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The Power of Love

How strength and commitment improve not only each other but also their community

Article by Joanna Sanchez

Photography by Christy White & Morgan Jones-Osborne

Originally published in Pearland Lifestyle

Most of us consume ourselves with finding the right balance between our work-life and our home-life that finding the time to give back to the community falls off our list of priorities.  Finding new ways to keep the flame alive with our partner as we push to reach our career goals while striving to be a force for good in our society can feel like a lot to put on our plate.  Some local heroes among us are inspired to join the neighborhood watch or coach youth sports, others donate blood or contribute to their local church, and some may even mentor troubled youth or volunteer at a soup kitchen in our spare time.  Then there are others who fully embrace the challenge and turn the task into a figurative and literal labor of love.  These four power couples have consistently approached their community activism with the same respect, passion, and commitment as they do with their business and marriage.  By leveraging their entrepreneurship to champion their causes and cultivate their bond in the process, they have established themselves as pillars of our community. 

Meet The Hehn's

What is your favorite memory together?  There are so many, but it would have to be our various family vacations. Spending time with family, continuing to build those relationships is very important to us.

What is your favorite trait/quality about your partner?  Our independence. Even though we are married and work together we still find time to enjoy our own interests/hobbies.

What advice would you give to other couples?  Christ, Family, Job. In that order. Family and job are the hardest to balance. Jobs come and go but your family will always be there when the dust settles.

What is your favorite Pearland restaurant for date night?  Killen's 

Derek and Lorraine Hehn met in college while taking an English composition course.  Twenty-five years later, they have turned their passion for the Houston Texans and Pearl Jam into an excuse to travel and explore regions of the country that they would not have otherwise.  As an example, when the Texans travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers, the Hehn’s may spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the views from the Roberto Clemente bridge or dining at the Primanti Brothers Bar & Grill. 

Back at home, the Hehn’s own a mortgage company that they leverage to assist local veterans, first responders, and educators get into a home when others have turned them down.  The Hehn’s strongly believe helping these heroes set roots benefits those individuals, their families, and our community as a whole. 

Derek and Lorraine’s dedication to giving back extends beyond their business dealings.  For several years they have organized charitable drives to deliver meals and gift cards from neighbors and local businesses to the Manvel Police Department on holidays. This past year the couple co-hosted a wildly successful toy drive.  As if that were not enough, the Hehn’s have collaborated with Pup Squad Rescue Group for over fifteen years to foster dozens of abused and abandoned newborn puppies and their mothers. 

Meet The Rincon's

What is your favorite memory together?  There are so many, but it would have to be our various family vacations. Spending time with family, continuing to build those relationships is very important to us.

What is your favorite trait/quality about your partner?  Our independence. Even though we are married and work together we still find time to enjoy our own interests/hobbies.

What advice would you give to other couples?  Christ, Family, Job. In that order. Family and job are the hardest to balance. Jobs come and go but your family will always be there when the dust settles.

What is your favorite Pearland restaurant for date night?  Killen's Steakhouse

Greg Rincon and his wife Veronica have been married for over twenty-two years after having met during a blind date organized by mutual friends.  “Greg loves to tell everyone I fell in love first but he knows the truth,” Veronica confides with a wink and a sly smile at her husband.  

As a long serving lawyer in Brazoria County, Greg has always professed to his family and others, “give back in time, talent, and treasures.”  He and his firm have represented thousands of clients in legal cases, provided free will drafts for veterans and seniors, as well as various pro bono legal services for those with less economic means.  Greg has over the years donated legal aid to initiate 10 non-profits in Brazoria and Harris Counties whose missions aligned with the Rincon’s personal values. 

Throughout the years, this couple and their children have forged deep relationships in Pearland and surrounding areas by getting involved in local community events and local organizations such as the Lion’s Club, Knight of Columbus, St. Helen’s Church, Pearland Chamber of Commerce, Alvin Rotary Club, the Longhorn Project, and they are also lifetime members of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. 

