Port Bureau Updates

November 2016 Commerce Club
Janiece Longoria
Port Commission Chairman, Port of Houston Authority

chairman-janiece-longoria-2015-photoThe Port Bureau is pleased to feature Janiece Longoria, port commission chairman, as guest speaker at our November 10, 2016 Commerce Club Luncheon at Brady’s Landing. Ms. Longoria is an honors graduate of the University of Texas and received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1979.

She has served as the Chairman of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority, the leading economic engine for the greater Houston region, since she was unanimously appointed by the City of Houston and County of Harris on January 8, 2013.

Ms. Longoria chairs the Port Commission’s Audit Committee, Community Relations Committee and serves on the Governance Committee and Pension & Benefits Committee. She also created the Citizens Advisory Council to foster open communication between communities in and around the Port of Houston and the Port Commission.

She is on the board of two public companies, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Superior Energy Services, Inc., both based in Houston.

She is the former Vice Chairman of the University of Texas System Board of Regents and a former board member of the University of Texas Investment Management Company.

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She is active in many non-profit organizations. She currently serves on the board of directors of the University of Texas Law School Foundation, the Greater Houston Partnership and the Texas Medical Center, and of the Board of Visitors of the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Ms. Longoria has received numerous honors and recognitions for her community and board service, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award for the University of Texas, the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Board Excellence, the Female Executive of the Year Award from the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (2010), and has been recognized as a “breakthrough woman” and inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

Thank you to our Annual Sponsors: Houston Pilots, Richardson Companies, Odfjell, and West Gulf Maritime Association, and table sponsors: Gulf Winds Intl., Houston Mooring Co., Intercontential Terminals Company, Kinder Morgan, Moran Gulf Shipping, Regions Bank and Schröder Marine. Register now by visiting www.txgulf.org/commerceclub, or by calling the Port Bureau at (713) 678-4300.

The Port Bureau Joins SpaceCom 2016

The Port Bureau is participating at SpaceCom: The Space Commerce Conference & Exposition on November 15-17, 2016, at the George R. Brown Convention Center. SpaceCom’s diverse conference program explores ways to utilize space technologies and innovations to enhance growth and profitability in multiple market sectors. Port region attendees can learn how the maritime and space industries can work together to solve intersecting challenges, such as maritime domain awareness, operational maintenance, security, collision avoidance and sea/rescue.

CAPT Bill Diehl, president of the Port Bureau, will serve on the conference’s Satellite Data Revolution Panel. A new generation of satellite applications is cropping up as satellites get smaller and more sophisticated and launch costs lower. The panel will focus its discussion on the latest developments and help the audience identify the data best suited to their objectives. Join the conversation on November 15, at 3:15 p.m. in Grand Ballroom A.

Visit the Port Bureau on the Exposition Show Floor to check out the promising progress of the Global AIS on Space Station (GLASS) project. GLASS is utilizing a space-based AIS receiver system on the International Space Station to acquire and disseminate ship information. The system’s ability to continuously monitor ships for use in commercial, safety and security, environmental, and educational applications are under study by the GLASS collaborators.

Register for whole or part of the 3-day conference at www.spacecomexpo.com and save with Port Bureau discount codes! Use GHPBSAVE75C to save $75 off full conference registration or GHPBSAVE20E to save $20 off the expo only.

Port  of Houston Authority and Freight Shuttle International Sign Cooperation Agreement

The Port of Houston Authority (Port Authority) and Freight Shuttle International (FSI) announced Friday, September 9, 2016, that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding a Joint Project to Evaluate Freight Shuttle Deployment Options in the Port of Houston Area. The signing preceded a Demonstration and Media Briefing of the Autonomous Freight Shuttle System, held in Bryan, Texas, which was co-sponsored by Governor Greg Abbott, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and FSI.

2015 Half Horz Odfjell“Throughout its 102 year history, the Port of Houston has pursued innovation and technological advances to meet demand and protect the environment. The Freight Shuttle has the potential to reduce freight congestion, transportation costs, and air emissions and we support these goals,” said Janiece Longoria, Chairman of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority.

“Container volumes continue to grow,” added Executive Director Roger Guenther. “We’ve continually innovated our terminals to accommodate that demand through expanded capacity and increased cargo velocity. The potential that the Freight Shuttle provides to complement the existing road and rail transportation system and contribute to economic growth and creation of jobs is truly exciting.”

FSI acknowledged the value of the partnership with the Port Authority for the success of this project. “Innovation requires challenging current ways of thinking,” said Gordon Dorsey, Vice President, FSI Commercial Development. “FSI has come up with a practical and elegant solution to freight transportation, but it also requires partnerships to come together to bring ideas into reality.”

FSI’s Chairman and President, Dr. Steve Roop stated, “We’ve been developing the freight shuttle concept for over a decade, but now it is a real, tangible system which people can see, and that makes a difference in attracting partners to support future development, refinement and deployment. This agreement with the Port of Houston is an encouraging sign.”

House Passes Water Resources Bill Containing Provisions to Improve Navigation and Maintenance of Houston Ship Channel

Washington, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016 (H.R. 5303), legislation that included two amendments offered by U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) to improve the navigation and maintenance of the Houston Ship Channel. The WRDA bill, which passed the House by a strong bipartisan vote of 399 to 25, addresses the needs of America’s harbors, locks, dams, flood protection, and other water resources infrastructure by authorizing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers activities. The bill also included additional provisions that Rep. Babin pushed to provide the Corps and local officials with maximum flexibility to carry out navigation safety activities (Section 104).

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“The Greater Houston area is the energy production and chemical manufacturing capital of the world, and the Port of Houston’s ability to ship those goods is directly responsible for the billions of dollars in economic activity and the hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs it creates in Texas and across the country,” said Rep. Babin. “These amendments apply common sense principles that will allow the Corps to focus on its navigation safety and harbor maintenance responsibilities – rather than imposing costly regulations on projects and areas where the local officials and private businesses can take care of things better on their own.”

Chairman of the Port of Houston Authority, Janiece Longoria, praised Rep. Babin’s work in a statement saying, “As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Babin added crucial amendments to the House WRDA bill that will remove duplicative procedures and unnecessary hurdles in the federal process of maintaining and improving the Houston Ship Channel.”

Background: WRDA 2016 contains no earmarks, maintains the strong bipartisan reforms included in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, and adheres to the new transparent process established in that law for congressional review of proposed Corps of Engineers water resources development activities. Following the oversight and review process set forth in the 2014 law, WRDA 2016 authorizes infrastructure improvements that have been proposed at the local level, reviewed by the Corps according to strict congressionally established criteria, and submitted to Congress for consideration.

Editor’s Note: The Port Bureau’s CAPT Bill Diehl was a participant on the roundtables informing Rep. Babin of the needs of the Houston area. CAPT Diehl served on the rountables as a representative for the members of the Port Bureau.

  • Date October 12, 2016
  • Tags October 2016