ASFHG recognizes an individual annually at our annual Celebration of Service luncheon who has made a great contribution to our community through service. These are our past Humanitarian of the Year award recipients.

Lisa Helfman (2019)

Lisa Helfman =is the founder and Board Chair of Brighter Bites. We honor her as a shining example of the difference one person can make to so many families across our city, her for her tireless dedication to provide not only healthy food to children in need but also healthy nutritional education for whole families

Carl Josehart (2018)

Carl Josehart recently retired as the Senior Vice President and CEO TIRR Memorial Hermann. We honor him for his leadership with TIRR Memorial Hermann, his dedication to inclusion, his service to some of our most vulnerable and stigmatized people and populations in the Houston area, his passionate work towards systems change, and his advocacy to meet the health needs of all.

Bob Sanborn (2017)

Dr. Robert Sanborn is a noted leader, advocate, and activist for education and children. He works tirelessly to address issues of human trafficking, food insecurity, child health, and nutrition public policy. Dr. Sanborn presently serves as President and CEO of Houston’s Children at Risk, which acts as a catalyst for change to improve the quality of life for children through strategic research, public policy analysis, education, collaboration and advocacy.

Gracie Cavnar (2016)


Gracie Cavnar received numerous local and high profile national awards for her work in child nutrition through the Recipe for Success Foundation. Its signature Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ program, is now available in schools nationwide. Her annual public service campaigns: the VegOut! Challenge and farmers marKIDS days designed to raise awareness, normalize the concept of healthy eating and drive behavioral change are catching fire throughout the country and her vision for Hope Farms and the Rolling Green Market, an urban agricultural project designed to provide affordable produce in food deserts and train a new generation of farmers, is taking root in Sunnyside in south Houston.

Michael Walton (2015)


Michael Walton has taught at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University since 2004, and has been visiting fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, Delhi, since 2007. He was VKRV Rao Professor at the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore in 2008 and 2009.

Isabel Guerrero (2015)


Isabel Guerrero is an economist that has worked in development all her professional life. She is co-founder of the non-profit IMAGO whose goal is to support grassroots organizations on scaling up.

Bernard Harris (2014)

Bernard A. Harris Jr., Astronaut, Physician, Entrepreneur, Dr. Harris is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm, that invests in early to mid-stage Healthcare technologies and companies. He is also the Founder and President of the Harris Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports math/science education and crime prevention programs for America’s youth.  As Payload Commander on Space Shuttle Discovery STS-63 in 1995, he served on the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space Program, becoming the “First African American to walk in Space”. A veteran astronaut for over twenty years, he has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space.

Mark Kline (2013)

Dr. Mark Kline, chair of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and physician-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital. An internationally recognized HIV/AIDS specialist, Kline was honored for his extensive efforts to address pediatrics HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa and global health. Kline is founder of the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital ( BIPAI operates pediatric HIV/AIDS clinics in six African countries and Romania. BIPAI provides HIV/AIDS care and treatment to more than 175,000 children and their family members, more than any other organization in the world. The program also trains thousands of health professionals worldwide.