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Farewell from Jay Blazek Crossley

A new era for Houston Tomorrow

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To: The 6.5 million people of the Houston region
From: Jay Blazek Crossley, Executive Director

Effective June 1, I will no longer be the Executive Director of Houston Tomorrow. When I started in this role, I framed my work on the idea that I was building a sustainable institution - based upon the same heart, soul, and skills of the previous founder-driven nonprofit led by my father – but that would not require a Crossley behind the wheel. Instead we have been building an entity that empowers a group of smart Houstonians to fulfill Houston Tomorrow’s unique role in our growing metropolis, pushing for health, happiness, and prosperity for all in our growth, development, and quality of life policies.

I expected this would be a three year job as Executive Director, to rebuild the brand, methods, and organizational structure, and development strategy to sustain the organization. This took some risk taking, experimentation, and struggle, but Houston Tomorrow stands poised to fulfill an exciting niche in the transition to a new paradigm for which we have spent 18 years preparing the region.

Recent events in my personal life brought me to tendering my resignation as Executive Director to spend more time with my wife and young son. I worked a decade at Houston Tomorrow, through challenging physical disabilities and many changes, and its time for me to move on. I will be moving to Austin where my wife will be returning to school, and I plan to develop a statewide role supporting the paradigm change for all the people of Texas.

The Board of Directors of Houston Tomorrow is seeking the best person to lead the next decade of improving the quality of life for all the people of the Houston region. The mission, purpose, talent, heart, and soul of Houston Tomorrow is as strong as it has ever been, even in this challenging transition and complex policy arena.

To be clear, I am walking away from the best job I ever had and am forever grateful for this chance to think out loud inside the beating heart of the churning beast that is our young metropolis going through puberty. The triumphs so huge, the losses so deep (see: Grand Parkway), and so warm and meaningful the camaraderie of those seeking a better quality of life for all the people of the Houston region.

imageThe opportunities ahead for Houston Tomorrow astound me. We must find ways to help the 134 towns and cities and 13 counties of the Houston region to provide healthy, affordable, low carbon housing options for millions of people. We need to build inclusive, comprehensive strategies to ensure that adding 3.5 million more people will mean a higher quality of life for our existing 6.5 million. We need every child in the Houston region to have ready access to healthy food, healthy nature, diverse workplaces and social life, and housing and transportation lifestyle options that allow them to meet their full potential.

Thank you for all that you do to improve the quality of life for all the people of the Houston region. And thanks for letting me be part of your lives and part of this metropolis.

Sincerely,

Jay Blazek Crossley

P.S. - Now is a great time to support Houston Tomorrow with a personally meaningful financial contribution or join 2036. I personally renewed my family’s membership in 2036 to ensure the continued success of Houston Tomorrow. Please join me in believing in HOU.

P.P.S. - I have written a memo to the next Executive Director of Houston Tomorrow, which you can read here.

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