Skip Navigation Links
Front Page
About GNSExpand About GNS
CommunitiesExpand Communities
EducationExpand Education
Links Directory
Medicine & Science
Opinion/ForumExpand Opinion/Forum
Public Safety

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
Business & Industry
Career and Recovery Resources hosts reception highlighting upcoming 22nd Annual Barrier Breaker Award Luncheon
by Lynda Guidry
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Career and Recovery Resources, Inc.Career and Recovery Resources, Inc. welcomed guests on Tuesday evening to a kick-off reception to highlight its upcoming 22nd Annual Barrier Breaker Award Luncheon, to be held on Monday, June 25, and to introduce community leaders who will be honored at the event.  The reception was hosted by Paula Sutton and Bill Gross at The Houston Club. 

Prior to beginning the evening’s program, Dr. Vernus Swisher, Chief Executive Officer for CRR spoke with Guidry News Service about the organization’s history and mission and this year’s upcoming 22nd Annual Barrier Breaker Luncheon honoring Judge Ed and Mrs. Gwen Emmett and Mr. Arthur and Mrs. Philamena Baird and CRR Star Clients. Dr. Swisher also thanks Honorary Host Committee Co-Chairs Mr. Doug and Mrs. Winell Herron as well as Star Company H-E-B.   

“What we do is highlight great community leadership.  And as we do that we also highlight Star Clients who have come through our agency and are now successfully employed.”  Listen:  (3:19)

Career and Recovery Resources, Inc.During the reception, hosts Paula Sutton, Chair Advisory Board & Bill Gross welcomed guests and introduced Susan Floyd-Toups, Chair of the Board, who expressed appreciation for support of CRR’s major fundraiser. Vice Board Chair Courtney Blackburn introduced the honorees and co-chairs. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Arthur Baird and Doug Herron made brief remarks. Gary Tuma, Past Immediate Board Chair introduced videos of congratulations from Mayor Sylvester Turner. Dramatic testimonials were offered by “Star” clients whose lives have been changed by their availing themselves of the services provided by Career and Recovery Resources initiatives. Listen: (42:32) 

About the Honorees

Judge Ed Emmett became Harris County Judge on March 6, 2007.  As a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1979 to 1987, Judge Emmett was Chairman of the Committee on Energy, a member of the Transportation Committee, and represented the state on numerous national committees relating to energy and transportation policy.  In 1989, President George H. W. Bush nominated Judge Emmett as Commissioner to the Interstate Commerce Commission where he served for three years. Judge Emmett has received international recognition for his work in disaster response, transportation, and logistics, and was named Transportation Person of the Year by Transportation Clubs International Judge Emmett is also Director of Harris County’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Chairman of the Harris County Juvenile Board, and Chairman of the Conference of Urban Counties Policy Committee. He graduated from Rice University and University of Texas at Austin with a Masters of Public Affairs. 

Gwen Emmett has a vision for a Regional Health Systems that focuses on primary care and healthy homes for every citizen. She is an active Board Member of the Immunization Partnership, Baker Ripley, Communities in Schools, and Mental Health America.  She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and taught Texas History in HISD for many years.  Judge Ed and Mrs. Gwen Emmett have been married for 43 years and have four children and 13 grandchildren.  

Philamena Baird currently serves as Chairman of The Houston Arts Alliance and previously served as acting CEO in 2017.  Mrs. Baird was honored by Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston City Council who declared January 23, 2018, Philamena Baird Day.  On November 28, 2017, the City of Houston presented her with a Proclamation for her contributions and philanthropic efforts. She has served as the Mayor’s Appointment to the Sports Authority of Houston and was Co-Chair of Development of the Houston Arts and Cultural Plan. Mrs. Baird is the founding Chair of the Education Foundation of Harris County and has chaired the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market.  She currently serves on the following boards; Children at Risk, The Women’s Fund, Houston Fire Fighters Foundation, Interfaith Ministry, Moore’s School of Music, American Heart Association, Texas Southern University, The Self Foundation, Houston First, Memorial Hermann Hospital System, and Teach for America.   

Arthur Baird, is the grandson of Ninnie Baird, founder of Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries. He started in the bakery business at the age of 14 changing tires on delivery trucks, and retired 46 years later in 1998 as Executive VP.  Mr. Baird has served on the boards of the Greater Houston Partnership, March of Dimes, Houston Business Community for Education, Sheltering Arms, Avancè, DePelchin Children’s Center, The Texas Advisory Board for Children’s Defense Fund, The Texas Education Reform Foundation Board, the Houston Grocers and Manufacturers Association Scholarship Program for High School Students, Unity Christian Church and Memorial Hermann Hospital System. Arthur and Philamena Baird have six children, eight grandchildren and one great granddaughter. 

Star Company, HEB, and Star Clients of Career and Recovery Resources, Inc. will be honored at the luncheon as well.

Tickets are available for the Barrier Breaker Luncheon on Monday, June 25 at the Hyatt Regency downtown.

To learn more about Career and Recovery Resources, its programming and the Barrier Breaker Luncheon, go to

Cover photo by: Ken Jones Photography

About Career and Recovery Resources

Career and Recovery Resources, a United Way of Greater Houston agency, empowers job seekers with job readiness training, career guidance, job placement assistance, job retention counseling, and employment-related services.  

The nonprofit organization established in 1945, is dedicated to helping people identify and overcome barriers to employment.  CRR has four core program areas:  1) Employment and Career Development, 2) Veteran & Housing Assistance, 3) Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, and 4) Alternative Substance/Alcohol Abuse Out-patient Treatment. 

As CRR’s main fundraiser, proceeds from the Barrier Breaker Awards luncheon benefit CRR’s specialized programs which are available to a diverse client base including returning veterans, the homeless, persons with disabilities, literacy-challenged individuals, older workers, ex-offenders, and persons in substance abuse recovery. Other clients are college-educated or highly-skilled professionals who seek career coaching and counseling. 

CRR recognizes that unemployment can be a destructive life experience. Long-term unemployment can lead to divorce, domestic violence, substance abuse and even homelessness. These services better equip clients with the confidence to gain meaningful employment. In 2017, CRR served over 5,250 clients and provided educational out-reach to over 5,000 youth and young-adults.

GRCC HomeTown Bank
Remembering Jim Guidry M3 Global Medical Missions

Guidry News Service is headquartered in Midtown Houston.
at 4001 Fannin Street, Suite 4109, Houston, TX. 77004-4077
(409) 763 NEWS(6397)
© 1996, Guidry News Service. Duplication of any part of this website in any manner is prohibited.