city of houston trade director helen chang dies

In Houston, friends, colleagues and city officials are mourning the death of Helen T. Chang, an international trade specialist who served under four mayors. A pioneer in the city's political circles, she died Tuesday after a battle with cancer. She was 67: Chang, international face for Houston, dead at 67.

Chang was the first Asian-American to task a mayoral transition team, working with Mayor Bob Lanier after his election in 1992. She went on to serve during the administrations of Lee P. Brown, Bill White and current mayor Annise Parker. She was also a strong supporter of many local cultural and civic organizations:
Chang blazed new trails as a pioneer in Asian-American political circles, volunteering as a vote canvasser, fundraiser and booster. She received numerous appointments, including trade consultant and agricultural ambassador for the Texas Senate Natural Resource Committee; council member of the U.S. Department of Education's Advisory Council on Education Statistics; and council member of the Texas Statewide Health Coordinating Council.

"Her remarkable energy made her one of those people you will never forget," said former Mayor White. "She devoted her life to her faith, her family, her city and the Chinese-American community. So many who loved and admired Helen will miss her."
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston. A viewing will take place from 5-8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested donations may be sent to the Chinese Community Center or to St. John's School. More info here.

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