Greater Houston Partnership (GHP)

Greater Houston Partnership

March 2017

Monthly Update from Bob Harvey

It's been a busy spring around the Partnership, with high-level international visits, our advocacy during the 85th state legislative session, and a full event calendar.

On the international front, the Partnership hosted a luncheon in honor of His Excellency Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and Chairman of Saudi Aramco, on March 8. During the conversation, moderated by former Mayor Bill White, the minister discussed the historical links between Saudi Arabia and the US, as well as the nation's strong cultural and economic ties with Houston. Importantly, he also shared his views on global crude oil dynamics and the crucial role of Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil producer, considering trends in oil prices and production levels.

The Partnership continues to be active in Austin working with the 85th Texas Legislature. Board members and staff are working to advance the Partnership's agenda, which includes municipal pension reform, high-quality pre-K funding, economic development incentives, and other priorities. Locally, the Partnership has been analyzing the HISD recapture issue and will be formally supporting a Yes vote in the upcoming May 6 election. You can expect further communications from the Partnership on this topic. In the meantime, please reach out to our public policy team if you have any questions.

As you may know, the Partnership's research team releases an annual employment forecast for the Houston region. I'm pleased to report that the Partnership forecast for 2016 employment came within one-tenth of the one percent of the three million jobs in Metro Houston, based on the final report from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) released earlier in March. The Partnership forecast a growth of 21,900 jobs for 2016, while the final TWC numbers showed 18,700 net new jobs were added for the year, which is a difference of 3,200 jobs. Job growth has trended up since August 2016. You can view 2016 final employment data here and the 2017 Partnership employment forecast here.

As we head into our busy spring events season, please note that our State of the State event with Governor Greg Abbott has been rescheduled for April 18. We’ll also be hosting the State of the City with Mayor Sylvester Turner on May 4, as well as the State of Houston's Global Economy on May 22. For our annual State of Energy event, we’re excited to host Lamar McKay, Deputy Group CEO of BP Global on May 31.

As you can see, we have a lot to look forward to these next few months. I hope to see you at our upcoming Councils, Events and Committee meetings. As always, thank you for being a member of the Greater Houston Partnership.

Regards,

Bob Harvey Signature
Bob Harvey
President and CEO


The Partnership at South by Southwest

Virtual reality booth at SXSW

The Partnership, in collaboration with Station Houston, VisitHouston, NASA-JSC and Insperity, took the latest step in its talent attraction plan at the SXSW Jobs Market in early March. We visited with over 4,000 job seekers, delivered virtual reality experiences of Houston to 1,500 attendees and garnered 700,000 social media impressions of our efforts while in Austin, TX.


Member Spotlight - Latha Ramchand, Dean and Professor of Finance, C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston

This month's Member Spotlight is on Latha Ramchand, Dean and Professor of Finance, C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston. She answered a few questions about how she is involved with the Partnership and her advice for women striving to take the lead in their careers.

  1. What is your name, title and company?
    Latha Ramchand, Dean and Professor of Finance, C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston  
  2. In what ways are you (and/or your colleagues) involved with the Partnership and why?
    The mission of the Greater Houston Partnership and the mission of the Bauer College are linked – both organizations focus on serving Houston. We create programs around Houston’s challenges and opportunities. Today, Houston is what the United States will look like ten years from now. The Greater Houston Partnership and the C.T. Bauer College of Business believe that Houston has a 'Can Do' culture that is unique. Serving and growing this culture to grow business and industry success is at the core of our mission.
  3. As a woman in a leadership role, what or who has inspired you?
    There are several names that come to mind. Rather than list names, the qualities that make them special are worth sharing. Effective leaders start with bold dreams. Leadership requires courage, and most importantly the willingness to get beat up and recover. Adversity builds resilience, and obstacles can pave the way for achievement. I am inspired by stories of courage. Everything else is management and not leadership.
  4. What advice would you give young women just starting in their careers?
    Five things:
    1. Expertise: Choose an area that you are passionate about, that interests you, that you would want to be a part of whether or not you get paid, and grow your expertise in that area. Be the person that is sought out as the thought leader in that area.
    2. Cause: Adopt a cause to leverage your expertise. It can be to help your organization grow, or to help a social cause.
    3. Plan: Create a career road map and build a personal board of directors who can advise you as you move along this path.
    4. Act: Don't wait until you feel you are perfect to take the first step. Don't let perfection lead to procrastination. Allow for changes to your plan.
    5. Professional: Don't take rejection or defeat personally. Let it go and move on.

The Latest Data on the Houston Region's Economy

Economy at a Glance - March 2017

This month's edition of the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston: The Economy at a Glance takes a look at the benchmark revisions to Houston's employment data, the energy outlook for '17, Houston's housing market and housing characteristics, and Houston's rankings in growth, prosperity and inclusio

Download Economy at a Glance


HYPE Brings Together Young Professionals and Houston Business Leaders

Twice a year, HYPE (Houston Young Professional Endeavor) comes together for the Thought Leader Breakfast. From a passerby, this is an ordinary breakfast for young professionals, but to the attendees, this is a rare opportunity to engage with a prominent leader in the Houston business community. Each table hosts a Partnership Board Member or an executive in sharing their stories with the future business leaders of Houston.

The most recent sold out event was hosted March 23 at Partnership Tower. Seven of Houston’s business leaders led table discussions about their passions, the progression of their careers, their hobbies, and gave advice. The next breakfast will be hosted in September.


Leadership and the Future Take Center Stage

 The Future of Leadership Luncheon

Center for Houston's Future held The Future of Leadership Luncheon, honoring Harris County Judge and Mrs. Ed Emmett, last Wednesday. Chaired by Marilyn and George DeMontrond and Melissa and Jamey Rootes, the event brought together some 500 of the region’s influencers to celebrate leadership. Chevron was presenting sponsor for the forward-thinking event, which opened with a moving start by The HSPVA Girls Chorus. Rev. Gregory Han of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston gave the invocation.

In keeping with the event's title, those on stage delivered bold statements on matters requiring immediate attention for the good of our region's future. Center Board Chair Umesh Verma urged all to "imagine leveraging our leadership and talent" to address big issues with big ideas while pointing out the Center's more than 1,000 business/civic leadership forum grads

In acceptance of the Eugene H. Vaughan Civic Leadership Award for their lifetime of contributions shaping the future of the Houston region, the Emmetts gave gracious thanks and seized the moment. Gwen Emmett made a powerful case for mental health programs followed by Harris County Judge Ed Emmett's call for a more rational political climate: "Too many people in politics right now are motivated by fear, anger and hate."

Keynote Dr. Robert Ivany, President of the University of St. Thomas, shared insights on the topic of "Respect in Leadership," including his experiences from Vietnam and as Army aide to President Ronald Reagan. He recalled the media-quiet desegregation of Houston and went on to add, "Here in Houston we have a legacy of dialogue and of generosity built on respect for each other." "We can once again set the example for the rest of the country, just as we did in 1960 and in 2005, by boldly and respectfully addressing the immigration issue."

Center Interim CEO Michael Jhin closed with a "Thank you for taking your turn by being here today and for being part of the Center for Houston's Future."

Center for Houston's Future is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization affiliated with the Greater Houston Partnership.


Upcoming Events

State of the State

Register Online

2017 State of the State | Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Greater Houston Partnership is pleased to announce that Texas Governor Greg Abbott will be giving his State of the State address in Houston on Tuesday, April 18.

State of the City

Register Online

2017 State of the City | Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mayor Sylvester Turner will be giving his State of the City address on Thursday, May 4. This will be Mayor Turner's second address with the Partnership and his first during the 85th Texas Legislative Session.

State of Houston's Global Economy

Register Online

State of Houston's Global Economy | Monday, May 22, 2017

The Greater Houston Partnership invites you to attend our third annual State of Houston’s Global Economy event on Monday, May 22 at the Hilton Post Oak. This event starts with a panel discussion among three executives who lead global institutions in Houston. Dr. Stuart P.M. Mackintosh, Executive Director, Group of Thirty, will deliver our luncheon keynote address on the global economic outlook.


New Members

Welcome to these new Partnership members!

Greater Houston Partnership

February 2017

Monthly Update from Bob Harvey

The Partnership, and Houston, have had an exciting start to 2017 with one of the most successful Super Bowls in history. The Big Game may be over, but the long-term impact of the game has just begun. Houston showed up in a big way and demonstrated our strength and diversity as a great global city. The region received exceptional media coverage in top-tier national outlets including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few.

The Partnership, and our members, played a key role in this success. Our events and lounge had more than 2,100 visitors and attracted business leaders, elected officials, consular corps members, board members and even some celebrities! Many of our members commented that they were thrilled to see all the activity going on downtown from our unique vantage point. I think it's appropriate to say that Houston, now more than ever, is on the map. We cemented the local philosophy that you either go big or you go home, and we went really, really big.

As you may know, last year, the Partnership began to assess the region’s innovation economy and take steps to strengthen it. To this effect, we recently participated in the opening of Accenture’s new Houston Innovation Center on Feb. 22. In addition to officially launching the Center, the event was also an opportunity to discuss findings from Accenture’s Houston innovation economy study – a pro bono engagement that Accenture is completing on behalf of the Partnership. Representatives of the Partnership’s Innovation Roundtable, the Mayor’s Technology and Innovation Task Force and Accenture participated on a panel at the opening event. The Partnership will continue to actively work with community-minded business leaders to create an environment where startups thrive.

The Partnership is active in Austin working with the 85th Texas Legislature. Board members and staff are working to advance the Partnership’s agenda, which includes municipal pension reform, quality pre-K funding, economic development incentives, and other priorities.

As we head into our busy spring events season, we’ll welcome Governor Greg Abbott for our State of the State event on March 24. We’ll also be hosting the State of the City with Mayor Sylvester Turner on May 4, as well as the State of the County with Judge Ed Emmett on April 12.

As you can see, we have a lot to look forward to these next few months. I hope to see you at our upcoming Councils, Events and Committee meetings. As always, thank you for being a member of the Greater Houston Partnership.

Regards,

Bob Harvey Signature
Bob Harvey
President and CEO


Houston Made Even Greater During Super Bowl Week

Night time view of the Convention center

The Super Bowl may be over, but the long-term impact of the game has really just begun. Houston showed up in a big way and demonstrated its strength as a great global city. The Partnership helped contribute to the city’s success in hosting the big game by coordinating with the other game day-focused organizations in Houston to amplify the key messages adapted by our Image Coalition.

Strategic partnerships with the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Super Bowl Host Committee aligned and amplified the messages that Houston is diverse, fun and affordable, and opportunity rich. These messages were broadly communicated and pitched to national media, resulting in coverage across outlets like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the Chicago Tribune.

Overall, Houston’s media coverage surrounding the Super Bowl reflected more than $1.2 billion in news ad value and $1 billion in broadcast ad value. For comparison, news mentions of Super Bowl 50 and San Francisco between January 12 – February, 2016 totaled 48,000; news mentions of Super Bowl LI and Houston during the same time period totaled 127,000.

Of course, the Partnership made sure we leveraged all this great activity and coverage to generate economic impact, as well. The Partnership created a Red Carpet CEO Business Experience in partnership with TexasOne and the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, hosted an exclusive experience for Partnership members, business leaders and out-of-town guests at Houston House at Partnership Tower, and built awareness of Houston’s excellent quality of life through an awareness campaign using thoughtful, strategic marketing and public relations.

As a result of the Partnership’s business development efforts, 12 new business expansion or relocation opportunities were identified throughout the week, with a combined potential investment of $10 billion and 1,500 jobs. This is in addition to the six existing project opportunities which staff were cultivating, representing an additional $148 million of investments and 750 jobs from our current pipeline of prospects.

