Meet Maria and McKenzie

Aimee BertrandMember News

The association is delighted to welcome two new members of TEAM GHBA! McKenzie King, events and meetings assistant, and Maria del Mar Hernandez, office manager, both joined us in March 2023. They each answered a few questions from our CEO, Aimee Bertrand, so you can get to know them a little better. Next time you are at the GHBA office, stop by and say hello.

McKenzie King

In March, GHBA added a brand new position to your association staff. The newly created “Events and Meetings Assistant” role supports a variety of your GHBA activities and events, including major events of the Sales and Marketing Council, HOME-PAC and government affairs programs, Northern Counties Builders and Developers Division events, and the Young Professionals committee.

The newest member of our team, McKenzie King, joined us in mid-March and is already making an impact on supporting our members. In her first month on the job, she attended Rally Day in Austin, shadowed our director of special events, and worked registration at a number of council and committee events and meetings.


We asked her some get-to-know-you questions, and here’s what she had to say!

Aimee Bertrand (AB): Where did you grow up?
McKenzie King (MK): I was born and raised in San Antonio! It was an incredible place to grow up and I go back at least monthly to see my parents and close friends. I am so thankful to have grown up in a city with such a rich culture (and the best Tex-Mex ever)!

AB: Do you have a favorite memory from childhood?
MK: My favorite memory from my childhood is becoming a big sister. I will never forget when my elementary school called me down to the office on the intercom to go meet my new baby sister at the hospital! She is now a freshman in college, and it has been the biggest blessing to have grown into a built-in best friend, role model, and support system for her. Having a younger sibling has taught me so much about leadership and setting a good example and I am thankful every day to have her.

AB: You had some great experiences in sports marketing before coming to work for GHBA, didn’t you? Will you tell us about that?
MK: Before GHBA I worked in the NBA for the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs. I have a deep love and passion for sports, especially football and basketball, so it was a dream to be able to work in the league at such a young age. I helped plan and execute player events, autograph signings, community outreach events, and philanthropic efforts. I look forward to making an impact at GHBA with my experience in event planning, networking and relationship building, and community impact.

AB: Do you have any pets?
MK: I have a dog that I rescued during the pandemic, and she is my entire life! Her name is Kobe, after Kobe Bryant, and my world revolves around her. I love taking her to Memorial Park and on walks by the bayou.

AB: What do you do when you are away from the office?
MK: When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, traveling, going to concerts, eating good food, and anything related to health and wellness. When the weather is ideal, you can almost always find me outside! I love pickleball, working out, visiting the beach and lake, and soaking up the sun.

AB: What is your go-to restaurant recommendation for guests from out-of-town?
MK: I have had tons of great food since moving to Houston, but a few places have left me speechless. Gypsy Poet for pizza, Pinkerton’s for BBQ, and Harry’s for breakfast/brunch are my go-to places! I am a huge foodie and would love any and all recommendations.

AB: What made you decide to come to work for GHBA?
MK: I decided to come work for GHBA because of my love for community and relationship building! An opportunity to work with such an incredible group of people, host spectacular events, and make a difference in greater Houston, what more could I ask for?

AB: What do you look forward to working with our members on? What gets you excited about coming to work?
MK: What I look forward to working on most with our builder members are all of the fun and unique events GHBA hosts. From the networking events and happy hours, to the PRISM Awards, YP, golf tournaments, Rally Day, and everything in-between, I look forward to being a part of so many special and impactful days!

You will find McKenzie out at a number of our events and meetings helping with registration and event management. Please be sure to say hello at the next GHBA event you attend!

Maria del Mar Hernandez

Meet Maria del Mar Hernandez is GHBA’s new part-time office manager. Maria sat down with GHBA CEO, Aimee Bertrand, to talk about what brought her to GHBA and her background. Maria is your one-stop resource for renting the GHBA’s education center, boardroom and library.

Aimee Bertrand (AB): Where did you grow up?
Maria del Mar Hernandez (MH): I grew up in Mexico City, but I moved to Canada for a year to study when I was in 7th grade.

AB: What brought you to Houston?
MH: My husband is a pilot, so we moved here in 2021, because in Mexico the flight industry wasn’t great.

AB: Did you ever take a woodshop-type class in school?
MH: No, but I love DIYing my own stuff. If I don’t know how to do something I will YouTube it or google it and learn how to do it.

AB: What drives your interest in working to improve our community?
MH: I believe that our communities are reflections of the people who form it. Making our communities better is our duty, but also it is something we should do with joy as we live in them.

AB: What made you decide to come to work for GHBA?
MH: I’ve worked in the hospitality industry since I graduated college and have always loved working with people and leaving a mark where I can be helpful. So, my decision to come work at GHBA came the moment I knew it was a job about teamwork and helping our members in their needs and endeavors.

AB: Do you have any pets?
MH: Yes, two golden retrievers. Thor, who is 3 years old and Jane, who is 9 months old.

AB: What do you do when you are away from the office?
MH: I love volunteering at my church, going hiking, trying out new restaurants, and crafting. I love spending time with my husband discovering Houston and Galveston.

AB: What are you looking forward to, with your relocation to Houston?
MH: I look forward to getting all the insider tips about Houston and all the new things we can do and try around the city.

Stop by the front desk at GHBA and meet Maria in person!

About the Author

Aimee Bertrand

Executive Vice President & CEO of the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA)