Celebrating Fort Bend at the 2023 Fort Bend Chairman’s Gala

The 5-Star Accredited Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce (FBCC) held their annual Gala on Friday, January 27th at Safari Texas Ranch. The annual event paid tribute to the leaders and volunteers of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce who served the chamber in 2022 and welcomed the new leadership for 2023. FBCC celebrated a record year for new membership and welcomed in the new slate of dynamic leaders.  King Banerjee, owner of Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More of Sugar Land, was announced as the 2023 Chairman of the Board.  Banerjee served as the 2020 Business and Professional Division Chair delivering much-needed business resources and support for the business community.  He is a 2020 Fort Bend Leadership Forum graduate.  As a small businessman, Banerjee understands the challenges that come with building a business. “I am honored to serve the Fort Bend business community as the 2023 Chairman of the FBCC,” Banerjee said.

Pastor David L. Sincere, Jr. and Kevin Riles.

Outgoing Chairman Kevin Riles led the FBCC bringing in a record-breaking number of new members in 2022.  “We have had an extremely successful year and believe that 2023 will be a continuation of that trend.  I look forward to continuing my active involvement as Past-Chair in support of Chairman King Banerjee.”

Riles, with Kevin Riles Commercial, presented the Community Spirit Award to Pastor David Lee Sincere, Jr. This award was presented to an individual who has given their time and treasure for the betterment of the community. Sincere is an advocate for the youth of Fort Bend County and has made a positive impact on many students throughout the community. He is tireless volunteer with Fort Bend ISD for over 24 years through mentoring students and sponsoring campus clubs. He has also served on the District’s Board Leadership Academy and facilitated Trauma Informed Care training. In 2017, he created an institution, Advocacy Now, to address the systemic issues that negatively impact economically disadvantaged communities. For the past two years, he has been part of an initiative to provide hundreds of students from Briargate Elementary with basic essentials, and in December of 2022, he donated 1,500 toiletries to students through partnerships with NRG WA Parish Power Plant and others. Sincere is a member of many organizations that have helped shape and mold youth to make a difference in Fort Bend County.

Kevin Riles, Breah Campbell and Jay Neal.

The Chairman’s Award was presented to Breah Campbell with SI Environmental and Dr. Jay Neal with the University of Houston. This dynamic duo is a powerhouse together as co-chairs of the Fort Bend Leadership Forum.

Breah Campbell radiates passion by serving as a key component behind building and mentoring leaders within the chamber through the Fort Bend Leadership Program and has assisted in graduating four classes. She strives to always enhance and promote a dynamic and more evolved community and is involved in various nonprofits throughout the county including the Fort Bend Women’s Center. Not only does she assist shaping leaders within the chamber, she also adds a helping hand to the future of the MUD industry by serving as a co-chair for the AWBD Emerging Leaders Programs.

Keith Borgfeldt, Keri Schmidt, King Banerjee and Kevin Riles.

Dr. Jay Neal is active with the Economic Development Council, Fort Bend Future Initiative with the Chamber, Fort Bend County’s Technology Task Force, Fort Bend County’s Diversity Over Division and the City of Sugar Land TIRZ Board. His biggest driving force is education and evolving our future leaders. Under Neal’s guidance, business, academic and community entities in Fort Bend County have come together through collaborations that benefit the region. Those efforts have ensured that the future of Fort Bend County includes a Tier One University with programs that feed our workforce and fuel our future successes.

Through the leadership and dedication of these two incredible recipients, the chamber is able to produce the premier community leadership program that develops future leaders.

=The awards continued with Riles acknowledging the leadership and service of immediate past Chairman Janice Suchyta with Baker Donelson; retiring legal counsel Dustin Fessler with RMWBH Law; retiring Board Members Juan Alexander with SI Environmental, Noe Escobar with LJA Engineering, Afshi Merchant with Oil Products Distribution, and Allisandra Wen with Safari Texas Ranch; retiring Fort Bend Leadership Forum Division Co-Chair Jan-Michael Jenkins with Legacy Fitness, and retiring Internal Committee Chair Jeffery Willis with PAGE.

The Fort Bend Chamber Executive Team is comprised of King Banerjee, Chairman; Kevin Riles, Immediate Past Chair; Qiara Suggs, Chair-Elect; Keith Borgfeldt, Treasurer and Tariq Zafar, Legal Counsel.  “I’m eager to continue to work on issues and initiatives that keep our business climate strong.  I look forward to seeing our region prosper and grow in the new year,” said Riles.

The Board of Directors welcomed six new board members, each serving their first two-year term, while five members retired on December 31st, 2022.