The Woodlands Township Chairman Gordy Bunch addresses leaders at Economic Outlook Conference
THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- The Woodlands Township Chairman of the Board Gordy Bunch recently addressed over 650 business leaders in The Woodlands at the annual Economic Outlook Conference.
The event, held Friday, February 16, 2018, at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, and produced by The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, had the theme of “Resilient Community / Innovative Future.”
“We experienced so many highs and lows as a town in 2017,” he said. “From our region hosting the Super Bowl and the Astros winning the World Series to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Our town rallied around so many events last year and was truly remarkable to see how our residents, charitable organizations, churches and businesses helped each other in times of need.”
Chairman Bunch addressed specific points when regarding Hurricane Harvey:
- Emergency Operations Center launched running 24/7 for a full week during and after Hurricane Harvey
- 1,100 individuals sheltered during peak of storm
- 10,000+ volunteers turned out to help
- Picked up 882 tons of storm-related debris
- Handled 2,493 emergency 911 calls and calls for service during Hurricane Harvey
- Rescued or evacuated 844 citizens
“I want to thank the board of directors and our staff members at The Woodlands Township for responding so quickly to the needs of our residents,” he said.
Chairman Bunch then looked forward to 2018 and addressed several major initiatives underway at The Woodlands Township including storm water drainage, future governance, changing revenue streams and cultural arts.
Chairman Bunch, who serves The Woodlands Township in a volunteer capacity, has been working diligently with Township Director Bruce Rieser at the county, state and national level regarding storm water drainage. He and Director Rieser traveled to Washington, D.C. in January to meet with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“Our commitment to The Woodlands residents is to look for mitigation funds to help with repeated flooding we’ve seen the last few years,” he said. “As we have experienced with Hurricane Harvey and the floods of 2016, it is highly imperative to address flooding issues. We were seeking meaningful conversations in Washington, D.C. and with local and state officials that will be appropriating funds from Congress. We wanted to make sure our voices were heard and let our state and national leaders know what is happening in Southeast Texas and particularly along Spring Creek. We have opened excellent dialogue to create the awareness of our issues and challenges.”
The discussion also addressed future governance and incorporation, saying “We’re actively meeting in public meetings every month and encourage your participation.”
He discussed the change of revenue streams, particularly online sales and competition in the market. “We need to go after new sources of business like convention and corporate meeting development and leisure travel,” he said. With 14 hotels, The Woodlands Township is seeing strong growth in this market. Township Directors Rieser, John Anthony Brown and Brian Boniface serve on the Visit The Woodlands Board of Directors which is actively promoting the 11 million square feet of shopping, dining, hospitality and entertainment found in The Woodlands.
Chairman Bunch addressed Cultural Arts and that The Woodlands Township is actively looking for partners in a science museum and cultural arts facility. He praised the efforts of Township Directors Dr. Ann Snyder, Vice Chairman John McMullan and Director Carol Stromatt for their work on the Economic Development Committee. The Woodlands Township owns 13 acres of land on Grogan’s Mill Road and Lake Robbins Drive as a possible site for these facilities.
Finally, Chairman Bunch saluted residents, his fellow directors and Township staff in “making The Woodlands the most incredible place to live. I’m truly blessed to be able to help our town.”