Meet The Barry's

What is your favorite memory together?  There are so many, but it would have to be our various family vacations. Spending time with family, continuing to build those relationships is very important to us.

What is your favorite trait/quality about your partner?  Our independence. Even though we are married and work together we still find time to enjoy our own interests/hobbies.

What advice would you give to other couples?  Christ, Family, Job. In that order. Family and job are the hardest to balance. Jobs come and go but your family will always be there when the dust settles.

What is your favorite Pearland restaurant for date night?  Killen's 

After meeting while attending college, Jeff and Charisse Barry celebrate over twenty years of marriage by making their time together a priority.  Whether it is spending time with loved ones, exercising together, adventuring outdoors, or visiting historical landmarks around the country, these nature lovers have been marking numerous historical towns and national parks off their bucket list.  

Jeff, a navy veteran, spent his first ten years after college cutting his teeth in sales and engineering management.  Having grown weary of life in the corporate world, he decided to go into the family insurance and financial consulting business now in its fourth generation. 

In their private lives, Jeff and Charisse are huge advocates for public education.  Jeff acknowledges, “education is fundamental to everything we do and if we don’t give kids a proper education, we are doing a disservice for our country.”  This conviction in the value of an education is why Jeff serves on the Pearland ISD Board of Trustees, he is the President of the Pearland ISD Education Foundation, and is a member of Northern Brazoria Education Alliance. 

The Barry’s are members of Pearland Chamber of Commerce, Pearland Economic Development Corp., Houston Pipeliner’s Association, and the Pearland Silverlake Lion’s Club in which Jeff is part of the Leader Dog program which trains dogs to guide the disabled and visually impaired. 

Meet The Tennison's

What is your favorite memory together? (Markeith) Memories together with my wife happen often. Whether at home or on vacation, time spent with my wife is most important. Whether we are having a deep discussion, spending quality time, or simply sitting in each other presence is memorable.

(Natasha) One of my favorite memories with Keith was when we spontaneously decided to pull over to ride on the Aquarium Downtown Ferris wheel when it was 30 degrees outside! It was cold and fun.

What is your favorite trait/quality about your partner?  (Markeith) Her love, compassion, and nurturing spirit. She is always willing to approach every person or situation with love and care.

(Natasha) My favorite trait/quality about Keith is his willpower to continually work to make things better in our marriage. 

What advice would you give to other couples?  

(Markeith) Communication is key. Speak what’s on your heart (respectfully), love selflessly, and listen to understand each other's wants and needs.

(Natasha) Be honest, fair, and open to seeing things outside of yourself. 

What is your favorite Pearland restaurant for date night?  Killen Steakhouse and Grazia’s Italian Kitchen would be our two favorite date night locations for us. We also love to frequent Fish City Grill in the Pearland Town Center for a nice outdoor lunch date.

Markeith and Natasha Tennison did not realize they had so much in common ten years ago.  Although the two grew up in the same neighborhood and attended the same high school, it took a gathering with mutual friends after college to finally notice each other.  In the process of getting to know each other and discussing their individual goals and aspirations, Markeith and Natasha soon discovered they shared a genuine interest in uplifting and inspiring others to reach their full potential. 

As the Tennison’s struggled to find the right balance between their careers and raising children, they came across some harsh truths that many other families have learned the hard way.  For most parents with full-time jobs, accessing education-focused childcare that is safe, dependable, and affordable is almost impossible. 

Where most see a problem, the Tennison’s saw an opportunity to provide a service to the community in a way that allows them to follow their passion.  The duo courageously eschewed their corporate jobs to launch Gathering Outreach Community Services, a non-profit organization that partners with Alvin ISD to offer k-12 students a curriculum-based afterschool tutoring program as well as a safe environment in which to be mentored in sports, performing arts, and other life skills.  Plans to expand the program to include services for parents are currently in the works.  As Markeith likes to say, “I don’t believe you find a purpose... it’s the reverse, a purpose finds you”. 

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