About the Economic Alliance

The Economic Alliance Houston Port Region is a non-profit organization created in 1985 whose mission is to grow and market a vibrant regional economy through economic development, public policy,  workforce development, and quality of life initiatives.

Membership of the organization consists of 18 member communities, the Port of Houston Authority, Harris County, and over 230 private industries with business in the vicinity of the 25-mile Houston Ship Channel.  The Houston Ship Channel is home to one of the world’s most influential energy corridors and trade ports in the world. Since 2008, the Economic Alliance has supported over 40 successful projects that have facilitated business activities creating over 4,400 new jobs and over $5.5 billion of capital investment in the region.

We are proud to count among our members the following Cities, Communities, Chambers of Commerce, and other government entities:

Harris County

Port of Houston Authority

City of Baytown

City of Deer Park

City of Galena Park

City of Houston

City of Jacinto City

City of La Porte

City of Morgan’s Point

City of Pasadena

City of Pearland

City of Seabrook

City of Shoreacres

City of South Houston

Community of Channelview

Community of East End

Community of North Shore

Community of Sheldon

Community of South Belt – Ellington

Baytown Chamber of Commerce

Deer Park Chamber of Commerce

Highlands-Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce

Houston East End Chamber of Commerce

La Porte-Bayshore Chamber of Commerce

North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce

Pasadena Chamber of Commerce

Pearland Area Chamber of Commerce

South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce

South Houston Chamber of Commerce

Welcome From the President

As the economic development corporation for the Houston Ship Channel Region, we work diligently to represent the unique needs of the petrochemical, maritime and logistics industries that dominate our area.  This region is home to the world’s second largest petrochemical complex and is the largest U.S. exporting port.  It annually impacts over one million jobs and contributes $178.5 billion to the Texas economy. With more than $35 billion in planned chemical plant expansions in our area over the next five years, these are the “good old days.” Never before in our history have we seen the kind of capital investment and job creation we will experience over the next decade.  Through efforts in marketing, business development, expansion and retention support, public policy, and workforce development support, since 2011, the Economic Alliance has supported 23 project wins, creating over 3,600 jobs and contributing over $3.6 billion of capital investment in the Houston Ship Channel Region.

As the economic development corporation for the Houston Ship Channel region, our business is first and foremost to create and foster an environment where companies can thrive and create jobs.  A healthy and vibrant economy also raises the quality of life we all enjoy.  The strides we’ve made and the successes we have encountered can be directly attributed to the hard work of our wonderful staff and the incredible commitment and contributions from our Board and members.  In the end, this region’s ability to prosper is dependent upon a collective will to make it so.

Please utilize this website as your portal to economic development opportunities and solutions in the Houston Ship Channel Region.  Events, committee meetings, networking opportunities, public policy initiatives, member services, economic incentive information, and much, much more can be found here.

Thank you for visiting and we look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Chad Burke, President & CEO

Staff

Chad Burke
Chad BurkePresident & CEO
As President and CEO of the Economic Alliance, Mr. Burke is responsible for oversight and direction of all operational and financial considerations of the organization; including leading and directing economic development activities, oversight of membership committees, business and membership development, non-member revenue generation, organizational strategic planning, Board of Directors development, facility management, and working with community partners to nurture relationships with member cities, Harris County, and the Port of Houston Authority.

Fred Welch
Fred WelchVice President Economic Development
Fred Welch has been involved in economic development in the Houston region for over 20 years. Before joining the Economic Alliance Fred was the Executive Director at the Greater Conroe Economic Development Council. Prior to that he served the Houston region as Vice President for regional economic development with The Greater Houston Partnership (GHP). Fred is well respected both regionally and nationally. In addition to his time with GHP, he previously served as Vice President, Marketing and Recruitment for the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce and in Type A and B sales tax cities of Pearland and LaMarque. Fred is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council and a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) through the National Development Council. In 2017 he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Texas Economic Development Council.

Bridget Yeary
Bridget YearyFinancial & Administrative Manager
Bridget Yeary is the Financial and Administrative Manager for the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region. She has been with the Economic Alliance since its previous iteration as Southeast Economic Development (SEED). She has been with the company for 10 years and has seen it grow in members and staff. In 2004 Bridget worked closely with many of the founding members to rebrand the organization as the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region. In 2006 Bridget was part of the startup in the development of the San Jacinto Texas Historic District entity.

Dana Ramirez
Dana RamirezEvents & Member Services Coordinator
Ms. Ramirez joined the Economic Alliance in 2015 in a continuation of an accomplished career in marketing and community relations. Dana’s experience encompasses a broad array industries, including: television news, print news, the medical industry, and the maritime industry. Her prior role as Community Relations Coordinator with the Port of Houston Authority provided her with a working familiarity with many of our members and prepared her very well for her position with the Economic Alliance, where she is the primary point of contact for member relations and event coordination. Ms. Ramirez is the staff liaison to the Business Growth Task Force.

Marisela Contreras
Marisela ContrerasMarketing & Communications Coordinator
Marisela is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region. She previously worked as the Events and Member Services Coordinator for over 7 years. Since taking on this new position, she will be coordinating all Quality of Life, Communications, Newsletter initiatives, and website management. Marisela is a former Board Member of the Deer Park Rotary Club, YMCA San Jacinto, and an active Ambassador of Deer Park Chamber of Commerce. Marisela volunteers with The Wheelhouse, Cenikor Foundation, and many other charitable work within the community.
Kaitlyn Conner
Kaitlyn ConnerSpecial Projects Coordinator
Kaitlyn Conner is the Special Projects Coordinator for the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region. Kaitlyn leads the special projects division of the company and assists with marketing and event initiatives. You may recognize her as the former 2015 Summer Intern for the Economic Alliance. Kaitlyn graduated in August of 2016 from Sam Houston State University with a degree in Mass Communications, and a concentration in Public Relations and Advertising. During her time at SHSU she held the title of Special Olympics Coordinator for Project Sunshine and was a member of PRSSA. She is happy to be aboard the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region team, once again.
Denise Smesny
Denise SmesnyProgram Manager, Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas
Ms. Smesny is the primary point of contact for Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas and the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region on all workforce programming-related tasks, including communicating the career opportunities available in the manufacturing, petrochemical, logistics, and other related industries along the Houston Ship Channel to a variety of audiences throughout the region. A graduate of Klein High School, Mrs. Smesny has degrees from Lee College (AA Liberal Arts) and University of Houston Clear Lake (BA Literature, MS Instructional Technology). Denise holds Texas State teacher certification in English Language Arts composite and PreKindergarten-grade 12 Principal certification.