By: Shelley McKinley

The newest Port Commissioner of the Port of Houston Authority is  Thomas Jones, Jr. He joins six other Commissioners and has the responsibility of setting policies and guiding executive staff to ensure that Port Houston continues to be a strategic leader for the Houston Ship Channel. Following a unanimous appointment from City Council, Jones was recently sworn in by Mayor John Whitmire at a Swearing-inCeremony held at Davis Street at Hermann Park. The event included remarks by State Senator Carol Alvarado, Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Castex-Tatum, and Mayor John Whitmire. “When looking at the credentials for someone to serve on the Port of Houston’s Port Commission, I couldn’t think of anyone better that has the intellect and the passion for public service,” shared Mayor Whitmire.


Mr. Jones started his professional career with Ernst & Ernst (now EY) and in 1996 connected with Wayne McConnell to establish the firm of McConnell & Jones (MJ) LLP. In 1999, Odysseus Lanier and Sharon Murphy merged with the pair, creating the largest African American owned accounting and consulting  firm in Texas and now the largest in the country.  e  rm o ers a full range of audit, accounting, tax planning and compliance, and management consulting services with offices in Houston, Austin, Dallas, Washington DC, and Durham, N.C., MJ serves a broad and diverse mix of corporate, governmental, non-pro t and individual clientele. Jones continues to serve the firm as a consultant focused on client relations and business development.


Mr. Jones retired in 2022 as a founding partner of MJ, currently the largest African American owned public accounting  firm in the US. MJ is also recognized by Accounting Today as one of the largest CPA practices in the Southwestern United States. Retirement, however, has not slowed him down. Jones is the Interim President of Jazz Houston which is a tribute to his father and preserves the cultural history of jazz through education and performances by the Youth Orchestra and other leading jazz performers. He is also the co-founder of the Houston Fund for Social Justice & Economic Equity (HEF) with Mayor Emeritus Sylvester Turner, and has given $13 million to 420 small business and non-pro ts in grants to impact underserved communities.


Thomas Jones, Jr. took the oath of o ce to serve a two-year term, and expressed his gratitude to family and friends in attendance. “I’m very excited and eager to get to work, I know what my task is, and I’m ready to do it. Relationships are key to life. I didn’t get here by myself,” stated Jones. He acknowledged members present from Jazz Houston, Houston Fund for Social Justice & Economic Equity, MJ LLP, Florida A & M University Foundation Board, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Across the Track Political Action Committee, Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, and childhood friends from Daytona Beach, FL.


Jones belongs to a wide range of other civic, community-based philanthropic, political and social organizations, too. Jones stated, “ the mission and goal is simple. It is to be good stewards of tax dollars and good corporate citizens.” Port Houston owns, manages, and operates eight public terminals along a 52-mile waterway.  e Houston Ship Channel complex and its more than 200 private and eight public terminals is the nation’s largest port for waterborne tonnage and an essential economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the United States.  e Port of Houston supports nearly 1.5 million jobs in Texas and 3.37 million jobs nationwide. Its economic activity totals $439 billion in Texas and $906 billion across the nation.  Thomas Jones, Jr. replaces Cheryl Creuzot who chose not to seek a third term.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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