Social gathering at the Governor's Dinner

In the social media realm, the Partnership created 15 videos promoting Houston leading up to the Super Bowl, with the Why Houston video receiving one million views in just 48 hours. The #TeamHouston hashtag also created 511 million social media impressions. Houston was trending!

Finally, the Partnership hosted five events over the Super Bowl week at Partnership Tower, not including the multi-day Houston House lounge. The events and lounge had over 2,100 visitors and attracted business leaders, elected officials, consular corps members, board members and even some celebrities! Many of our members commented that they were thrilled to see all the activity going on downtown from our unique vantage point, so they could take it all in without having to be in the crowds.

To conclude, it's appropriate to say that Houston, now more than ever, is on the global map.


Accenture Opens Innovation Hub in Houston, Release Initial Findings of Study with the Partnership

Inside of Accenture's Innovation Hub

On Feb. 22, Accenture opened a new innovation hub in Houston designed to help clients grow, compete and transform in the digital economy. Houston is the first of 10 new hubs that Accenture will establish as part of a nationwide initiative, which includes a $1.4 billion investment in training and the hiring of 15,000 new employees over the next four years.

In conjunction with the opening of the new innovation hub, Accenture hosted a panel discussion with local business and civic leaders to discuss the findings of a study conducted with the Greater Houston Partnership. The research was designed to identify opportunities to develop Houston’s innovation ecosystem and includes a survey of local business leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers, researchers and venture capitalists as well as learnings from the development paths of other cities.

As the early findings suggest, Houston has an excellent opportunity to further diversify its economy and raise its profile as an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and startups. The Partnership is a key driver of collaborative efforts to grow the region’s innovation economy, and is committed to a continued partnership with Accenture to help set the strategy to mature Houston’s high-growth, high-impact startup ecosystem.


Member Spotlight - Accenture as an Innovation company

This month's Member Spotlight is on Accenture. Blake Pounds, Managing Director, Houston, Accenture, answered a few questions for us regarding his company’s involvement with the Partnership and Houston’s innovation ecosystem.

  1. What is your name, title and company?
    Blake Pounds, Managing Director, Houston, Accenture 
  2. In what ways are you (and/or your colleagues) involved with the Partnership and why?
    Being involved with the Partnership in so many different ways means that we have an opportunity to connect with other business and community leaders, roll up our sleeves and help shape Houston’s future. I currently serve on the Board of the Partnership, and through our membership, we have representation in nine different committees from Regional Economic Development to Energy and Education. We are also a Signature Sponsor of various key events and initiatives. Among the programs our employees participate in are HYPE (Houston Young Professionals Endeavor), Women’s Business Alliance and various council meetings and networking events. Importantly, we are the Partnership’s Innovation Partner, helping position Houston as an innovation economy to continue to attract more investments, talent and jobs to the city. 
  3. How does your company take advantage of Houston’s innovation ecosystem and opportunities?
    As the Partnership’s Innovation Partner, we are proud to be in the middle of the action and Houston’s innovation ecosystem. We are a leader in digital, cloud, and security-related services, and we have a long history of partnering with our clients to pioneer new and better ways to do business. And today, we are even more focused on fueling innovation in the Houston area and across the country. We recently opened our innovation hub here in downtown Houston to collaborate even more closely with our clients to develop, scale and deliver innovative solutions quickly. We are also engaging with other key ecosystem players like the Partnership and Station Houston. We know innovation is increasingly becoming an imperative to organizations of all sizes and industries. We’re thrilled to continue to serve our community and clients as an innovation partner and help accelerate their digital transformation initiatives.
  4. What resources would you recommend innovative startups use to get started?
    We recently conducted a study about Houston’s innovation economy in collaboration with the Partnership. One of the things we learned is that Houston has a tremendous opportunity to grow and engage with startups. Houston is already a city known for its innovation and leadership across the energy, life science, aerospace and transportation (the Port of Houston, etc.) industries. We also have key ingredients, such as a highly educated workforce and research and academic institutions, right here in our community. Leveraging these existing resources, startups, as well as our broader innovation ecosystem, have an opportunity to develop a focus and critical mass in promising technology fields, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, drones, robotic process automation, and virtual reality.

Upcoming Events

State of the State

Register Online

2017 State of the State | Friday, March 24, 2017

The Greater Houston Partnership is pleased to announce that Texas Governor Greg Abbott will be giving his State of the State address in Houston on Friday, March 24. This will be Governor Abbott's second address since he spoke to all members of the 85th Legislature in Austin.

State of the County

Register Online

2017 State of the County | Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Greater Houston Partnership is pleased to announce Harris County Judge Ed Emmett will be delivering his State of the County address on Wednesday, April 12.

State of the City

Register Online

2017 State of the City | Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mayor Sylvester Turner will be giving his State of the City address on Thursday, May 4. This will be Mayor Turner's second address with the Partnership and his first during the 85th Texas Legislative Session.


The Latest Data on the Houston Region's Economy

Economy at a Glance - February 2017

This month’s edition of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Houston: The Economy at a Glance takes a look at preliminary jobs data for ’16, Houston Airport System traffic, the short- and long-term outlooks for energy, Houston housing characteristics, and trade through the Houston/Galveston Customs District.

Download Economy at a Glance


New Members

Welcome to these new Partnership members!

Greater Houston Partnership

Making Houston Greater - January 2017

Monthly Update from Bob Harvey

It's hard to believe we are already nearly a month into the New Year and just nine days away from Super Bowl LI in Houston! This year has certainly begun on an exciting note with the Partnership's 2017 Annual Meeting last Thursday. Jamey Rootes, 2016 Partnership Chair, reflected on our accomplishments from the past year, which can be found in our Annual Report here. We also welcomed 2017 Partnership Chair Jeff Shellebarger, President, Chevron North America Exploration and Production, who inspired us all to roll up our sleeves and become "doers" on behalf of our great city.

As Jeff outlined at the Annual Meeting, we will continue to strive toward our mission to make Houston greater. We have a lot on our plate this year including the Super Bowl, the Texas Legislative Session and a comprehensive strategic plan for our organization. If you were not able to join us at the Annual Meeting, please click the photos to read the remarks from Jamey, Jeff and me.

With our new location at Partnership Tower, we'll be in the middle of the action for all of the Super Bowl activities happening next door at the George R. Brown Convention Center and during NFL Live at Discovery Green. Our terrace will be a great spot to take it all in. We plan to have daily hospitality and nightly events throughout the week of Jan. 30-Feb. 4 at what we’re calling Houston House at Partnership Tower – and all leading up to Game Day on Feb. 5.

The Lounge at Houston House will offer a multi-day VIP hospitality venue for those looking to entertain current and potential clients and investors in Houston. In addition to The Lounge, we'll be kicking things off with the #TeamHouston Party on Tuesday evening, Jan. 31, as well as hosting several special events including the Pro Football Hall of Fame Merlin Olsen Luncheon honoring Hall of Fame Running Back Earl Campbell and Houston Texans Owner Bob McNair on Friday, Feb. 3. This luncheon is a unique opportunity to get up-close and personal with the NFL greats of the game. We will also be highlighting Houston's status as a great global city with our Global Houston celebration featuring tastes of world cuisine and entertainment, also on Friday, Feb. 3.

Our region will be in the spotlight on the international stage while we display all that we have to offer to those visiting Houston for the game, or watching the Super Bowl on television. If you don’t already have tickets for Houston House, click here.

I'm looking forward to all that we have in store for 2017. As always, thank you for being a member of the Greater Houston Partnership.

Regards,

Bob Harvey Signature
Bob Harvey
President and CEO


Partnership Tower is Your Front Door to Game Day

Architect rendering of Super Bowl Live on Discovery Green

It has been 13 years since Houston has hosted the Super Bowl, so you won’t want to miss out on all the exciting opportunities happening downtown around Partnership Tower. We hope you'll consider visiting the Partnership as part of your game day plans during the week leading up to the big game on February 5, 2017. A visit to Partnership Tower provides a front row seat to the George R. Brown Convention Center, Super Bowl Live at Discovery Green and all our own Partnership Tower events.

With about 226 restaurants, bars and coffee shops within a mile walking distance, a 10-day music festival at Discovery Green, a family-friendly NFL experience with interactive games, autograph sessions with current and former NFL players and a Hall of Fame memorabilia display all right next door to Partnership Tower, everyone will be downtown to experience the fun and see Houston on display.

And of course, membership has its perks. Read on to learn about all the opportunities for Partnership members to take in the excitement.


The Avenida Houston Transformation

Architect rendering of Super Bowl Live on Avenida

In February, Houston will once again be placed in the international spotlight as the city hosts Super Bowl LI. Houstonians and visitors alike will be delighted to witness the amazing transformations that have occurred in the area around Discovery Green in preparation for the big game. The newly dubbed Avenida Houston, fully outfitted as the city's newest dining, entertainment and arts district, is set to become the epicenter for everything Super Bowl. We met with Chief Development Officer at Houston First, Peter McStravick, to learn more about the exciting development.

What makes Houston such an amazing place to live, work and build a business?
It's the city's can-do attitude. So much is possible here and that's reflected in all parts of our culture. Houston has long been a great place to live, work and play and the amenities are growing all the time. From Buffalo Bayou Park to what we’re building at Avenida Houston—the city offers so much to those looking for fun, interactive experiences.

Discovery Green, GRB, and the Hilton have been around prior to any construction started on Avenida Houston. Can you walk us through the decision to further develop the area and make it a unique destination for Houstonians and visitors alike?
The decision was based on input from meeting planners, guests and visitors collected over a five-year period. Research indicated that there were insufficient hotel rooms within walking distance as well as a lack of destination appeal. With this information, and input from other studies including the Livable Center Study for Downtown and East Downtown Houston, GRB 2025 (the 2011 GRB Master Plan), and an Urban Land Institute Technical Advisory Panel report, it was determined that a new convention center hotel should be developed, as well as new retail – food and beverage establishments – which necessitated the creation of the Downtown Living Initiative. The Initiative was created and approved by the City of Houston to incentivize residential development in downtown. The studies also confirmed that the proximity of Discovery Green to the GRB as well as the unencumbered views of downtown from the GRB were strong attributes for selling groups and conventions. Discovery Green provided convention goers the ability to share/participate in the City’s fabric of life, by walking across the street. Therefore, it was important during the design process to narrow Avenida de las Americas and create walkable spaces that embraced and reinforced Discovery Green.

How has art and entertainment shaped the development of Avenida, and what role will it play upon its completion?
Art and entertainment were important components in the design of the overall transformation of the GRB. Early on we identified two large public art installations – one inside and one outside – as well as several smaller installations that were part of the Houston Infusion project – infusing the GRB with art from local artists as well as showcasing local destinations and attractions. The large interior art installation, Soaring in the Clouds by Ed Wilson, is now suspended in the new atrium of the GRB and highlighted by LED theatrical lights that can be viewed both from the interior as well as the exterior. The large exterior art installation, Wings over Water by Joe O'Connell and Creative Machines, is a kinetic sculpture that is choreographed/synchronized with Fountain of the Americas and LEDs embedded in the surrounding pavers. The art installations play an important role in showcasing local talent as well as providing visually attractive and stimulating features/attractions that reinforce the natural beauty and movement of our region and provide focal points to reflect on the beauty in and around Discovery Green. What's more, as I mentioned, we have 11 additional, smaller installations from local artists throughout the GRB and the adjacent office building that bring the Houston aesthetic into the space and, we believe, make it more inviting.

