Texas State Council


GERARDO INTERIANO, HEAD OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, SOUTHWEST U.S.
GOOGLE, INC. 

GLEN JONES, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AND POLICY DEVELOPMENT
TEXAS FARM BUREAU

JOHN P. LARUE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
PORT OF CORPUS CHRISTI AUTHORITY

G. GRANGER MACDONALD, CHAIRMAN AND CEO
MACDONALD COMPANIES

DR. MOLLY BETH MALCOLM, VICE PRESIDENT EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT

CAPPY MCGARR, PRESIDENT
MCM INTERESTS

MUSTAFA TAMEEZ, ADVISORY BOARD CHAIRMAN
SOUTH ASIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

WOLFGANG NIEDERT, PRIVATE EQUITY MANAGING CONSULTANT

BRIAN OTTIS, PH.D., GLOBAL SOLUTIONS DEVELOPMENT LEAD, 
RICETEC, INC

DICK OTTIS
TEXAS RICE BELT WAREHOUSE, INC

JOE OUTLAW, PROFESSOR & EXTENSION ECONOMIST, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

SANJAY RAMABHADRAN, MANAGING PARTNER
VERSA GROUP

LG & LINDA RAUN, RICE FARMERS
TEXAS RICE PRODUCERS LEGISLATIVE GROUP/USA RICE

JENNIFER RANSOM RICE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
TEXAS CULTURAL TRUST

    jenifer Sarver, Principal
    Sarver Strategies

DAVE SHAW, PRESIDENT
TEXAS LYCEUM

WALT SMITH, PRINCIPAL
THE MALLARD GROUP, LLC

ERIK STROMBERG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR ADVANCES IN PORT MANAGEMENT
LAMAR UNIVERSITY

ZANE J. VAUGHN, GENERAL COUNSEL
ARMTECH INSURANCE SERVICES, INC. 

MICHAEL YOUNG, VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS & PUBLIC POLICY
DELL INC. 

PAT YOUNGER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
GULF PORTS ASSOCIATION OF THE AMERICAS

Dean Corgey, Commissioner
Port of Houston Authority

    Chris Wallace, President
    Texas Association of Business

    Aimee Sanborn, Senior Associate, Director  
    of Sustainability
    Merriman Anderson/Architects, Inc.

   Jerry Merriman, President
    Merriman Anderson/Architects, Inc.

   Michael Skalicky, Treasurer
   Texas Rice Producers Legislative Group

 

Jagdip S Ahluwalia, Founding Secretary/Executive Director
Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston

Carlton Anderson, CEO and Co-Founder
Mercurio Biotec

Tony Bennett, President/CEO
Texas Association of Manufacturers

Daniel Berglund
Texas Rice Farmer

Ric Bonnell, MD, Director of Global Health
Dell Children's Medical Center

Theldon R. Branch, III, Commissioner
Port of Houston Authority

John Sibley Butler, The J. Marion West Chair in Constructive Capitalism
The University of Texas at Austin

Herb Butrum, Asst. Vice President, Government Relations
Baylor College of Medicine

BOBBY BRIGNAC, PE
BRAEDEN ENGINEERING

J Allen Carnes, Farmer
Carnes Farms, Inc.

Felix Chevalier, Partner
The Chevalier Law Firm, PLLC

Brian Craig, PhD, PE, CPE, Professor and Chair, Department of Industrial Engineering; Director, Mariner, Safety Research Initiative
Lamar University

Randy Cubriel, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Law Office of Randy Cubriel

Dr. Bill Cunningham, James L. Bayless Chair for Free Enterprise
The University of Texas

Erika de la Garza, Program Director, Latin America Initiative
Rice University’s Baker Institute

Lex Denherder, Vice President Government and Industry Affairs
Universal Weather and Aviation

Jason Roth Fuller, Government Affairs Consultant

The Honorable Antonio Garza, U.S. Ambassador (Ret.), Counsel
White & Case, Mexico City

Keith Gray, Director
Riviana Foods

Bill Hammond, CEO
Bill Hammond & Associates 

ANDY ICKEN, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
CITY OF HOUSTON

BOB INMAN, CHAIRMAN
LIMESTONE CAPITAL ADVISORS

    Josh Bryan, Operations Manager
    Braeden Engineering

    Steve Van, President & CEO
    Prism Hotels & Resorts

    Robert Brignac, PE, Director of    
    Engineering
    Braeden Engineering

Houston Chronicle: Texas will benefit from better U.S.-Cuba relations

by James Williams

It's time for Congress to end 50 years of failed policy - policy that has failed Texas and failed Cuba. The U.S. travel and trade embargo on Cuba infringes on the rights of Texans and continues to stifle economic mobility for Cubans.

