On any given day, Kelly Matte can be seen in multiple Missouri City communities at meetings, fielding questions from neighbors and making life a little easier for residents.
“I’m constantly hearing people say, ‘You’re everywhere,’ and that’s the way I like it,” said Matte, the liaison for Missouri City’s 63 homeowners associations.
Property managers and residents look to the friendly yet laser-focused Matte to break through the bureaucratic maze that can occur in government and bring Missouri City to its people. She also helps keep the city abreast of neighborhood concerns.
So it was no surprise that when the city was looking for a way to celebrate mothers three years ago, Matte came up with the perfect idea.
The mother and grandmother always loved when her two children, now adults, made presents rather than buying them for Mother’s Day. So she organized what is now the third annual citywide cake-decorating celebration where daughters bring their mothers, fathers gather their children and all types of friends and families get together to create personal cakes and decorate handmade cards for their loved ones.
This year’s event, which costs $15 per cake kit, is from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Missouri City Hall Community Center, 1522 Texas Parkway. Matte said about 60 people already have registered online for the event, where participants will get six-inch cakes, icing, decorating tools and decorations provided by Missouri City’s own bakery, Million Cakes.
“My mom and I attended this event (last year) as a way to celebrate our mother-daughter relationship and we had a great time,” Susan Soto said. “We took fun photos in the photo booth, decorated cakes for each other and truly felt like a part of the community as we joined other Missouri City residents who celebrated Mother’s Day that way.”
Matte usually spends Mother’s Day relaxing and getting pampered by her children and 5-year-old grandson, Ian, who she calls “the twinkle of my eye.” One year they spent the day at the Brazos River Park.
That family time is welcome for Matte, because it is not unusual for her to spend at least 50 hours a week in meetings, at annual neighborhood gatherings and finding information for the city and its residents. Matte said she likes the “people aspect” of her job, and there are people who like the way she approaches it.
“Kelly has helped me in my role as president of the Thunderbird North Community Association as a conduit for information back and forth,” Soto said. “She brings information and opportunities to us and receives requests for assistance with an efficient, professional approach. She is a unique and helpful resource to our Board of Directors and provides our neighborhood residents with a direct hotline to City Hall.”
Stacie Walker, director of communications for Missouri City, said Matte has been a “fixture on the Fort Bend County scene for more than 13 years.” Matte once worked for H-E-B in its community relations program and has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce as well as a volunteer and coordinator for a number of outreach initiatives, such as Family Promise.
Matte came from Tulsa, Oklahoma and worked here in the oil and gas industry and helping her ex-husband in his insurance business. After working for the grocery chain and partnering with the city on projects, she joined Missouri City in 2015 as a community relations coordinator and HOA liaison.
Reginald Pearson, president of the Garden Park HOA and now an appointed City Council member, told the Star last year he remembers the difficulty connecting with the city before Matte.
“I remember when it was so hard to get to the city and when you came on board for HOAs, they were so responsive. Now, you guys are awesome,” Pearson told Matte during a citywide meeting organized by City Manager Anthony J. Snipes to examine the city’s responsiveness.
Matte said when she started her first 100 meetings, “It was amazing how much I heard the people say, ‘I contacted the city and can’t get a response.’ ” That has all changed.
Now as her favorite holiday nears, she is making sure that mothers can have a good time with their families.
That includes getting silly in the photo booth, dancing to music from a DJ, watching the joyous expressions of their loved ones getting faces painted and getting a specially crafted cake and card from a loved one on Mother’s Day Eve.