2019 Visionary Leader’s Award Winner

2019 Visionary Leader’s Award Winner

Innovative Alternatives is proud to honor Rania Mankarious at the upcoming Legacy of Leadership 30th Anniversary Gala on February 22, 2019, in the Hilton Hotel’s Grand Ballroom at the prestigious University of Houston.

Boston native Rania Mankarious was chosen to head Houston’s leading public safety non-profit organization, Crime Stoppers of Houston, in March of 2013. Rania is a graduate of Boston College where she received a dual degree in psychology and theology and a minor in pre-med; she went on to earn her Masters’ Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy where she graduated magna cum laude and interned at the Harvard University affiliated McLean Hospital, followed by a law degree completed at the University of Houston Law Center.

She boasts an extensive resume with experience consulting for national companies, non-profit organizations and private public relations clients alike. Citing a personal mission to serve families and engage the public to better society, Rania began consulting with Crime Stoppers in 2006.

In her more than five years at the helm and through working with her incredible team, Rania’s legacy has been well established. Described by some as “Crime Stoppers on steroids,” her footprint has elevated the organization to new heights. In addition to expanding the reach of the Safe School Institute, the topics covered by the Safe Community Program, the launch of Parents Against Crime and the critically important Fallen Hero Program, Rania is most proud to have built the first-ever Crime Stoppers headquarters, anywhere in the world, right here in Midtown. The Dave Ward Building, Crime Stoppers of Houston was officially opened January 2017 and is the first public safety, crime prevention facility of its kind – bringing together civilians and law enforcement as well as students and community members from every corner of our great city. Additionally, on this city block rests the first Harris County Sheriff’s Office Memorial Garden, a beautiful tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

As the current CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston, Mankarious has lead one of the most robust and successful school safety programs nationally. She has testified before the Texas State House of Representatives and Senate Committees on the topic of school safety as well as other legislative issues pertaining to public safety. She also currently serves as a national advisor for Safe and Sound Schools, a nonprofit organization focused on national school safety and created by two families who lost children during the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

She appears regularly on NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX as well as on radio shows locally and nationally as a public safety/mental health/family safety expert.

Innovative Alternatives is proud to honor Mrs. Mankarious who so clearly champions causes so near to what we do every day helping crime victims and their families begin to put their lives back together.

To join us in celebrating all of 2019 Visionary Leaders Award Winners visit:

2019 Visionary Leader’s Award Winner

2019 Visionary Leader’s Award Winner

Innovative Alternatives is proud to honor Margaret Alkek Williams at the upcoming Legacy of Leadership 30th Anniversary Gala on February 22, 2019 at the University of Houston Hilton Ballroom.

Margaret Alkek Williams is a Houston treasure and one of the Bayou City’s most generous and committed philanthropists. Her tireless efforts have helped Houston become the vibrant world-class city it is today.

Margaret serves as chairman of the Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation, the living legacy created by her parents.  There she continues to carry on the family’s charitable mission to advance educational and medical institutions, to preserve and promote the fine and performing arts and to support programs serving the people of the state of Texas.

Margaret currently serves on twenty-two boards and their various committees, and remains personally involved in their fundraising. She has been honored by and received awards from numerous organizations in Houston and has chaired or co-chaired many special events.

In 2017, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Maurice Hirsch Award for Philanthropy at the Association of Fundraising Professionals–Greater Houston Chapter’s National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon.  She was humbled to follow in the footsteps of past recipients, including her parents Albert B. Alkek and Margaret M. Alkek.

Preserving and promoting the performing arts has been a tradition of the Alkek family and Margaret’s influence across Houston’s cultural community is legendary. The grants she has directed to performing arts organizations have provided a major impetus for new productions, buildings, endowments and programs for the Alley Theatre, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Theatre Under The Stars and The Center for Performing Arts Medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Margaret was the first person in the U.S. to receive the Audrey Hepburn® Society Philanthropist of the Year Award in recognition of her support of the UNICEF and Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative partnership. UNICEF honored Margaret with the award at the 2013 UNICEF Audrey Hepburn® Society Ball for her extraordinary dedication to the health and well-being of children in Houston and around the world. UNICEF also established the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award, a special award given to philanthropic leaders at the annual UNICEF Gala Houston.  Past recipients of the award include Former First Lady Barbara Bush, Rose and Harry Cullen, Robert and Janice McNair and Susan and Fayez Sarofim.

Through her steadfast support of UNICEF, Margaret has championed the fight against human trafficking, a cause that was highlighted at 2017 UNICEF Gala Houston.   Angie Harmon, UNICEF Ambassador and End Trafficking spokesperson, was the recipient of the Spirit of Compassion Award.  A portion of funds raised that evening went towards the fight against human trafficking in Houston.

Margaret is honored to be receiving the 2019 Visionary Leader’s Award from Innovative Alternatives and proud to join Texas’ First Lady Cecilia Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the fight to end human trafficking in Texas.

Six Months After Hurricane Harvey

FOX 26 News Photojournalist Darlene Janik Faires has the story.

