City of Houston Controller Touts Houston’s Attributes
Before Packed Ballroom at ACG Event Highlighting Bauer
Hundreds of corporate leaders from in and around Houston celebrated the vital role the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business plays in boosting the city’s economy by educating the next generation of entrepreneurs and business owners, during the November luncheon for the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).
The group dedicated its monthly gathering at the River Oaks Country Club to UH Bauer and hosted City of Houston Controller Ronald C. Green, who received his undergraduate and MBA degrees from UH, to discuss the business of running the finances of the nation’s fourth largest city.
Green brought with him the team that helps him manage the six divisions of his office, many of whom are also proud UH alumni. UH Bauer’s connection to the City of Houston is a strong one, Green said, noting that both the college and the city have a shared attribute — ambition.
“One thing that always sets us apart is the ambition we have,” he added. “You can come here to Houston, work hard, raise your family and grow your business.”
That philosophy is shared by UH Bauer, said Associate Dean for Programs and Administration Latha Ramchand, also a finance professor who taught Green while he was pursuing his Bauer MBA.
“We strive to develop programs that are academically rigorous and at the same time, very applicable to the real world of business,” Ramchand said. “We believe in empowering our students — our stakeholders — so they can graduate ready to bring that level of success to their organizations.”
One program at UH Bauer, The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, was recently recognized nationally with The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine ranking it the best of its kind in the nation.
“This ranking relates to something very fundamental about this economy,” Ramchand said. “Despite everything, one area of growth that is a beacon of hope for the economy is entrepreneurial activity. In a vibrant city like Houston, with the business school that we have, it’s no wonder our leaders are people who take crises and turn them into opportunities.” Ramchand used the example to demonstrate the plethora of leaders like Green that Bauer has produced.
Along with Houston City Council, Green is tackling the city budget and projected shortfalls, but Houston is in a better position for economic recovery than other cities across the country, he said.
“There are some tough times in Houston, but like the lifeboat scenario, we’re the last ones in, so hopefully we’ll be the first ones out,” Green said. “Our job market is still strong. We still have businesses growing and thriving, and we enjoy a relatively modest cost of living.”
With projected declines in property and sales tax revenues, the upcoming holiday shopping season will be important to the overall budget, he said.
“Roughly a fifth of our budget revenues are sales tax revenues,” Green said. “If consumers aren’t purchasing, we’ll have issues with our sales tax projections, so we’re encouraging residents to go shopping and spend this holiday season. Consumer confidence bodes well for all of us.”
The city is committed to maintaining a high level of service for residents, he added. “We’re all in this game together, whether you work in the city, or you’re in corporate America,” Green said. “We all want a good quality of life, to see businesses grow and prosper and to support young people in our city.”
ACG Houston echoes that commitment, President Randolph Ewing said, with the organization’s board awarding scholarships to two UH Bauer students, Kylie Nguyen and Vu Huynh, during the November luncheon. With more than 500 members, ACG Houston is widely recognized as a leading organization supporting both individuals and businesses in the city involved in internal and external corporate growth.
By Jessica Navarro