, Christ-centered college preparatory school integrates learning with biblical faith and challenges students to reach their highest potential spiritually, academically, physically, and socially.Head of School Julie Ambler assembled a team of administrators who manage the academic, financial, development, marketing, technical, facilities and admissions operations of the school.

The Woodlands Christian Academy serves approximately 650 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. They are active members of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce and The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership.
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By Beth Marshall

Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. Originally hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016, she became editor of the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition in October 2017.


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