Municipal & Community Relations Newsletter
As the central source of contact with civic, business and community leaders, HAS Municipal & Community Affairs promotes and educates the community regarding the Houston Airport System (HAS) and its economic importance to the region. HAS believes that a well-informed community strengthens relationships with customers and neighbors.
AMAC Planning Visit
Ahead of the highly anticipated 2017 Aviation Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) Annual Conference to be held in Houston, Chief Municipal & Community Affairs Officer Rhonda Arnold held a productive planning meeting with Mr. Ted Bowen of HoustonFirst Corporation and Ms. Linda Tremmel of the new downtown Marriott Marquis Hotel. The national conference will focus on exploring business prospects outside of traditional contracting in domestic airport venues. With the impending evolution of airport contracting, entrepreneurs must be equipped to compete in the international marketplace.
HSPVA Annual Luncheon
Chief Municipal & Community Affairs Officer Rhonda Arnold attended the 10th Annual Encore for Excellence Luncheon at the River Oaks Country Club. The luncheon honored High School for Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) graduate and Grammy award winning artist, Bryan-Michael Cox. Cox is a songwriter and producer that has worked with internationally renowned artists like Mary J. Blige, Usher, and Mariah Carey. Attendees at the luncheon included Mayor Sylvester Turner and a number of elected and appointed officials.
Women’s Transportation Seminar Monthly Luncheon
Women’s Transportation Seminar – Houston Chapter held their monthly luncheon at Maggiano’s Little Italy featuring TxDOT Commissioner Jeff Moseley. Chief Municipal & Community Affairs Officer Rhonda Arnold attended the luncheon as a representative of the Houston Airport System. Commissioner Moseley presented an in-depth outlook of TxDOT’s 2016 initiatives. Commissioner Moseley was appointed in 2012 by Governor Rick Perry; prior to his appointment, he served as Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Houston Partnership.
Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce President’s Award
Chief Municipal & Community Affairs Officer Rhonda Arnold was honored at the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting & Luncheon on February 4, 2016 at The Astorian. CMCAO Rhonda Arnold was presented with the President’s Award in appreciation of her leadership, advocacy, and support of women leaders across the region. GHWCC President Suzan Deison acknowledged Rhonda Arnold’s innumerable contributions to the chamber.
Introductory Visits with Houston City Council
Chief Municipal & Community Affairs Officer Rhonda Arnold and Municipal & Community Affairs Manager Jerry Peruchini completed introductory visits with the members of Houston City Council during February. The visits served to introduce Council Members to the new Municipal and Community Affairs team and to discuss their interests in regards to the Houston Airport System. City Council Members expressed enthusiasm for HAS’ strategic vision and mission. The City Council Members also shared support for the initiatives led by Aviation Director Mario Diaz, including international service expansion and Houston Spaceport. The Municipal & Community Affairs team visited with Mayor Pro-Tem Ellen Cohen, Vice Mayor Pro-Tem Jerry Davis, and Council Members Stardig, Boykins, Martin, Le, Travis, Cisneros, Gallegos, Laster, Green, Knox, Robinson, Kubosh, Edwards, and Christie.
Assistant Secretary Jay Williams Visits EFD
The Houston Airport System was pleased to welcome Jay Williams, Assistant Secretary of Economic Development - Department of Commerce to the Houston Aerospace Support Center. Assistant Secretary Williams and his team received an in-depth overview of the Houston Spaceport by Aviation Director Mario Diaz and HAS’ application for federal funds through the Department of Commerce’s EDA Grant. The visit also included a tour of the Space Capsule on-site and of the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab. Attendees included: Aviation Director Mario Diaz, Congressman Pete Olson (TX-22), Council Member Dave Martin, Dacie Durham of Boeing, and a number of HAS team members.
Mayor’s Rodeo Kick-Off Breakfast
Chief Municipal & Community Affairs Officer Rhonda Arnold attended the Mayor’s Rodeo Kick-Off Breakfast held at the Republic Smokehouse & Saloon, hosted by AT&T. The kick-off celebrated the partners and elected officials that work alongside the HLSR to provide another successful year of programming. Attendees included: Mayor Sylvester Turner, Controller Chris Brown, Commissioner Jack Cagle, County Clerk Chris Daniel, State Senator Sylvia Garcia, State Reps Ana Hernandez, Borris Miles, Alma Allen, Gene Wu, and Council Members Edwards, Travis, Martin, and Cisneros.
Tri-County Chamber of Commerce Awards
Chief Municipal & Community Affairs Officer Rhonda Arnold served as the MC for the Tri-County Black Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Membership Conference and Awards Gala held at the Bayou City Event Center. Aviation Director Mario Diaz and Assistant Director – Planning Jarrett Simmons were in attendance for the event which hosted hundreds of professionals and entrepreneurs. The Tri-County Chamber acts as a catalyst for small business owners and honors outstanding leaders each year. Attendees included Former Sheriff Adrian Garcia and State Reps Borris Miles and Ron Reynolds, along with a number of distinguished business leaders.
Guest Lecture Panel at the University of Houston
Municipal & Community Affairs Manager Jerry Peruchini joined Lindsay Lanagan of McKesson Specialty Health and Freddy Warner of Memorial Hermann Healthcare System for a Local Government guest lecture panel to Dr. Katherine Barillas’ Graduate School of Social Work class. Jerry discussed his professional growth in local government after graduating from the University of Houston and shared insight into Houston City Hall and the local officials which represent our communities. Mr. Peruchini highlighted the importance of local government and the positive impact that Houston Airports have on our city. During the guest lecture, Ms. Lanagan and Mr. Warner discussed elections, advocacy, and state and federal government with the 35 graduate students in attendance.
The Houston Airport System held an industry day outreach event on Tuesday, February 23, to discuss the IAH Terminal Redevelopment Program (ITRP). The event was held at the Houston Airport Marriott at IAH and attracted a diverse group of businesses and entrepreneurs. Program Managers, Construction Managers, Design Managers, and Project Managers discussed Architectural, Engineering, and Construction opportunities.
Black History Month
Isiah Samuels was crowned champion of the African American National Spelling Bee hosted in Houston Community College’s Heinen Theatre. He was among 35 students between 6 - 8th grade from the Houston metropolitan area that participated. His father, Xavier Samuels, is a community leader and works alongside Houston Airports in promoting aviation education to students. He is a Dreamliner Pilot for United, President of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, and a member of 100 Black Men.
2016 Pink Angel Awards Luncheon & Style Show
Chief Municipal & Community Affairs Officer Rhonda Arnold supported the Sisters Network 2016 Pink Angel Awards Luncheon & Style Show benefiting the Breast Cancer Assistance Program. Honorees included: Fox 26 Vice President D'Artagnan Bebel, Jovanna Holmes, GHWCC Founder/CEO Suzan Delson, Mary Prince, philanthropist, Houston Metro National Council of Negro Women President Regina Dickson, Lamik Beauty Founder Kim Roxie, Cross Roads Community Church Founder Chris Hartwell, Dr. Polly Sparks Turner, philanthropist, HEB Group VP Public Affairs and Diversity Winell Herron, Capital One Senior Vice President, Community Development Banking Laurie Vignaurd.
Greater Houston Black Chamber Women in Business
The Greater Houston Black Chamber hosted a Women in Business lecture featuring accomplished attorney and television personality Star Jones. Ms. Jones shared her experiences in leadership and as a businesswoman with local women business professionals.