I have two very interesting guests today, who are not only two of my favorite people, but they both play a very important role in the Bay Area Houston region: Sylvia Garcia - Harris County Commissioner of Precinct Two, and Galveston County Judge Jim Yarbrough. Listen: RealPlayer MP3
This interview will focus on how they work together to achieve their common goal of promoting the economic vitality of Bay Area Houston region.
As a County Commissioner, Sylvia is responsible for a $65 million budget and 500 employees. Precinct 2 includes 416 square miles, a population of almost one million and 15 municipalities including one quarter of Houston. Prior to becoming the Harris County Commissioner of Precinct Two, she was the Houston City Controller - the second-highest City elected official, and the City’s Chief Financial Officer, and also served as the Director and Presiding Judge of the Houston Municipal Court System.
Sylvia is a real Trailblazer with her resume of “firsts” - being the first woman and the first Hispanic ever elected to serve on Commissioners Court, and being the first woman, first Hispanic and youngest person to serve as the Chief Judge of the Municipal Court System.
Judge Yarbrough is BOI – “Born on the Island” and was elected the County Judge of Galveston County on January 1, 1995. He attended the University of Texas at Austin on an athletic scholarship and captained the Longhorn Southwest Conference Football Championship team. He was named to the All-Southwest Conference football team, and was the first player in the NCAA to play as a graduate student.
Judge Yarbrough received a BBA Degree from UT with majors in finance, accounting and real estate. Before he became a County Judge, he had fifteen years of successful business experience in Galveston County - 10 years as a banker and five years as a consultant to businesses throughout Galveston County through James D. Yarbrough & Company.
One of their major goals is working closely with all the community leaders and elected officials to promote the economic vitality of the Bay Area Houston region. The major topics for this interview were continuing the economic growth in our region, Emergency Management for the Hurricane Season, Homeland Security, and the economic vitality of the NASA/ Johnson Space Center.
We also discussed the important role that the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP) plays in our area. An important issue for Judge Yarbrough is the November Bond Election and an important issue for Sylvia is “building green”.
You can not interview Judge Yarbrough without allowing him to talk about the University of Texas Longhorns, so we discussed his favorite team. And, of course, I mentioned that he blocked for Earl Campbell, and that Earl gave him credit for helping him win the Heisman Trophy. And, since Sylvia is the 8th of ten children in her family, I mentioned that she almost had her own football team.
When I asked them who made the biggest impact on them and how it influenced their lives, Judge Yarbrough talked about the important role his father played in his life, and Sylvia said both her parents were the biggest influence in her life.
What comes across very clearly in this interview is their friendship, and the respect and admiration they have for each other. You can see how much they value their relationship to work together to benefit our region.
One of the goals of my interviews is to focus on accomplishing goals, realizing dreams, and living lives of excellence. Both Sylvia and Judge Yarbrough’s personal integrity, their strong belief in teamwork, and their commitment to making a difference in the Bay Area Houston community made them the perfect choice for this interview. Their dedication and accomplishments, and their belief in service, make them outstanding leaders and very good friends to the Bay Area Houston community.
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