Branch was named to the seat previously held by Kase Lawal, who was present at the Council meeting and passed the torch to Commissioner Branch. Lawal, who had served as port commissioner since 1999, announced when reappointed two years ago that it would be his last term.
“I am pleased to welcome Commissioner Branch to the Port Commission as an integral member of our team,” Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria said. “I look forward to his service on the Port Commission as we work together to create jobs, facilitate commerce, and make the Port of Houston Authority the most productive in the nation.”
Branch said, “I believe the best is yet to come, the next 100 years offers even greater opportunity. I intend to be a voice for those small businesses working with labor to build the premier port in the nation.”
Branch has an extensive professional background in both the private sector and in the public sector.
Branch is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Branch Companies, a privately held, Houston-based holding company that oversees investments in real estate, financial assets, the automotive industry and construction.
He is the managing partner and member of the Executive Committee 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.
Commissioner Branch 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. He served as the chairman of the National Minority Franchise Owners Alliance and was the first African American to become a Whataburger franchisee.
Branch serves as Chairman of TexStars Foundation. He also serves on the board of Harris County Improvement District #8 (Astroworld Re-Development) and is a life member of the NAACP, the 100 Club, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Texas Army National Guard Association.