For many visitors, the Discovery Green and convention district area might be the only glimpse of Houston they get. What image of Houston do you hope visitors will walk away with? And how do you hope to leave a lasting, positive impression that will encourage them to return?
That really is the beauty of what we're doing. Because you’re right, some visitors will only see this area when they come for a convention or a quick trip. So how do we leave them with something meaningful? That's why we wanted restaurants that reflect the cuisine of our region. We are incorporating five restaurants into the GRB and the adjacent Partnership Tower that include flavors as diverse as Cajun seafood, barbecue and Caribbean fusion. We also wanted art that gave a sense of place. And we will be operating a visitor information center in the grand lobby of the GRB that will educate people about the various attractions and things to do in town. The hope is that what we’re creating invites people to explore the broader area during their visit or want to come back to do that.

What was the process like for deciding what new restaurants would call Avenida Houston home? How will the arrival of new restaurants in Avenida Houston ensure a diverse culinary experience for Houstonians and visitors alike?
We believe the new restaurants, coupled with what already exists in Discovery Green and the Hilton and what's coming in the new Marriott Marquis, will create a restaurant "district" in this part of Downtown. People will be able to come to Avenida Houston and find a great meal, no matter what they're craving. We believe this will become a destination for those looking for dining and entertainment and will be a complement to Discovery Green, Minute Maid, Toyota Center and the rest of the offerings surrounding us.


Member Spotlight - San José Clinic

This month's Member Spotlight is on the San José Clinic. San José Clinic joined the Partnership in 2015. Paule Anne Lewis, President & CEO, answered a few questions for us regarding her company's involvement with the Partnership and what Super Bowl will mean for Houston.

  1. In what ways are you (and/or your colleagues) involved with the Partnership and why?
    I am always thrilled when I have the chance to attend the Partnership's Annual Meeting, "State Of" events, and Health Care Council events, and the monthly newsletter helps me keep my finger on the pulse of Houston. The Clinic often invites our board members to join us at events so they too can be involved and informed about changes and growth in the city. Of course, it is a privilege to meet and collaborate with other members of the Partnership to better our community.  
  2. What made you want to be a part of the Houston House events?
    San José Clinic wanted to be involved because these events are a wonderful networking opportunity at this exciting time for our city. The Clinic has been a part of our community for 95 years, and opportunities to spread our mission to business executives are always valued.

    As a native Houstonian, I am always excited to show off our great city. The Houston House events are a unique chance for the Clinic to introduce our guests to the vibrant, diverse and caring metropolis that is Houston. I know the enthusiasm that always surrounds the Super Bowl and its festivities will spread to our visitors as they experience Houston’s amazing vitality. We will be taking advantage of the Houston House activities by entertaining our out of town guests visiting from Boston and Atlanta, donors and board members at the Hall of Fame luncheon, the Lounge and #TeamHouston Party.
  3. What will hosting the Super Bowl mean for Houston?
    Of course, the Super Bowl is a huge economic opportunity for Houston – from welcoming visitors from across the globe, to all the preparatory infrastructure expansion and improvement. It also brings Houston into the national spotlight so we can showcase our wonderful city full of opportunities.
  4. What message would you like out-of-town visitors to take away about our city after visiting Houston for the big game?
    I anticipate that each person will leave knowing that Houston is growing and changing at the speed of light. When they return home, I hope they spread the word about our generous philanthropic community and world-class medical center, as well as the many opportunities available.

Your Playbook to Houston is Here

Membership 101

This special issue of the Opportunity Houston magazine unveils Houston's art, culture, tourism and sports sectors and how they boost our economy. In fact, the biggest sporting event in the world is coming to Houston this February, and we’ve got your playbook to Houston! Find out what's going on around town and how to get there in this special section of our magazine.

Read More


The Latest Data on the Houston Region's Economy

Economy at a Glance - January 2017

This month's edition of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Houston: The Economy at a Glance takes a look at what Super Bowl could mean for the local economy. We also tackle the housing market, which posted record sales in '16 despite sluggish job growth.

Read More


Join us for the next Membership 101

Membership 101

If you're new to the Partnership, please join us for Membership 101 to learn about what the Partnership does, how we are structured, what our impact is on the community, and how you and your organization can get involved. We invite all of our community-minded business leaders to become more involved in Houston's positive growth and influence the direction in which Houston is going.

Hosting approximately 374 meetings and events last year, the Partnership has one engagement opportunity for every day of the year! Join us for our next Membership 101 on February 16, 2017 from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. at Partnership Tower. Click here for more information. To read about all our membership benefits, please click here.

Greater Houston Partnership

Making Houston Greater - Fall 2016

Monthly Update from Bob Harvey

The wait is over! We've officially moved into our new home at Partnership Tower. We've added the finishing touches, are getting to know our new neighborhood and have hosted our members in our incredible new home.

It's an exciting time to be located in east downtown. Partnership Tower makes a fine addition to the already bustling nerve center of the George R. Brown Convention Center, Discovery Green, Hilton Americas Hotel, and the soon-to-be-completed Marriott Marquis Hotel. It is also proximate to several of the city's major sporting venues, a vibrant restaurant scene and many of our member company offices. This area is going to become even more fun as the renovations to the Avenida come together just in time for Super Bowl LI early next year.

It's worth repeating that Partnership Tower will be Houston's new "front door" to members and guests from around the region and across the globe. For you, our members, Partnership Tower will offer first-class meeting and event spaces worthy of the incredible work you do to make Houston greater. For the broader community, Partnership Tower will be a destination that all Houstonians can be proud of, whether we are hosting the governor or an international head of state.

Partnership Tower was built by Houston First, the arm of the city that owns and manages the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Hilton Americas Hotel, and many of the parking and cultural assets of the city in the downtown area. The Partnership has a 20-year lease on the top two floors, and thanks to the generosity of our five Ambassador donors, we were able to complete our two floors to the standard needed to be Houston's "front door." We plan to make the space available to the city and the county as they, too, receive high-level visitors.

This has also been an exciting time for our number one public policy priority: the City of Houston’s finances. Mayor Turner recently announced the completion of a deal to reform the city's pension systems and place the city on a path towards financial health. Marc Watts, the chair of our Municipal Finance Task Force, wrote an op-ed supporting the deal in the Houston Chronicle. The Partnership has been a major voice in this debate for more than two years now, and we're pleased that this deal appears to address our key concerns; however, there's still work to do. The deal will need to be enacted through a bill in Austin next spring. The Partnership will support that bill provided that it effectively implements the deal.

If you haven't already, I encourage you to visit Partnership Tower when you have a chance. As always, thank you for being a member of the Greater Houston Partnership.

Regards,

Bob Harvey Signature
Bob


The Greater Houston Partnership Anchors EaDo

Night time photo of new office location

After a significant amount of planning and support from the business community, the Partnership has moved to the east side of downtown. Our new address is 701 Avenida de las Americas, Suite 900, Houston, TX 77010.

Among a vibrant downtown streetscape that conveys the robust commerce happening in our region, our business leaders will convene to face Houston’s challenges and chart the course for our bright path ahead.

Daytime photo of new office location

In addition to our offices moving, the Center for Houston's Future will now be a department within the Partnership. The Center for Houston’s Future is the region's think tank that works to solve tough problems by engaging diverse leaders, providing impactful research, and defining actionable strategies. We look forward to working more closely with the Center to make Houston greater.

Please note that our phone numbers and email addresses remain the same. If you have any questions, visit our website here or contact us at 713-844-3600.

Some quick facts about our new neighborhood, EaDo:

Balcony view of new Marriott Marquis
  • One of the 10 largest convention centers in America, the George R. Brown is nearly two million square feet large. It houses 100 meeting rooms, four outdoor balconies, a 31,000 square-foot ballroom, a 3,600-seat amphitheater, 6,000 retractable arena seats, and 66 loading docks on two levels. As many as seven new retail, restaurant, sidewalk cafes and entertainment venues will be added to the neighborhood surrounding the George R. Brown Convention Center this winter/spring.
  • The new Marriott Marquis across the street will have 1,000 rooms and be connected to the north end of the GRB via sky bridge. It will feature a Texas-shaped "lazy river" pool, retail shops and attractions (including five restaurants) at street level, and Houston's largest ballroom.
  • Discovery Green, Houston's front yard, is a vibrant 12-acre park in the heart of downtown opened to the public in April 2008. It attracts more than 1.2 million adults and children each year and features interactive fountains, lawns, a one-acre lake, lush gardens, playgrounds, two restaurants, dog runs and shaded paths with century-old live oaks.
  • The Hilton Americas-Houston hotel houses the largest Starbucks Coffee in Texas. Coffee, beer and wine are available morning, noon and night in a 4,000-square-foot space in the northeast corner of the hotel.
  • There are three major sports team arenas within walking distance:
    Fans in the stands looking onto football game.
    • Houston Astros - Minute Maid Park, 40,950 capacity
    • Houston Dynamo - BBVA Compass Stadium, 22,039 capacity
    • Houston Rockets - Toyota Center, 18,043 capacity

Resources Available to Help Tell Houston's Air Quality Story

While the Houston population increased by 41% from 2000 to 2015, Houston ozone levels decreased by 29%

As an ongoing initiative of the Partnership’s Air Quality Subcommittee, the On Air: Houston website, houstonairquality.com, serves as the go-to source for fact-based information about the state of our regional air quality. Members who visit the website will find data and general information to understand the challenges to meeting federal air quality standards.

In addition to general air quality information on the website, the regional business community can download the new Houston air quality tool kit. The tool kit includes:

  • Frequently Asked Questions about Houston's air quality
  • Houston air quality talking points
  • A graphic depiction of ozone pollution standards for Houston's air
  • A sample email or newsletter article for use in your own communications

There is also an infographic available on the website that provides an overall snapshot of Houston’s improved air quality, which serves as a good supplement to the tool kit.

The main message we promote about regional air quality is that it continues to improve. The Houston region meets all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air quality standards, with the exception of the ozone standard. However, while the Houston population increased 38 percent between 2000 and 2015, regional ozone pollution levels decreased 29 percent. Due to the combined efforts of businesses and industry, local, state and federal government, and individual citizens, the Houston region has sustained economic growth while achieving substantial air quality improvements.

We encourage you to visit the website, download the toolkit items and spread the word about Houston's improving air quality.


Multiple Assets Available to Attract the Best and Brightest to Houston

The Partnership's Talent Attraction Initiative provides tools that enable Houston’s business community to recruit highly qualified, skilled talent to the Houston region. As the local economy continues to expand and diversify, job creation will continue to outpace supply of an adequate talent pool from top state and national universities. The following is a list of tools and resources that the business community can use to engage recruits in unique ways to make the case for a career in Houston.

Careers With No Limits - www.careerswithnolimits.com

Careers With No Limits

The only socially powered regional job portal in the nation that supports both small businesses and the enterprise. This job portal houses every position available in the Partnership's 11-county service area and is free for members to use and integrate their jobs on to the site. Careers With No Limits leverages the power of social networks to distribute jobs directly to candidates' twitter feeds, email and text inboxes.

Recruiter Tool Kit - www.limitlesshouston.com

Screenshot of the Recruiter Library website

The Recruiter Tool Kit is designed as a one-stop shop for everything a recruiter needs to market the Houston region to candidates. Here, you will find creative assets including infographics, videos and brand items. The Tool Kit also contains the Recruiter Library which houses a number of recent studies and research on recruiting best practices and job seeker behavior. All resources in the Tool Kit are available to download and share freely. The Recruiter Tool Kit is also accessed through The City With No Limits by clicking on the Tool Kit tab.

Houston as an Employer campaign

The Muse campaign

The concept of this campaign is to view the Houston region as an individual employer: what would it be like to work here; who would you work with; what would the company culture be? The Partnership launched this campaign this year on The Muse to reach the target millennial audience and share the message of Houston as a great place to live, work and play. This resource can be shared freely with candidates, and the videos are available for download upon request. The campaign will soon launch on Glassdoor and LinkedIn.

