COVER STORY –
For nearly three decades, Commissioner Vincent Morales, Fort Bend County, Precinct 1, has been serving the community he loves, the community he calls home, and the community where he and his wife, Regina, have raised their family and built their business. However, serving first as Mayor and then as County Commissioner didn’t just begin with Commissioner Morales’ tenure as a public servant for the past 10 years. The Morales family, with Vincent and Regina at the helm, have built a legacy of service through commitment, consistent leadership and caring for the community they love for nearly three decades. And now, that commitment to service has expanded to the Katy area, including Orchard, Simonton, Weston Lakes and Fulshear communities.
A Legacy of Leadership
When you meet the Morales family, one thing becomes clear: their dedication to service. Matriarch Regina Klingle Morales was born in Fort Bend, and her great uncle, Ervin Muegge, served as Fort Bend County Commissioner Precinct 1 for 12 years in the 1950’s and 1960’s. “As a child, my parents instilled in me the value of community,” shared Regina. “Your neighbors were your lifelines, and community meant more than just the place where you live. It was the place where you lived, worked and raised your children. Community was something that you nurtured and valued, and for our family, it still is today.”
That legacy of public service that began with Regina’s ancestors is alive and well today, as both Regina and Vincent remain active working for their community. For Commissioner Vincent Morales, that work has become even more important as a public servant. “I have always been active in our community as a business owner supporting local organizations and serving non-profits to help in whatever capacity I could,” said Commissioner Morales. “Both Regina and I have been engaged in economic development and philanthropic activities for years. And now, I have the privilege of representing the constituents of Precinct 1 by being their voice to address concerns and create solutions to better our quality of life. I believe in putting people over politics, and I plan to continue to do just that for my Katy constituents.”
Meet the Morales Family
Commissioner Vincent Morales’ wife, Regina, shares the commitment and vision for community service of her husband of 43 years. Regina’s focus is on community development; her economic development career started with the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council. She has served as president of the Central Fort Bend Chamber and as the Economic Development Director for the City of Sugar Land. During her tenure for the City of Sugar Land, Regina helped bring Constellation Field, Sugar Land Town Square and Minute Maid to the community. Her last project before stepping down after nine years from the City of Sugar Land was the Smart Financial Centre. Regina is currently part of the leadership team serving as CEO / President of GreenScape Associates, LLC, the Morales’ family business that they started in 2004.
The Morales’ have two sons: Chris and Justin. A former practicing attorney in Fort Bend with a guiding philosophy of providing service, in November of 2014, Chris was elected as Judge of County Court at Law Number 1, where he is currently on the bench.
“Chris has seen his mom and I work countless hours to provide for our family and our community,” said Commissioner Morales. “His commitment to helping those who in need regardless of their ability to pay in his law practice is now being translated into providing justice for all. Regina and I are very proud to call our son Judge.”
Chris is married to his high school sweetheart Vanessa Morales, a CPA with Cloud, Syzdek & Co, P.C. They have two children.
Justin Morales is Vice President and General Manager of GreenScape Associates, LLC, and Commissioner Morales credits Justin for taking GreenScape from a small family business to a major landscape contractor – all while still following in the family footsteps of service. Justin has volunteered for numerous community organizations, including the Lamar Education Awards Foundation, Behind the Badge Charities, the Young Professionals Division of the Central Fort Bend Chamber and the Rosenberg Railroad Museum. In 2012, Justin received the Young Professional of the Year Award from the chamber for his leadership of the organization. “Justin’s hard work and commitment to our family philosophy of service is something Regina and I are very proud of,” said Commissioner Morales.
Justin is married to Brooke Morales, and they have one daughter.
“Our hearts are in Fort Bend,” said Regina. “We live here, we work here, we have raised our sons here, and now, our grandchildren are being raised here. The Morales family commitment to community through our service, our business and Vincent’s responsibility as Commissioner of Precinct 1 is here to stay.”
As an elected official, Commissioner Morales’ track record of leadership is evident in the projects that he has moved forward. He was part of the team that secured a Texas State Technical College campus in Fort Bend, and he secured cost-effective and long-term sustainable potable water for the city of Rosenberg through his work with the Brazosport Water Authority. His track record of public service includes several major milestones in economic development, including several companies relocating or expanding their headquarters, the installation of two new business parks and several new retail developments to a region known as “The Hub of the Gulf Coast.”
