President’s Desk: February 2022

Howdy WHA Members! 

Lots of changes have happened in Harris County executive staff positions. Commissioner’s Court appointed Dr. Tina Peterson, previously the Deputy General Manager of the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District, as the new Executive Director for HCFCD and Dr. Milton Rahman, previously serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to Comm. Garcia as the new County Engineer. Daniel Ramos, formerly Deputy Budget Director for the City of Baltimore has been hired as Harris County’s new Budget Director. Lisa Lin, formerly leading Rice University’s transportation demand management program has been hired as the new Director of Sustainability for Harris County. Pamela Chan who was hired as the Director of the Department of Economic Equity & Opportunity only a year ago has resigned. We look forward to engaging with some of these new directors soon and will be inviting them to attend our Harris County Update on March 9th. 

Speaking of upcoming events, please do not forget to register for our Sustainable Infrastructure Conference. This half day event will bring together theory, policy, and practice to discuss the present state of sustainable infrastructure and where we are headed. The event is the first partnership between the West Houston Association, Houston Community College’s West Houston Institute, and Texas A&M University’s Office of Academic and Strategic Collaboration where we seek to create an opportunity to educate and collaborate across WHA’s membership with students, faculty, industry, and the public. Thanks to this collaboration and the support of WHA’s Quality Growth Partners we can host this as a free event, open to the public, with a limited number of seats being reserved for WHA members. If you have not already registered, please do so as soon as possible.  

The county is not alone in filling positions, in addition to the two interns we introduced last month, we have also brought on board Ryann Mahoney as an Events & Communications Assistant. For most of you the Sustainable Infrastructure Conference will be your first chance to meet her, but in the meantime, you can learn more about her on the “staff” page of the website. We are also kicking off two new projects in collaboration with Rice University’s Student Consulting Practicum looking at building Sense of Community within West Houston, a topic that came up at our board of directors strategic planning session in January.  

Be on the look-out for our 2021 Annual Report which should be released by the end of February and a new WHA trifold later this spring thanks to WHA member L&P Marketing. In the meantime, we encourage you to be a part of improving quality of life here in West Houston by participating in one of our committees. Sustainable Infrastructure is meeting February 8th, Education & Workforce on February 9th, Flood Control & Drainage on February 14th, Quality Planned Development on February 18th, Regional Mobility on February 21st, and Parks, Recreation, Open Spaces on February 22nd. You can reach out to the committee chairs or WHA staff for more information on how to get involved! 

Thank you for what you do for the greater West Houston region!