Texas Tribune: Starbucks in Havana? Close, But No Cigar

Texas business groups are doing their best to win the hearts and minds of anti-Castro holdouts. In June, Engage Cuba — a Washington-based non-profit formed to lobby Congress to end the embargo — announced the creation of a Texas team made up of educators and business and civic leaders.

Houston Chronicle: Texas Leaders Join Coalition to Lift Cuba EMBARGO

The politicians, business leaders and advocates joined the new Texas State Council for Engage Cuba, a national organization that lobbies from Washington, D.C. to end the U.S. travel ban and trade embargo with Cuba. 

Austin Business Chronicle: Texas coalition wants to boost trade with Cuba

The 43-member coalition, dubbed Engage Cuba, includes the Texas Association of Business, the Texas Association of Manufacturers, a host of academics and economists, Google's head of external affairs for the Southwestern United States, Dell Inc. and Dell Children's Medical Association.

Texas Tribune: Texans Enlisting with Pro-Cuba Trade Group

Engage Cuba, a nonprofit outfit founded last year, said Thursday that more than three dozen members have joined its Texas council, which will spearhead a regional effort to break the post-Cold War embargo that it says has shackled Americans and Cubans alike.

Austin Business Journal: Engage Cuba Wants to Boost Texas' Trade with Cuba

A new statewide business group is pressuring the federal government to loosen travel and trade restrictions with Cuba. Over the past two years, the Obama administration has taken steps to warm relations between the U.S. and Cuba but trade is not yet freely flowing between the two nations.

WBAP: Texas Group Tries to Build Relations with Cuba

A group of Texans will head to Cuba in late June to try to increase trade with the island. A group from the Fort Worth Sister Cities Program went to Cuba earlier this year. 

Houston Chronicle: Cuba and the U.S. need to End Entrenched Positions that No Longer Make Sense. 

Cuban leaders didn't like some of the things President Barack Obama said and did during his historic visit to Havana in March. They have taken a few verbal potshots at him since then, but that doesn't appear to have slowed the process of normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations the long-time enemies began in December 2014.

KUT: For Texans, Building Business Ties With Cuba Isn't a Sprint – It's a Decades-Long Marathon

Cuba’s ambassador to the United States is in Texas this week to meet with business owners who want to sell to Cuba. In February the state Department of Agriculture went on an official trade mission to the island, and another group of Texans is headed there for similar reasons later this year. 

Fox News Latino: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott heads delegation to Cuba, explores $57M trade deal 

 “This is symbolically important,” the Statesman quoted James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, a recently formed nonprofit advocacy group lobbying Congress to end travel and trade restrictions with Cuba, as saying. 

Houston Chronicle: Texas Ready to Feed Cuba's Tourists

Cuba's once illustrious riviera may be a bit dilapidated after more than a half century of communist rule and the battering of U.S. trade sanctions. But tourists from Canada and Europe are loving it, visiting in record numbers before the island is overrun by Americans and its era of being quaint and inexpensive ends. 

Governor Abbott's business development mission to Cuba

“This is symbolically important,” said James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, a recently formed nonprofit advocacy group lobbying Congress to end travel and trade restrictions with Cuba. 

Houston Chronicles: Texas could benefit from Houston-to-Cuba air service

Regular air travel between the U.S. and Cuba likely will have positive consequences for Houston, airline and business leaders said Thursday.

Houston Public Media: Texas Eyes Expanded Export Ties With Cuba

“If you think about the process of doing deals, the first part is opening the door, establish a relationship at the highest level in the state of Texas, that Texas businesses will have the opportunity to tap into as they expand their businesses going forward,” Abbott said.   

KXAN: Abbott on Cuba: laying foundation despite trade embargo 

“Joe Texan at home need to understand that we are trying to find even more ways to get more and better paying jobs right here in the state of Texas,” said Gov. Abbott.  

The Houston Chronicle: Gov. Abbott in Cuba refuses to back end of U.S. trade embargo 

"My efforts are not contingent on things changing. My efforts are premised on the way things are today," Abbott said. "I don't have the ability to influence or to dictate the outcome of the embargo." 

The Dallas Morning News: Gov. Abbott: Abundance of economic opportunities in Cuba

“One of my goals was to work with Cuban leaders and Cuban businesses and Cuban business owners to find ways that Texas can capitalize on the growing economic opportunity,” Abbott said in a press conference call with reporters on Wednesday, the final day of his visit.