The City With No Limits - www.thecitywithnolimits.com

City With No Limits logo

Contains data that job seekers are interested in. Here, you can compare cost of living, drive times, explore neighborhoods and even access available real estate through an integration with HAR.com. There is also a Careers tab that provides information on working and living in Houston and links to Careers With No Limits.


The latest data on the Houston region's economy

Economy at a Glance - September 2016

This month's edition of the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston: The Economy at a Glance compares Houston's demographics to its peer metros and provides an update on the region's industrial leasing activity, the energy industry and employment.

Read More

Greater Houston Partnership

Making Houston Greater - August 2016

Monthly Update from Bob Harvey

The countdown is on! It’s 40 days until Partnership Tower is open to the public, and I can’t wait to welcome you all to our new space.

As you’ve heard me say, Partnership Tower will be Houston’s new “front door” to members and guests from around the region and around the globe. For you, our members, Partnership Tower will offer first class meeting and event spaces worthy of the incredible work you do to make Houston greater. For the broader community, Partnership Tower will be a destination that all Houstonians can be proud of whether we are hosting the governor, an international head of state, or Super Bowl LI next year. A special thank you to our Partnership Tower Ambassadors: CenterPoint Energy; Phillips 66; Reliant, an NRG Company; Silver Eagle Distributers and Texas Medical Center. Partnership Tower, and all that it embodies, would not be possible without these five member companies.

All that said, I hope you are as excited about this move as I am. I can tell you the space is going to be pretty special. Because of the Tower’s location, we have 360 degree views of the city. I think once you step foot in the space next month, you will understand why we’ve been calling it Houston’s "front door."

The Partnership staff will be moving over to Partnership Tower in early September, but we will need a little before we host members, committees, and events in the new space. So watch meeting and event notices carefully between now and then and make note of meeting locations — we will be moving things around a bit for the next 40 days.

We’ve got another big day coming up and that’s the big game. Super Bowl 51 is just 148 days away. As we think about how the Partnership can leverage the spotlight on Houston to showcase our city, we have planned an entire program designed to make the most of this moment and to support the long-term economic impact of Super Bowl 51. In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, we will brand our new office as “Houston House at Partnership Tower.” Houston House will feature daily hospitality and nightly special events including an international night, another evening focused on the City with No Limits theme, and a Saturday evening reception featuring Governor Abbott. I hope to see you there – it’s going to be truly spectacular.

On next Thursday, Sept. 8, the NFL's opening day, the Partnership will host Houston's Business of Sports: The Game Day Impact to highlight how our professional sports teams contribute to the economic impact and image of the region. A panel of sports professionals including Bob McNair, owner, Houston Texans and Ric Campo, chairman, Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, will be moderated by Abraham Madkour, executive editor of Sports Business Journal.

As you can see, we have a lot to look forward to these next few months. Once we get settled in, I hope to see you at our upcoming Councils, Events and Committee meetings. Most of all, I can’t wait to welcome you to Partnership Tower. As always, thank you for being a member of the Greater Houston Partnership.


Bob Harvey Signature
Bob


Partnership Meets with National Media in New York

Jamey Rootes and Dr. Klineberg pose in front of the Vince Lombardi Trophy
Rootes, Partnership Chair and Dr. Klineberg, Founding Director of Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, pose with the Lombardi Trophy during our New York media tour. Main topics covered with the media were Houston's diversity and the upcoming Super Bowl in Houston.

With a mission to champion the continued success and diversification of the Houston region, the Partnership visited New York City to foster relationships with top-tier, national media outlets and drive positive coverage promoting Houston as a premier sports city with a high quality of life and limitless opportunities across the region for every person and lifestyle.

Spokespersons for the mission included Jamey Rootes, Chair, Greater Houston Partnership and Dr. Stephen Klineberg, Founding Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University. Stayed tuned to hear more about the trip in next month’s newsletter.


Houston Ranks 7th in Place Branding

We are continuing to gain traction for our exceptional image campaign. The recently released "2016 U.S. Place Equity Index" ranked Houston 7th overall as a place that residents and visitors perceive as favorable, moving up from 27th in 2015. The index, which was first published last year, looks at stats and evaluations by locals and visitors gauging their perception of a city.

This is a team sport and we are all part of the game plan. The Partnership and Visit Houston are working side-by-side to raise awareness of Houston as a great place for business, talent and visitors. The Partnership’s City With No Limits campaign, launched in June 2014, has recently focused on a strong digital and social media program targeting millennials. And with the Super Bowl just months away, the Partnership will have a unique opportunity to further promote Houston through our Playbook to Houston and events at Houston House at Partnership Tower.


Two International Companies Invest in North Houston

Sumiden Wire, a Japanese company and subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric Industries, will break ground on a 100,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in Dayton. Sumiden Wire is expected to invest $20 million in their new facility that will manufacture metal, wire and cable. The project will create more than 50 jobs and attract a new industrial division of Sumitomo.

In Conroe, Galdisa, a food manufacturer from Mexico, will begin construction on a new peanut-product processing facility which is likely to create 150 jobs and a $9 million dollar investment.


U.S. Representative Babin Highlights Legislative Progress on Houston’s Infrastructure

U.S. Representative Brian Babin, left, with George DeMontrond, Transportation Advisory Committee Chair
U.S. Representative Brian Babin, left, with George DeMontrond, Transportation Advisory Committee Chair

U.S. Representative Brian Babin (R-TX-36), chair of the House Space Subcommittee for the Committee on Science, Space and Technology and member of the House Infrastructure and Transportation Committee, detailed his legislative progress on multiple Houston economic priorities to the Partnership’s Transportation Advisory and Federal Relations committees on Aug. 10. Transportation Advisory Committee Chair George DeMontrond led a meaningful discussion with Representative Babin about the highway funding bill, the Federal Aviation Administration’s authorization bill and the future of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

A freshman member of Congress, Representative Babin’s committee assignments allow him to address the critical ports, highways, rails and pipelines that provide thousands of jobs and fuel a hub of economic activity in a district that includes more petrochemical refining facilities than any district in the nation.

The Transportation Advisory Committee analyzes and advocates for policies across all levels of government that expand and maintain the region's mobility infrastructure.


Houston’s Business of Sports: The Game Day Impact – Thursday, September 8

Business of Sports

The Greater Houston Partnership and 2016 Partnership Chair Jamey Rootes will host Houston’s Business of Sports: The Game Day Impact on Thursday, September 8. The luncheon will be held on the NFL’s opening day and will highlight how our professional sports teams contribute to the economic impact and image of the region.

A panel of sports professionals including Bob McNair, owner, Houston Texans and Ric Campo, Chairman, Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, will be moderated by Abraham Madkour, executive editor of Sports Business Journal.

Come early for the Houston Pep Rally Networking Reception for the opportunity to interact with area universities and professional sports organizations, and your chance to win fun games and prizes like a Whitney Mercilus autographed photo and a J.J. Watt autographed football! The event will also feature a menu inspired by Chris Shepherd and a special performance by the Houston Texans cheerleaders.

Register | Upcoming Events | Past Event Photos


The latest data on the Houston region’s economy

Economy at a Glance - August 2016

This month’s edition of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Houston: The Economy at a Glance provides an update on energy, trade, employment, housing and vehicle sales.

Read More


Women’s Business Alliance Lunch & Learn: Leading from the Middle – Sept. 15

WBA Lunch & Learn - Leading from the Middle

The Women’s Business Alliance provides professional development resources to empower high-performing women to advance their careers, form strategic partnerships and build a network of advocates.

WBA hosts quarterly Lunch & Learns on topics relevant to women in business. The next luncheon titled “Leading from the Middle” will be hosted on Thursday, September 15 at 11:15 a.m. at Tulane University’s Houston Campus. Christine Mikhail, Senior Consultant, PDR, will host the discussion.

Leading from the Middle is an interactive talk and opportunity to hear more about how to be a leader while in in any position; from ways to set personal leadership goals and understanding the type of leader you are.

The Partnership has found that more than 80 percent of Partnership members provide women’s employee resource groups, and WBA welcomes your group to join us for this special event.


New Members

The Partnership welcomed 26 new members in July including Accuworx Gulf Coast Inc., Serna Insurance Agency, Trenegy, Inc. and Wex Incorporated.


Greater Houston Partnership

Making Houston Greater - July 2016

Update from Bob Harvey

Dear Members,

Summer is winding down, and the Partnership is preparing for our move to Partnership Tower, a busy fall events season and showcasing Houston during Super Bowl LI.

I am excited to update you on the Partnership’s upcoming move to our new home, Partnership Tower. Our new space is located on the east side of downtown at 701 Avenida de las Americas, near Discovery Green and the George R. Brown Convention Center. After more than 20 years at our current location, the Partnership will open Houston’s new “front door” to members and guests in early October. For you, our members, Partnership Tower will offer first class meeting and event spaces worthy of the incredible work you do to make Houston greater. This is an exciting time for the Partnership and for the Houston business community.

Our new event, Houston's Business of Sports: The Game Day Impact, will be held on September 8, the NFL's opening day, and highlight how our professional sports teams across all major sports contribute to the economic impact and image of the region. During this event, we will also announce details on the Partnership’s activities during the week of the Super Bowl. All eyes will truly be on Houston for this remarkable week of festivities, and of course, for the big game itself.

I also hope to see you at the Partnership's upcoming Soirée on August 27. This annual gala showcases the Houston region as a center of commerce, influence, arts and culture. This year’s Soirée theme, Inspiring Innovation, invites you to explore Houston’s culture of innovation and creativity. This unique evening will also feature a world-class silent auction, casino, exciting entertainment, after party and more. Come and join the party — it truly is a lot of fun.

We will hold our 21st annual Golf Classic on Oct. 3 at the highly-acclaimed Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Carlton Woods. This tournament is a unique opportunity to foster business relationships in a casual and fun atmosphere. We’re also hosting State of Texas Medical Center featuring Dr. Bobby Robbins, President and CEO of the Texas Medical Center, and other TMC member institutions on Nov. 2. State of Energy featuring Ryan Lance, Chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips, is on Nov. 17.

As you can see, we have a lot to look forward to this fall. I hope to see you soon at our upcoming Councils, Events and Committee meetings. Most of all, I can’t wait to welcome you to Partnership Tower. As always, thank you for being a member of the Greater Houston Partnership.

Regards,
Bob Harvey Signature
Bob Harvey
President and CEO


Amazon Delivers 1,000 Jobs to Houston

On July 22, Amazon announced the addition of a new 855,000 sq. ft. fulfillment center creating more than 1,000 jobs in the Houston region. Back in April, the Partnership hosted Amazon during our Final Four Houston Familiarization tour. Additionally, our team worked on site analysis and securing local incentives for the company. The new facility will be built along Houston's I-45 corridor north of the city. This is a significant win for Houston, advancing our position as one of the nation's top logistics hubs.

 “We are excited to add a fulfillment center to the Houston region and to continue creating full-time jobs with great pay and benefits in Texas.”
Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s Vice President of North American operations.

This announcement comes on the heels of the company's recent purchase of a separate facility to service their Houston area Prime customers. Read the full press release here.



Partnership Meets with Minister of India

The Partnership met with India’s Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhanthe. The Minister made his first U.S. stop in Houston to promote offshore energy projects in India, also known as the Discovered Small Fields (DSF). Pradhanthe's main goal was to secure interest in the 2016 bidding round for the DSF.

The Partnership exchanged information on economic development best practices and how they can apply globally. Bob Harvey also laid out how the Partnership works with companies and talent to meet critical marketplace demands to grow the region.


