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Connecting with the Community


August 6, 2012

© Houston Airport System
Rhonda Arnold (shown in white blouse) was the keynote speaker for the naming cermony of the Marlon DeWitt Green Houston ACE Academy.
From traveling to St. Louis, Missouri for an Airport Diversity Business event, to inspiring young students to choose a carreer in aviation, Rhonda Arnold, director of community relations at the Houston Airport System has been busy making an impact.

Mentoring Young Minds

The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) hosted the Houston ACE Academy (Aviation Career Education) in July at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.  The week long experience for high school students introduced them to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through aviation.

They were challenged daily with written and oral reports, met various professionals in the aviation industry and took tours of various aspects of the airport system.

One of the highlights was literally flying a small aircraft with a licensed pilot.  Andre Garner, Bush Airport superintendent, spoke to students at Eckert Intermediate while Arnold was the keynote speaker for the graduation and naming ceremony of the Marlon DeWitt Green - Houston ACE Academy.  The Houston chapter is named after the first African-American pilot to fly for Continental.

Making an Impact in Missouri 

Arnold and Jarrett Simmons, assistant director of aviation-planning traveled to St. Louis, Missouri recently to represent the Houston Airport System at the Airport Business Diversity Conference which is sponsored by the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC).

AMAC is the only national, non-profit business and trade association dedicated to promoting the full participation of minority-owned, women-owned and disadvantage business enterprises (M/W/DBEs) in airport contracting and the inclusion of minorities and women in employment.

Simmons spoke at the session entitled: “The Airport City: New Opportunities, New Urban Form.”  The objective of this session was to qualify and quantify the catalytic contribution of airports to regional growth and emphasize the role of key stakeholders such as airlines, real-estate developers, economic development agencies and financial institutions. This was done to provide information to the conference attendees for potential opportunities and how acquire them.

Connecting with the Community

The Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce has started a new program called BizCom where they bring businesses and community members together to talk about issues facing their area. These community events are held in Kingwood, Atascocita, Summer Creek, and Humble. Both Arnold and Simmons attended the Humbe BizCom armed with a presentation on HAS improvements and the future arrival of the A380.

Also attending included Humble Mayor Donnie McMannes, Charlie Dromgoole, President of the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce and Heath Rushing, COO of Memorial Hermann Northeast.
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