Port of Houston Executive Director Colonel Leonard Waterworth spoke to the membership of the Greater Houston Port Bureau on Thursday. He was introduced by Port Bureau Chair Dennis Hansell. Listen
“I have had opportunities over a 25 year military career to do a lot of great things,” Waterworth said citing his service in Desert Storm and command of the United States Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District, as well as his service as president of Dannenbaum Engineering that has prepared him for his new assignment. “You start to see where experiences start to build to give me the experience and opportunities that I have now.”
He noted that the Port of Houston and the Panama Canal are both preparing for 100th year anniversaries in 2014, and said that the port and the maritime industry are preparing for the expansion of the canal.
Waterworth cited the Greater Houston Partnership’s recent report on Houston’s emergence from the recession.
“We tied with Boston for the shortest time spent in the recession,” he said. “And Houston was far and away the nation’s leader in the number of jobs recovered. Right now, the estimate is that we are back to about 127 percent of what we were at the lowest point. I contend it is because we have a diversity of jobs, a diversity of industry, along our ship channel.”
Waterworth said that Houston is the leading exporting port in the United States and Texas is the “number one navigation state” in the United States.
“I believe that Houston will be the nexus of the next great economic expansion for the United States and Houston will be the center of that change,” he said. “Now, the challenge for us is how do we build on the legacy that has been provided to us? I am excited to be a part of your team, part of the port’s team, to be a little part of history on setting conditions for the next generation.”