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Bob Harvey Remarks at 2022 Annual Meeting

Published Jan 28, 2022 by A.J. Mistretta

Bob Harvey 2022 Annual Meeting

See 2022 Annual Meeting recap

I want to start by thanking Amy again for her leadership over the last year and for her remarks earlier in the program. 

It was quite a year, what with the Legislature in session for 240 days.

But you could tell from Amy’s comments that Houston has been on quite a roll – particularly as it relates to innovation and technology, which are the keys to a great future. 

But let me zoom out a bit.

Many of us here today recognize that over the last several decades, a remarkable transformation has taken place here in Houston. 

The Houston I grew up in – back in that other century – could be characterized as a largely biracial, highly segregated, Southern industrial city, with most of that industry tied to oil and gas and far fewer cultural experiences or attractions. 

Frankly, there wasn’t a lot going on here beyond work.  

Much of what we associate with Houston today, like the medical center, didn’t develop until after the second world war -- we didn’t even get our first professional sports team until 1960, and even that was in the upstart American Football League. 

Times have certainly changed!

The Houston of today is the nation’s fourth largest city—a remarkably diverse, vibrant metro filled with talented people drawn to Houston from almost everywhere—with a dynamic quality of life brimming with things to do, and a wide variety of growing industries. 

We truly have become one of the world’s great global cities, and we are viewed as such by people all around the world.

Despite the fact we are approaching the two-year mark of a global pandemic, Houston is in a strong position to lead.

I won’t repeat everything Amy said earlier, but goodness – The Ion, Greentown Labs, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NRG's Headquarters. The incredible development happening out in communities like The Woodlands, Katy, Sugar Land, and Pearland.

And as Amy noted, Houston is becoming a hub for startups, building off our core industries to foster new companies focused on solving the problems that matter. 

So, these are really good days for Houston. 

We’ve got momentum and so much opportunity ahead of us! We just have to play our cards right.

Amy mentioned the Houston Energy Transition Initiative. I think this may be the single most important issue relative to Houston’s long-term success that we have faced or will face in our lifetimes. We are the undisputed Energy Capital of the World, but we know the industry is changing very rapidly.

Fortunately, Houston has the talent, physical infrastructure, innovation ecosystem and all the other ingredients to lead the global transition to a low-carbon future. 

I am so pleased that Houston’s top energy, academic, and civic leaders are committed to this effort, invested in our energy transition strategy and actively engaged in moving the industry and Houston forward. 

I am also excited about the work the Texas Medical Center has been doing with the TMC Innovation Institute and now TMC3.  

Combine that with the growth of the individual TMC member institutions, the large new A&M presence in the TMC, plus the 52-acre Hines development just east of the Medical Center, and you have the makings of a burgeoning life science sector in Houston.

I could go on in this vein – but I won’t. You all know that Houston is on a roll. But I will tell you this, we can’t take Houston’s success for granted.

When people ask me what the Greater Houston Partnership is about, I tell them “it’s simple, really -- We are about growth and opportunity.”  

Growth of the Houston region and opportunity for all Houstonians.

And when we say all Houstonians, we mean just that. 

Our role is to harness the collective commitment and resources of the Houston business community to strengthen Houston as the most diverse, inclusive, and equitable city in the country. 

This starts with our public and higher education systems, and extends to corporate hiring and procurement practices, up to and including executive leadership roles and board composition. 

I am pleased with the early work of our One Houston Together initiative, but it’s clear we’ve got a long way to go.

Yet, we know good things don’t just happen.  Someone must take the lead.

I am pleased to say that today, the Partnership board, our members and our staff – and all of you in this room – are united in working together to move Houston forward. 

We have never been more focused on growth and opportunity than we are now, and I ask each of you to think about how you can help. 

For example, be vocal in your support of programs and projects we need to move Houston forward, such as public education reform, our flood mitigation investments and the I-45 improvements from downtown to the beltway.  

Please don’t simply assume others will champion them or that they will simply happen on their own.

And support elected officials who unite behind our message of growth and opportunity – political leaders who help bridge the gaps, iron out the differences, and forge the solutions that allow us to move forward.

We have shown ourselves to be a city that works together, across neighborhoods, income, race, and ethnic lines, to create a better future for everyone.  

So, again, we at the Partnership are for growth and opportunity, united with you in our effort to move Houston forward. We welcome anyone who is prepared to work alongside us to make great things happen in Houston.

