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Partnership Membership Drives Valuable Impact and Community Engagement

Published Feb 04, 2022 by David Ruiz

2022 Annual Meeting

2022 Annual Meeting Networking

The Greater Houston Partnership, alongside its more than 900 member companies and organizations, is dedicated to making the Houston region the best place to live, work and build a business. From Walker to Brazoria, to Liberty and Wharton, and all the greater Houston counties in between, Partnership leaders work together to advocate for growth, prosperity and overall economic success for our entire 12-county region.

By convening the region’s most dynamic and influential business leaders and delivering a valuable membership to businesses, the Partnership has created a rewarding ecosystem for organizations and the community. As part of celebrating 2022’s Partnership Week, we asked our Executive Partners investing in the Partnership at the highest level of membership to share their thoughts on how active engagement with the organization has helped build up their companies and the region as a whole.

Addressing Key Issues Together  

While addressing the region’s most pressing issues is often challenging, tackling them builds resilience and innovative adaptability. Through the years, the Partnership has developed initiatives and strategies to advance the city’s business climate, quality of life and opportunity for all. 

President of Chevron North America Exploration and Production Steve Green said he appreciates the opportunity the Partnership grants his company and staff to address the city’s sustainability. 

“We [Chevron] partner with organizations to help the community where we operate meet its full potential. GHP is on the frontline of emerging issues impacting our business and community. They are doing critical work to positively position Houston and advance the city’s lower carbon future,” Green said. 

bp America, Inc’s Senior Vice President of Gulf of Mexico and Canada Starlee Sykes said the Partnership’s energy transition efforts are beneficial for Houston and bp’s clean energy goals. 

“The Partnership shares bp’s commitment to making Houston a global leader in the energy transition – and to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner– as well as building on our current strengths to solidify this region as a more diverse, inclusive and equitable place for all of us who call it home,” Sykes said.  

The Partnership’s work through initiatives and strategies has a major impact across the region’s workforce. Such efforts continue to position our city as a top global city. Nataly Marks, managing director, Houston and Central Texas region manager and beverage banking industry head at JPMorgan Chase, said her team enjoys working with the Partnership to build a better Houston. 

“We have loved partnering with the Greater Houston Partnership to address key issues facing Houston… especially those matching JPMorgan Chase’s areas of focus, including workforce training, economic development, energy transition and addressing the racial wealth gap,” Marks said. 

The Place for Business

The business-minded culture of the Partnership dates back more than 180 years. Since 1840, the Partnership and our predecessor organizations have built a community of established business leaders while fostering growth and opportunity for business across the region. 

Senior Marketing Manager at Accenture Hina Ali said she appreciates the opportunities the Partnership creates for her fellow coworkers and their organization. 

“The Partnership has played an instrumental role in bringing businesses and clients together,” Ali said. “Many of our employees have participated in various task forces and marketing initiatives of the Partnership, which helps foster their professional networks… there’s no better way to do this than with the Partnership.”

Margaret Cooper, Corporate Affairs General Manager of Chevron North America, said her team finds great value in opportunities the Partnership offers. 

“For several years, our organization has benefitted from the networking and connectivity offered through the Greater Houston Partnership,” Cooper said. “GHP pivoted from in-person gatherings to robust virtual events that connected Houston’s business, academic and community leaders and provided firsthand insight to activities impacting the economic health and growth in the region.”

ExxonMobil Senior Vice President of Performance Derivatives Loic Vivier recognizes the Partnership’s efforts to convene and advance the region. 

“What we can accomplish together far exceeds the sum of what we each can do alone,” he said. “The Greater Houston Partnership, true to its name, brings together a great crowd of people and organizations from across industries and sectors that can translate innovative ideas into impactful solutions.”

The valuable benefits and opportunities the Partnership offers to the business community create a thriving business environment for the region and member companies and organizations. If you are a member, the Partnership is grateful for your investment in the greater Houston region and the Partnership’s mission. If you are not Partnership member, we invite you to join the dynamic and diverse community of businesses and organizations committed to driving growth and opportunity in Houston.

