The Greater Houston Partnership on Wednesday hosted a State of the Port Address featuring Port of Houston Authority Chair Jim Edmonds and President and CEO Colonel Leonard Waterworth.
GHP Chair Anthony Chase welcomed the large crowd to the ballroom at the JW Mariott on Westheimer. Listen (5 minutes, 6 seconds)
“It’s been said that Houston was a town that built a port that built a city,” Chase said. “I think this is an appropriate description of how our forefathers fought to make the Port of Houston a reality, knowing full well that a state-of-the-art port would be instrumental in making Houston the shining star along the Gulf Coast.”
GHP President and CEO Robert W. Harvey introduced the elected officials in the room, then called on former Texas Traffic Commission chair Ned Holmes, who also is a former chair of the GHP and the Port of Houston Commission, to introduce current PHA Chair Jim Edmonds. Listen (4 minutes, 50 seconds)
Holmes recalled his replacement at the Port of Houston by Edmonds in 2000. Listen (4 minutes, 6 seconds)
“When I decided to step down as chair it was really important to me that the next chair concentrate on moving the port forward, a chair that would have the best interests of the port first and foremost, who understood the infrastructure needs of the port and this community,” Holmes said. “It was clear to me that Jim Edmonds was exactly that person.”
Edmonds, noting that it was his final State of the Port Address to the GHP since he has not requested reappointment to the port commission, agreed that the port is a “remarkable and important part” of the Houston region. Listen (16 minutes, 14 seconds)
“Although seldom seen first-hand by most Texans, it is really vital to our economic health,” Edmonds said. “I am happy to report to you that business remains strong at the port, helping our economy to outpace the rest of the country.”
Edmonds noted that the Port of Houston is one of the busiest in the nation with more foreign tonnage handled here than in any other U.S. port. He said that last year the port earned $204 million, its highest revenue income ever, and handled just under 1.9 million container units.
“I feel good leaving the Port Authority in a healthy financial state,” Edmonds said. “I am confident about the port’s future, especially with its leadership in the competent hands of Executive Director Leonard Waterworth.”
Waterworth paid tribute to Edmonds and the port’s leaders over the past century since the port was established. Listen (18 minutes, 16 seconds)
“The courageous people who came before us built a community of opportunity,” he said. “For 98 years, the Port of Houston has served as the catalyst for the economic growth that we enjoy today. And our current success will be a legacy for those who follow us.”
The State of the Port PowerPoint presentation has been posted on the Port of Houston Authority’s website. Click Here