HYPE Networking With a Purpose: Houston Summer Interns Event

On July 12, more than 220 young professionals and interns attended the 2016 HYPE Networking with a Purpose – Houston’s Summer Interns event at Black & White in the Houston Heights neighborhood. At the event, HYPE members talked with interns to promote Houston as a city with unlimited options to live, work and play.

This is the second year that HYPE has hosted this event with the support of sponsor companies HP Inc, HP Enterprise, Accenture, Awty International School and UH Bauer School of Business . In 2017, the event will be rolled into a larger effort by HYPE to help position Houston as an excellent place for college interns to return after completing their degrees to build their life and career.


State Representative Garnet Coleman Speaks to Health Care Advisory Committee

(L – R: Robert Morrow, M.D. and State Representative Garnet Coleman)
(L – R: Robert Morrow, M.D. and State Representative Garnet Coleman)

State Representative Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), chair of the House County Affairs Committee, spoke to the Partnership’s Health Care Advisory Committee on Monday, July 11 about his legislative work pertaining to health care. Health Care Advisory Committee Chair Robert Morrow, M.D., led a meaningful discussion with Chairman Coleman about the future of Texas’ 1115 Transformation waiver, uncompensated care and mental health care capacity.

During the 2015 legislative session, Chairman Coleman also served as a senior ranking member of the Public Health Committee and was recently appointed to the Speaker’s interim Select Mental Health Committee. He also serves as the chair of the Legislative Study Group, a non-partisan House caucus dedicated to the development of sound public policy. Raised in Houston and serving his 25th year in the Legislature, he also serves as president and CEO of Apartments for America, Inc., a non-profit affordable housing corporation.

The Partnership’s Health Care Advisory Committee advocates for local, state and federal policies that address the region’s health care challenges.


Houston's Business of Sports: The Game Day Impact - Thursday, September 8

Business of Sports

The Greater Houston Partnership and 2016 Partnership Chair Jamey Rootes will host Houston’s Business of Sports: The Game Day Impact on Thursday, September 8. The luncheon will be held on the NFL’s opening day and will highlight how our professional sports teams contribute to the economic impact and image of the region.

A panel of sports professionals including Bob McNair, owner, Houston Texans and Ric Campo, chairman, Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, will be moderated by Abraham Madkour, executive editor of Sports Business Journal.

Register | Upcoming Events | Past Event Photos


The latest data on the Houston region’s economy

This month’s edition of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Houston: The Economy at a Glance provides an update on employment, real estate, demographics and Houston's long-term economic outlook.

Read More


Member Spotlight - Workforce Solutions

This months’ Member Spotlight is on Workforce Solutions. Workforce Solutions joined the Partnership in 1994. Michelle Ramirez, Strategic Planning Manager, Gulf Coast Workforce Board – Workforce Solutions, answered a few questions for us regarding her company’s involvement.

  1. How important is your company’s involvement with the Partnership?
    As the public workforce system for the 13-county Houston-Galveston region, involvement in the Partnership is a priority for Workforce Solutions because it supports our mission to help employers meet their human resource needs and residents build careers so that both can better compete in the global economy. Our involvement with the Partnership helps us better understand what area employers want and require for their immediate and long-term hiring needs.   
  2. In what ways are you (and/or your colleagues) involved with the Partnership and why?
    Workforce Solutions representatives serve on Partnership committees and work on important initiatives such as UpSkill Houston and Early Matters. Our participation helps us better understand the region’s employers and their workforce needs. Our service also assists the Partnership and its members. For example, through our involvement with the Regional Economic Development team, Workforce Solutions provides good quality labor market information for companies seeking to expand or relocate to the Houston region.
  3. If you were trying to convince a friend or colleague at another company to join the Partnership and get involved, what would you tell them?
    A Partnership membership has many benefits, including networking and professional development opportunities. Workforce Solutions has established many valuable contacts with employers, our customers, by participating in Partnership activities. Membership allows us the opportunity to strengthen existing relationships and develop meaningful new relationships with employers across the greater Houston region.

New Members

The Partnership welcomed 24 new members in June including CSL Capital Management, Emerus, Deutsche Bank Securities and TRW Family of Companies.


Greater Houston Partnership

Making Houston Greater - June 2016

Update from Bob Harvey

Dear Members,

It's summer in the City with No Limits and I hope everyone is enjoying this relaxed season. Not to worry, we're not slowing down our efforts of making Houston greater. As summer winds down, we’ll be ramping up for a busy fall events season and the official opening of Partnership Tower.

As you've likely heard, Houston recently played host to three games in the Copa America Centenario, including the much-talked about match between USA and Argentina. The Partnership hosted a group of international business dignitaries for the Mexico vs. Venezuela game on June 13 as well as for the semifinal game between USA and Argentina on June 21. Copa America provided a great opportunity for the Partnership to position Houston as a top destination for business in front of international audiences. With the NCAA Men's Final Four last March, Copa America Centenario this summer, and Super Bowl LI in February, Houston is being highlighted as a great city to live, work and play on a global stage.

We have also hosted several high-impact events this month, including our Thought Leader Series with Spencer Dale, BP Group Chief Economist. Dale presented the 65th edition of the BP Statistical Report of World Energy, one of the most widely respected and influential publications of its kind.

As you may know, Soirée is the Partnership’s annual gala showcasing the Houston region as a center of commerce, influence, arts and culture. We officially unveiled the theme for the 2016 Soirée on June 16. This year’s Soirée theme, inspiring innovation, invites you to explore Houston’s culture of innovation and creativity. This unique evening will also feature a world-class silent auction, casino, exciting entertainment, after party and more. The 2016 Soirée is August 27.

Looking ahead, we have several exciting upcoming events this fall. Houston's Business of Sports: The Game Day Impact will be held on Sept. 8., the NFL's opening day, and highlight how our professional sports teams contribute to the economic impact and image of the region. We will hold our 21st Annual Golf Classic on Oct. 3, we’re also hosting State of the Senate with John Cornyn on October 11 and our Texas State Regional Delegation Dinner on Oct. 26.

As you can see, summer is off to a busy start and we won't be slowing down anytime soon. I hope to see you soon at our upcoming Councils, Events, Committees and certainly the Soirée. As always, thank you for being a member of the Greater Houston Partnership.

Regards,
Bob Harvey Signature
Bob Harvey
President and CEO


Partnership Clears the Air on Houston Air Quality

As one of many public policy issues addressed by the Partnership, Houston business and industry leaders work together through the Air Quality Subcommittee to address ongoing challenges with regional air quality. One result of this collaboration is the On Air: Houston website, houstonairquality.com. It is the go-to source for accurate information about Houston's air quality.

The Houston region meets all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air quality standards, with the exception of the ozone standard. However, while the Houston population increased 38 percent between 2000 and 2014, regional ozone pollution levels decreased 29 percent. Due to the combined efforts of business and industry, local, state and federal government, and individual citizens, the Houston region has sustained economic growth while achieving substantial air quality improvements.

While there is still work to be done to further reduce emissions, industry has worked hard and invested heavily in environmental controls and cleaner units that have made regional air cleaner. The Greater Houston Partnership's web resource, houstonairquality.com, provides the facts about Houston's improving air quality. We encourage you to visit the website and spread the word about this informative resource.


A Partnership Video Went Viral

Have you seen an inspirational video of Houston making the rounds on the internet? The Partnership made it! As part of our initiative to enhance Houston's image the Partnership produced and launched this "Why Houston" video in 2015.

A few weeks ago, a City With No Limits digital ambassador uploaded our video and amassed 1.5 million views and over 70,000 comments, likes and shares through social media! Building local pride is important to the Partnership, especially as we near Super Bowl 51, and we could not be more thrilled to see the community respond to our video.


The Partnership Launches New Video Series Targeting Millennials

The Greater Houston Partnership highlights Houston's rich quality of life and wealth of opportunities to young, educated talent in a new video series on The Muse. The Muse is a niche technology career website designed to give job seekers a sense of a company's culture through multi-media profiles. Working with local organizations, the video series shows outsiders why Houston is the one of the world's best places to live, work, build a business and play.

Houston is the first region to create a profile on the site, which has solely profiled companies prior to our video series. The Partnership is dedicated to attracting skilled talent to the region, and this launch serves as the latest step in the Partnership's talent attraction initiative.


TMCx EVP Addresses "HYPE" around Health Care Innovation


On June 21, members of the Houston Young Professionals Endeavor (HYPE) heard from leadership at TMCx, the Texas Medical Center's start-up accelerator that facilitates development of early-stage digital health and medical device companies. Shawn Cloonan, executive vice president, general counsel, planning & development at TMC, spoke with HYPE members as part of HYPE's CEO Talks, which brings together senior business leaders and young professionals for candid discussions about critical issues that impact Houston.

TMC leadership identified the challenge of how to continue to advance the mission of TMC. Cloonan detailed how TMCx was conceived, resulting from a strategic plan to address core competencies and the direction of medicine in the future. TMCx addresses the need for more commercialization of medicine in Houston, turning research into results that help with patient care in Houston and across the globe.

With the advent of TMCx, companies apply to a four-month program to develop their ideas into reality and ultimately, generate revenue. TMCx provides co-working space, a health care-focused curriculum addressing governmental regulations and compliance, intellectual property and licensing, and fundraising, and access to a network of clinical experts, medical researchers, executives and entrepreneurial leaders. In its inaugural class, 21 TMCx companies were able to secure $21 million in follow-on funding to move their ideas forward.

HYPE members in attendance had the opportunity to ask Cloonan about the greatest challenges and opportunities of running TMCx and were provided a tour of the nearly 120,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facilities. If you are interested in attending future HYPE CEO Talks or other events relevant to young professionals, visit Houston.org/events.


The Partnership's Economic Development Team Wins Top Award

Mac Conway Logo
Economic Development Team

Yet again, Site Selection magazine designated the Partnership as a top 10 economic development agency for metropolitan areas. After an examination of job creation and total amount of capital investment, Houston received the newly minted Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development. This year’s awardees are tackling everything from urban food deserts to workforce education, and the Partnership was given high notes for its middle skills development initiative, Upskill Houston.

As a leading economic development agency in Houston, the Partnership remains a trusted economic development partner.


Texas Senator Bettencourt Presents Tax Reform Proposals to Business Issues Advisory Committee

(left to right) Business Issues Advisory Committee Chair Earl J. Hesterberg, Jr., Partnership Executive Vice President Lilyanne McClean,  Partnership President and CEO Bob Harvey, Senator Paul Bettencourt and Partnership Chair Jamey Rootes
(left to right) Business Issues Advisory Committee Chair Earl J. Hesterberg, Jr., Partnership Executive Vice President Lilyanne McClean, Partnership President and CEO Bob Harvey, Senator Paul Bettencourt and Partnership Chair Jamey Rootes

State Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), chair of the Senate Interim Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief, spoke to the Partnership's Business Issues Advisory Committee on June 7 about his collection of planned property tax reform proposals for the 2017 Texas Legislative Session. Business Issues Advisory Committee Chair Earl J. Hesterberg, Jr., Partnership Chair Jamey Rootes, Partnership President and CEO Bob Harvey, and Partnership Public Policy Executive Vice President Lilyanne McClean drove a meaningful discussion with the senator about the potential impacts of his proposals on commercial and residential property owners in the greater Houston region.

During the 2015 legislative session, Senator Bettencourt was appointed to the Senate Finance Committee by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who also appointed him to the Senate Committees on Intergovernmental Relations (Vice Chair), Education, and Higher Education. For his work, Senator Bettencourt was recognized by Capitol Inside as "Most Valuable Freshman" and by Governor Abbott as an "architect of tax relief." Paul Bettencourt is also CEO of Bettencourt Tax Advisors, LLC, and served as the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector from 1998 to 2008.

