Jan. 3, 2012 - University of Houston Law Center Professor Anthony Chase is the newly elected Chairman of the Board of the Greater Houston Partnership. The principal objective of the Greater Houston Partnership, which traces its roots back to Houston's original Chamber of Commerce founded in 1840, is to build regional economic prosperity. The Partnership facilitates relocations and expansions in the Houston area; international outreach initiatives such as business development missions outside the U.S. and receiving foreign trade delegations; and strategic planning. The 10-county Houston region encompasses Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto and Waller counties. Professor Chase plans to continue teaching at UH Law Center during his tenure as GHP Chairman. He took time to answer a few questions about his new endeavor.
Q: How long have you served on the Greater Houston Partnership Board?
A: I have proudly served as a director for GHP off and on since 2004. I have been active on several different committees including government affairs since 1998.
Q: As newly elected Chairman for 2012, what will be some of your goals?
A: The Greater Houston Partnership has many ongoing initiatives whether it is serving its members through being a classic chamber of commerce, helping to create and retain jobs through regional economic development and its Opportunity Houston fund account, or through being the public policy advocate for the Houston region’s business community. With all these initiatives, the GHP Board of Directors and I have strong expectations and high goals for the organization. With all these initiatives, I have strong expectations and high goals for the organization.
In 2012, GHP will work to preserve, protect and promote our crown jewels: the Texas Medical Center, the Port of Houston, our petrochemical industry, our airports, and our schools and universities.
GHP will also continue to promote the University of Houston and its Tier One status.
My 2012 policy priorities will be unveiled at GHP’s Annual Meeting on January 19, 2012. I will distribute my plan after the meeting.
Q: Why is Houston such a great city to do business?
A: Simple, Houston is leading the nation as it recovers from the great recession. Our diverse economy led by a strong energy industry and pro-business policies have allowed us to be the first city in the U.S. to recover all of the jobs that were lost during the 2008 recession, 121,000 in total. No other city in the country has come close to recovering all of their jobs.
But it gets better. More people are working in Houston now than ever before. Companies expanding or moving to our city know we have an educated workforce and great educational institutions such as the University of Houston who are training the next generation of workers.
Noted writer and Forbes columnist Joel Kotkin called Houston a “model city” and wrote: “Houston has kept the cost of government low while investing in ports, airports, roads, transit and schools. A person or business moving there gets an immediate raise through lower taxes and cheaper real estate. Houston just works better at nurturing jobs.”
A strong economy, business friendly policies and a welcoming and diverse community make up a formula for Houston that few if any other cities can match.