Houston Treasure for 2005
Photo by: Evin Thayer Studios
Long-time Houstonian Trini Mendenhall was married to the late O.C. Mendenhall, co-founder of Fiesta Mart, Inc. Trini was an active participant in the growth of the company after her husband’s death until she recently sold the Fiesta grocery chain. She is currently President of Fulton Shopping Center and Vice-President of First Quality Fruit and Produce.
She created the Trini and O.C. Mendenhall Foundation to give back to the communities that contributed to Fiesta’s success. Proud of her Hispanic heritage, she is enhancing the quality of life for all minorities. Her foundation has underwritten medical research of asthma, from which O.C. suffered. Trini has supported the American Lung Association-whose motto is, “When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.” Trini established the Mendenhall Asthma Research Laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine in memory of O.C., leading to advances in the pathogenesis and treatment of the disease.
Lead by Trini’s abiding faith, Trini serves on the board of Catholic Charities and her Foundation endows scholarships for inner-city Catholic schools and the College of Education of the University of Houston. She has served on the boards of Ronald McDonald House, Diocese of Galveston-Houston, Baylor College of Medicine, University of St. Thomas, Houston Ballet Public Affairs Committee, University of Houston’s Center for Mexican American Studies Excellence Endowment Campaign Committee, United Way’s Women’s Initiative, Alexis de Tocqueville Society, End Hunger Network, and the Mexican Council of Entrepreneurs of Houston. Trini was appointed in 2004 by Governor Rick Perry to the Advisory Board of Economic Development Stakeholders.
She is Chair of the Harris County Children’s Protective Services Task Force and Chair of the fundraising committee created to fund its new Youth Services Center. HCCPS Executive Director George Ford credited Trini as “an advocate on behalf of children at each level of our government.”
Trini has chaired a multitude of benefits for Houston charities and arts organizations. She is a Texas Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, an Alliance for Multicultural Community Services “Star Among Us,” and Willie Velasquez Hispanic Excellence Award recipient. Trini is an ABC Channel 13/Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Woman of Distinction and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation award-winner.