Gary Mangold (photo below) is a familiar presence in River Oaks, where he has been the general manager for 32 years. He’s not the mayor or the police chief, the park superintendent or official historian, but he’s kind of all those in a single package.

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“River Oaks Property Owners – or ROPO – is a 24/7/365 operation,” says Mangold, who supervises nearly 50 full- and part-time officers, landscapers and administrative staff. “I report to the ROPO board of directors president and interface with the other eight directors. I act as a liaison to the RO Foundation on neighborhood beautification and with many other infrastructure entities.” He also knows more about the who-what-when of River Oaks than, probably, any other living person.

We recently caught up with Mangold to find out what makes him tick.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND.
I am not sure anything could prepare one for this job, but I previously was the Gulf Coast director for the Texas Department of Agriculture. As a 35-year volunteer with the Houston Livestock Show Calf Scramble Committee, I have promoted Texas products nationally and internationally – including shipping registered cattle through our export pens at Intercontinental Airport. I graduated cum laude in Business Administration from UT-Austin.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I was born and raised in San Antonio, married my high-school sweetheart, Judy, and have lived in Katy since 1979.

GROWING UP, WHAT DID YOU PLAN TO BE?
A police officer

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
I enjoy hunting, fishing and honing my firearms skills. (But not because of my job!)

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOUSTON RESTAURANT?
Grace’s on Kirby

SPORTS TEAM?
University of Texas Longhorns

MOVIE?
Once Upon a Time in the West

ARE YOU A DOG MAN OR CAT GUY?
My twin granddaughters have convinced me I am not only a dog lover, but need to make room for two cats as well.

WHAT’S THE ODDEST REQUEST YOU’VE HAD IN YOUR ROPO JOB?
What should we do with the naked person walking down Kirby Drive?

WHAT DO RIVER OAKS HOMEOWNERS ASK YOU MOST OFTEN?
“What deed restrictions apply to my property?”

ANYTHING IN THE WORKS THAT RIVER OAKS RESIDENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?
ROPO is excited about our new alarm-monitoring software. Neighbors will learn more about it soon.