2022 Top 20 Impact Makers Honorees
Laura and Dave Ward
2022 Top 20 Power Couple Impact Maker Award
Saturday, February 5, 2022
The St. Regis Houston
Laura and Dave Ward have selflessly dedicated their lives to the Houston community through active involvement with specific charities and by donating their talents and time to many charitable events.
Laura Ward is the president and CEO of Houston Children’s Charity and ranks among the city’s top fundraising executives. She grew up in Crowley, Louisiana and attended Louisiana State University. Having witnessed poverty in Crowley, Laura knew that someday she would work for children who needed her help.
Laura has been an integral part of Houston Children’s Charity since its inception in 1996. Her observations of the needs of the children whose homes she has visited have impacted the development of the organization’s programs, which include: A Better Night’s Sleep, Chariots for Children, Back2School, HCC Closet, and Christmas Toy Distribution.
During the past year and a half of pandemic-related challenges, Laura and her team, using a contactless drive-thru system, have provided over 1,000 beds, complete with bedding, to children who need them and 24 wheelchair-accessible vans to deserving families. They also have supplied over 6,000 students with backpacks full of age-appropriate supplies, families with clothing at no cost, 12,000 children with holiday toys, and much more.
An inspiring leader, Laura has contributed her time and expertise to numerous charitable events over the years while working with various local philanthropic organizations, such as the Arbor School, the James Beard Foundation, and Crime Stoppers of Houston. She led the capital campaign for the Dave Ward Building at Crime Stoppers of Houston, and she has chaired the Houston Police Foundation’s gala for countless years.
In 2015, in recognition of her service, Laura was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Hall of Fame and named one of the city’s 50 most influential women by Houston Woman Magazine. She was designated a Most Admired CEO by the Houston Business Journal in 2018, and honored at Easter Seals Greater Houston’s 20th annual Hats Off to Mothers luncheon in 2019. Most recently, in 2020, she was awarded The Nikki Richnow Freedom To Fly Award by Arrow’s Freedom Place.
Dave Ward retired as the trusted news anchor of ABC 13 KTRK in 2017 after delivering the news to Houstonians for 50 years. He has since released his memoir titled, Good Evening, Friends: A Broadcaster Shares His Life and launched the video podcast, Dave Ward & Friends.
Dave grew up in Huntsville, Texas and attended Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. While there, he was bitten by the radio bug and became a disc jockey at KGKB radio. Dave remained with KGKB until 1960 when he became a reporter at WACO radio in Waco, Texas and program director a year later. In 1962, Dave and his family moved to Houston where he began working at 1230 KNUZ-AM and KQUE.
In 1966, Dave joined 13 KTRK as the station’s only on-the-street news reporter and photographer. He became the main anchor of the station’s Eyewitness News at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. in 1968. Dave worked tirelessly covering national political conventions, reporting on the space program, delivering stories affecting Texas and the rest of the southern states, interviewing people from all walks of life, and traveling the world to report on stories with a Houston connection.
Dave brings the same professionalism to his community work. In 1981, he was instrumental in establishing Crime Stoppers in Houston and around the world and was the program’s first on-air reporter. In 2016, the organization’s first headquarters was built in Houston and fittingly named The Dave Ward Building: Crime Stoppers of Houston.
In further service to his community, Dave is a past president of Easter Seals of Greater Houston and a past member of the Public Affairs Advisory Board of the Houston Business Council, the Public Information Committee of the American Cancer Society, the Board of Directors of the Leukemia Society, and the Press Club of Houston. Currently, Dave proudly serves on the board of the Houston Police Foundation and on the Advisory Board of Houston Children’s Charity. His eloquence as a public speaker has made him a popular master of ceremonies for charitable and civic events too numerous to mention.
The community Dave so loves has returned the feeling with many honors. A small sample of these includes: the Leon Goldstein Award for Outstanding Service in Fighting Crime from Houston Crime Stoppers in 2002, a regional Emmy Award for Art/Entertainment Special Programs for his interviews with Steve Tyrell in 2007, induction into the Silver Circle of the Lone Star Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2011, and induction into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2016.
Both Laura and Dave Ward have distinguished themselves as a couple devoted to Houston and to its inhabitants.
It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Laura and Dave Ward have been named a Top 20 Power Couple Impact Maker for 2022.