Captain’s Corner

Fortune Favors the Bold

We just wrapped up our 90th Annual Maritime Dinner this past weekend – and it was a tremendous event! The Grand Ballroom of the Bayou City Event Center was packed with folks from industry and the community to honor Jim Black. His leadership and contributions to the port region have been enormous, and it was a pleasure to celebrate him as well as our 90 years of advancing maritime commerce in the port region. We appreciate all our supporters and everyone who came out to make the evening a success. Thank you!

As I listened to the speakers recognize Jim’s achievements during the program, I noticed a topic that everyone touched on – and that was the importance of widening the Houston Ship Channel. Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia both stressed it in their remarks. But the person who put it best was our honoree himself, when he urged everyone to focus on the common goal of widening and deepening the Ship Channel. At the conclusion of his speech which emphasized his gratitude for an industry replete with innovation, adaptability, and people-who-help-people, he put out the call for a unified lobbying effort in Washington to make this important work happen NOW.

I think Jim’s appreciativeness for the industry and his desire to see that Houston keeps its hard-earned position as the “shipping capital of America” speaks to us all. The port region is a unique community that has been built on people working together to ensure overall success. That attitude has been instilled in each new generation of port workers, and it is what drives the Greater Houston Port Bureau. We bring companies together in the spirit of cooperation to improve our port region for the benefit of everyone.

Right now, advocating for the immediate widening of the Houston Ship Channel through Galveston Bay is our number one priority. Despite the many challenges demanding our attention, improving the waterway to efficiently accommodate the dynamics of larger, wider ships must take precedence. As home to the Gulf’s busiest container port and the largest petrochemical complex in the nation, keeping our economic engine in tune is requisite to sustainable maritime prosperity. It is often said, “No Channel—No Port”. Preparing our channel for the future should be a common priority of every company in this port region.

Back in my Academy days, my class agreed on a simple motto to put on our class rings as we entered the ranks of the Coast Guard—”Fortune Favors the Bold.” Over the years I’ve tried to use that saying to boost self-confidence as I faced important decisions. I think past port community leaders led with a Fortune Favors the Bold mentality, and we can do no less. An undaunted attitude will reap big benefits to Houston’s port region.

As Jim said so well in his remarks, we must band together in bringing the message to Washington and to the CEOs of our companies that the future is very much tied to the investments we are willing to make to the Channel. It is essential for everyone get involved – and stay involved – as we seek to safeguard the progress of the port region.

We appreciate Jim Black, and the many leaders, who boldly infuse their dedicated commitment into our remarkable maritime community. If you couldn’t make it out to the dinner, photos and a recap are on page 18. You can also find photo highlights on social media.

Again, thanks to everyone for making the 90th Dinner an exceptional evening of fellowship and recognition.

  • Date September 5, 2019
  • Tags 2019 August