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Gabriel Garza of MPI Houston Area Chapter: The Impact of Hurricane Harvey

MPI Houston Chapter

Dear Industry Colleagues & Friends,

It is difficult for me to put into words how I am feeling and I know I speak for many of you as well. I never imagined I would be addressing the MPI Houston community following the nation’s worst natural disaster to date. Mentally, I am drained. We have worried about our families, friends, neighbors, colleagues and our great community. The impacts of Hurricane Harvey to the Houston Metro Area and southeast Texas were undoubtedly catastrophic and the worst this country has ever seen. On behalf of the MPI Houston Area Chapter Board of Directors, our hearts go out to the victims of this week’s tragic events in the greater Houston area and southeast Texas.

In the midst of watching this horrific event unfold before our eyes I was reminded of how proud I am to be a Texan and to call Houston home. The immediate outpouring of support by neighbors and other fellow Houstonians and Texans has been incredible and uplifting. It is a true testament of the people of this city, state and country. We applaud our colleagues in the hospitality community who have already made donations, committed their time and started the hard work to begin rebuilding our great city.

The MPI Houston Area Chapter Board of Directors is poised to take this to the next level. With that being said, we have established the MPI Houston Area Chapter Disaster Relief Fund. Funds collected will provide assistance to members of the MPI Houston Area Chapter directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Our goal is to collect funds through September 30, 2017 and donate funds soon after. To donate now, visit our YouCaring webpage. If you or another MPI member you know has been directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey please share and submit your story to our Chapter Administrator, Shannon Smith, at Please be sure to include complete contact information, damage details, and photos.

We have been so fortunate to receive emails of concern and support from MPI Chapters around the United States including MPI President & CEO, Paul Van Deventer. We invite everyone in the MPI community to help our colleagues who are struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey by donating to the MPI Houston Area Chapter Disaster Relief Fund. In the words of Texans defensive end, JJ Watt, “Houston’s a great city. We’re going to come out of this stronger than ever”. Stay strong my friends, we are all in this together!

About the Author

Gabriel Garza MPI Houston Area Chapter
Gabe Garza

Gabe Garza is president of the MPI Houston Area Chapter and complex account director, group sales for the Westin Galleria 
& Westin Oaks Houston.