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Greater Houston Partnership Outlines Steps to Grow Houston’s Economy, Celebrates Key 2020 Accomplishments

Published Jan 25, 2021 by A.J. Mistretta

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HOUSTON (January 26, 2021) – The Greater Houston Partnership outlined some of the steps needed to grow Houston’s economy in a post-pandemic world, shared the organization’s key accomplishments in 2020, and presented an award to one of the city’s leading business leaders and philanthropists at its annual meeting today. 

2021 Partnership Board Chair Amy Chronis, Houston Managing Partner for Deloitte, discussed what Houston must do to ensure it remains a competitive global city in a post-pandemic world. “I suggest it will be those metros whose businesses are focused on developing the technologies and driving innovations that change the world,” Chronis said during the virtual event. “Over time, Houston has both diversified its economy, and more recently, has bolstered our innovation ecosystem…But to build a strong, diverse, 21st century economy, Houston must drive a technological renaissance.” Read Chronis’ full remarks.

Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing recession, the Partnership made considerable progress on several fronts over the last year, said Bobby Tudor, who served as the organization’s 2020 Chair and is also Chair of Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. LLC. Tudor, who laid out a plan for Houston to help lead the global energy transition to a low-carbon future at the beginning of his tenure, said energy companies have largely committed to the effort while the region has attracted key new players. One example is North America’s largest “climatetech” incubator Greentown Labs, which announced in June it would open a new Houston facility this year to assist emerging energy companies. 

“The momentum in Houston related to energy transition is quite good,” Tudor said. “It will take the continued focus and attention from all of us in the business community to see to it that Houston goes through this energy transition period and comes out of it on the other end with the same global leadership position in energy that we have today.”  

The Partnership provided an update on its Houston Next strategic plan designed to advance Houston’s position as a great global city. The plan, adopted in 2019, focuses attention on three core areas: building a strong, diverse 21st century economy; offering a great quality of life; and ensuring opportunity for all. In 2020, the Partnership added that a lens of racial equity should permeate its work to strengthen Houston as a diverse, inclusive and equitable city. 

Key 2020 highlights include: 

  • Spearheaded 21 successful economic development projects, accounting for $704 million in capital expenditures and 3,200 jobs for the region.
  • Created the One Houston Together initiative, leveraging the power of the business community to address racial inequity in Houston. 
  • Launched the Work Safe Company program, establishing principles to guide employers on safe operating practices during the pandemic. More than 180 companies have pledged to follow the principles. 
  • Led four domestic and international missions aimed at recruiting companies and strengthening business ties. 
  • Welcomed 86 international delegation visits (mostly virtual) from 28 countries around the world. 
  • Hosted 25,333 business and community leaders at 37 major virtual events and webinars. 
  • Hosted 50 elected officials for the Future of Texas series, affording business leaders the opportunity to engage directly with lawmakers on important issues.  

See more highlights in the 2020 Annual Report

“These have not been easy days for companies in our region, both large and small,” said Partnership President and CEO Bob Harvey. “For nearly a year now, our members and businesses across Houston have struggled to keep employees and customers safe while maintaining operations as best they could. This has proven more difficult for some than others, but time and again I’m amazed by the resiliency of Houston companies to innovate and persevere in the face of significant obstacles. I believe brighter days are ahead for our region.” 

Harvey touted other major accomplishments during the year, including economic development announcements from companies such as Amazon and Google Cloud that will add hundreds of jobs. In November, tech giant Hewlett Packard Enterprise said it would relocate its corporate headquarters from San Jose, Calif. to Houston, giving our region another Fortune 500 company. And in a move certain to invigorate the region’s commercial aerospace sector, Axiom Space announced in December it will build the world’s first commercial space station at a new headquarters facility it is constructing at the Houston Spaceport. Read Bob Harvey’s full remarks.

