Six hundred people who attended the 24th Annual Quasar Award Banquet of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership on February 3, 2017, participated in a very special meeting of the “Senator Larry Taylor Mutual Admiration Society.” The black tie affair, held at South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center in League City, Texas, honored Texas State Sen. Larry Taylor with its highest award for excellence in economic development. The prestigious Quasar Award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated sustained and significant leadership in support of the business foundations of the greater Bay Area Houston region.
BAHEP President Bob Mitchell said, “Sen. Taylor has been a long-time supporter of BAHEP and an amazing friend. For many years, he has been heavily invested in issues that safeguard our homes and businesses and add immeasurably to our quality of life. Historically, these become huge economic drivers by creating stability and attracting companies and jobs to the region.”
Prior to the formal award presentation, the banquet attendees viewed a specially created video by Space Center Films that featured congratulatory remarks for the senator by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Congressman Brian Babin, DDS, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Outgoing BAHEP Board Chairman John Elbon, vice president and general manager, Space Exploration, The Boeing Company, introduced Sen. Taylor saying, “Throughout his legislative career, Sen. Taylor has been a champion for education, which is a cornerstone of economic development within communities everywhere. His work on behalf of storm surge protection for the region has been foundational for the progress of this critical infrastructure that will protect the people, homes and businesses of the upper Texas coast. For his long service to our community and support of the ideals and initiatives of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, BAHEP is proud to name Sen. Larry Taylor as the 2017 Quasar Award honoree.”
In receiving the award, Taylor said, “This is, without a doubt, one of the highest honors of my public service career, and I’m humbled to be named a recipient. It is a tremendous privilege for me to represent the Bay Area and to work with so many fine individuals who believe, as I do, that we are blessed to call this wonderful region home.
“My heartfelt thanks and appreciation go out to BAHEP, an organization that has shown us all that, only by working together, we can secure our future and the success of our entire region. I am truly honored to receive this award, and I consider it an incredible privilege to serve as your senator.”
During his genuinely sincere acceptance speech, Sen. Taylor also gave considerable credit to his family and legislative staff for their support over many years. Attending were his wife, Kerri, his mother, Arlene, his son, Jake, and Jake's wife, Katie, Carie Christman Ott, his chief of staff, as well as Jackie King, his local district director.
Greg Smith, Ph.D., superintendent of schools for the Clear Creek Independent School District and 2017 BAHEP board chairman, closed out the evening with an inspiring speech which stated in part, “Together, we will harness the power of innovation and creativity through partnerships with government, education, business, non-profits and community leaders. Together, we will promote regional initiatives that lead to responsible growth and a higher quality of life. And collectively, we will sustain and grow both membership and member satisfaction so that BAHEP will prosper for the next 40 years and ensure this region remains a top destination for businesses, employees, and families.”
Caption for award photo: On Feb. 3, 2017, the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership presented Sen. Larry Taylor with its highest honor for excellence in economic development — the Quasar Award. Pictured left to right are: Greg Smith, Ph.D., superintendent of schools, Clear Creek Independent School District and 2017 BAHEP board chairman; Sen. Taylor; John Elbon, vice president and general manager, Space Exploration, The Boeing Company, and 2016 BAHEP board chairman; and Bob Mitchell, BAHEP president.
(Photo by Bill Stafford)