Ready to get involved? Take the first step in becoming a Partnership member here

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Partnership Members Making News - August 2022

The Greater Houston Partnership celebrates our members making important announcements and sharing news about their operations and impact in our community. Learn more about some of those announcements over the last month below.  Amazon announced a new same-day retail delivery service across many locations, including Houston. This service allows prime members to browse select retail stores on Amazon and offers pick-up and same-day delivery options. The initial installment of this service will include popular brands such as PacSun, GNC, and many more.  After 40 years in its offices at the Galleria, the engineering and construction firm Bechtel, recently announced its relocation. Driven by the desire for more space to serve its growing business, Bechtel signed one of the largest new leases in 2022. Bechtel's new building is nine stories tall, energy efficient, and located on a 35-acre campus near Sam Houston Tollway. The company will move out of its current office in 2024.  Houston-based Buckeye Partners LP plans to develop a large-scale green hydrogen and ammonia production, storage, and export project with its recent acquisition of Bear Head Energy Inc. This project will also have more than two gigawatts of hydrogen electrolyzer capacity. Located on 251 acres of land and a 68-acre water lot on Canada's Atlantic coast, Buckeye expects to create several new energy jobs in Nova Scotia through the Bear Head project. Two of Houston's largest energy employers, Chevron and Shell, participated in Edmonton, Canada-based Aurora Hydrogen's $10 million Series A funding round. Aurora Hydrogen works to produce hydrogen and solid carbon without consuming water or generating carbon dioxide emissions. These investments will help the development of a demonstration plant in Edmonton capable of producing 200 kilograms of hydrogen per day.  Comcast recently announced an investment of more than one million dollars to fund community programs and other efforts designed to close the digital divide for low-income residents in Greater Houston. This funding will provide local community organizations with digital skills training, workforce development/readiness workshops, and other tech education for students, adults, and people with disabilities. Organizations receiving funding include United Way, BakerRipley, and more.  Planning to build its first-ever blue hydrogen plant, ExxonMobil announced its carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at its integrated refining and petrochemicals site in Baytown, Texas. The CCS Project will be one of the world's largest, with a capacity to store up to 10 million metric tons of CO2 per year.  Nine startups in Texas have been selected by Google for the inaugural cohort of the Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund, three of which are based in Houston. These companies will receive a $100,000 investment, programming and support, mentorship from technical and business experts, access to free mental health therapy, and much more. This program was originally founded to help provide opportunities and wealth for Latinos in the business community who lack access to funding.  The Houston Bar Association recognizes organizations and individuals who has shown exceptional commitment and achieved significant progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal field. Houston law firm, Greenburg Traurig won two diversity awards this year, placing in the organization category and the individual category.  Lee & Associates have partnered with 35 South Capital to purchase an $18.6 million, 150,000-square-foot, nine-story building near the CityCentre. Lee & Associates have plans to move into a full floor of about 17,000 square feet next year. 35 South Capital will move into a 3,000-square-foot space in the building later this year.  LyondellBasell is considering a plan to expand its advanced recycling capacity at its Houston refinery, which it plans to shut down by the end of 2023. Interim CEO Ken Lane believes this will be the future of the refinery and lead to the company's success. LyondellBasell will spend the next few years researching and developing a plan of action.  Ensuring its place as a leader within the Houston and global innovation ecosystem, Rice University named Paul Cherukuri, the executive director of the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, the inaugural Vice President for Innovation. In this new position, Cherukuri will lead Rice’s technology and commercialization infrastructure, with a focus on technology translation, startup creation, commercialization, entrepreneurship training, and steering engagement at The Ion. Texas A&M partnered with New York tech company StartupTree to track the performance of startups incubated by the university. 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For the eighth year in a row, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has once again been named the top cancer hospital in the nation according to this year's U.S. News & World Report rankings. In addition to this title, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has also had many other achievements this year including fifth in urology; 13th in diabetes and endocrinology; and 20th in ear, nose, and throat. If you are a member and want us to help communicate news about your organization, please send a press release or information about the announcement to and we will share it with our content team for possible inclusion in an upcoming roundup. Learn more about Partnership membership.   
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Economic Development

