Cynthia N. Colbert, MSW, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, was recently named Hispanic Female Executive of the Year by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes individuals for their leadership and impact on the Houston Hispanic business community.
“Cynthia is an exceptional leader, and we are delighted that the Hispanic Chamber recognizes the significant impact she is making in Houston,” said John Kafka, chairman of the Catholic Charities Board of Directors. “She is well-deserving of this special honor.”
Colbert will be recognized Nov. 12 at the annual awards ceremony at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, along with other award recipients for Male Hispanic Executive of the Year, Male and Female Hispanic Entrepreneurs of the Year and Emerging Business of the Year. More than a thousand local business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders are expected to attend.
Catholic Charities, one of the largest nonprofits in Greater Houston, serves more than 82,000 people a year, most of whom are impoverished. Services include basic needs, counseling, legal services, career placement, senior case management, women’s veteran services and much more.
Since taking the helm of Catholic Charities in 2012, Colbert has created new partnerships across the region to help impoverished individuals build better lives. She personally had the vision for and launched a new kNOw Poverty Conference (2015 and 2016) to bring together people from cross-segments of the community to find solutions to help those in need find a path to hope and self-sufficiency.
An expert on the topic of poverty and ways to address it, Colbert has a heart for the poor and vulnerable, and she often advocates on their behalf. She serves on various boards and task forces, regularly writes guest columns and speaks to community groups to encourage them – as well as government agencies and corporations – to find new ways to work together to address poverty-related issues that impact generations.
This year, Colbert spoke before a United Nations panel in New York about educating refugee women, and she has presented numerous times at the regional and national level.
“Collaboratively, this great city has enough resources, know-how, love and compassion to bring those on the margins fully into our communities,” Colbert said. “If Houston can come together to fulfill this moral obligation, we will lead the nation.”