When the Port of Houston Commission meets now, there are three new faces greeting Chairman Janiece Longoria – Theldon R. Branch III, Stephen H. DonCarlos and Roy D. Mease.
Roy Mease, a City of Pasadena appointee, replaces Commissioner Steve Phelps, who has served on the commission since 1997. The Pasadena attorney is a member of the State Bar of Texas, a University of Texas graduate and received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence degree from South Texas College of Law.
He is chairman of the Pasadena Second Century Corporation, the city’s economic development entity, and served on the Pasadena City Council for eight years. He helped Pasadena earn the annual Community Economic Development Award for 2013, awarded by the Texas Economic Development Council. The award recognizes excellence and the exceptional contributions of TEDC member cities toward the economic vitality of their communities and the State of Texas.
He also is a former president of the Pasadena Livestock Show & Rodeo and has been a director of that organization for 44 years. He and his wife, Sue, have been married for more than 50 years.
Stephen DonCarlos, also an attorney and the mayor of Baytown since May 2006, was named to the seat previously held by Jimmy Burke, who had served on the commission since 1999, appointed by the Harris County Mayors and Councils Association which represents 26 cities.
An attorney with Reid, Strickland & Gillette, L.L.P., DonCarlos is a past president of the Baytown Rotary Club, and served as chairman of the Harris County Hospital District, on the Board of Directors of the Texas Medical Center and the Baytown Chamber and is a member of the Houston Bar Association and East Harris County Bar Association.
He graduated from Texas Tech University with a BBA . and earned a J.D. degree from the University of Texas. A resident of Baytown since 1979, he is married to Allene.
Theldon Branch, who was appointed unanimously by the Houston City Council to the seat held by Kase Lawal since 1999, has an extensive professional background in both the private and public sectors.
He is chairman and CEO of The Branch Companies, a privately held, Houston-based holding company that oversees investments in real estate, financial assets, the automotive industry and construction, and the managing partner of Dufry Houston and Branch/McGowen Ventures, which operates duty free concessions and a bonded warehouse in Houston.
He served as chairman of the Rebuild Houston Oversight Committee and also worked as an assistant director for the City of Houston Planning and Housing and the Community Development departments.
He is widely recognized as an expert in the area of franchise businesses and economic development. He has owned and operated three national restaurant franchises and six domestic and two foreign automobile franchises, served as the chairman of the National Minority Franchise Owners Alliance and was the first African American to become a Whataburger franchisee.
Branch, a graduate of Huston-Tillotson College, where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration, serves as chairman of TexStars Foundation and is on the board of Harris County Improvement District No. 8 (Astroworld Redevelopment).