Not long before Hillary Clinton broke the ultimate glass ceiling, powerful women were in the spotlight at the annual Crime Stoppers "Houston's Heroes Awards" luncheon, held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.
From the guest speaker to honorees to Crime Stoppers executive director, women were in the lead. NBC news correspondent and Houston resident Janet Shamlian spoke on the role media plays in solving crimes and related her personal connections to the Crime Stoppers mission via her coverage of crime stories during her 25-year reporting career.
Taking bows as honorees were Lt. Wende Wakeman of the Texas Rangers, the first female to reach the elevated rank; Michelle Heinz, who aids in Crime Stoppers' efforts by lobbying and speaking before the state legislature to strengthen laws protecting children; and Laura Ward, Houston Children's Charity executive director and a director on the board of the Houston Police Foundation.
The luncheon also honored Wells Fargo with the Corporate Partnership Award and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with the Safe School Award.
"This year, we chose to highlight women who invest their time and talents in the public safety of our collective community," noted Crime Stoppers executive director Rania Mankarious. "While they have contributed in different ways, each has used her own steadfast commitment to make undeniable and significant enhancements to the betterment of everyone who calls the Greater Houston Area home."
Among those attending were Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Houston Police Department interim chief Martha Montalvo, Crime Stoppers board chair Don DeGabrielle, Judy Tate, George Strake, Henry Florsheim, Rusty Hardin, Edna Meyer-Nelson, Carol Sawyer and Ellen Cokinos.