Fitzgerald’s appointment fills the seat of former Port Commissioner Jim Fonteno, who submitted his resignation to Commissioners Court in April, indicating his desire to spend more time with his wife and two young daughters.
Fitzgerald, who started his career at age 16 working on the wharves of the Houston Ship Channel, was sworn in Tuesday after Commissioners Court selected him to fill Fonteno’s seat.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said, “There is no finer individual in the transportation business than Clyde Fitzgerald.”
Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria said, “We look forward to working with Clyde Fitzgerald, who has been a key figure in fostering and maintaining the positive labor relations we have at the Port of Houston. His leadership experience and expertise in the maritime industry will serve us well.”
Fitzgerald said, “I pledge to do the best I can to keep this port a first-class port.” He also said he would work to attract additional cargo to the Port of Houston Authority as trade increases.
Fitzgerald is a 50-year veteran of the Houston waterfront and currently serves as president of the South Atlantic & Gulf Coast District of the International Longshoremen’s Association. He joined his father on the docks in 1959 and later served as President of ILA Local 28 for 20 years.
In 1991, he was elected secretary-treasurer of the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District, which stretches from North Carolina to Brownsville, Texas. In 2002, he was elected president of the District and, in July of 2010, was re-elected to that position without opposition for another four-year term.
Fitzgerald also serves as vice president of the International ILA organization and is a member of its Executive Council. He and his wife Vickie have been married for 51 years and are the parents of three adult children. They have six grandchildren.
For more than 100 years, the Port of Houston Authority has owned or operated the public cargo-handling facilities of the Port of Houston – the nation's largest port for foreign waterborne tonnage. The port is an economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the nation. It supports the creation of more than 1.175 million statewide jobs and more than 2.1 million jobs nationwide, and the generation of economic activity totaling more than $265 billion in Texas --16 percent of Texas’ total gross domestic product -- and more than $617 billion in economic impact across the nation. For more information, visit the Port Authority website at: www.portofhouston.com.
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