Whether taking a drive among the stately homes overlooking Lake Woodlands or sampling the wares on Market Street, it’s clear that great pains were taken to make The Woodlands one of the best master-planned communities in the country.
The Woodlands was established in 1974 and by 1980 had 4,800 residents, with major developmental escalation occurring with the construction of the Hardy Toll Road and the regional mall. Today, the number of residents has grown to over 100,000.
Woodforest National Bank originated in 1980, and though it now has a national presence, its roots have always been in The Woodlands. “Many companies have chosen to make this area their home — companies like Woodforest — and we’re just thrilled to see this area grow and prosper,” said Vicki Richmond, Treasurer of the Woodforest Charitable Foundation.
In conjunction with sound business practice, Woodforest has consistently demonstrated an inherent sense of philanthropic responsibility and community involvement, formalizing its giving through the formation of the Woodforest Charitable Foundation in 2005. “One of the key components of our philanthropy and our strategic plan is to help children,” said Michael Richmond, Chief Financial Officer of Woodforest National Bank.
This spring, Woodforest made a very generous $1 million gift to Texas Children’s Hospital to support the construction of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. First to open will be the outpatient tower in 2016 — and when the inpatient tower opens in 2017, it will have the area’s first and only dedicated pediatric emergency center.
“What we’ve experienced in our organization is a culture — that derives from the top — of giving back to various organizations and causes,” said Robert Marling, Chairman of Woodforest National Bank. “And our job is to support those folks and help those causes move forward.”
Woodforests’s leadership was recently struck by one glaring problem: the lack of dedicated pediatric health care facilities. With the pediatric population of The Woodlands and surrounding areas expected to bloom to over 380,000 in the next three years, families are currently forced to travel — often in horrendous traffic — 30, 40, even 50 miles to seek out specialty health care for children.
In a community always intended to be self-sufficient, this problem needed solving — and Woodforest was honored to be part of the solution. “As a mother, I have firsthand experience with having to handle a traumatic incident with a child,” said Kim Marling, Executive Director of the Woodforest Charitable Foundation. “Our son was in an accident when he was younger, and we didn’t have a facility here in The Woodlands that could treat him. So I think the addition of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands is so critical.”
“What inspired Woodforest to make this gift was going down to look at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and the Texas Medical Center Campus and visiting with the leadership,” Robert said. “We were impressed with the organization and impressed with the fact that Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands will make a difference to families in this community.”