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2024 Top 20 Impact Makers Honorees

The Kalai Family

2024 Top 20 Caring Family Impact Maker Award

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Awards Presentation

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Four Seasons Hotel Houston

The members of  the Kalai Family, Brigitte, Bashar, Alex, and Remy have become intrinsic to the fabric of the City of Houston through their commitment to community service, their support of cultural endeavors and worthy causes, and their involvement with life-changing organizations.

Brigitte Kalai grew up in Houston and loves being part of the community, giving back to it every chance she can. Brigitte champions causes that empower women and children along with animals and those facing medical issues. She graduated with a BSN from the University of Texas and went on to work as a pediatric nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston working with children who had significant and chronic health challenges. She has a deep understanding of the financial and emotional toll it takes on a family dealing with medical issues due to her nursing background as well as her own struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis. After marrying, she and Bashar started their family and their company, Amerapex. They celebrated their thirtieth anniversary in 2023.

Bashar Kalai is the president and CEO of Amerapex Corporation, a technology, engineering, and industrial services company based in Houston with operations globally. He received his BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas in Austin. Bashar considers it an honor, a privilege, and his duty to give back to the community he cares so much about.

Alex Kalai, 25, is a National Merit Scholar, a perfect ACT debate champion, a first chair in violin, a chess champion, a black belt, a Taekwondo national champion, a former competitive swimmer, and an avid fisherman. He graduated from The Kinkaid School in 2016, graduated from Rice University in mathematical economics and statistics, and will be graduating from Columbia University with Law and MBA degrees in May of 2024. He interned at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP and Amerapex. In 2025, he will join Amerapex. As a volunteer, Alex has tutored underprivileged children, worked at Houston Food Bank, and worked with refugees.

Remy Kalai, 23, is a National Merit Scholar, a perfect ACT debate champion, a first chair in violin, a chess champion, a black belt, a Taekwondo national champion, an avid fisherman, and a golfer. He graduated from The Kinkaid School and graduated from Rice University with a degree in economics. Remy interned at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Amerapex and joined Amerapex as the director of finance. As a volunteer, Remy has tutored underprivileged children, worked at Houston Food Bank, worked with refugees, and mentored children.

The Kalai family and Amerapex are committed to the betterment of the community, often chairing galas and being title sponsors for many charities. They focus on transformational gifts, including the Plaza of Respect for Interfaith Ministries supporting Meals On Wheels, refugees, and interfaith dialogue. Brigitte’s experience as a Big Sister at the age of 19 led the family to donate to the Big Brothers Big Sisters Event Space and to give the organization a transformational gift to support their programs. They have also donated to the Commons at The Kinkaid School and the Tomorrow’s Promise capital campaign supporting the building, scholarships and financial aid. They created the Brigitte and Bashar Kalai workshops at Rice bringing Nobel Laureates to Rice University.

 

They were TRI Founding Members at Methodist Hospital. They donated the Brigitte and Bashar Kalai patient room and library at Nora’s home for transplant patients, and, most recently, donated a new dorm for women at the Mission Of Yahweh. This is only a small sample of the ways in which the Kalai family has given back to the City of Houston.

Brigitte and Bashar have been honored multiple times by the Mayor of Houston and by the Governor of Texas for their contributions to Houston. As well, Brigitte and Bashar were honored with the John Connor Humanitarian Award in 2017, by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and by Texas Children’s Hospital in 2018. In 2023, the Houston Chronicle named them one of Houston’s 25 most Powerful and Philanthropic Couples, and in 2024, Brigitte and Bashar were honored with the Houston Symphony Philanthropy Award for their ongoing contributions to the arts and for their community leadership.

A small sample of Brigitte’s honors include: being named a Houston Treasure by The Social Book, one of the 25 Best Dressed by the Houston Chronicle, a Woman of Distinction, a Woman of Substance, one of the 10 Most Beautiful Houstonions, a Houston Sweetheart, one of the Women who Shape Houston by Crime Stoppers, and one of the Texas Children’s Hospital’s Community Champions. As well, Brigitte received the St. Jude Golden Heart Award.

Brigette and Bashar have chaired multiple galas including The Symphony Ball, The NAO, UNICEF, Crime Stoppers, Best Dressed for the March of Dimes, and SBP for Hurricane Harvey Recovery to name only a few. As well, they serve on several boards, including UNICEF, Crime Stoppers, The Sheriff’s Advisory Board, Interfaith Ministries, and Nora’s Home. They are also passionate about education and support many scholarship funds.

Enthusiastic about sharing their Arab culture with Houston, Brigitte and Bashar have brought the National Arab Orchestra to the city. The result was a memorable collaboration with the Houston Symphony at The Hobby Center with 2500 people in attendance.

As a family, the Kalai’s love to see the smiles on other's faces when they can help improve their lives in any small way. It is very rewarding for them to do their part. They feel they have been blessed in many ways and it is their duty to give back. 

It is for all the reasons mentioned above and many more that the Kalai family has been named a Top 20 Caring Family Impact Maker for 2024.

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