Houston Tomorrow was founded in 1998 to explore urban issues and to inform the discussion of growth in the Houston region.
According to organizers, the Catalyst Awards will recognize and honor those whose ideas and actions change and improve the quality of Houstonians’ lives. The group will be honoring the late Howard Horne, Sr. as the 2013 Emeritus Catalyst Award Winner. Other finalists include Jim Blackburn, Jeff Taebel, Keiji Asakura, Laura Murillo, Michael Skelly, Rick Lowe, Bobby Heugel, Carra Moroni, Ian Rosenberg, and Laura Spanjian.
“Houston has a longstanding tradition of citizens dedicating themselves to the betterment of the Houston region. We think of them as catalysts,” says David Crossley, President of Houston Tomorrow. “Sometimes the catalyst tweaks a minor direction change that alters the course over the long term and sometimes the catalyst causes an explosion.”
Houston Tomorrow's news release on the award ceremony recognized the Allen Brothers who founded Houston as the city's early catalysts, "able to stand on the bank of Buffalo Bayou and imagine a great city rising out the plains and marshes. Similarly, Gail Borden, who drew up the first City of Houston plan that has endured and is often hailed as one of the best in North America, was another great catalyst. Later, Jesse Jones was a great builder and civic visionary."
"Throughout Houston’s history, many people have stood out as catalytic converters – they looked at what was there, imagined something better, and made it happen," he said.
Fred Kent of the Project for Public Places, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities, says Houston needs about 200 “zealous nuts” to make the region a great place to live.
Going forward Houston Tomorrow officials said it intends to search out, encourage and work with those zealots to create positive change that will help it achieve its vision of Houston being home to the healthiest, happiest, most prosperous people in America by its 200th birthday in 2036.
About Houston Tomorrow Houston Tomorrow, formerly the Gulf Coast Institute, is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization founded in 1998 to explore urban issues and to inform the discussion of growth in the Houston region. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for all the people of the Houston region through research, education, and discussions in order to create safe, walkable neighborhoods; enhance and protect its communities; support clean air and water, and a dependable food supply; offer more greenspace and parks near homes; and provide the metropolitan area with better transportation choices.