HOW DID YOU get where you are today? The EMS industry, quite literally, never stops. Our staff and units are called to serve our community every hour of every day; there are no weekends, holidays, or “days off.” Obviously, the demands of EMS are not for the faint of heart, and we have established a culture of service and accountability that is different than nearly every other organization. Our leadership team sets this culture by exhibiting their passion for this industry daily. Their tireless dedication makes a better experience for our staff when they come to work and for our patients and clients when they call on us to transport their loved ones.
Who do you credit? Foremost, I credit the leaders and staff of my team. Beginning with Vice President Sumi Patel, who has been with ORION for 15 years, I am extremely proud to work with, and for, everyone who wears our logo. Houston has amazing diversity in the community, and ORION celebrates that both publicly and internally, as seen in the makeup of our leadership team and staff. The people who work at ORION do so because they are committed to our mission and to providing the most professional medical care to every patient we transport. Their devotion to and support of ORION has made us one of the best EMS companies in the city.
What lessons have you learned that might enlighten/inspire? One of the most important roles that Sumi and I play is mentoring and guiding our managers, so that they can effectively lead their departments. Watching their professional growth is very rewarding, but it also has clear benefits to the business, as it allows us to expand to meet new opportunities. Over the last 15 years, we have learned that complacency is not an option. The EMS industry is vibrant, especially in Houston, which requires ORION to have an agile and dynamic business model. We are constantly evaluating our processes to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our community in ways that provide the most impact and value to them. We are tactical enough to respond to every day-to-day circumstance that arises, while, at the same time, maintaining a strategic focus on our goals for the future.
What’s new or upcoming for ORION? As we continue to fulfill our mission of service to the Houston community, we are excited to expand our reach into other hospital systems in the region. Our team and fleet are growing to ensure that we are always ready to serve the people of this community.
DON’T BE LEFT out in the cold! Jingle all the way to these bars and restaurants for festive, IG-worthy drinks. Grab a cocktail and cozy up!
The still-new Montrose haunt is offering Peppermint Espresso Martinis at a price that would make Frosty melt with envy. Try the cocktail for just 99 cents from 3-6pm on weekdays. Or try the Instagram-worthy red-and-green colored Mistletoe Matcha.
Add extra pep to any holiday shopping excursion at Doris with the French Velvet ($18) made with cold brew liqueur, espresso and… absinthe! Or, the Milk Punch ($19) made with Heaven’s Door Double Barrel and an oh-so-festive cereal infusion.
FM Kitchen is stocked with seasonal draft beers, in addition to their holiday take on the old fashioned, Rebel Without A Clause, and a festive twist on a Moscow Mule: Cran Spice & Everything Nice.
Hey, it may be December, but it’s still Texas! Fuzzy’s is celebrating the season with a frozen lime margarita with a strawberry swirl and a dunked black-cherry White Claw.
Get out of the cold at Hamsa with their boozy hot chocolate or Chai Hot Buttered Rum: butter batter topped with rum and housemade chai. For a creative (and served cold) cocktail try the Apple Pie Tom & Jerry, made of rum egg batter topped with cognac and milk.
Peanut Butter Old Fashioned
Snuggle up at this heights hangout as the bar plays Christmas movies all month — with a side of tableside s’mores. Get extra jolly with the Peanut Butter Old Fashioned made with house-infused peanut butter bourbon, angostura & orange bitters or the Gingerbread Negroni with house-spiced gin, cardamom, red vermouth, bitters.
Peppermint Mocha Martini at Moxies
Is a dessert-worthy cocktail on your Christmas list? The Gingerbread Dream at Moxies is topped with fresh whipped cream and a ginger snap. Also on the menu, the Old Fashioned Christmas with bourbon, orange bitters and cranberry simple syrup and the Peppermint Mocha Martini with Caffè Borghetti, vodka and white crème de cacao.
The Ponche Navideño ($12) at Ninfa’s is a tequila-based fruit punch made with a traditional blend offresh and dried fruits like tamarind, prunes, and hibiscus and sweetened with the rich flavors of Piloncillo.
The Mistletoe Martini (photo by Raydon Creative)
The Warwick has you covered for the cooler days this year with Sweater Weather ($12), its house made hot cider and whiskey concoction. Plus, don’t miss the Mistletoe Martini ($18) — a vodka martini with raspberry lemonchello and cranberry.
