Belt It Out!

The Houston Grand Opera hosted its 30th annual Eleanor McCollum Competition for Youth Singers at Rice, streaming the program live on Facebook and YouTube. The months-long application and audition process concluded with eight finalists performing at the vocal competition — congratulations are in order for contralto Leia Lensing from the University of Northern Iowa, who was awarded the $10,000 grand prize! — followed by a seated dinner at the Hotel ZaZa. The evening raised more than $600,000.

Priscilla Dickson


People + Places

AN INTERVIEW WITH Jon Heine President of Houston Market, Veritex Community Bank

What were your biggest challenges of 2020? Without question the biggest challenge was pivoting from the playbook we had to begin 2020 in order to quickly address the immediate needs of our clients, colleagues and communities. Working with our customers to provide loan payment deferrals and PPP loans through the SBA Payroll Protection Program (Veritex Bank provided over $400 million to 2,100 clients in Round 1) became the immediate priority. This involved a Herculean effort from over 120 of our colleagues in various departments of the Bank who raised their hand to assist not because of an opportunity, but out of obligation to the communities we serve.

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Warren and Rachel Ellsworth and Betty and Jess Tutor

HOUSTON GRAND OPERA officially opened its first live season of shows in two years with a bold, colorful presentation of Bizet's Carmen followed by a fabulous crimson-tented dinner on Ray C. Fish Plaza just outside the theater.

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People + Places

SOME SAY, "LIFE is a bitch and then you die." I say, life is a coach and then you thrive!

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