Houston Treasure for 2008
Photo by: Gittings
“So many parties, so little time.” That is the motto of Shelby Hodge, Society Columnist for the Houston Chronicle. Since 1991, Shelby has been reporting on the city’s philanthropic and social scenes with a journalistic sensibility and a warm heart.
By delivering a base of solid writing on the fundraising activities of charities throughout the Houston community, she changed what had previously been a narrow focus on charitable activities into a broad picture of events, reflecting the full diversity of the city. Through her writing, she has increased the public’s awareness of charitable giving in Houston by focusing on the foremost accomplishments of the hundreds of charities dedicated to serving those in need.
Shelby’s stylish approach to writing captures the essence of Houston’s non-profit activities with remarkable flair. From reporting on Barbara Bush’s Celebration of Reading to the Houston Symphony Ball to the Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball, she captivates her audience with her ability to succinctly reflect details and to remain fresh in her coverage of a multitude of fundraisers.
Over the years, Shelby has been honored by a number of organizations including the Assistance League, Cancer Counseling, the YWCA and AIDS Foundation Houston, which named the Shelby Hodge Vision Award in her honor. But, in her modesty, she usually sidesteps nominations for personal recognition and seldom accepts offers to be honored. However, she was delighted to be considered among The Social Book’s Houston Treasures, spotlighted in an arena in which she makes a tremendous contribution by giving broad public voice to the city’s many non-profits.
Shelby is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and a journalism graduate of Louisiana State University. She is married to architect Shafik Rifaat, whom she describes as the perfect dinner partner and party escort. Without his loving and generous support, Shelby says she would never have lasted so many years in this very busy job.