2006 Trailblazer Award Recipient: HEB

2006: In the history of the Houston Trailblazer Award in 1997, only one winner has been an entire business entity. Under Chairman and CEO Charles Butt and Houston Division President Scott McClelland, H-E-B was recognized in 2006 for its collective efforts in improving Houston and its continuous faith in the city. The regional grocery chain remains one of the largest independent retailers in the nation.  The privately held company operates more than 300 stores in 150 communities across Texas that incorporate different formats, including H-E-B, Mi Tienda in South Houston, and Central Market.

The company was founded in 1905 by matriarch Florence Butt, who operated the grocery store on the ground floor of her family home in Kerrville, Texas. Youngest son, Howard Edward Butt, took over the family store after returning from World War I and began expanding operations. 

Historically, H-E-B is known for its charitable donations, with five percent of its annual pretax earnings given to causes in the communities where it operates, including education and food banks. Since 2000, H-E-B’s “Excellence in Education Awards” program has recognized teachers, administrators and schools in Texas with more than $500,000 in annual cash awards.