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May 2014 Luncheon Recap

Drayton McLane Jr., chairman of the McLane Group and former owner of the Houston Astros, spoke about Opportunity Houston 2.0 at the May PRSA Houston luncheon. Opportunity Houston 2.0 is a $40 million program of the Greater Houston Partnership that will help create 450,000 jobs, attract $45 billion in capital investment and support initiatives to build Houston’s workforce in key middle skills, and enhance the region’s image.

McLane touched on two turning points in Houston's history that he said transformed the city of Houston. First, he credited dredging Buffalo Bayou to create the Port of Houston 100 years ago. He Also cited creation and construction of the Texas Medical Center.

While the weather and traffic may not always be ideal, McLane reminded us of the many opportunities that Houston provides. He invited all public relations professionals to become involved in supporting our great city as we help Opportunity Houston achieve its primary goals, including enhancing Houston's image and improving workforce development efforts.

If you missed this luncheon, you missed a lively one! We had a hot topic Q&A session that included civic discussions ranging from the construction project at 290 and the 610 to how PR professionals can help get clients involved in volunteering and donating to Opportunity Houston 2.0.

Of course, McLane concluded with a baseball story. In 2005, only one game against St. Louis stood between the Houston Astros and their first-ever World Series. The team was crestfallen from a tough loss at home, but two players – catcher Brad Ausmus and pitcher Roy Oswalt – made individual contributions that led the team to victory over the Cardinals and onto their first world series.

Individual contributions to the whole team make the difference in the long run, McLane said. He called upon each PR professional in the room to make an individual contribution – for everyone to contribute that one big idea – that, when working together, would cumulate in a bigger and better Houston.

The luncheon was sponsored by Clear Channel, and several lucky attendees won door prizes, including tickets to an upcoming Astros game and dinner at Laurenzo's, courtesy of Clear Channel, and a gift card and outdoor folding chairs, donated by Academy Sports + Outdoors.

Photos are online at