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Houston Airport System- Reaching out in the Community

Airport Minority Advisory Council Award

July 1, 2011

Goodwille Pierre (center) accepted the award at the Airport Business Diversity Conference on behalf of the Houston Airport System.

Mary McKnight and students from Prairie View A&M.

  © Houston Airport System
  Rhonda Arnold, City Councilmember Wanda Adams and Darian Ward at the Houston Area Urban League's 43rd Equal Opportunity Day Gala.
Raising the bar on corporate commitment and passion, promoting the utilization of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) and increasing the sustainable capacity for DBE's to be successful on aviation projects at all three airports owned by the City of Houston are the reasons behind the Houston Airport System’s recent award at the Airport Business Diversity Conference.

Aviation director Mario C. Diaz addressed the attendees during the conference in Fort Worth, while the director of the office of business opportunities, Carlecia Wright, and Houston Airport System's director of community relations, Rhonda Arnold, also represented the City of Houston.

One of the highlights was the Award of the Organization accepted by the director of the small business development and contract and compliance division, Goodwille Pierre; vice president of AECOM’s national aviation and planning division, Frank Wengler and president of Bradlink, Helen Callier.

“We are proud to see that the Houston Airport System has seen a 50 percent growth in DBE participation since 2008,” said Pierre.

“It’s a fantastic honor to have been recognized by the highly regarded Airport Minority Advisory Council for this prestigious award,” said Wengler. “AECOM believes the collaborative effort with the Houston Airport System and Bradlink has developed valuable best practices to encourage and foster sustainable growth in Minority Women Business Enterprises (MWBE) participation.”

With comprehensive mentor/protégé relationships, DBE technical and business training and networking events, the Houston Airport System is opening doors for small businesses.

Houston Area Urban League’s 43rd Equal Opportunity Day Gala

Hundreds turned out in the hopes of changing lives and creating bright futures by supporting a strong organization with national ties, including members of the community relations division of the Houston Airport System.

The black-tie gala serves as an annual effort to enhance relationships in the communities the Houston Airport System serves and supports economic development and education.

“It was a great evening of networking with the Houston community and business leaders,” said Rhonda Arnold, director of community relations.  "The Houston Area Urban League is an organization that impacts and empowers others to reach their full potential.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, City Councilmember Wanda Adams and senior community relations associate Darian Ward attended the event at the Hilton Americas Hotel.

Prairie View A&M University – summer transportation institute Tour

More than two dozen bright and eager students had a chance to get a “behind the scenes” look at George Bush Intercontinental Airport recently. Members of the Summer Transportation Institute hosted by Prairie View A&M University were greeted by deputy director Eric Potts and Rhonda Arnold.  The two explained some of the careers in aviation.

Mary McKnight, senior community relations liaison and members of the operations team took the students on a tour of the communications center, cargo facility and the ultimate highlight was the Houston fire department’s station number 54. 
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