Thoughts and Wishes as We Welcome 2022

By Tanya Sterling –

Happy 2022 to each one of you! As a longtime Fort Bend resident who is out and about in our community volunteering, and yes, socializing, I have gotten the opportunity to interact with so many people in our diverse county. A few commonalities amongst everyone I have encountered are their joi de vivre — enjoyment of life, their selflessness, philanthropy efforts and just their plain enthusiasm for their families, friends, neighbors, and of course, our overall community. The ongoing pandemic only increased empathy and compassion for each other sprinkled with a healthy dose of respect for our fellow residents.

I talked with a few business leaders about their thoughts and most importantly, their wishes for the New Year to get their perspective on what we all pray are better days to come.

“The past two years have been so challenging for everyone. Our family of employees and physicians have experienced something that they never imagined they would encounter during their careers. I have seen our team demonstrate incredible grit and grace under pressure. My hope is that the new year will bring us all many more opportunities to be together, to heal, and to embrace everything we have learned while we continue to serve our patients and community.”

— Chris Siebenaler
Regional Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer
of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital

Meagan Duffy Burgin,
Dallas and Cindy Duffy.

As the pandemic raged on, most families drew closer together and reaffirmed their faith. One of those families was longtime residents and business owners, the Duffy family.

“If we’ve learned anything in the past two years, it’s that life is fragile. We each have one life that was given to us as a precious gift from God. We can waste it or use it for some good purpose. This world is an amazing place. There is love and beauty all around us, so stop beating yourself up every year when you rewrite the same list of resolutions.

Life happens. You are always going to be a work in progress. So happy 2022 and many blessings to you and those you love.”

The Duffy Family
Cindy, son Dallas, daughter Meagan Duffy Burgin and Tim
of Jericho Foundation Repair

Of course, no matter how dire the situation, Fort Bend residents remain positive and ready to enthusiastically enter 2022.

“There’s no doubt that the pandemic infiltrated every fabric of our Fort Bend community, and yet I am left impressed and heartened by our collective compassion and willingness to help our neighbors as needed. My family and I look forward to a blessed, healthy and happy new year.”

Jevaughn Sterling
Executive Vice President, Regional Commercial Lending Manager, Amegy Bank

Most families huddled together during the pandemic and, as a result, are even closer and look forward to spending even more time together in the new year.

“The experiences of the past 18 months have focused our family on enjoying the little moments together more, on being more accepting and understanding of ourselves and others, on committing to personal wellness and on expanding our curiosity.  Our focus in 2022 is to continue further along this path together and do it in an even more fun and meaningful way.”

David Fletcher
General Manager, Lone Star Sports & Entertainment

The time we had at home allowed us to be still and reflect on our very existence. Now a lot of our residents and business owners are ready to execute their plans and succeed even more in 2022.

“If there is anything the last year has thought me is to dream big, don’t limit myself. My wish for 2022 is to continue to build a legacy for myself and family. I intentionally want to deepen relationships with family and friends and pray for success within our community. It’s a new world we live in. I hope everyone can cast a wide net to be sure to catch their share of happiness.”

Jemila Winsey,
CEO/Co-Founder, ERA Legacy Living

“As the year comes to an end, I am grateful for the privilege to serve our business community. As we moved back to in-person meetings and away from Zoom, it reminded me the importance of human contact and relationships.  Connecting people is one of the most important roles that we play. Chambers are made for these moments.

This year would not have been successful without the outstanding leaders I had an opportunity to work with over this last year including our Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Division Chairs and Chamber Partners.  Thank you to Juliette, Paige, Ryan, Rebekah, Sade and Jordan, the hardest working, most dedicated and talented team ever!

Wishing you all the best for this holiday season.”

Keri Schmidt
CCE, IOM, President & CEO, Fort Bend Chamber

There is no doubt that stellar residents and businesses have and will continue to make an impact in our community. Don’t we just enjoy living around The Bend? Neighbors helping neighbors, local businesses opening as soon as they can, volunteer organizations cohesively helping out on the front lines and churches throwing open their doors in critical times of need. I can picture us all confidently striding in 2022 like it’s nobody’s business, ready to encounter our blessings and to be a blessing.