I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I left The Ohio State University in 1977 to take a temporary job at British Airways (BA) in the World Cargo Department. A dock strike on the east coast in October made me a “permanent” employee and set me off on a thirty-three year career in the airline industry. I literally started at the bottom learning how to drive forklifts as a union Cargo Agent rising to Director Properties, the Americas where I was responsible for all of the real estate assets and airport relationships in the Western Hemisphere.
During my second posting to Chicago in 1984, I met my wife Sarah. We were married in 1985 and immediately moved to New York City where our daughter was born in 1988. In 1989 we moved to The Woodlands where I managed BA’s Customer Service office at Bush Intercontinental Airport and sat on the airline committee that was negotiating the lease on the new International Terminal D that opened in 1990.
After retiring from BA in 2010, I set up my own consulting firm, SKR Consulting LLc. Currently I am the lead consultant on the $1.3 billion Mickey Leland International Terminal Project.
Over the past four years on The Woodlands Township Board of Directors, I have served the Board and the Community in a variety of ways. I have been the Chairman of Visit The Woodlands (VTW) for four years and have completely revamped VTW from being an event planning organization into an award winning marketing organization. Their job is to actively promote The Woodlands as not just a great place to live, but also a great place to visit as well.
I have also served as the Chairman of the recently renamed Woodlands One-Water Taskforce (formerly Drainage Taskforce) for my entire tenure. We have expanded the membership of the Board of organizations that are responsible for water management and we now have over 40 members who are actively engaged. We have identified and rectified dozens of street flooding issues and have completed a Spring Creek Retension Feasibility Study that may be the first step in significantly reducing the flood risk for The Woodlands residents along the tributary.
In March when the COVID-19 crisis resulted in government mandated shutdowns of the economy, Chairman Gordy Bunch appointed Director John Anthony Brown, Director Bob Milner, and myself (as Chairman) to the Budget Taskforce which was empowered to make revisions to the 2020 Township Budget to mitigate the effects on declining sales tax and hotel taxes. Working with the Township Senior Leadership Team, we cut M&O expenses, deferred or eliminated some capital spending and reordered the Township’s Reserve Funds. With the help of CARES Act funding for our transportation services and our pre-emptive actions, we more than closed the revenue gap without having to dip into reserves. It also allowed the Board to pass a balanced 2021 budget and the lowest tax rate in Township history at $0.213/$100 valuation.
I was selected by my peers to serve as Vice-Chairman of the Board in 2020, and in addition to the duties detailed above, serve on the Economic Development Committee. During my tenure I also served a two year term on the Woodlands Road Utility District, and on the search committees that helped select our new Fire Chief Palmer Buck and new President and General Manager Jeff Jones.
During our time in Houston, I have also been active in our community. I was elected President of the British American Business Council Southwest (BABC) and served on the national Board based in New York City. The BABC promotes business relationships between the United States and the United Kingdom. I also joined the Board of the Children’s Assessment Center Foundation and served as their Vice President. The Assessment Center serves the needs of sexual abused children in Harris County. Sarah and I are leaders at WoodsEdge Community Church were we have worshipped since 2000. Finally I have been a member of the Houston Golf Association (HGA) for the past 18 years. The HGA has been promoting amateur golf and raising money for children’s charities since its inception in 1946. To date the HGA has raised over $70m for local charities.