The Partnership's Business Issues Advisory Committee studies the tax and regulatory implications of the Partnership’s public policy positions.


Houston Lands Petrochemical Project

Demonstrating continued downstream activity, Ineos Oligomers announced its decision to construct a new Linear Alpha Olefins plant in Brazoria County at Chocolate Bayou. After nearly three years of evaluating competing site options in multiple states, the company chose Houston.

The plant is expected to draw an investment of over $400 million and create more than 70 direct new jobs.


Why Houston? The City of Health


The Partnership focused on promoting Houston's life science sector, considered Houston's "second economy", at two top tier events this past month. The life sciences sector is a critical component to our industry diversification strategy.

The Partnership led a panel at Medical World Americas to further the discussion about "Houston's Innovation Ecosytem" featuring Emmanuelle Schuler from JLABS@TMC. We also joined TexasOne and Houston economic development allies at the International BIO show in San Francisco and to promote our life science cluster and reach out to companies directly.


Come be inspired at the 2016 Soirée – Saturday, August 27

2016 Soirée

Join the Greater Houston Partnership at Hotel ZaZa on Saturday, August 27 for the 2016 Soirée. The Soirée is an annual gala showcasing the Houston region as a center of commerce, influence, arts and culture. Attended by more than 600 of Houston's dignitaries, consular corps and business leaders, Soirée offers a night of entertainment, culinary delights and a world-class silent auction.

This year's theme, Inspiring Innovation, will showcase Houston's creativity and ingenuity in an immersive experience you won't forget.

Keep the party going and attend the coveted After Party. Attendees can expect a DJ, dancing, drinks and much more.

For more information, visit www.houston.org/soiree

Register Upcoming Events Past Event Photos

The latest data on the Houston region's economy

Economy at a Glance - February 2016

This month’s edition of the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston: The Economy at a Glance provides an update on the energy industry, employment and housing.

Read More

Member Spotlight - Verizon


Seth Hachmeister
Director of Business Sales
Verizon

This month's Member Spotlight is on Verizon. Verizon joined the Partnership in 2008. Seth Hachmeister, director of business sales, answered a few questions for us regarding his company’s involvement.

  1. How important is your company’s involvement with the Partnership?
    Our involvement in the organization has been a great benefit to Verizon. The Partnership is a huge source of information about the Houston area. We’ve gained insight into upcoming events and projects, learned about initiatives in and around the city that make Houston a more marketable city for business and young talent, and have also made valuable contacts with other businesses throughout the city.
  2. In what ways are you (and/or your colleagues) involved with the Partnership and why?
    We are involved in several committees including the Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee, the Local Government subcommittee, and the Oil & Gas subcommittee. Our company touches every type of business in Houston. These committees and the way the Partnership has them structured allows us to understand what is important for Houston as a whole and what is important for specific industry verticals.
  3. If you were trying to convince a friend or colleague at another company to join the Partnership and get involved, what would you tell them?
    You get out of the Partnership what you put into it. If you are willing to make an investment of your time as well as your funds you will find that your involvement in the Partnership is one of the best decisions you can make.

New Members

The Partnership welcomed 14 new members in May including The Boston Consulting Group, Linde Engineering North America and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.


Greater Houston Partnership

Making Houston Greater - May 2016

Update from Bob Harvey

Dear Members,

The Partnership's busy spring season is coming to a close and we've accomplished so much with the support of our members. If you haven’t already, check out the 2016 Spring Impact Report for details about our key wins and accomplishments so far this year.

This month alone, there has been a tremendous amount of activity. The Partnership hosted several key events during the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) to attract foreign direct investment and promote Houston as a place to do business. This included our annual Houston No Limits OTC Reception attended by Governor Greg Abbott, Houston Consular Corps members and numerous international companies.

The Partnership also participated in the official ceremony celebrating the relocation of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Americas (MHIA) headquarters to Houston. MHIA is the American subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and one of several major Japanese companies to relocate to Houston within the past several years.

More than 1,750 attendees joined us to hear Mayor Turner's first State of the City address. The mayor laid out his agenda and placed emphasis on making fundamental reforms to the City's finances.

If you haven't already, please consider contributing to the Greater Houston Storm Relief Fund aiding victims of the Tax Day floods. We look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Turner on a variety of issues from storm relief to municipal finance, to hiring Houston’s youth during the summer.

We've also held several other great events, including our fifth annual Rise to the Top luncheon and our Thought Leader Series with Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Steven Kaplan.

Looking ahead, we'll be unveiling the theme for the 2016 Soirée at the Launch Party on June 16. As you know, the Partnership's Soirée celebrates Houston as a center of commerce, influence, arts and culture. This year's Soirée is August 27 at Hotel ZaZa.

As you can see, we've been busy and we won't be slowing down anytime soon. I hope to see you soon at our upcoming Councils, Events, Committees and other activities. As always, thank you for being a member of the Greater Houston Partnership.

Regards,
Bob Harvey Signature
Bob Harvey
President and CEO


2016 Spring Impact Report

Greater Houston Partnership 2016 Spring Impact Reort

Check out the 2016 Spring Impact Report to learn more about the Partnership's key wins and accomplishments so far this year.

Spring Impact Report


The Partnership Continues to Recruit Advanced Manufacturing Companies to Houston

Earlier this month, the Partnership launched the "Right Time. Right Place" manufacturing-focused campaign. Elements include the development of a manufacturing issue of the Opportunity Houston magazine, a new video to display Houston’s strengths within the industry and a visit to "Hannover Messe Technology Fair," the largest industrial technology show in the world.  During the trip the team met with three existing European projects and participated in a lunch in Bern, Switzerland with eight Swiss companies. The lunch was organized by SelectUSA and hosted by U.S. Ambassador Suzan LeVine at her residence.


Pursuing Foreign Direct Investment at the Offshore Technology Conference

The Partnership hosted several key events during the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) to attract foreign direct investment and promote Houston. The Regional Economic Development division hosted Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Houston Consular Corps members at our annual Houston No Limits OTC reception. Additionally, the Partnership co-hosted a luncheon with SelectUSA and 200 OTC delegates from 30 countries. Our talent attraction team was invited to speak on an HR/Recruiter panel sharing insights with 300+ job seekers about transferable skills. The event provided a platform to promote our Careers With No Limits job resource tool.


The Partnership and Texas Governor Greg Abbott Welcome Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Americas' HQ


The Partnership, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and elected officials welcomed Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Americas' (MHIA) new headquarters facility to Houston. MHIA is the American subsidiary to Japanese-owned Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and another major Japanese company to relocate to Houston within two years. About 70 high-level management positions have relocated to Greenway Plaza in Houston from their previous base in New York City, which will oversee all headquarters operations in North and South America.


Houston Adds a Global Fortune 500 Company

SINOPEC Group Logo

SINOPEC Group, a subsidiary of China Petrochemical International Co., Ltd. and Global Fortune 500 Company, is expanding and consolidating two enterprises into Houston. SINOPEC America and SINOPEC R&D Tech Houston LLC will consolidate and create over 40 new jobs in the Houston area to support their U.S operations, research and development.  SINOPEC has integrated upstream, midstream and downstream operations, and a strong oil & petrochemical core business.


State Representative Huberty Addresses 2017 Legislative Challenges with Partnership Committees

(left to right) Leonard Spearman, State Relations Committee Chair, State Representative Dan Huberty and Dan Wolterman, Government Relations Advisory Committee Chair
(left to right) Leonard Spearman, State Relations Committee Chair, State Representative Dan Huberty and Dan Wolterman, Government Relations Advisory Committee Chair

State Representative Dan Huberty’s (R-Kingwood) leadership in the Texas House of Representatives helped carry and successfully pass House Bill 4, the bill to create a high-quality pre-K program in Texas, during the 84th Texas Legislative Session. With an eye toward future success in the 2017 session, the Partnership’s Government and State Relations committees welcomed Huberty on April 5 to discuss potential issues facing the Texas Legislature.

Dan Wolterman, Government Relations Advisory Committee Chair, and Leonard Spearman, State Relations Committee Chair, hosted Huberty to discuss the top policy issues related to education. Huberty also answered questions about continued funding of the Texas Enterprise Fund and Chapter 313, programs that help drive economic development through business incentives.

The Government Relations Advisory Committee and the Local, State and Federal Relations Subcommittees are among the Partnership’s most popular committees among Houston business leaders.


Join us for the 21st Annual Golf Classic!

Greater Houston Partnership Golf Classic

The Partnership's 21st Annual Golf Classic is scheduled for October 3 at the highly-acclaimed Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at The Club at Carlton Woods. The 7,368-yard, par-72 "signature" course has been named "Top Private Course" in the Greater Houston area by the Houston Chronicle, and in 2001, Golf Digest honored it with the titles "Best New Private Course in Texas" and "3rd Best New Private Course in America."

Register Upcoming Events Past Event Photos

The latest data on the Houston region's economy

Economy at a Glance - February 2016

This month's edition of the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston: The Economy at a Glance covers the apartment market, industrial space, sales tax collections, foreign trade, and employment.

Read More

Member Spotlight - Mach 5 Couriers

This month's member spotlight is on Mach 5 Couriers, a member of the Partnership since 1999. Mach 5 is a business services firm that provides premier courier services for Houston area companies. As an Associate level member, Mach 5 takes advantage of member benefits such as Councils, Women's Business Alliance, Business Development, and signature events. According to Carla Hallmark, Mach 5's vice president, the value of their membership lies in the access to economic information, quality networking opportunities, and making new business contacts.

"It's a great way to meet business contacts," said Carla. "The Partnership encourages participation in the weekly Council meetings and other events. We are impressed with their continued growth and have truly enjoyed the Partnership's popular "State of" events, which are a great venue to host clients. And last but not least, we're excited about the Partnership’s new building under construction in downtown Houston!"

For questions about your company's membership or how to get involved, contact member.engagement@houston.org.


New Members

The Partnership welcomed seven new members in April including Inland Resources Inc., Mitsui & Co (U.S.A.), Inc. and Quebec Trade Office Houston.


Greater Houston Partnership

Making Houston Greater - Spring 2016

Update from Bob Harvey

Dear Members,

It's been a busy spring around the Partnership with numerous activities including the NCAA Men's Final Four, a visit from the Secretary of Commerce, and the release of the Houston Metro Export Plan.

Starting on a fun note, the Partnership hosted a group of site consultants for a weekend tour of Houston during the NCAA Men's Final Four. As you know, the Final Four launches what will be a year of emphasis on Houston as a place to play, culminating in Super Bowl LI in February. And what could have been more fun than the last 4.7 seconds of that championship game? The site consultants concluded a weekend of meetings and site visits with a very favorable view of Houston.

On April 6, the Partnership held our second annual State of Houston's Global Economy. At the event, we presented the Houston Metro Export Plan, a part of our work with the Brookings Institution's Global Cities Initiative. The plan features an analysis of the region's export economy and offers recommendations to help Houston companies expand their businesses through exporting goods and services around the world.

The following day, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker met with leadership from UpSkill Houston at the LyondellBasell training facility in northeast Houston to discuss key elements of our workforce development initiative. Secretary Pritzker remarked that what we are doing here in Houston should serve as a model for other communities around the country.

Partnership Chair Jamey Rootes participated in a press conference alongside Mayor Sylvester Turner to announce the city's Hire Houston Youth summer jobs program. The mayor created this eight-week summer job/internship experience for local youth (ages 16-24). By offering young Houstonians employment opportunities, we can work towards closing the skills gap and effectively building a youth talent pipeline.

