Harris County Improvement District #1

Harris County Improvement District #1 is a political subdivision of the State of Texas that was created in 1987 by special act of the 70th Texas Legislature. Utilizing a combination of powers made available to special districts by the Texas Constitution, the District works to obtain and provide a variety of services and improvements for the Uptown area. 

The District was created to leverage public funds with coordinated private resources to improve services and facilities. An ad valorem tax is levied on real and personal property within its boundaries. In tax year 2020, the District’s tax rate of $0.14345 per $100 of assessed value yielded approximately $9.6 million in revenue on a tax base of $6.7 billion. The District is also a direct recipient of federal grants and works cooperatively with the Uptown Development Authority to jointly implement mobility improvements.  The District’s work program focuses on the following areas:

  • Traffic Operations / Public Safety
  • Public Maintenance and Beautification
  • Infrastructure Improvements
  • Economic Development, Communications, and Marketing

Uptown Board of Directors

A twelve-member Board of Directors appointed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), governs the District.  Board members must be landowners, long-term tenants, or agents of landowners.

Kendall Miller
Kendall Miller

Kendall Miller, President of the Tanglewood Corporation, was responsible for reorganizing the corporate structure of Tanglewood as a family partnership, in addition to renovating and expanding Post Oak Shopping Center with the addition of the Maggiano’s and Starbuck’s buildings.  He joined Tanglewood Corporation fifteen years ago as the subsidiary business venture officer and a manager of its custom home building subsidiary.

In 1992, Kendall became the Vice President and Treasurer of Tanglewood Corporation, responsible for financial controls and analysis for its property management and development operations, and serving on the development team which expanded Oshman’s Super Store on Post Oak Boulevard and developed Tanglewood Center at Woodway and Chimney Rock.

Kendall is a graduate of Texas A&M University and received his Master’s degree from the University of Texas.  He is active in several organizations, including Bank of Texas Board of Advisors, Houston Real Estate Council, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) State Government Relations Chairman, C Club Treasurer and Westminster Weekday School Board of Advisors.  Kendall was appointed to the Uptown Houston District Board of Directors in 1999.

Jeb Bowden
Todd Casper

Todd Casper, is a Vice President with the Investment Properties – Institutional Group in Houston, Texas for CB Richard Ellis. With 20 years of commercial real estate experience, Todd specializes in the sale of office investment properties for institutional and private client investors. In addition, Todd continues to provide Asset Management services for several clients totaling approximately 2.5 million square feet of office space in Houston. Todd joined CB Richard Ellis in 2003 as Director of Asset Services in Houston with management oversight of Houston’s office and industrial buildings and retail shopping centers.

Prior to joining CBRE, Todd managed several high-profile, mixed-use complexes in the United States as a Vice President and General Manager with Urban Retail Properties and Simon Property Group. During his tenure, the Galleria completed a $25-million renovation and a $100-million expansion of the shopping center. Prior to the Galleria, Todd was the Vice President and General Manager of 900 North Michigan, a 66-story, 2.7 million square foot mixed-use complex anchored by Bloomingdale’s, an office tower, a Four Seasons Hotel and 125 luxury condominiums. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois.  Todd was appointed to the Uptown Houston District Board of Directors in 2000.

Tom Kiler

Tom Kiler serves as Managing Director/Senior Vice President for EDENS, where he manages and directs the acquisition, development and operations of EDENS’ properties within the  Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Denver markets. From 2006-14, Kiler was a Vice President of Development with EDENS in its Washington, D.C. office, where he led the day-to-day development  responsibilities of Mosaic, a 31-acre, 2.0M square foot neighborhood in Fairfax, Va. Kiler and the Mosaic team transformed the community from a dilapidated movie theater, salvage yards  and disjointed parking lots into walkable streets, parks, an arthouse movie theater, local restaurants and shops, tech office and housing for over 1,200 residents.

 From 2014-16, Kiler was a Senior Development Manager with Continuum Partners LLC, a mixed-used development firm based in Denver, Co., where he led the entitlement, planning and  sale of multifamily residential connected to the Yorktown Center Mall in suburban Chicago, as well as development capacities on the 9th & Colorado redevelopment in Denver.

 Kiler holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Economics from Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in Real Estate, from the University of North  Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a LEED AP with the U.S. Green Building Council and an active member in the Downtown Denver Partnership, Urban Land Institute and The Nature Conservancy.

Kiler lives in Denver with his wife and two daughters. Born outside of Baltimore, Md., he is a 2013 inductee to the Maryland State Wrestling Hall of Fame. Kiler loves hiking and mountaineering and has summited both Mt. Rainier and Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Steve Lerner

Steve Lerner serves as the CEO of TRC Ventures, LP and TRC Capital Partners, LLC. Steve previously held the position of Executive Vice President of The Redstone Companies, L.P. and served as an Executive Vice President of numerous Redstone-related entities. Prior to joining Redstone full time in 1998, Steve was a partner at the Houston law firm now known as Schlanger, Silver, Barg & Paine, LLP.

Steve graduated with honors in Government from the University of Texas and is an honors graduate of the University Of Texas School Of Law in Austin, where he was a member of The Texas Law Review. He was appointed to the Uptown Houston District Board of Directors in 2009.

