Katherine Mears
Chairperson
Appointed by Mayor of Houston
James Donatto, II
Vice-Chair
Appointed by Mayor of Houston
Jason Venier
Secretary
Appointed by Mayor of Houston
Jane Cheeks
Board Member
Director of City of Houston Human Resources Department
Malcolm René
Board Member
President of Houston Metropolitan Federal Credit Union
Roderick Newman
Board Member
Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Houston Metropolitan Federal Credit Union
Eric K. Dargan
Board Member
Chair of the Board of Directors of the Houston Metropolitan Federal Credit Union
Lonnie Vara
Board Member
Appointed by Mayor of Houston and Retired Employee of the City of Houston

City employees don't work for a corporation. They work for you and your neighbors, providing services for the business world and your home. They maintain city roads so your clients can come to your meetings; they fix water lines so you and your family can drink clean water; and they work in heavy downpours to clear drainage ditches so you can get home to your family. When a hurricane bears down on the city, they staff the city's emergency response units and help manage the crisis, clear debris and provide shelter. Municipal employees do so much. HERO assists the family left behind when a municipal employee is killed at work. We need your help to accomplish these goals!

Your tax-deductible donation will help HERO provide financial support to the spouse and children left behind when an on-the job tragedy claims the life of a dedicated city employee.

Lisa Norwood knows how important HERO is. At about 12:20 p.m. Dec. 14, 2007, a car struck and killed her husband while he was cleaning debris from Sabo Street near Almeda Mall. Harold Norwood, 44, was a Houston Public Works employee.

Three days later, members of the HERO Board of Directors showed up at her door. They offered her shoulders to cry on and steady guidance navigating bureaucratic waters during that traumatic time. But they wanted to do more. Although the City of Houston provides for burial expenses, HERO immediately donated $2,000 to her for other incidental expenses she might need.

After things settled down, the HERO Benefits Committee reviewed her financial condition and made a recommendation to the board that was approved. HERO then provided Lisa with additional funds to help relieve her financial burden.

They couldn't bring her husband back, but their actions parted the clouds enough to help her get through the hard days and insured that her dignity was preserved.

"HERO is the best thing they could have done for city employees," Norwood said. "When you're going through something like that, you need someone there to help you. You're not thinking clearly about what you need to do. So, having that help meant so much to me.

HERO contributions helped Lisa pay for immediate needs and to pay off debts. The financial burden created by her husband's death.

"I can't imagine what it would have been like to not have HERO there to help me."