“Business expansion and relocation means more jobs,” said Morales. “Building a local economy with less unemployment than the rest of our state enhances our community and quality of life. As commissioner, I have been able to continue with projects that secure our future with vast economic opportunities and a reliable infrastructure.”
The Fort Bend County EpiCenter project, a 230,000 square foot facility on a 51.75-acre site near the southwest corner of US 59/ I-69 and State Highway 36 that will be built utilizing a public private partnership, is just such a project. “Commissioner’s court commissioned a study that was completed in 2018 that showed that market demand exists to support the facility,” said Morales of the venue designed to host a variety of event types, including public/consumer shows, graduations, sports and recreation, spectator events, community/civic events, agriculture/livestock/equestrian shows, festivals and fairs and conferences. The EpiCenter will also serve as an operations center and emergency evacuation shelter for hurricanes or other disasters.
An investment for the future with multiple economic opportunities including jobs, the county will lease the EpiCenter property to a private entity to construct the project and lease the building back to the county. The county will retain ownership of the land providing a long-term asset for the area.
Flood Control and Mobility
While managed economic growth and the creation of new jobs is at the forefront of Commissioner Morales’ concerns, he believes that two of the most vital concerns affecting Precinct 1 are flood control and mobility. “Since 1950 when records began being kept, the most intense weather events experienced in our area have been in the last eight years.”
With Commissioner Morales’ support Fort Bend Commissioner’s Court has invested in an ongoing county-wide watershed study that provided a comprehensive review on how the Fort Bend drainage systems function as a whole. “I believe our drainage system needs to be reviewed as one comprehensive system instead of parts of multiple drainage systems. We have a flooding issue throughout Precinct 1, not just in one area, and the problem needs to be addressed as a whole.”
According to Commissioner Morales, traffic is the other vital concern affecting Precinct 1. “Everyone who lives in this area is affected daily by cumbersome commutes over short distances,” said Morales, who plans to focus his efforts on the Grand Parkway or TX-99. “My goal is to get the TX-99 project started and completed ahead of schedule to help alleviate some of our severe traffic issues through Precinct 1, along with reviewing all road projects to make certain they are a top priority.”
Fort Bend PAWS
Protecting and representing all residents of Precinct 1 is vital to Commissioner Morales, including the four-legged residents. In 2017, Commissioner Morales saw firsthand the needs of our county’s animals and animal shelter. He, along with several community leaders, formed Fort Bend Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in 2018 that raises funds and awareness in support of Fort Bend County Animal Services (FBCAS).
To date through the generosity of many donors, Fort Bend PAWS has raised over $100,000 to fund programs for spay and neuter services, heartworm treatment and for increasing the number of pet adoptions along with improving the conditions of the facilities during the animals stay at FBCAS in other matching funding resources. “Our pets are our family members,” said Morales. “During the past year, pets have played an even more important role in our lives as so many have been both working and going to school from home struggling with social isolation. Taking care of our pets is an investment in our community’s future, and it’s just the right thing to do.”
People Over Politics
Whether it’s pets or people, Commissioner Morales is passionate about serving and putting people ahead of politics. “The new Precinct 1 will continue to be well-served by having an experienced and accomplished representative on the Commissioner’s Court,” said Constable Chad Norvell, Fort Bend County, Precinct 1. “Issues most important to our communities like flooding, mobility and public safety are well-established priorities for Commissioner Morales. I look forward to working with him to continue serving the people of Precinct 1.”
“Being out in our precinct, supporting our friends and neighbors, and most importantly being accessible, listening and responding to my constituents is the most important aspect of my job,” said Commissioner Morales. “I look forward to the future of Precinct 1 and meeting even more of the amazing people of Precinct 1. I truly believe in putting people over politics, and I look forward to serving my new constituents.”
To reach Commissioner Vincent Morales, Fort Bend County Precinct 1, call 281.344.9400, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Precinct 1 office, located at 22333 Grand Corner Drive Katy, TX 77494.