May 06, 2015 Upcoming Events 0 comment

Greater Houston Black Chamber Selects Elaine Barber as New President



Contact: Sophia Macris                                     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Office: 713-522-4273                                                      May 4, 2015

Cell: 713-899-9321


Greater Houston Black Chamber Selects Elaine Barber as New President

Former Greater Houston Partnership executive is third female president in 80 year history


Houston, TX – May 4, 2015 – Vernita Harris, Chairman of the Board of the Greater Houston Black Chamber (GHBC), has officially announced the appointment of seasoned non-profit administrator and public policy specialist Elaine Barber as the GHBC’s new president. Following a nationwide search for their top executive, the Chamber’s Executive Search Committee, led by Carol Y. Guess, ultimately found their candidate of choice within Houston’s executive community and tendered their offer late last month.

GHBC Elaine Barber Headshot


“Navigating the Chamber through its 80th year and beyond will require not only leadership and organizational skills,” observes Ms. Harris, “but a familiarity with Houston’s unique business ecosystem and how it impacts the African-American community. Ms. Barber knows this city, she knows how it works, and she has a clear understanding of the Chamber’s role in its growth.”


Most recently the Vice President of Education and Workforce Initiatives for the Greater Houston Partnership, Ms. Barber has held top leadership positions in non-profit organizations for over twenty-five years. Her impressive resume includes service as the Chief Operating Officer of Prevent Blindness America and a five year stint as President of Prevent Blindness Texas.


During her years with The Greater Houston Partnership, Ms. Barber worked directly with the president in developing the key concepts for UpSkill Houston, a business led, community-wide workforce initiative targeting Houstonians who had completed high school  but needed middle skills training in a community college or technical setting to enhance their career potential.  She also worked diligently on policy issues in education at the state and national levels.


“The Chamber’s leadership has a clear vision for the future and its role in the community,” says Ms. Barber. “Every position I’ve held, every hour of service which has been my pleasure to provide, has prepared me to address the challenges facing African-American business people in America’s fourth largest city. I’m honored by the Chamber’s confidence and trust, and I’m ready to put my talents to work delivering value-based benefit to our members and the consumers they serve.”

Elaine Barber, who makes her home in Richmond, Texas, is a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.  She is a senior Alumnus to the American Leadership Forum and the Center for Houston’s Future and a member of Toastmasters.  She also serves as the secretary/treasurer of Capital Idea Houston’s Board of Directors.




About the Greater Houston Black Chamber


Since 1935, the Greater Houston Black Chamber (formerly the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce) has served as an advocate for African-American business owners and professionals in the Houston area. Now in its 80th year, the organization’s portfolio of services and programs has grown to embrace the ever-changing the needs and dramatic growth of its membership. The GHBC continues to provide value to members, area businesses and the community and has remained committed to the pursuit of success by Houston’s African-American enterprises.


With much of the nation’s attention focused on the economic state of the country, the GHBC has kept the needs of Black business owners at its forefront, earning and maintaining its position as a premier organization focused on the prosperity and growth of Black entrepreneurs. Today, the Chamber remains steadfast in its mission to provide advocacy, awareness and access to African-American businesses within the community.


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