In a unanimous vote today by Houston City Council and Harris County Commissioners, Janiece Longoria was appointed chairman of the board of commissioners of the Houston Port Authority. Longoria is the first woman and the first minority to hold the position.
Today's vote with Mayor Annise Parker and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett both supporting Longoria brought an end to six months of wrangling over who would follow Jim Edmonds as port commission chairman, who did not seek reappointment. The chairman serves a two-year-term without pay.
It was standing room only with an overflow crowd of close to 100 that gathered at Commissioner's Court for the historic appointment. Longoria's husband, businessman Steve Lasher, stood next to his wife as she was sworn in by Emmett.
Longoria has served as a port commissioner since her appointment in 2002. A partner with Ogden, Gibson, Broocks, Longoria & Hall, she serves on the board of CenterPoint Energy and served as a regent of the University of Texas Systems from 2008 to 2011.
In celebration of the vote, Longoria was toasted by friends at an impromptu lunch at Brennan's organized by supporter Cindy Clifford. Taking over a table in the center of the dining room were Mayor Annise Parker, James Simmons Jr., James Simmons Group CEO; Capt. Robert Thompson, presiding officer of the Houston Pilots Association; Port Commissioner Jimmy Burke; HillDay Public Relation's Argentina James; and Jason Fuller.