Jim Edmonds Reappointed Port Commission Chairman

(From The Port of Houston)  
Port Commission Chairman James T. Edmonds
By unanimous vote, the Harris County Commissioners Court and the Houston City Council today jointly re-appointed James T. Edmonds as chairman of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority. County commissioners and city council members gathered at Houston City Council Chambers for the re-appointment vote.


“I am deeply honored and grateful for the confidence Harris County Commissioners and the Houston City Council have expressed in me since I was first appointed chairman in 2000,” Edmonds said. “I will work even harder over the next two years to ensure that confidence is well-placed.”      

Initially appointed to the port commission in October 1996 to represent Harris County, Edmonds was first appointed chairman in 2000 by the city and the county. Edmonds is also a member of the board of commissioners for the Houston Pilots Association. Port of Houston Authority (PHA) commissioners serve two-year terms without pay.      

Under Edmonds’ leadership as chairman, PHA has implemented some of the most innovative initiatives in environmental stewardship, security and facility operations while experiencing the most aggressive growth, capital expansion and profitability in the organization’s 96-year history.      

“I’m glad to see Jim Edmonds reappointed for another term as chairman of the Port of Houston Authority,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “It’s in times of economic uncertainty like these that Jim’s foresight and calm, steady guidance are most needed. All of us in Harris County benefit from Jim’s experience and wisdom.”      

The port authority made history in 2002, when it became the first U.S. port facility to implement an Environmental Management System (EMS) that meets the rigorous parameters of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 system. Under Edmonds’ leadership, the port authority continues to set standards in environmental stewardship and security measures. In 2008, PHA became the world’s first port authority to initiate a Security Management System worthy of certification for ISO 28000:2007. In 2009, the recertification of its EMS raised the bar yet higher, with the additional certification of the Bayport Container Terminal. Opened in February 2007, the Bayport terminal has added to PHA’s capability to process 1.8 million in container TEUs annually.      

Houston Mayor Annise Parker stated, “I am pleased to join Harris County Commissioners and Houston City Council in reappointing Jim Edmonds as chairman of the Port of Houston Authority. He is a proven leader who has guided the port through a period of unprecedented growth and environmental advances. Keeping him at the helm will help ensure this progress continues.”      

In addition to operating or leasing the public port facilities, the Port of Houston Authority is the sponsor of the Houston Ship Channel. In 2009, Chairman Edmonds worked closely with U.S. Rep. Gene Green and other members of the Texas congressional delegation to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers receive $98.8 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It was the largest single allocation of federal funding for infrastructure projects the channel had ever received. The waterway’s impact on the region includes about 785,000 jobs and $118 billion in economic activity. Across the U.S., 1.5 million jobs and $285 billion worth of economic activity are related to the ship channel.      

Edmonds’ leadership also enabled the port authority to play a major role in advancing railroad transportation efficiency by helping create the state’s first Gulf Coast Rail District. The Houston Ship Channel Security District also gained state legislative approval during Edmonds’ tenure. Both projects are highly regarded for setting standards of excellence in public- private partnerships.      

The completion of the $700 million Houston Ship Channel deepening and widening project in 2005 is considered a testament to Edmonds’ strength in building coalitions among congressional members and various local stakeholders. In addition to enhancing navigational safety for commercial vessels, the project created more than 4,200 acres of wetlands and wildlife habitats.      

PHA’s opportunities with small businesses also were elevated under Edmonds’ leadership. In 2002, PHA created and implemented its Small Business Development program with a 35 percent participation goal and – since its inception – the program has awarded nearly $285 million in PHA eligible contracts to registered firms.      

In addition to his civic service with the Port of Houston, Edmonds also serves as a board member of the Memorial Hermann Hospital System, Gulf Coast Rail District, I-69 TxDOT Advisory Committee, and the Alliance for I-69 Texas. Edmonds is president of Edmonds & Company, a business consulting firm. business consulting firm.     


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