VIDEO POSTED: FEB 05 2018 05:03PM CST from:

Talking Through The Trauma

Hundreds of people got involved in rescues who have never before worked with trauma and are ill-prepared to deal with the aftermath. We do not want those folks to lose jobs or marriages or turn to substances in order to self-medicate symptoms, simply because they can’t afford services to recover from their good deeds. The physical and psychological well-being of those experiencing severe and long-term stress, as well as your future ability to function after a prolonged period of stress, depends upon how you manage it from the beginning and the degree to which you attend to emotional, physical and psychological needs.

Thousands of citizens across Houston do not have benefits to access debriefing or other mental health services, but IA is here for you! The first three individual trauma sessions & unlimited debriefing groups are FREE.

Wednesdays 9AM-10:30AM @ United Way Bay Area Service Center, 1300 Bay Area Blvd, Room E-423

Tuesdays 6PM—7:30PM @ Innovative Alternatives  1335 Regents Park Dr., STE 240, Houston, Texas 77058

Join us to find out how to take care of your- self and your loved ones.

Families and individuals rely on the emotional support provided by IA’s free trauma debriefing groups & confidential counseling services. To sustain our vital services and programs, we depend on a foundation of committed and compassionate supporters.

Join Houstonian’s like our keynote speaker & philanthropist Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale of Gallery Furniture and our friends & neighbors of the now infamous Cajun Navy as they honor local Harvey Heroes at a Totally Texan Hurricane Harvey Recovery Gala on October 27, 2017, at 7p.

Enjoy a night of casino games, FUNdraising games, and a scrumptious steakhouse dinner generously provided by our longtime supporter LongHorn Steakhouse in Webster.

Nominate a Harvey’s Hero to be honored at Innovative Alternatives’ A Totally Texan Hurricane Harvey Recovery Gala & Casino Night.

Suggested nominees: First Responders, Volunteers, Aid Worker, or Flood Survivors. Deadline to nominate your Harvey Hero is October 8th. Submit your Harvey Hero nomination:

Sharpen Your Short Game!

Sharpen Your Short Game!

What is one of the most important but most basic parts to your game? What part of your game produces the most strokes per round? What do most golfers admit to being their skill that needs the most work?The putting. If your short game needs a little work, you’ve come to the right place. To read the article on how to master your short game and perfect your putt then simply click on the image below and it will transport you to the article! Sharpen your short game today!

And if you haven’t registered for our upcoming Legacy of Leadership Golf Classic then Register today!

10 Best Golf Swing Tips to Change Your Game!

10 Best Golf Swing Tips to Change Your Game!

We know everyone wants to be thier best on the course, so we found for you some of the 10 best golf swing tips to improve your game whether you’ve been a veteran and been golfing for forty years or the tournament will be the first time you’ve ever golfed before! Click on the image below and check out the list of the 10 best swing tips ever!

Police Take Down $4 Million Child Porn Empire

Police Take Down $4 Million Child Porn Empire

This is a cause that influences our work greatly. Please read this article and share it where you can! It is a huge problem in our society and we are working to eradicate it from our city streets! We cannot allow this to go on, we cannot let it fade away or slip into obscurity. We must take a stand. So what can you do? Read it and then share it!

Share the article linked below and take a stand with us to raise global awareness on this issue!

Surviving the Holiday Political Discussions

Surviving the Holiday Political Discussions

If you want to have a Happy Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays it’s probably the best choice NOT to discuss politics unless everyone holds the same views. There are in fact, healthy times to avoid conflict, even though in most cases, it is best to talk things through and try to come to some agreement. However, when values are involved, it can become a minefield and people become very positional very quickly.


The next best choice is to hire a professional family mediator or invite one to dinner!


If someone insists on talking ABOUT THE ELECTION, just ask if you can say something like this before the discussion gets going or print these and hand them out!


I’d like to make ground rules to keep the discussion safe for those who are talking as well as anyone listening–especially the kids who are present. I’d like to ask if we can all agree to the following:

  • IF we discuss politics, we can start w the premise that both candidates were very flawed and we will not assume that any of us holds ALL the same values as the person we finally selected as our candidate or sit in judgement of one another.
  • We will display respect of one another’s opinions and feelings or agree not to discuss politics if we can’t.
  • We agree to stop the conversation if anyone asks for it to stop.
  • We will listen with curiosity and try to understand one another’s needs and values which led to our selection of a candidate, and even validate that view if we can do so w/o sounding as if we condemn each other, for example: “I can see how that is very important to you, can I tell you what was important to me in this election and why?”
  • We will not interrupt or denigrate each other for our choice of candidate.
  • We are free to speak for ourselves and the reasons we could not choose to vote for the other candidate, but will not make those who did choose another candidate feel foolish for doing so. For example, rather than saying, “How on earth could you vote for someone who (fill in the blank). We can say, w/o judgement of others in our tone, “In the end, I just could not bring myself to vote for someone who (fill in the blank).”
  • Agree that we have the best country in the world, where everyone can support their choice for leader and have a peaceful transition of power.
  • If you were a Trump supporter, ask people to please support his Presidency with prayer, just as those who opposed President Obama did when he was elected twice.


If you’re lucky, no one in your family will want to discuss politics at Thanksgiving or Christmas, you’ll have a nice meal and everyone will fall asleep watching football!


Have a blessed day and Christmas Holiday Season!