We’re proud of the diverse experiences and backgrounds of our board members, because we know how important representation is for our business owners and Hobby Area residents. To that end, we’d like to introduce our newest board member, James Brown, who brings leadership and a wealth of knowledge to the District.
Tell us a little about your background. Where did you grow up, and what do you do for a living?
I grew up in the cosmopolitan town of Meridian, MS and am a proud alumni of Jackson State University. I have lived in Houston since 1997, where I met my lovely wife Aabha and have raised our three wonderful children: Justice, Raja and Taj. I am the Chief Audit and Compliance Officer for Powell Industries, one of the District’s largest employers.
What does Hobby District mean to you, and what makes it unique?
The Hobby District reflects progress and opportunity. The Hobby area has long been known as a hub of travel and commerce. The District’s efforts to engage in economic and community development showcases the unique opportunities found in this area.
Why did you decide to become a Board Member?
Building community through leadership is very important to me. Serving on the Board provides the opportunity to invest my time, talent and expertise into enhancing this thriving area.
What are your priorities in your first year serving?
My priorities include:
1. learning more about the strengths and challenges found in the District
2. aligning my efforts with the Mission and Vision of the Board
3. identifying opportunities for industry and the District to collaborate effectively
When you’re not serving the District, what do you do in your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling. I also volunteer on my neighborhood HOA and the PTO of my children’s school.
What do you wish more people knew about the Hobby District?
I wish more people knew about the history of the Hobby District. For example, Telephone Road was named for being the only road with a telephone on it, and Sims Bayou was the only Bayou that did not overflow during Hurricane Harvey.
What inspires you?
Open minds. We often (and sometimes unknowingly) can become set in a particular way of thinking—or what I call a closed mindset. This mindset prohibits creativity and innovation in problem solving. I am inspired when people come together and are willing to try new things, be a bit uncomfortable and take some risks for the benefit of creating and sustaining strong communities.
What are your hopes for the community?
I hope to see investment in this community in a number of ways: improved schools, apprenticeships & workforce training, better street & drainage infrastructure and flourishing businesses.