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Partnership Members Making News - May 2022

Published May 17, 2022 by A.J. Mistretta

axiom space

Axiom Space headquarters rendering

The Greater Houston Partnership celebrates our members making important announcements and sharing news about their operations and impact in our community. Learn more about some of those announcements over the last month below. 

Accenture ranks No. 1 on DiversityInc’s 2022 Top 50 Companies for Diversity. This is the 16th consecutive year that the consulting company has ranked on the respected list for the company’s work to create an inclusive and equitable culture. DiversityInc evaluates companies in six areas: human capital diversity metrics, leadership accountability, talent programs, workplace practices, supplier diversity and philanthropy. 

Axiom Space broke ground on May 11 on a new 400,000-square-foot headquarters facility at the Houston Spaceport. The aerospace company will build the world’s first commercial space station at the 22-acre facility on Space Center Boulevard. The new headquarters will also house a training facility for astronauts, manufacturing and testing operations and office space. Axiom Space made history in April with the first all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station. 

BakerRipley President and CEO Claudia Aguirre talked about the effect the pandemic has had on the region’s largest nonprofit organization and much more in a wide-ranging interview with the Houston Chronicle. Aguirre, who has been with BakerRipley since 2010, took the reins of the 1,600-employee organization in 2017. BakerRipley provides services ranging from child education to workforce development. Aguirre currently serves on the boards of several organizations including the Partnership and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. 

Leading energy companies BP and Linde announced plans in mid-May to move forward with a large-scale carbon capture and storage project in the Houston region. The project would enable low-carbon hydrogen production at Linde’s existing facilities and establish a framework for broader decarbonization efforts on the Texas Gulf Coast industrial corridor. The sequestered hydrogen would be sold customers along Linde’s pipeline network under long-term contracts, enabling production of low carbon chemicals and fuels. 

Houston Methodist is beginning work on a new $1.4 billion tower in the Texas Medical Center. The 26-story Centennial Tower will include a new emergency department and updated imaging services. When it opens in 2027, Centennial Tower will replace Methodist’s main building on Fannin St. The new tower will be approximately double the size of the hospital’s current facility. 

The emerging Ion District in Midtown is now part of a prestigious network of innovation hubs around the world. An affiliate of the Brookings Institute, the Global Network of Innovation Districts is comprised of innovation leaders and commercial developers. The Ion District is the first such project to join the network in Texas, joining 21 other districts from Pittsburgh to Amsterdam. The Ion itself anchors the 16-acre district that also currently includes Greentown Labs.

Kroger Houston Division President Laura Gump was the subject of a recent Houston Chronicle business profile. Gump joined Kroger in 2020 and is the company’s first Hispanic female president of the nation’s largest supermarket chain. In the Q&A-style piece, Gump shared her thoughts on the evolution of the grocery business, the effect of inflation on consumer buying, the supply-chain crisis and much more. 

The Lone Star College System (LSCS) will launch a new virtual campus in August as it works to satisfy increasing demand for online degree programs. The virtual campus will add $2 million to LSCS’s existing budget and significantly expand its catalogue of e-learning options. Officials say that while the pandemic has amplified demand for e-learning, the virtual campus has actually been in the works for nearly a decade. The campus will launch with approximately 40 full-time staff members. 

Nine energy startups from across the country were recognized as the most promising in a pitch competition during the Offshore Technology Conference earlier this month. The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship staged its annual pitch competition at the Ion in Midtown. Investors heard three-minute pitches from nearly 40 energy tech companies and cited nine startups as having the most potential. 

Southwest Airlines will invest $42 million to expand its fuel storage facility at Hobby Airport. Houston City Council approved the plan on May 11, paving the way for increased fuel capacity at Southwest’s primary airport in Houston. The airline says the measure is needed to mitigate the effects of potential supply disruptions, increasing the airport’s capacity from two or three days of fuel inventory to five or six. 

If you are a member and want us to help communicate news about your organization, please send a press release or information about the announcement to and we will share it with our content team for possible inclusion in an upcoming roundup. Learn more about Partnership membership

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Partnership Members Making News - April 2022

The Greater Houston Partnership celebrates our members making important announcements and sharing news about their operations and impact in our community. Learn more about some of those announcements over the last month below.    Aramco Americas has joined The Ion as one of the innovation hub’s founding partners. According to an announcement, two organizations are expected to collaborate on educational programming, events, workforce development, energy transition and more. The 280,000-square-foot Ion opened last year and serves as the anchor of a larger 16-acre innovation district in Midtown.    Comcast RISE, a small business support program that’s helped more than 500 Houston-area businesses with grants and no-cost marketing services and technology makeovers, has expanded eligibility to all women business owners who have been impacted by the pandemic. All women business owners — regardless of race or ethnicity— can now apply through June 17, 2022 at    Group 1 Automotive Inc. has acquired the Albuquerque, N.M. dealership Larry H. Miller Toyota, continuing the company's acquisition streak. According to the Houston Business Journal, the latest buy brings the Fortune 500 company’s New Mexico portfolio to eight franchises selling brands that include Lexus, BMW, Mini, Landrover and Jaguar.    Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp. announced in late March it would provide funding and technical support for a new program at Texas A&M University designed to boost interest in offshore engineering.  The new Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Laboratory of Dredging and Coastal Studies will help build the pipeline of next generation engineers. Great Lakes President and CEO Lasse Petterson said one of the reasons the company chose to relocate its corporate headquarters to Houston two years ago was the proximity to A&M and the quality of graduates the school produces.    Iapetus Holdings, a minority and veteran-owned portfolio of companies, was selected in March as the inaugural Diversity winner of the Houston Business Journal’s Fire Awards. Houston-based Iapetus is a privately held portfolio of seven self-funded multimillion-dollar companies focused on energy, safety and sustainability. The winners of the 2022 Fire Awards were selected from nominations by Houston Inno’s editorial team.    JPMorgan Chase & Co. is providing grants totaling $3.3 million to area nonprofits providing affordable housing. The banking giant says the grants are going to four different organizations: the Houston Community Land Trust, the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corp., Avenue and LISC Houston. According to an announcement, the money will go toward helping local residents buy homes and rent apartments as well as the development of small cottage communities geared toward longterm rentals.    Memorial Hermann Health System said earlier this month it’s partnering with Atlanta-based Go-Health Urgent Care to expand the hospital’s urgent care facilities across the Houston metro area. Memorial Hermann already operates 10 urgent care locations in the region and will start adding new locations through the partnership this summer.    The annual Rice Business Plan Competition, the largest such university-based competition in the world, awarded more than $2 million in prizes in early April. Hosted by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, the three-day competition drew 42 startups this year. Lidrotec, a student startup from RWTH Aachen University in Germany that aims to increase production in the semiconductor industry, took home the grand prize at the competition.   The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has secured $10 million in grants for collaborative research with other leading cancer centers. The new funds are coming from Massachusetts-based Break Through Cancer, an organization that focuses on collaborative research. Break Through Cancer gave $50 million in grants to five cancer research centers: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, and MD Anderson. According to a statement, the collaborative approach aims to overcome barriers in teamwork between institutions.  If you want us to help communicate news about your organization, please send a press release or information about the announcement to and we will share it with our content team for possible inclusion in an upcoming roundup. Learn more about Partnership membership.   
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