Houston Treasure for 2019
Photo by: Iraj Ghavidel Photography
County Judge Ed Emmett and Gwen Emmett have long histories of serving Houston. Both graduated from Bellaire High School in 1967 and together and as individuals, they have strived to make lives better for Houstonians.
Ed Emmett is best known now as the county judge who has guided us through emergencies such as Hurricane Ike and the rains of Harvey. He is recognized globally for his ability to manage crises. His passion, however, has been helping people with mental health issues, particularly those who run afoul of the law. The newly opened Judge Ed Emmett Mental Health Diversion Center is his legacy in county government. Judge Emmett is also the chair of the Harris County Juvenile Board, chair of the Policy Committee of the Conference of Urban Counties, and vice chair of the Large Urban Counties Caucus.
Prior to serving as county judge, Ed was a member of the Texas House of Representatives, Interstate Commerce Commissioner, and the founder of The Emmett Company, an international transportation policy consulting firm. Some of his honors include Distinguished Alumnus of Rice University, International Transportation Person of the Year, and the Presidential Call to Service Award.
Gwen Emmett’s contributions to the community are broad. Currently, Gwen serves as the chairman of the board for Baker Ripley. She is a board member of Communities in Schools. Previously, Gwen served as chairman of the Mental Health America Houston board of directors and was on the board of The Immunization Partnership. Beyond her official roles, Gwen has served as a mentor and advisor to many individuals throughout the Houston area and has played a key role in improving access to primary health care for all residents.
As a team, though, the Emmetts have left a lasting positive mark on Houston. They have contributed to improved health care, including mental health, expanded education opportunities, and a willingness to embrace all who live here. Married for 43 years, Ed and Gwen have four successful children and thirteen grandchildren. That, in itself, is a lasting legacy for this Houston Treasures couple.