Dallas Morning News: Texas Business Leaders Push to Open Cuba for More Trade and Travel

The national group Engage Cuba announced on Thursday that it was launching a Texas state council -- made up of more than 40 business leaders and officials so far -- who will push for Congress to lift remaining trade and travel bans.

Dallas Morning News: Texas Sees Business Potential in Trade with Cuba

In true cowboy spirit, many Texans see Cuba as a new frontier. Businesses in the state stand to generate jobs and millions of dollars in trade with Cuba as the United States takes steps to open relations with the communist country for the first time since 1961.

Reuters: Texas governor seeks business opportunities in Cuba

Only $6.3 million of the 2014 U.S. exports to Cuba left through Houston ports, less than from any of the nine southern states accounting for the bulk of U.S.-Cuba trade, according to a pool report on the governor's website from a Texas-based reporter traveling with the governor. 

The Texas Tribune: Texas Ag Industry Seeks Swifter Action on Cuban Thaw

Texans in the agriculture industry are urging state lawmakers to do everything in their power to pressure Congress to lift a 55-year-old trade embargo with Cuba — a move they say could dramatically bolster the fortunes of struggling wheat, rice and corn growers, cattle raisers and other industries that profited from trade with the country long ago. 

Houston Chronicle: Abbott's trip to Cuba good for Texas business  

Gov. Greg Abbott arrives in Cuba on Monday for a three-day trade mission designed to build business ties with the Communist nation.

The Dallas Morning News: Editorial: Abbott’s Cuba trip challenges conservatives to rethink embargo 

Imagine the transformative effect if thousands of American tourists and businesspeople, loaded with dollars, began flooding into Cuba and U.S. products suddenly became widely available.

Texas Tribune: Abbott's Trip Shows New Politics of U.S.-Cuba Relations 

"With a new era of eased trade and travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba — and as the 12th largest economy in the world — Texas has an opportunity to capitalize and expand its economic footprint at home and abroad,” Abbott said.

My Statesman: Gov. Greg Abbott to lead Texas trade delegation to Cuba 

It may not be Nixon’s trip to China, but Gov. Greg Abbott will lead a trade mission to Cuba next week. It will be Abbott’s second foreign trade trip — he visited Mexico in September — and the second trip to Cuba by a governor since President Barack Obama initiated a thaw in relations with Cuba and opened up embassy relations in August.

The Texas Tribune: Abbott Leading State Trip to Cuba Next Week 

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he will lead a state delegation to Cuba next week, just less than a year after President Barack Obama resumed relations with the communist country. 

The Dallas Morning News: Gov. Greg Abbott heading to Cuba 

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday announced that he will lead a delegation to Havana, Cuba next week to talk travel, trade and exports. Texans have courted Cuba for years. 

The Texas Tribune: Abbott: Texas ready to deal if Cuba embargo lifted

During a separate meeting Tuesday with Alexis Trujillo Morejón, Cuba's deputy minster of tourism, Abbott said Texas was interested in expanding travel and tourism with Cuba, according to the report. 

CBS Local: Abbott Wants More Cuban Trade 

Abbott left Havana without announcing new partnerships but suggested some are in the works. He also defended making a relationship-building trip to Cuba after having previously vowed to limit business travel to when there is a deal to make, unlike his globe-trotting predecessor, Rick Perry.

Jacksonville Progress: Businesses see green in prospects for Cuban trade

Texas could see a $43 million boost in business each year if the United States lifts trade restrictions with Cuba, according to one estimate. And that's just in agriculture.

My Statesman: Greg Abbott: Cuba dedicated to expanding private sector 

The governor said he was “impressed with a sense of entrepreneurial spirit, a longing for free enterprise” among Cubans. Abbott said in his conversations with everyday Cubans, “there is a growing sense of freedom and free enterprise here.”

texas' Champions

Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX-11) Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX-11)

Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Randy Weber (R-TX-14) Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act & H.R. 442 Cuba Trade Act

Representative Randy Weber (R-TX-14)

Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act & H.R. 442 Cuba Trade Act

Representative Roger Williams (R-TX-25) Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Roger Williams (R-TX-25)

Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Brian Babin (R-TX-36) Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Brian Babin (R-TX-36)

Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Blake Farenthold (R-TX-27) Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Blake Farenthold (R-TX-27)

Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Beto O'Rourke (D-TX-16)

Representative Beto O'Rourke (D-TX-16)

Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX-18)

Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX-18)

Representative Gene Green (D-TX-29)

Representative Gene Green (D-TX-29)

Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30)

Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30)

Representative Marc Veasey (D-TX-33)

Representative Marc Veasey (D-TX-33)

Representative Filemon Vela (D-TX-34)

Representative Filemon Vela (D-TX-34)

Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35)

Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35)