During the meeting, Partnership Board Member and Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes presented the Partnership’s 2021 Robert C. McNair Civic Leadership Award to businessman and philanthropist Richard Kinder. The McNair Award is the most prestigious award bestowed by the Partnership and honors a highly successful business leader who has also made outstanding civic and philanthropic contributions. See release on the McNair award.

Partnership members elected new and returning board members as well during the virtual meeting.  Thad Hill, President and CEO of Calpine, was elected Vice Chair and Chair-elect.

2021 Greater Houston Partnership Board of Directors – Newly Elected and Returning Members 
New Members 
Esi Akinosho
Houston Office Managing Partner
Ernst & Young LLP

Jason Baker
President, Houston Market
Comerica Bank

Tammy W. Brennig
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Alex Cabañas
Benchmark Hospitality 
John R. Collett
Senior Client Partner
Korn Ferry International

Caleb Deerinwater
Vice President & General Manager – South Texas

Mary Beth Gracy 
Houston Office Managing Director
Monzer Hourani
Medistar Corporation

Kevin P. Hourican
President and CEO
Sysco Corporation
Steven J. Kean
Kinder Morgan
Gregory Knight
Executive Vice President, Customer Transformation and Business Services
CenterPoint Energy
Lorena Kubera
Vice President, Personal Systems, Strategy & Business Planning
HP Inc.
Julie Luecht
Houston Office Managing Principal
Paul Marsden
Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc.
Amanda McMillian
President and CEO
United Way of Greater Houston
Mia Mends
Chief Administrative Officer
John Nash
Hanover Company
Gerald B. Smith
Chairman and CEO
Smith Graham & Co., Investment Advisors, LP
John Sowers
Chief Transformation Officer
Sempra Energy
Starlee Sykes
Regional President for the Gulf of Mexico and Canada
bp America
Arja Talakar
CEO, Siemens Oil & Gas
Siemens Corporation
Brad Tucker
Mustang Cat
Rishi Varma
SVP and General Counsel
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Laurie Vignaud
President & CEO 
Unity National Bank
Re-Elected Members 
David L. Callender
President and CEO
Memorial Hermann Health System
Tony Canales
President and General Manager
Telemundo Houston KTMD-47
Albert Chao
President and CEO
Westlake Chemical
Stanley G. Chapman, III
EVP & President, US and Mexico Natural Gas Pipelines
TC Energy

Amy Chronis
Managing Partner
Steve Clarke
Division Vice President, Coastal Texas 

Michelle Costa
Regional President
Clear Channel Outdoor
Mark A. Cover
CEO, Southwest Region and Mexico/Central America
M. Carter Crow
Norton Rose Fulbright

Leslie Duke
President and General Manager
Burns & McDonnell, Inc.
George Y. Gonzalez
Haynes and Boone, LLP
Tilman J. Fertitta
Chairman, President and CEO
Landry's Inc. 

Thad Hill
President and CEO
Calpine Corporation

Ryan M. Lance
Chairman and CEO
Alex López Negrete

President and CEO
Lopez Negrete Communications Inc.
Eric Mullins
Chairman and Co-CEO 
Lime Rock Resources
Geraldine Slattery
President, Operations Petroleum
Robert B. Sloan
Houston Baptist University
Bruce Stewart
President, Direct Energy Home
Direct Energy
David Taylor
Firm Chair and Partner
Locke Lord
Alan Thomson
Managing Director and Senior Partner 
The Boston Consulting Group

Stephen M. Trauber
Vice Chairman and Global Head of Energy
Sheel Tyle
Founder and CEO
Massey Villarreal
President and CEO
Precision Task Group Inc.
Rich Wells
VP of U.S. Gulf Coast Operations & Site Director of Texas Operations
The Dow Chemical Company, Freeport


Greater Houston Partnership
The Greater Houston Partnership works to make Houston one of the best places to live, work and build a business. As the economic development organization for the Houston region, the Partnership champions growth across 12 counties by bringing together business and civic-minded leaders who are dedicated to the area’s long-term success. Representing 1,100 member organizations and approximately one-fifth of the region’s workforce, the Partnership is the place business leaders come together to make an impact. Learn more at

