Letter from the Chairman

Vinny Pilegge,
President, Manchester Terminals

2018 was a very busy year for the Port Bureau, and as I enter my second year as Port Bureau Chairman, I would like to look back on what we accomplished together last year.

The Port Bureau is a collection of over 200 competitive partners with the common interest of improving business in the greater Houston port region. Our goal as the board of directors is to focus on the partnerships we can form to bring more business into the port.

One of the things I’m most proud of this year is the response we got to launching an advocacy campaign for the entire port region to unify our message about the benefits of the Houston Ship Channel and to dispel misconceptions about our challenges. This effort included a popular pocket card that we distributed to our members and public partners.

Besides advocating the strengths of our waterway, we were also actively engaged in bringing industry together to talk about dredging and efficiency issues. Much of this work was used in a white paper we wrote to the Army Corps and congressional leaders about the importance of investing in the Houston Ship Channel so that we can keep two-way vessel traffic with growing ship sizes.

We also know that it’s easier to work together when you can get together, so we hosted 9 monthly Commerce Club luncheons, our Annual Maritime Dinner, and other fun events like the Captain’s Cup Golf Tournament.
While all of that was going on – the Port Bureau moved into a new office in Deer Park – the first move in almost 30 years! If you missed the open house in October, don’t worry. We’re planning on hosting more events this year. You can also stop by the office any time and the staff will give you a tour.

2019 is already shaping up to be a milestone year as we celebrate our 90th anniversary of supporting commerce along the Houston Ship Channel.

We’re continuing to promote the ship channel and to advocate for sustainable investments and dredging with our Advocacy and Dredging Committees. Our Efficiency Committee is going to evaluate ways for industry to increase vessel transit efficiency along the Houston Ship Channel, starting with testing a new scheduling system called Pronto that is currently being used in the Port of Rotterdam. Our newly-established Membership Committee will look at ways that we can add even more value to your Port Bureau membership. If you share these goals, then I invite you to become more involved this year by serving on one of our committees or joining the Port Bureau if you’re not a member yet.

Finally, I have the privilege of announcing the honoree for our 90th Annual Maritime Dinner this August. Our 2019 Maritime Leader of the Year is Jim Black, President of Moran Gulf Shipping Agencies. Jim Black has been a fixture in the Houston-area maritime industry for more than 40 years. Many of you reading this know Jim personally and appreciate his dedication to the success of the maritime community and to supporting local non-profits. We hope you can join us in August as we celebrate Jim Black on this momentous occasion.

I look forward to working with you in 2019 as we pursue greater involvement and more opportunities for advancing the prosperity of Houston’s maritime endeavors.

Vinny Pilegge,
Chairman of the Board
President, Manchester Terminals

  • Date January 29, 2019
  • Tags 2019 Jan