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New Partnership Members in May

The Greater Houston Partnership welcomed ten new member companies in the month of May. The Partnership works to connect companies with resources, information, and networking opportunities to help increase business while also providing a platform to influence the direction of the region. New members who joined in the month of May include:   BCCK: BCCK is an engineering consultation company providing technology solutions and full-service EPC firm (concept, engineering, design, fabrication, manufacturing & construction) in the cryogenic gas processing industry. Website.    Eight Million Stories: Eight Million Stories is a nonprofit organization founded in 2017 to support disconnected, in-need youth in Houston, Texas. Website.   Fluence Energy: Fluence is a global market leader in energy storage products and services, and cloud-based software for renewables and storage assets. Website.  Green Imaging: Green Imaging is a full service virtual medical imaging network owned and operated by board-certified radiologists, providing affordable medical imaging. Website.  Marquis Distributors LLC: Marquis is a nationwide manufacturer and distributors of disposable service ware and specialty souvenir products based in the Greater Houston Area. Website.   Providence: Providence is a multidisciplinary engineering and environmental consulting firm with offices in Louisiana and Texas, providing a full range of multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental consulting services; cost-effective and technically sound solutions to our clients with a personal touch. Website.  The Lemon Tree Family, LLC: The Lemon Tree Family is a Houston-based product development company. Website.   The Siegfried Group: Siegfried is a national, entrepreneurial leadership organization that provides financial executives with a powerful combination of leadership advisory, financial advisory, and talent delivery services. Website.  Ulfix LLC: Ulfix is a growing global software factory, providing web and mobile development for more than 15 years. Ulfix is an agile and DevOps organization, appraised as CMMI V2.0 Level 3, supplying the software development market in North America (Canada, Mexico and the US) with a specific approach in software continuous delivery and rapid prototyping. Website.   WM Synergy: WM Synergy provides Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, support, and services to manufacturing and distribution companies. Website.   Click here to see the Partnership's Membership Directory.    To learn more about membership with the Greater Houston Partnership click here, or contact   
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Partnership Members Making News - March & April

The Greater Houston Partnership celebrates our members making important announcements and sharing news about their operations and impact in our community. Learn more about some of those announcements over the last month below.  Business Moves The AES Corp. is doubling its Houston office space and plans to expand its renewable energy talent pool to over 100 employees to hit its energy transition goals.   Bechtel Energy Inc. opens its new Houston offices in the Westchase District and will finish moving its employees to the new location by the summer.   Comcast RISE returns to Houston to award business support grants, providing $500,000 in grants plus technology make-overs, marketing support, coaching and education resources.  H-E-B expands to Katy-Fulshear area, boasting a 121,179-square-foot floor plan.  LyondellBasell secures 208 megawatts of renewable energy capacity from a solar park in Germany, aiming to purchase at least half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.   Mitsubishi joins the Houston-based Starlab Space LLC joint venture as a strategic partner and equity owner to drive innovation and catalyze advancements in space exploration.  Education  Houston Community College plans to reopen its associate degree program for students working to become registered nurses after a closure.   Prairie View A&M University receives a donation of nearly $1.68 million from BP and Shell to create an energy trading program.   Rice University breaks ground on $76 million Susan and Fayez Sarofim Hall to create an arts district.  The University of Houston has launched its latest micro-credential course that focuses on how AI and robotics can be used in inspection processes for the energy industry.  Health Care  Houston Methodist and HCA Houston Healthcare continue expansions in the northwest Houston area with over 11 new locations.   The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Institute for Data Science in Oncology (IDSO) have announced its inaugural cohort of 33 scientists, clinicians, and staff to advance collaborative projects that will bring the power of data science to decisions made at the hospital.  Energy Transition  BP and Baker Hughes have facilitated a large, full-scale series of studies on emissions abatement technology, flare.IQ, to quantify methane emissions from its flares. Chevron and University of Houston leaders are appointed to federal emissions reductions committee for the first time, joining the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technology Innovation Advisory Committee (ITIAC).   EnCap Energy Transition Fund, sponsored by Encap Investments, has launched a platform that will take minority equity stakes in battery storage systems, solar energy systems, and other energy transition projects in the U.S.   Exxon Mobil announces a pilot project to capture carbon directly from the air.  Innovation  Gulf Coast Authority approves purchase agreement with Pearland, granting Pearland to treat water flowing down the GCWA’s American Canal from the Brazos River and reducing the city’s dependence on Houston water.  NASA continues to develop its emerging Exploration Park, agreeing to lease 207 of the development’s 240 acres for both commercial and space defense manufacturing.  Transportation  United Airlines introduces new nonstop flight to Medellin, Colombia for the first time ever this fall, bringing United to 52 routes from Houston to Latin America alone.  Rice University has partnered up with the Texas Department of Transportation's ConnectSmart program to help students find eco-friendly travel options in the Houston area.  If you are a member and want us to help communicate news about your organization, please send a press release or information about the announcement to and we will share it with our content team for possible inclusion in an upcoming roundup. Learn more about Partnership membership. 
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