A.J. Mistretta
Vice President, Communications         
(c) 504-450-3516 | 

Maggie Martin 
Senior Manager, Communications         
(c) 832-690-0206 | 

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Houston Expected to Create 75,000+ Jobs in '22 as Region Works to Regain Pandemic Losses

HOUSTON (December 1,2021) – The Greater Houston Partnership forecasts the Houston region will create 75,500 net new jobs in 2022. As the region’s economic recovery continues, employment gains are expected in every sector, with the greatest increases anticipated in administrative support and waste management; government; health care and social assistance; and professional, scientific and technical services.  Five factors will support job growth in the region next year: the ongoing U.S. expansion, robust global trade, energy consumption returning to pre-crisis levels, pent-up consumer demand, and local population growth. The dynamics affecting each are broken down in the report. The forecast warns that the recovery will continue to face headwinds, including elevated inflation, supply chain challenges and worker shortages, but these won’t be enough to halt growth.  As of September 2021, Metro Houston had recouped 245,600 jobs, or roughly 68 percent of the 361,400 lost in the early stages of the pandemic. The sectors most impacted by social distancing are near full recovery. Restaurants and bars have recouped 90.1 percent of their losses, retail 86.5 percent, other services (i.e., personal services), 94.0 percent. However, for the industries that were struggling prior to the pandemic—including energy, manufacturing, construction, and wholesale trade—COVID-19 made their situations worse. Those sectors began to shed jobs before COVID-19 arrived and continued to shed them after the economy reopened. Collectively, these struggling Houston industries account for over half the jobs needed to close the gap and recapture Houston’s pre-pandemic employment peak. Partnership Senior Vice President of Research Patrick Jankowski said the good news is that the outlook for the four sectors has improved in recent months and they’re taking small steps toward recouping their losses.  “Only eight times in the past 21 years has annual growth exceeded 75,500 jobs, which is our forecast for 2022,” Jankowski said. “Those eight years tend to coincide with rising oil prices or prices at an unsustainably high level. Factor out the booms (and the busts), and metro Houston typically creates 65,000 to 70,000 jobs in a ‘normal’ year. Measured against that, 2022 looks to be one of the better years for job growth in Houston.”  Metro Houston Jobs Forecast by Sector (December 2021 to December 2022)  Administrative Support/Waste Management: +9,000 jobs  Professional, Scientific and Technical Services: +8,700 jobs  Health Care and Social Assistance: +8,400 jobs  Restaurants and Bars: +7,200 jobs  Government: +7,100 jobs  Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities: +6,500 jobs  Manufacturing: +5,000 jobs  Energy: +4,000 jobs  Wholesale Trade: +3,000 jobs  Construction: +2,700 jobs  Other Services: +2,100 jobs  Finance and Insurance: +2,100 jobs  Educational Services: +2,000 jobs  Retail Trade: +2,000 jobs  Real Estate and Equipment Rentals: +2,000 jobs  Arts, Entertainment and Recreation: +1,600 jobs  Hotels: +1,200 jobs  Information: +700 jobs  Click here to see the full report, including a sector-by-sector examination of the factors that will prompt growth in the year ahead.  The mission of the Partnership is to make Houston one of the world’s best places to live, work and build a business. To that end, the Partnership provides this forecast to help the Houston business community and those involved in economic development in the region understand trends influencing the region’s economy and driving industry gains or losses. The forecast is designed to help businesses make better investment, staffing and purchase decisions in the coming year. ### Greater Houston Partnership The Greater Houston Partnership works to make Houston one of the best places to live, work and build a business. As the principal business organization in the Houston region, the Partnership advances growth across 12 counties by bringing together business and civic-minded leaders who are dedicated to the area’s long-term success. Representing more than 900 member organizations who employ approximately one-fifth of the region’s workforce, the Partnership is the place business leaders come together to make an impact. Learn more at A.J. Mistretta Vice President, Communications          (c) 504-450-3516 |  
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