AP NEWS

Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce selects Bobby Lieb as new leader

May 5, 2019

Beginning on June 1, Bobby Lieb will take the helm of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce, the organization announced on Monday, April 29.

Currently the chamber’s vice president, Lieb will succeed Barbara Thomason, who announced her retirement in March and will step down at the end of May after leading the chamber since November 2005.

“In the two years I’ve been working economic development here, I have grown to have a deep appreciation of this community. I hope people that live here realize how much they’ve got up here and the positive attributes to it,” Lieb said.

Before arriving at the chamber in May 2017, Lieb served in Colorado as a county commissioner of La Plata County and executive director of the Durango Chamber of Commerce.

Lieb said he found his niche when he began to focus on community work after leaving the private sector.

After two years with the Northwest Houston Chamber of Commerce, Lieb said the challenges the community faces are mainly with crime, flooding and generating more jobs.

While violent crime along along FM 1960 is down, the recurring burglary, robberies and other crimes are tarnishing the image of the community, he said.

“It’s a very long-term problem. There are solutions. They require a lot of community buy-in,” he said.

Another major issue facing both businesses and residents is the recurring flooding from the Memorial Day flood in 2015, the Tax Day flood in 2016 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The chamber has previously hosted flood control meetings to advocate for more infrastructure and flood mitigation projects.

“You can’t tell me that flooding doesn’t have an adverse impact on the economy. The solution’s clear. There’s lots of hurdles to overcome, but assigning focus and resources to it and then deploying those resources in reducing the level of flooding that does occur is paramount,” Lieb said.

Lieb said that while he acknowledges challenges the community faces, the variety of jobs along Beltway 8, Springwoods Village, University Park and the North Houston District have been a benefit to the area.

One of his aims as economic director of the chamber has been to encourage companies and businesses in the community.

“There’s lots of good jobs and what I like about it is the variety. There’s a job for every sector of this community. Many communities would kill for what we’ve got in terms of the diversity of jobs we’ve got,” he said.

mayra.cruz@chron.com