PLUS! Christmas Pop-Ups Galore
The Big Casino
Get your camera ready for one of the many spots in H-Town hosting over-the-top Christmas cheer this season. Johnny’s Gold Brick, Winnie’s, Galveston’s Daiquiri Time Out and The Big Casino are offering 90-minute reservations in their nostalgic Christmas wonderlands.
Ho, Ho, Ho! Here Are the Most Festive (and Photogenic!) Food and Drink Events for Ringing in the Holidays
READY OR NOT, Christmas is almost three weeks away and Houston restaurants and bars are beckoning with sparkling décor, holiday cocktails, and even shopping. Here’s where to slip into the spirit during the most wonderful time of the year!
Brennan's jingle bells
Brennan’s is bedecked in festive decor, and each lunchtime guest will receive a beautiful sleigh bell strung on a long colorful ribbon to jingle through the season. This Brennan family tradition began decades ago at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans and is now enjoyed by patrons of all Brennan restaurants, who collect the featured bells each year. Bells are offered at weekday lunch beginning Dec. 1. Make lunch reservations here.
Holiday tea at Four Seasons
Bring the kiddos (or not!) for an interactive Gingerbread Tea at Toro Toro on Dec. 17 from 12-2pm. Along with hot teas, pastries and sparkling wine, guests can partake in decorating gingerbread houses and enjoy a visit from Santa ($95 per guest, free for children 5 and under).
This lovely Underbelly Hospitality concept in Regent Square is taking festivities to its rooftop Dec. 8 (2-6pm, tickets $5) for its Holiday Sip & Shop. The festive and fashionable afternoon will offer gifts from Colores Collective, Paris Texas Apparel Co., Kendra Scott, French Cuff Boutique and more. Shop until you drop while enjoying handcrafted spritzes, bubbles and light bites. Why drive from store to store when you can shop in one place and have fun?!
Holiday Chalet at Stella's
The cool, intimate bar in the luxe Post Oak Hotel is abuzz with its Holiday Chalet décor, chocolate fondue and festive holiday cocktails. Come thirsty for seven different libations hot and cold, including the smoked old fashioned. If holiday shopping, pick up a bottle of wine for take-away at thirty percent off. The gussied-up hotel is a fun stroll for Houston visitors this season and Stella’s is an impressive refueling stop for drinks and substantial appetizers.
Christmas concoctions at Rosie Cannonball
On Dec. 3, chef Chris Shepherd will take over the kitchen at Rosie’s for the release party of William Chris Wanderer Series IV wine. The wine is a collaboration between Texas winery William Chris and MML Hospitality that benefits the Southern Smoke Foundation. The special menu — think fire-roasted Cha Ca-style redfish — sounds superb.
Through Dec. 30, catch the Holly Jolly Holiday Bar located at this new Downtown club.The halls will be decked with floor-to-ceiling tinsel, ornaments, and more, allowing you to immerse yourself from every angle. Each ticket includes a 90-minute reservation and a holiday-themed welcome cocktail or mocktail. Additional drinks and holiday-themed bites will be available for purchase. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, all are welcome to gather at this holiday pop-up bar for cocktails and entertainment. Expect several ticket options including brunch; check them all out at this ticket site.
Eat, drink and be merry this holiday season with a lineup of festive cocktails, a holiday prix-fixe menu, Tuesday Night Lasagna Night, and of course, a New Year’s Eve dinner and celebration. This Spring Branch-area favorite greets guests with holiday decor and a special four-course dinner ($72 per person). In addition to the regular dinner menu, highlights include charred octopus, rabbit sausage, lobster bisque, short rib pappardelle, flounder, and cheesecake with peppermint bark.
Doris Met's Snow Ball
Doris Metropolitan’s SnowBall returns this year on the evening of Dec. 14. Step into a winter wonderland while enjoying drink specials and beats from DJ Just Vi. Guests are encouraged to come decked out in white attire. The party begins at 9pm and seating is limited — call the restaurant for reservations.
Through Dec. 31, the kitschy holiday pop-up bar Miracle is back at local watering holes Johnny’s Gold Brick, Winnie’s and Galveston’s Daiquiri Time Out. Get cozy at one of the most over-the-top nostalgic holiday settings for festive libations like the Christmapolitan and The Krampus. Johnny’s takes reservations via Resy, while Winnie’s will be open for walk-ins only.
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