by Jennifer Koenig, Associate Director of Development
On October 1, more than 125 supporters of the Seamen's Church Institute (SCI) gathered at SCI's training center in Houston, TX for a fundraising luncheon, which brought in over $68,000 to support SCI's maritime education programs. Those attending heard of developments and future plans for SCI's training facilities and from Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst on the state of business in Texas, where SCI's second Center for Maritime Education opened seven years ago.
The afternoon program kicked off with comments from James T. Edmonds, Chairman of the Port of Houston Authority on the state of the Port. With encouraging words, he emphasized that business is strong. Edmonds also took the opportunity to acknowledge two friends from the Port of Houston Authority who have recently retired: Executive Director, Thomas Kornegay and Managing Director, Wade Battles. He announced the incoming Executive Director Alec G. Dreyer.
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst echoed Mr. Edmonds' words on the vigor of Texas-based companies in his speech. Dewhurst gave a stirring talk about the strength of Texas business despite the weakened economy. He noted that Texas cities are strong and consistently top-rated as places to do business.
Dewhurst discussed the importance of safety and education as two fundamentals of business. SCI's Center for Maritime Education has been a part of the Houston community since 2001, and its simulation training has helped maritime companies achieve better safety records, lowering insurance costs. Dewhurst said he was not surprised that such a facility was located in the great state of Texas.