From President of Interfaith of The Woodlands to the sponsor of the Interact clubs, from her work with Conroe Independent School District, to her work with the University of Houston, Dr. Ann K. Snyder has had an incalculable effect on our community as a whole.
She has had an impact in nearly every element of The Woodlands since it was a blossoming community of around twenty thousand people. Recently, she announced her candidacy for The Woodlands Township Board Position 6, an unsurprising next step for her.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]”I always give one hundred and ten percent. I believe in this community and I’d be honored to serve it. I’ve worked with children, families, and seniors, and I give people the power of voice. I could bring a unique perspective thru the board.” – Dr. Ann K. Snyder[/quote]
Last weekend, I had the privilege of sitting down with Dr. Ann Snyder and had the opportunity to ask her some questions regarding her long career and future aspirations.
Woodlands Journal Exclusive interview by: Doug Snyder
Woodlands Journal: First of all, what brought you to The Woodlands in the first place? You seem to have really embraced the community, and you’ve certainly been here a while.
Dr. Ann K. Snyder: We’ve been here for twenty six years for the same reason as many people now raise children here; to enjoy the lifestyle, the high quality of life for our children, and the uniqueness that The Woodlands offered even back then. At the start, my husband and I commuted, I taught at UH 1990- 2004.
WJ: What did you teach at UH?
AS: I was the in the College of Education, Director of Clinical and Field Experience.
WJ: Okay! So then what is your doctorate in?
AS: Education. Like Don Stockton.
WJ: One notable project you’ve worked with is Interfaith, serving as its President for a number of years. What brought you to the public sector, and what have you have accomplished as a member of its community? Perhaps something you are most proud of, in particular.
AS: I have volunteered my entire life, since I was very young. I grew up in the Midwest and it was expected; my parents and siblings did it. When I moved here, I became involved in the schools, served on the YMCA Board, and with the Library Friends. Almost every board I’ve had some relationship with. Interfaith to me embodied what The Woodlands is all about, because Mr. Mitchell started The Woodlands Religious Community before The Woodlands, and did business at Interfaith. I want to bring spiritual, corporate and civil interests together to work together. I’ve always felt collaborations and partnerships are critical, and Interfaith brings diversity, from when I was living here all the way to what is it today. The Woodlands was built with HUD housing, which is for low income families, and we have a lot in The Woodlands. We think of The Woodlands as being so affluent, but our generosity of spirit makes us so unique. It’s the whole climate here, what we believe. Somebody falls down, you help them up. Self-sufficiency. I also oversee another nonprofit, non-salaried, called the Interfaith Community Clinic. It provides medical dental and mental health coverage for individuals who don’t have insurance. Primary care. I oversee both nonprofits, 12 years for Interfaith, 5 for ICC.
WJ: Usually people don’t have schools named after them until long after they retire. As someone that went to elementary school here in the Woodlands, that’s quite the accomplishment. Can you share how you achieved that?
AS: What an incredible honor and incredible surprise, I’ve been involved such a long time, been on the Board of Trustees for 15 years and spent two years as President of the Boards. I was a 20 year sponsor of Interact [ a volunteer service club at The Woodlands High School and College Park]. I enjoyed the volunteerism of the young people. Education has been my driver.
WJ: That’s really great to hear. Recently, you announced your campaign for a position on The Woodlands Township Board. What brought you to politics, and why do you want to win?
AS: One [reason] is my love of The Woodlands. I’m a 26 year resident of this community and I really feel that I bring a lot of things to the table. I think good government matters, I think positive leadership matters, and I think vision and experience matters. Be it civic, be it volunteer, be it faith based in the community; I’ve seen them grow. I’ve seen what The Woodlands has always been: live, work, and play. I’ve had the opportunity to visit with George P. Mitchell a lot; I remember one of the first things he did before he officially opened The Woodlands was to start The Woodlands Religious Community Inc., which is now Interfaith of The Woodlands. I feel a lot of things he would talk about are things I believe in. He was a visionary and I hope to carry it on.
WJ: Do you have any specific goals or aspirations that you want to accomplish if you are elected to the Board?
AS: Well I want to listen and be the voice of the residents; done that for 26 years. Both traffic and security are issues that need to be addressed. We have too much traffic, and it’s a gridlock. We also want to feel safe; to be able to walk and use the bike paths. My husband and I are both cyclists (my husband more than I). We want the bike paths to be that anyone can feel, even with young kids, like they can go out and enjoy what we all have while maintaining low taxes. We’ve been able to maintain in the school district on low costs.
WJ: Two important topics in our community recently have been Road Bonds and the expansion of Rayford Road. Do you have any opinions on these hot-button issues?
AS: Well the road bonds coming up in November needs to be passed. We will go out and work on that. We have too much traffic and we need to work on that. We need to address the mobility. You know on Rayford, I’d rather not speak too simply, but it needs to be addressed. It’s a gridlock. I’m very happy that the two things taken off were the Woodlands Parkway extension and Robinson Road. I’m glad that they came back and having a November road bond and took off the two contentious things.
WJ: Great to hear you take a side. Do you have anything else you’d like to share with The Woodlands Journal?
AS: I always give one hundred and ten percent. I believe in this community and I’d be honored to serve it. I’ve worked with children, families, and seniors, and I give people the power of voice. I [could] bring a unique perspective thru the board.
WJ: Thank you so much for your time!
Sitting down with Dr. Snyder was a fascinating experience, and I wish her all the best in her upcoming election.