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Stewart Zuckerbrod was among the first in Houston to become a father through surrogacy. 

In need of an eye doctor? Look no further than Houston Eye Associates’ Dr. Stewart Zuckerbrod, a well-known Houston ophthalmologist. Zuckerbrod holds multiple degrees and has won several awards for his medical prowess. He’s taught at the Baylor College of Medicine and UT Health Science Center-Houston. But there is much more to Dr. Zuckerbrod than his work.

Born in Germany as an Army brat, he became a double-major in biology and German literature at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He would go on to lecture in Germany about his ophthalmology research. Beyond that, he loves gardening, photography, and theater.

“I’ve always maintained a connection with the arts,” Zuckerbrod says. “I started singing in my 40s, and for many years I sang with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston.” He was recently the cantor at a Clear Lake synagogue, singing for the high holy days of Yom Kippur and
Rosh Hashanah.

“It took four to five months to prepare for that,” he says. “But it was wonderful.”

He has also written two plays that were performed on stage. His collaboration with Deborah Boily, Songs I Was Born to Sing (a gay-musical take on the classical Greek comedy Lysistrata), premiered at Stages Repertory Theatre in 2006. He has served on the board of Stages as well.

But his real love has been his children. He loved being a stepparent in a previous relationship, and after that relationship ended he explored the idea of adopting a child of his own. He finally decided to use a surrogate in 2000, and became one of the first gay men in Houston to do so. Today, his twin girls, Samara and Frances, are juniors at Bellaire High School.

“They are smart kids, so they have a lot of extra classes and homework,” he says. “Basically, we spend time at home doing homework. I try to have a family dinner every night, but they also have extra activities. One is into modeling, and one has a boyfriend, so we are all very busy.”

And although he enjoys cooking, he says preparing dinner for the girls is a little difficult. “They have very different tastes, so it can be a challenge. Actually, our housekeeper does a lot of the meal preparation.”  —Marene Gustin

Best Chiropractor

Ken Lester
Finalists: Tony Branker, Jackie St. Cyr, Fernando Franco, Richard Silver

Best Cosmetic Skin Care Center

The Skin Renewal Center
Finalists: Alira Boutique Spa, BEN Aesthetic, ReNew You MD Wellness, Skin Renaissance Center

Best Cosmetic Surgeon Center

Facial Plastic Surgery Associates/Angela Sturm
Finalists: Eugenio Aguilar, American Institute of Plastic Surgery, ReNew You Center

Best Day Spa

Alira Boutique Spa
Finalists: Deer Lake Lodge & Resort, Skin Day Spa

Best Female Aesthetic Physician

Angela Sturm/Facial Plastic Surgery Associates
Finalists: Jessica Hill, Regina Rodman

Best Male Aesthetic Physician

Patrick McNamara/Skin Renewal Center
Finalists: Octavio Barrios, Russell Kridel, Scott Yarish

Best Female Dentist

Cynthia Corral/Bayou City Smiles
Finalists: Elizabeth Hunsaker, Mary Riley, Dianna Wilde

Best Male Dentist

Bruce Smith/Dr. Bruce Smith Dentistry
Finalists: Samuel Carrell, Marcus De Guzman, Cory Logan, Randy Mitchmore

Best Female Eye Doctor

Lisa Woo/Eye To Eye
Finalists: Juliet Farmer, Mary Green/Eye Excellence, Christine Tyler

Best Male Eye Doctor

Scott Sawyer/Legacy Community Health (tie)
Stewart Zuckerbrod/Houston Eye Associates (tie)
Finalists: Paul Lovero/Montrose Eye Care, Bimal Patel/Focus Eye Care, Marc Sanders

Best Female Hair Stylist

Lana Blake
Finalists: Celina Arzola, Cara Crafton, Stacey Daniels, Patti Gooch

Best Male Hair Stylist

Reza Nouri
Finalists: Jim Bagley, Don Gill, Cabe Nowlen, Joel Quinones, Jeremiah Sammons, Anthony Skoogi

Best Female Mental-Health Therapist

Denise O’Doherty
Finalists: Kristen Anderson, Renee Armstrong, Brittany Burch

Best Male Mental-Health Therapist

Robert Snellgrove
Finalists: Tony Aucoin, Ty David Lerman, Jeffrey Myles

Best Mental-Health Therapist/Psychiatrist

Daniel Garza
Finalists: Barry Gritz, Chad Lemaire

Best Male Mental-Health Therapist/Psychologist

Woodja Flanigan
Finalists: Mike Harrison, Colt Keo-Meier, Kaden Stanley

Best Female Personal Trainer

Shana Ross
Finalists: Laura Flagg, Karen Peden, Gilly Rosen, Cherrise Traylor

Best Male Personal Trainer

Larry Durham
Finalists: Andrew Hayes, David Muniz, Rene Quintanar, Michael Shallis

Best Female Physician

Julia Kovacs
Finalists: Jennifer Meyer, Patricia Salvato

Best Male Physician

Gordon Crofoot
Finalists: Octavio Barrios, James Carroll, Roland Maldonado, Rudy Marin

Best Fertility Clinic

Houston Fertility Specialists
Finalists: Aspire Fertility, Houston IVF

Best Gym/Place to Work Out

Club Houston
Finalists: 24-Hour Fitness, Equinox, FIT, Houston Gym, Paper Street Crossfit

Best Male Massage Therapist

Ryan Fugate
Finalists: Joel Leal, Robin Mack, Jeremiah Sammons, Tom Zeppelin

Best Female Massage Therapist

Robin Mack
Finalists: Crysti Sherwood/The Petite Retreat

Best Pharmacy

Walgreens
Finalists: Avita Pharmacy, CVS, Kroger Montrose

Best Tanning Salon

Glo Sun Spa
Finalists: Darque Tan, Malibu Tan

Best Tattoo Parlor

Electric Chair Tattoo
Finalist: 713 Tattoo Parlour

Best Tattoo Removal Service

Premium Tattoo Removal
Finalists: Clear Canvas Laser Tattoo Removal

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Marene Gustin

Marene Gustin has written about Texas culture, food, fashion, the arts, and Lone Star politics and crime for television, magazines, the web and newspapers nationwide, and worked in Houston politics for six years. Her freelance work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Texas Monthly, Dance International, Dance Magazine, the Advocate, Prime Living, InTown magazine, OutSmart magazine and web sites CultureMap Houston and Austin, Eater Houston and Gayot.com, among others.
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