Sonny Messiah-Jiles

Sonny Messiah-Jiles is the CEO and Publisher of the Defender Media Group (formerly the Houston Defender Newspaper), Houston’s leading Black Information Source. The media group includes the Defender newspaper , the website http://www.defendernetwork.com and several social media sites.  She has been at the helm of the company since 1981 when she purchased the newspaper at age 27.

Messiah-Jiles served as the chairperson of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (The Black Press of America), a federation of African-American newspapers across the country. She also served as the National Alumni Chair for the Houston Alumni Organization (University of Houston).  Currently, Messiah-Jiles serves as Vice President and Director of Grand Slam, a marketing/investment consulting firm. Her professional activities include being the first African-American female board member of the Greater Houston Partnership, and she currently serves on the M.D. Anderson Board of Visitors. She has served on the Advisory Board of J.P. Morgan Chase-Houston, United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, Center for Houston’s Future, NAACP-Houston, JobPlus, Hester House, March of Dimes Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, American Diabetes Association, and American Leadership Forum.

Messiah-Jiles recently received the Houston Association of Black Journalists Trailblazer Award.  In addition she has been honored with many other awards including the Phenomenal Woman Award, NNPA Publisher of the Year, American Civil Liberties Freedom of Speech Award, YWCA Outstanding Woman of the Year, Jaycees “Outstanding Texan”, “Women on the Move”, UH Distinguished Alumni Service Award and the National Dental Association Civil Rights Award. She has been named by EBONY Magazine as one of the100 most influential Black Americans. She and her husband were awarded the “Community Service Award” by the University of Houston Downtown. In December 2008, Messiah-Jiles was inducted into the Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce inaugural Hall of Fame along with former first lady Barbara Bush and eight other women.

Messiah-Jiles received an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston and did postgraduate work at Texas Southern University and Rice University.

Prior to purchasing the Defender, Sonny worked as a radio news reporter, a television talk show host, and an advertising account executive at the Houston Chronicle.

Messiah-Jiles is married to Jodie Lee Jiles an investment banker. They have two sons, Jodie and Clyde. She is a native of McNair/Baytown, Texas.

John D. Mooz

John D. Mooz serves as a senior Vice President for the Hines Corporation and as Project Officer responsible for the development and financing of projects in the Southwest region of the United States.

Since joining Hines in 1989, Mr. Mooz has contributed to the development and financing of more than 8 million square feet of commercial, medical and institutional real estate, representing approximately $2.5 billion. Some of his development projects in Houston include MainPlace, a one million square foot office tower currently under construction, the redevelopment of Shell Oil Company’s Westhollow Technology Center, the redevelopment of El Paso Tower and the development of Toyota Center, among his numerous other projects. He is a graduate from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. John was appointed to the Uptown Houston Board of Directors in December 2009.

Jonathan Zadok

Jonathan Zadok is a principle at Zadok Jewelers, the largest locally owned jeweler in Houston, Texas, where he has 20 years of experience with high-end retail on Post Oak Boulevard with clientele reaching globally. As founder and managing member of Gelem Equity Holdings, LLC, he directs and manages the acquisition, rehabilitation, leasing and sale of single family and multi-family lender-owned assets in California and Arizona.  Jonathan is also managing member of Gibraltar Developers, LLC, specializing in townhouse development in the Houston, Texas market. Other business ventures include Coffee Groundz, a specialty coffee café with two locations co-founded by Jonathan and sold in 2010.  

A graduate of the University of Denver with degrees in Finance and Marketing and a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America, Jonathan is a past Better Business Bureau Board member from 2004-2007, and past BBB Education Foundation Board member from 2005-2009. 

Jonathan is a present Board Member of Lemonade Day/Prepared 4 Life Charity, a program with the goal of exposing children to business and financial fundamentals at an early age. He was appointed to the Uptown Houston District Board of Directors in 2013.

Uptown District Staff

John Breeding
Uptown Houston District President,
Uptown TIRZ / UDA Administrator
Shannon Daniels, C.P.A
Director of Finance
Amy Escalante
Executive Assistant to the President,
Secretary to the Board of Directors
Bob Ethington
Director of Research and Economic Development
Joshua Flowers
Construction Manager
Kaleé Garvin
Marketing & Communications Manager
Andrew Jerige
Director of Memorial Park
Betsy J. Kirkgard
Office Manager
Carol McCain
Construction / Operations Project Manager
Delia Mizwa
Director of Marketing & Communications
Robert Taube
Director of Engineering and Construction
Nat Wanissorn
Parks Project Controller
Stephen Wood
District Counsel
Mike Williams
Director of Landscape Architecture
John Breeding
Shannon Daniels, C.P.A
Amy Escalante
Bob Ethington
Joshua Flowers
Kaleé Garvin
Andrew Jerige
Betsy J. Kirkgard
Carol McCain
Delia Mizwa
Robert Taube
Nat Wanissorn
Stephen Wood
Mike Williams

Uptown District Board of Directors Meetings

The Uptown District meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 2:30 p.m. (unless otherwise stated on the agenda).  Meetings are held at:

1980 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 1700
Houston, Texas 77056

The meeting notices and agenda are posted 72 hours prior to the meeting date at:

201 Caroline, Suite 460
Houston, Texas 77002

Meetings/Agendas (also available on YouTube)