As you may know, the Partnership Public Policy team has embarked on a new endeavor this year called Public Policy 2020. To build on the Partnership's policy success over the past few years, six of the policy advisory committees – education, energy, environment, health care, transportation and quality of place – engaged in strategic planning sessions to identify policy issues developing across the region. By engaging our committees and members for input to identify developing issues, we can focus our public policy efforts and determine the Partnership's policy priorities for the next three to four years. Thank you to those who participated.

The Partnership also continues to be active in the discussions surrounding Houston's municipal finances. In case you missed it, Marc Watts, Chair of our Municipal Finance Task Force, wrote an opinion piece on this topic that appeared in the Houston Chronicle on April 1.

Last but not last, I hope to see you all at the rescheduled State of the City with Mayor Sylvester Turner event on Wednesday, May 4.

As we look ahead, you can expect the Partnership to continue championing Houston through our economic development and policy efforts, as well as our events and special initiatives. As always, thank you for joining us in our efforts to make Houston greater.

Regards,
Bob Harvey Signature
Bob Harvey
President and CEO


Houston Metro Export Plan Unveiled at State of Houston's Global Economy

Public Policy 2016 Panel
The panel discussion at the State of Houston's Global Economy included (left to right) Bret Scholtes, Partnership Global Cities Initiative Steering Committee Chair and President and CEO, Omega Protein Corporation; David H. Price, Venture Executive, ExxonMobil Chemical Company; Dan Allford, President, ARC Specialties; and, Marek Gootman, Director, Strategic Partnerships & Global Initiatives, Brookings Institution.

As one of America's next great global cities, the Houston business community has come together for the opportunity to grow connections to international markets by participating in the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. On April 6, the Partnership's Houston Global Cities Initiative Steering Committee unveiled the Houston Metro Export Plan (MEP) to help drive economic growth through exports. The plan was released at the Partnership's State of Houston's Global Economy event.

The Houston MEP applies six key findings from an in-depth market assessment to develop targeted, export-related strategies to create jobs by helping companies increase their reach in global markets. The plan builds on the opportunity to continue diversifying the region's economy and outlines specific steps regional public, private and civic leaders can take to cultivate an export strategy in Houston.

The plan emphasizes the need to support existing exporters' entry into new markets and increasing goods exports from small and medium-sized enterprises to stimulate economic growth. The City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner calls the export plan the "blueprint for attracting more trade and investment."

For the full Houston Metro Export Plan and the 2016 Global Houston Trade Profiles, go to http://www.houston.org/business. For more information on the Global Cities Initiative, please visit www.brookings.edu/projects/global-cities.aspx or www.jpmorganchase.com/globalcities.


Public Policy 2020: Partnership Public Policy Builds on Past Success to Set New Priorities

In the last few years, the Partnership has had great success addressing many public policy issues at all levels of government. For example, the Partnership has achieved key wins related to state transportation funding, early childhood education, water infrastructure, and economic development incentives. Other successes include the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank and the repeal of the crude oil export ban. As Houston grows and the economy continues to diversify, there is still much work to do.

With an eye toward setting future regional priorities, the Public Policy Division launched a new initiative this year called Public Policy 2020. The effort aimed to harness the invaluable knowledge of our business and civic leaders to identify the region's most pressing issues and develop and implement a strategy to solve them.

With assistance from Credera, a management consulting firm and Partnership member, business leaders are taking part in in-depth planning sessions to solicit the key issues affecting education, energy, the environment, health care, quality of place and transportation. The key focus: issues that will impact Houston over a four-year horizon.

The business community's response to Public Policy 2020 has been overwhelming with equal attention given to local, state and federal issues. With support from the Partnership's Public Policy Steering Committee and other Partnership leadership, the staff expects to share the new agenda during the second quarter of 2016.

To find out more about Public Policy 2020, visit http://www.houston.org/policy/policy-2020.html.


The Houston Region Shines During Final Four

Houston No Limits familiarization tour guests in front of NRG Park
The Houston No Limits Familiarization tour guests in front of NRG Park before the Final Four Tournament included representatives from the following companies and organizations: Jones Lang LaSalle, Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co., Boyette Strategic Advisors, McCallum Sweeney, Amazon, McGuireWoods Consulting, BDO, KPMG, Grant Thornton and The State of Texas.

The Partnership showcased Houston at its best during the Final Four weekend in Houston. We hosted a number of national site selection experts and top-tier media outlets for the Houston No Limits familiarization tour. The Economic Development Division developed a multi-faceted weekend visit including a business climate overview and behind-the-scenes tours of the Port of Houston, TMCx and the Buffalo Bayou Park to showcase Houston as a great place to live, work and play. State representatives and the Houston Region Economic Development Alliance joined the Partnership in welcoming our guests. Firms represented on the tour included:  Jones Lang LaSalle, Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co., Boyette Strategic Advisors, McCallum Sweeney, Amazon, McGuireWoods Consulting, BDO, KPMG and Grant Thornton.

As part of our effort to tell Houston's story, the Partnership co-sponsored the tournament's official media party with the Houston Final Four and Super Bowl Local Organizing Committees. Houston shined with great weather, great events and record fan participation.


Houston's Technology Sector Promoted at SXSW

The Partnership booth at SXSW

This March, the Partnership and Houston tech companies represented our region in Austin at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference to promote Houston's technology sector. The Partnership hosted a booth at the SXSW Jobs Market with local development companies ChaiOne and Poetic Systems, and pitched job seekers on living and working in Houston. The Partnership showcased the CareersWithNoLimits.com jobs portal.

The Partnership also supported the Hatch Pitch, a startup competition during SXSW featuring Houston grown startups and Gnomad, a Houston-based tech company who launched their new mobile ad technology in Uber cars during the conference.


FedEx Ground Makes Significant Investments in Houston

Partnership members in front of a Fedex truck

The Greater Houston Partnership, along with officials from Cy-Fair's Chamber and Independent School District joined FedEx at their ceremonial beam signing ceremony last month. FedEx's new facility off Highway 99 will be 800,000 square feet, and serve as their largest ground hub in Texas. The facility will employ 400 Houstonians and is slated to open in August 2017. Additionally, a 300,000 square-foot FedEx ground facility opens in Sugar Land this summer.

The Partnership assisted FedEx back in 2013 and was on hand to congratulate the company and talk about the importance of FedEx to Houston's economy.


2015-2016 Ambassadors Awarded for Their Service

The Partnership's Ambassadors are a dynamic and select group of member volunteers assigned to member companies to help them take advantage of their membership benefits. Each year, the Ambassadors program wraps up in April and the top performing ambassadors are rewarded for their dedication and service to the Partnership. Here are this year's award winners.

Ambassador of the Year

Bob Lozano

Top Team Captain and Team Award

Team 1: Joe Racina: Boundless Network

  • Amber Garcia-Rameau: JPMorgan Chase
  • DeAnna Green: Optimus Corporate Housing
  • Steven Lorch: Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Joshua Marcell: Moody Rambin
  • Raju P.S.: Eyecube Solutions LLC
  • Tiffany Sanders: JPMorgan Chase

Life Member Achievement

  • Carl Accardo: Aeon.cc Multimedia
  • Chuck Johnson: Bank of Texas
  • Tatiana Kouznetsova
  • Steven Lorch: Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Marcela Maxson: Insperity
  • Lereca Monik: American Red Cross, Greater Houston Area Chapter
  • Vivan Thompson: JPMorgan Chase

Top Rookie of the Year

Tatiana Kouznetsova

Top Retention Ambassador

Steven Lorch: Wells Fargo Advisors

Top Lifetime Ambassador

Kristin Kohlman: BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust)

Ambassador Team
2015-2016 Ambassadors at their campaign year end celebration on April 14

Jamey Rootes
Ambassador Team 1 achieved the highest member retention rate. Left to Right: DeAnna Green, Raju P.S., Joe Racina – Captain, Steven Lorch (also top Retention Ambassador with 136%), Joshua Marcell

Bob Harvey
Partnership Lifetime Members (L-R) Carl Accardo, Chuck Johnson, Tatiana Kouznetsova (also Top Rookie with 18 visits), Steven Lorch, Marcela Maxson, Lereca Monik, Vivan Thompson


Join us for the Thought Leader Series luncheon featuring Robert Steven Kaplan, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Thought Leaders

Robert Steven Kaplan, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas will discuss economic conditions and monetary policy in a changing world.

Kaplan assumed his current role on September 8, 2015. Kaplan was previously the Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice and a Senior Associate Dean at Harvard Business School. Prior to joining Harvard in 2006, Kaplan was vice chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. with global responsibility for the firm's Investment Banking and Investment Management Divisions.


The latest data on the Houston region's economy

Economy at a Glance - February 2016

This month's edition of the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston: The Economy at a Glance covers Houston's 2015 population growth, office absorption and sublease activity, and a look back at Houston's employment growth in the 90s when oil prices averaged $20 a barrel.


New Members

The Partnership welcomed 31 new members in February and March including Goya Foods of Texas, Siemens Corporation, Fort Bend County Independent School District and Taylor Construction Management.


Greater Houston Partnership

Making Houston Greater - February 2016

Update from Bob Harvey

Dear Members,

The end of January marked the end of our membership renewal period. I would like to thank all of you who decided to maintain your commitment to the Partnership - we look forward to working with you in the coming year to make Houston greater.

Several exciting programs will unfold in the next few months where members can get involved. Our "Houston. A Great Place to Play" campaign recently launched. With our city hosting major sporting events like the NCAA Final Four in a few weeks and Super Bowl LI next year, all eyes will be on Houston. This campaign will leverage that attention to promote Houston as a city with unlimited options to live, work and play. Stay tuned for messages from us on how you can get involved.

Another critical way we work to impact the region is through our public policy efforts. The Partnership's Public Policy Division is launching a strategic effort called "Public Policy 2020," which is designed to help build our list of policy priorities for the next four years. This will be a great way to concentrate our agenda by what will make the most impact for the region in the years to come. Member companies who are eligible to serve on our advisory committees have already received invitations to participate in the brainstorming sessions that begin March 2.

Our busy events season kicked off with the Annual Meeting, which was followed just a week later by our annual State of the County. Over 1,000 members attended State of the County to hear from Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. Judge Emmett laid out his priorities which included the importance of improving transportation infrastructure to support the region's growing economy, meeting the county's health care needs, and what's next for Houston's iconic Astrodome. You can view photos from the event here and the webcast here. I'd also like to draw your attention to our upcoming events including State of the Airports on March 21, State of Houston's Global Economy on April 6, and State of the City with newly elected Mayor Sylvester Turner on April 18.

2016 has gotten off to a great start, and I hope you join us in our efforts. From Committees to Initiatives and more, there is no shortage of ways to get involved at the Partnership.

Regards,
Bob Harvey Signature
Bob Harvey
President and CEO


Thank You to Our 2016 Members

Thank You to Our 2016 Members

Thank you to our members that have already made their 2016 commitment to join the Partnership in making Houston greater. To view the current list of 2016 Partnership members, click here. If you have any questions regarding your company's membership dues or benefits, please contact Member Engagement.  To view the 2016 Membership Information Book, click here. Thank you for your continued support of the Greater Houston Partnership!


Public Policy 2020: Transforming Partnership Public Policy

Public Policy 2020

The Partnership Public Policy team is embarking on a new endeavor this year called "Public Policy 2020." With help from a third-party consultant, Credera, each of the six advisory committees - education, energy, environment, health care, transportation and quality of life - will hold a strategic planning session to unearth and identify policy issues developing across the region.

With Houston's eminent status as the next great global city, this is a great time for the organization to put extra focus on public policy to keep the Houston region moving forward. During the last few years, the committees have achieved great success in public policy at the local, state and federal level on issues like transportation, education and economic development incentives.

