Shirley A. Downing, SPHR
Executive Director, CEO
West Houston Assistance Ministries, Inc.
Shirley Downing has been an employee of West Houston Assistance Ministries (WHAM) since May of 2001. She was hired as the Assistant Executive Director and was promoted to Executive Director, CEO in the Summer of 2004. Prior to becoming an employee, she served on the Board of Directors of WHAM from 1996 to 2001. She served as an officer for three of those years. Her last year as a board member she served as the President of the Board and has been one of only two women Board President in the history of WHAM.
One of Shirley’s favorite motto is “No one leaves here hungry.” She has a heart for the homeless and those who are poverty stricken, and that has been the driving force behind her dedication as Chair of the Homeless Ministry at her church, Christ the Servant Lutheran Church. Through this effort, 1000 lunches are made and delivered to the homeless throughout the streets of Houston.
Dedicating endless hours to initiatives through WHAM and through the Homeless Ministry through her church, Shirley has been able to impact the lives of many. Not just through those that she feeds but those that she encourages through her leadership and volunteer efforts. She does not wait for someone to drop an idea or thought in her lap, she is a self-motivator and has appositive attitude regarding all projects she is involved with. Shirley serves on many committees, chairs the Scholarship Committee for The Professional Group and and is a former Chair of The United Way Coordinating Council. She is also a member of HR Houston, Society for Human Resource Management and The Executive Council.
Shirley obtained her Bachelors and Masters of Business Administration from Florida Southern College. She has over 20 years of work experience in the business environment, of which eight was served in a nonprofit company. She has worked for manufacturing, engineering, aerospace, court reporting and nonprofit companies. In 2010, she received the West Houston Diamond Leadership Award.
Shirley lived abroad for a year in Tokyo, Japan and made many travels in the Orient during that time.