Regions and Neighborhoods: Historic Town of Dayton Poised to See Growth with Opening of Grand Parkway

The recent completion of northeast segments of the Grand Parkway is spurring economic development in cities surrounding Houston. One of those cities is Dayton, located in southwest Liberty County just 30 miles east of downtown Houston. The historic small town is poised to accommodate growth overflowing from Harris County. By 2035, the population is expected to be 131,000 people in Liberty County. In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau reported a population of 91,628. Dayton offers people a slower-paced lifestyle and access to outdoor recreational activities. The Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge is a short drive from the city, offering hiking trails, kayaking, boating, fishing and more. Located along Highway 90 and accessible by road and rail, the opening of the Grand Parkway is a gamechanger for the rural area now more easily connected to the greater Houston region. The Partnership spoke with the Dayton Community Development Corporation to discuss what’s on the horizon. What are some unique characteristics that really set this area apart?   The community of Dayton is full of history and charm. Dayton offers the slower pace of a small community, with every amenity available nearby in the country’s fourth largest city, offering a quality of life not easily found in suburbia.  Describe the business community in Dayton. What are some of the most active industry areas?  Dayton has a strong manufacturing sector, but we are seeing growth in the retail sector as well. With the completion of 99 (Grand Parkway), several new developments coming to the area, and access to several major highways and rail services, Dayton is the prime site for both large and small industries.  What does the recent completion of the Grand Parkway mean for the Dayton area? The completion of the Grand Parkway means growth for Dayton! With drive times faster than ever to larger cities, Dayton is becoming a hotspot for development. Our residents and businesses now have easier access to any resource they need.   Are there any other exciting things on the horizon for Dayton?  We have some exciting things coming together in Dayton. We have several new restaurants, including a coffee shop, Wendy’s and Shipley’s along Hwy 90. With new developments, we also have several of our existing businesses expanding. McCoy’s Building Supply is expanding their store off SH 146 to include a distribution center, and Sumiden Wire is expanding their plant as well. We are also seeing an increase in residential developments. We currently have the Village of Westpointe subdivision off Hwy 90 and Waco St. and have several other large residential developments in the works off SH 321, SH 146, and FM 1960.  What attracts most businesses to relocate or expand in Dayton?  Dayton’s quality of life and accessibility set us apart. All roads (and railways) lead to Dayton. Four highways converge in Dayton: US Hwy 90, SH 146, SH 321, and FM 1960, and access is easier than ever with the completion of the Grand Parkway passing through the western portion of Dayton. Union Pacific has recently expanded its rail car capacity by adding 280 acres of storage space. With two major rail-served industrial parks adding over 1,300 acres of land for industrial growth, Dayton is firmly positioned as a logistics and transportation center, which means jobs and economic stability.  What are 4-5 signature spots to visit? Any hidden gems people need to know about?  Downtown Dayton comes alive at The Crossroads Plaza for lunchtime every Friday where a variety of food trucks gather. The Crossroads Plaza is also home to our monthly farmers market and other community events.  Take a #DaytripDayton and visit several murals in the heart of Dayton. We currently have 3 murals featuring the history of Dayton and the scenery of Texas wildflowers showcased in our downtown area.  Take a stroll around the Dayton Community Center grounds and visit the Love Locks Fence! This Paris tradition has made its way to Dayton, Texas. Bring a lock and a loved one to add your own little piece of history.  Visit our stars. Take a scenic drive around our small town to visit all 39 of our hand-painted stars. Whether it’s a large organization or an individual wanting to show support, our stars are spread throughout our community as a show of Dayton pride. What’s missing from the conversation about Dayton? While Dayton is still a small city, we are leaps and bounds from where we were just a few short years ago. With unprecedented growth coming into the area, we are seeing a boom in residential developments and commercial alike. With that, our community is still dedicated to fostering a small-town feel. We are excited about the growth coming our way and to see what the future holds for our community.     
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