By engaging our committees and members for input to identify developing issues, we can focus our public policy efforts accordingly and continue our impact in making Houston greater. The strategy sessions are scheduled to begin March 2, 2016. By working collaboratively, our regional business leaders are focused on developing and implementing solutions that make Houston one of the world's best places to live, work and build a business.


Partnership Launches Houston. A Great Place to Play

Houston. A Great Place to Play

Get ready for a championship year!

This month, Houston took the reins from San Francisco to host the big game-Super Bowl LI.  But that's not all - we are also hosting the NCAA Final Four, four months away from hosting the Copa America Centenario and six months until UH faces OU at the AdvoCare Texas Kick Off.  And we can't forget that the Rodeo is right around the corner.  It's literally a year packed with great sports.

We know that Houston will be top of mind as we lead up to these world-class events, and to leverage this spotlight, the Greater Houston Partnership launched our "Houston. A Great Place to Play" campaign with the latest Opportunity Houston magazine! Themed around sports and lifestyle in Houston, our magazine covers major sporting events and how they will positively impact our community.

We will continue this campaign throughout the year at the SXSW Jobs Market, our NCAA Final Four Familiarization Tour and a social media campaign targeting the 64 schools in the Final Four tournament beginning on Selection Sunday. Stay tuned for more activities as we help promote Houston as a city with unlimited options to live, work and PLAY.


Doing Business In Mexico

Houston Texans Defensive Line

The Houston Texans will make NFL history in 2016. In his annual state of the league news conference this month, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell officially announced that the Houston Texans will play the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City on Monday, November 21. The game will be the first Monday Night Football telecast to occur outside of the U.S. in the 46-year history of the series, and a huge win for our community as we gear up to host Super Bowl LI.

Houston has strong trade and cultural connections with Mexico. In fact, last September, the Partnership and current chair, Jamey Rootes, President of the Houston Texans, joined then-chair Gina Luna, and President and CEO Bob Harvey on a trade mission to Mexico City to focus on energy reform and promote trade relationships. Over the course of the trip, there was significant interest in American football, specifically the Houston Texans, and we are thrilled to continue working alongside Mexico in business and in sport.

The Partnership will return to Mexico City for a follow-up trade mission in connection with the game.


Join us at the Annual State of the City with Newly Elected Mayor Sylvester Turner

Programs

Join the Greater Houston Partnership for our annual State of the City event on Thursday, April 18, at the Hilton Americas. The event will feature newly elected Mayor Sylvester Turner as he delivers his first address before the Partnership.

Register Upcoming Events

The Latest Data on the Houston Region's Economy

Economy at a Glance - February 2016

In this month's edition of the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston: The Economy at a Glance, we focus on how seven economic measures - employment, energy, manufacturing, commercial real estate, home sales, construction and consumer prices - fared in '15.


Member Spotlight

S&B Logo

This month's member spotlight is on S&B Engineers and Constructors, Ltd., a member of the Partnership since 1990. As a privately owned, fully integrated engineering, procurement and construction company, they have found their place in the Partnership in policy committees and the UpSkill Houston initiative. J.R. Reddish is president of S&B Infrastructure and has been a longtime active member of the Transportation and Government Relations Advisory Committees.  JD Slaughter, vice president of S&B Engineers and Constructors, has been actively involved in UpSkill Houston, a regional integrated workforce initiative designed to close the middle skills gap across seven key sectors.

"We've enjoyed being a part of the Upskill Houston effort, especially because of the relationships we have built with other members of the Construction Sector council," said Slaughter. "These relationships have culminated in our restarting S&B's 'Women in Construction' training and employment effort through our partnership with United Way Thrive, Texas Workforce Commission, and others.  We have also enjoyed growing closer to the community colleges, further understanding their needs and drivers, and assisting in the shaping of their programs to meet our needs in the industry."

For more information the Partnership's UpSkill Houston Initiative, go to houston.org/upskillhouston. For questions about your membership or how to get involved, contact member.engagement@houston.org.


New Members

January New Members

The Partnership welcomed 12 new members in January including Experis ManpowerGroup, The Hobby Center Foundation-501c3, Wesley Community Center Inc. of Houston, TX, and John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science.


Greater Houston Partnership

Making Houston Greater - Winter 2016

Update from Bob Harvey

Dear Members,

It's hard to believe we are already a month into the New Year. 2016 has certainly begun on an exciting note with the Partnership's 2016 Annual Meeting last Monday. 2015 Partnership Chair Gina Luna reflected on our accomplishments from the past year, which can be found in our Annual Report here. We also welcomed the 2016 Partnership Chair Jamey Rootes, President, Houston Texans, who inspired us all to be Champions for Houston.

As Jamey outlined at the Annual Meeting, we will continue to strive towards our mission to make Houston greater. We have a responsibility to support the greater good and be champions for Houston, both in times of prosperity and in times of challenge.

At the event, I was particularly excited to announce that the Partnership's new home, Partnership Tower, will be completed this summer. Partnership Tower is located in the heart of downtown and will serve as Houston's front door to visitors, dignitaries and local leaders. It will be a space that our members can be proud to call home. Click here to view an exciting video about the Partnership Tower.

If you were not able to join us at the Annual Meeting, please click the photos to read the remarks from Gina, Jamey and me.

Gina Luna
Gina Luna

Jamey Rootes
Jamey Rootes

Bob Harvey
Bob Harvey

From our upcoming State of the Airports on March 21 to the Partnership's Initiatives, Committees, Councils and Programs, there are plenty of opportunities to engage with the Partnership this year. I invite you to join us as a Champion for Houston as we all work together to make Houston greater.

Regards,
Bob Harvey Signature
Bob Harvey
President and CEO


Partnership Awarded 2015 Economic Deal of the Year

Business Facilities 2015 Deal of the Year Award

One of the leading national economic development publications, Business Facilities magazine, has awarded the Partnership and our Houston regional allies the 2015 "Economic Development Deal of the Year" Gold Award for Goodman Global Group's (Daikin Industries) 4.1-million-square-foot consolidated campus.

Goodman Global's new facility now joins the ranks of 2014 winner, Tesla, for their 5-million-square-foot lithium battery Giga factory in Western Nevada, and 2013 award winner Apple, for their first Solar facility in Phoenix.

Construction on the $417 million facility in northwest Harris County is well underway. Goodman Global will begin relocating employees in 2016, and the site is scheduled to be fully operational between 2018 and 2020. The project will support 4,600 jobs and more than 11,000 indirect jobs.

This project spanned several years, and there were many partners that participated in an organized regional effort to secure Goodman/Daikin's investment including: the State of Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Harris County Economic Development, Metro, Katy EDC and Waller County Officials. Thank you all and congratulations.


Partnership Policy Wins Include Two Major Pieces of Federal Legislation

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (center,) joined by Bob Borochoff and Lilyanne McClean, at a press conference in the Partnership offices announcing congressional action to lift the crude oil export ban.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (center,) joined by Bob Borochoff and Lilyanne McClean, at a press conference in the Partnership offices announcing congressional action to lift the crude oil export ban.

The Partnership advocated for reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) due to its significant impact on foreign trade passing through the Houston region. In 2013, more than 75 percent of all U.S. Ex-Im Bank support in Texas directly benefited the Houston region. With backing from 14 area chambers of commerce expressing reauthorization support, Ex-Im Bank received its first extension through June 2015. The Partnership continued to engage the regional business community about Ex-Im Bank after the June expiration and reiterated its support for reauthorization. In December, President Obama signed into law H.R. 22, a transportation bill that included a rider reauthorizing Ex-Im Bank through 2019.

The Partnership was instrumental in passing legislation that repealed the crude oil export ban in 2015. The Partnership played a leadership role in uniting the regional business community behind a common goal to champion legislation that elevates Houston's position as the world's energy capital. Business leaders supported lifting the ban because repeal would have significant implications to Houston's economy, including job creation, economic growth, lower gas prices, and strengthening Houston's position as a leading exporting metro.

The Energy Advisory Committee and Board leadership voted in favor of repealing of the ban. These actions amplified the initiative to repeal the ban, increasing visibility of the issue among members of the Houston congressional delegation. In September, U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced House action to lift the crude oil export ban in a press conference at the Partnership offices. On December 18, President Obama signed into law an Omnibus Appropriations Bill for 2016 that includes a provision to repeal the ban.


Partnership Councils Begin February 9!

Councils

Councils provide members with access to leading experts to discuss the topics and issues that matter most to the Houston business community. Council meetings are held every Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Partnership Board Room, and a complimentary lunch is provided. To see all our Council dates, click on the Learn More button below.

Learn More Council Email Opt-in

Get Involved with Partnership Programs

Programs

Programs provide member company employees with leadership and professional development opportunities through unique meeting formats and speaker presentations. If you have any questions, contact memberprograms@houston.org. Click here to learn more about Programs.


The latest data on the Houston region's economy

Economy at a Glance - January 2016

In the January edition of the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston: The Economy at a Glance, we discuss the turmoil in the energy sector and its impact on Houston's economy. The issue also defines energy's share of Houston's GDP, employment, and income.


Join the Partnership at the State of the Airports on Monday, March 21, 2016

Greater Houston Partnership - State of the Airports

Join the Greater Houston Partnership at the State of the Airports event to learn where Houston's world-renowned transportation network is heading next. During his keynote address, Mario Diaz, Director of the Houston Airport System (George Bush Intercontinental, William P. Hobby and Ellington Airports), will discuss the future of air transportation and how aviation, aerospace and space exploration will all play a key role in strengthening the city's dynamic and vibrant economy moving forward.

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Partnership Hosts Gulf Coast Chamber Executives Monthly Meeting

The Partnership hosted the Gulf Coast Chamber Executives Monthly Meeting on January 22.
The Partnership hosted the Gulf Coast Chamber Executives Monthly Meeting on January 22.

The Partnership had the honor of hosting the initial monthly meeting for 2016 of the Gulf Coast Chamber Executives (GCCE) on January 22. Partnership President and CEO Bob Harvey welcomed the GCCE and conveyed how valuable the organization is to economic development throughout our region. Established in 1959, the GCCE provides continuing education and support for regional chamber professionals. President Barbara Thomason welcomed all members and led the conversation on topics that ranged from annual budget and priorities to idea-sharing of best practices from individual chambers. All members were also reminded about the Annual Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce Executives Leadership Conference on February 19, which will host Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton and CEO and Founding Partner of Evolve Performance Group Jeff Tobaben as guest speakers.


RedGuard to Open Location in Hitchcock, Texas Near Galveston

Redguard logo

The Hitchcock (TX) Industrial Development Corporation and the Galveston County Economic Development Division in association with the Greater Houston Partnership announced the successful recruitment of RedGuard to the historic Blimp Base Industrial Park in Hitchcock, Texas near Galveston.

At full operation, RedGuard expects to employ over 50 individuals in a variety of technical and support positions through the new Hitchcock location.

"We are pleased to join Hitchcock and Galveston County in welcoming RedGuard to the Houston region," said Greater Houston Partnership Chief Economic Development Officer Bob Pertierra.  "RedGuard will complement our position as one of the top manufacturing centers in America."

RedGuard manufactures blast resistant modular buildings for the petrochemical industry and is the leading authority in blast resistance. RedGuard provides safe, customizable and scalable modular buildings for a variety of industrial settings. The Wichita, Kansas based company has annual revenues exceeding $50 million annually and looks forward to expanding their customer base from their new Hitchcock location.


New Members

The Partnership welcomed 13 new members in December including Houston Arts Alliance, The Black Sheep Agency and Northwestern Mutual.




The Greater Houston Partnership Salutes Our Executive Partners