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Community Relations Newsletter
December 2013

December 13, 2013

© Houston Airport System
Educational outreach programs are a cornerstone of the efforts undertaken by the HAS Community Relations team.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the Houston Airport System (HAS) continues to support our neighbors in the community and encourage students to discover careers in aviation.

Chamber Outreach

Team members with the Houston Airport System (HAS) attended the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards in appreciation and celebration of the city's top Hispanic entrepreneurs and executives. This dynamic chamber hosts this annual award event to recognize the efforts and support of corporations and members of the community which includes emerging leaders. It is one of the largest Hispanic business events with over 1,000 in attendance.

The HAS Community Relations department is working closely with the Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce in providing information regarding opportunities for women to work in aviation. There are opportunities for women to "lean in" in the area of aviation.

The Greater Houston Partnership presented the forecast during the 2013 "State of the Port" event. Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria gave an overview, and our executive Houston Airport System team members were present to network with key stakeholders and opinion leaders in the greater Houston area. Commissioner Theldon Branch was also introduced to the Houston business international community as was one of the newest Port Commissioners. HAS looks forward to working with the Port of Houston as we both strive together to make Houston the international gateway of the Americas.


The Houston Airport System presented to the North American University during their Presidential Lecture Series. This university is comprised of international students, many from Turkey. Jarrett Simmons, Director of Planning, presented a detailed overview of the Houston Airport System. There was a lively exchange between Simmons and the students. Community Relations Director Rhonda Arnold also informed the students of opportunities as volunteer ambassadors with emphasis on the students' ability to speak a foreign language as interpreters in the area of international customer service.

Students at Aldine Independent School District’s Benjamin O. Davis High School were enthusiastically involved with two HAS dynamic team players, Andre Garner and James Dean. The students look forward to these two professionals participating in the career day. These students participated in a lively discussion regarding careers in aviation. Through this team effort, HAS was able to encourage young Houstonians to pursue their dreams.

The Houston Airport System recently participated in a monthly procurement summit held at the Houston Community College. Three professionals were part of a panel that discussed opportunities with the Houston Airport System in the areas of planning, procurement and the office of business opportunity. Jason McLemore, Rick Hrachovy and Jarrett Simmons did a dynamic job in presenting the HAS overview in these areas. Simmons provided an overview of current growth plans for HAS in the coming year or two. Rick Hrachovy provided an overview of the supply chain management and procurement divisions of HAS, as well as professional services and supplies. McLemore gave an overview on doing business with HAS as a minority businesses enterprise (MBE) and as a disenfranchised business enterprise (DBE) and also emphasized Houston First. Rhonda Arnold also addressed the audience of 200 business professionals regarding the importance of networking and building relations in order to develop the appropriate business relationships.

Additional Outreach:

The US-China People's Friendship Association honored the Houston Airport System with the Friendship Ambassador Award in early November. Present at the awards celebration was the Honorable Madame Xu Erwen, Chinese Consul General. This lovely occasion provided the Houston Airport System with an opportunity to give an overview of its current business opportunities as well as the importance of Air China's arrival to Houston, with nonstop service to Beijing, China. The evening included cultural performances by local artists from the Oriental artist education center. Over 200 were in attendance.
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