Personnel: Houston, Redwood City

The Houston City Council recently nominated local businessman Theldon R. Branch III to serve on the Port of Houston Authority Commission to succeed commissioner Kase Lawal, who is not eligible for reappointment. In California, Lorianna Kastrop was selected as the first female chair of the Redwood City Port Commission.

Council Nominates Branch to Port of Houston Authority Commission

The Houston City Council nominated Houston businessman Theldon R. Branch III to serve on the Port of Houston Authority commission.

Branch is a member of the finance council executive committee for Mayor Annise Parker’s 2013 re-election campaign and former chairman of ReBuild Houston, also a mayoral appointment. Branch has been a managing partner at Dufry Houston, a company that operates airport duty-free shops, since 2006 and president of The Branch Companies – "a family-owned property management and real estate development company specializing in retail and fast-food concepts" – since 1985.

"Mr. Branch’s service and commitment to our city is well known," wrote At-Large Council Member Stephen Costello in a nomination letter that said Branch’s "vast knowledge and experience" makes him "very well suited for this position."

Branch, if confirmed, would succeed Kase Lawal, who, along with two other members of the seven-member port commission, is not eligible for reappointment under a reform bill passed by the legislature earlier this year. House Bill 1642, which recently became law, says commissioners who have served longer than 12 years at the time it takes effect are not eligible for reappointment and that their terms expire on Oct. 1.

Kastrop Selected First Woman Chair Of Redwood City Port Commission
Lorianna Kastrop has been elected as Chair of the Redwood City Port Commission, the first woman to hold the position in the port's 76-year history.
In June 2008, she was the second woman in history appointed to the Port Commission. The first was Marguerite Leipzig, in the early 1980s, after having served on the Redwood City Council, including two years as mayor. Kastrop was reappointed to the Port Commission in 2012.
Kastrop is vice president and controller of The Kastrop Group, Inc. architectural firm, of which her husband, Michael, is principal architect. She has long been active in Redwood City. She was a member of the Redwood City Elementary School Board from 1997 to 2001, during which she received a Master of Boardsmanship award from the California School Boards Association.

Lorianna Kalstrop
Photo/Port of Redwood City