WASHINGTON, April 17 -

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the newest Chairman of the Port of Houston Commission, the first woman ever appointed to the position, Janeice Longoria. In my role as the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional PORTS Caucus, I have enjoyed working with the Port of Houston and was delighted to learn of Janeice's appointment back in January. Since she first joined the Port Commission in 2002, Janiece has been an effective advocate for the port. She has also been a strong voice for businesses along the ship channel and within port-related industries.

Just a few weeks ago, Chairman Longoria joined me and several Texas-based companies at a roundtable event that I hosted at the Port of Houston to help raise awareness about the need for Custom and Border Protectionagents to share certain identifying information regarding potential counterfeit goods with intellectual property rights-holders. The roundtable focused on economic impact that counterfeit goods have on the national and local economies, on U.S. jobs and on American ingenuity. Chairman Longoria's recognized the role that ports play in helping to limit counterfeit goods from entering the U.S. marketplace.

Chairman Longoria's Texas ties run deep and so does her Longhorn price. An honors graduate of the University of Texas for both her undergraduate and law degrees, she is also a former Vice Chairman of the University of Texas System Board of Regents and a Founder of both the Center for Women in Law and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for the Study of Latin American Law at the University of Texas School of Law. She is also on the Board of Directors of the University of Texas Law School Foundation.

In the Houston area, Chairman Longoria's contributions exceed far beyond the Port. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Medical Center, MD Anderson Visitors Center, the Greater Houston Partnership, Center Point Energy, and the Galveston Bay Area Foundation. Her service to many great causes throughout the state earned her the Sandra Day O'Connor Award for Board Excellence in 2008. Needless to say, her resume is impressive and her commitment to public service is admirable. I appreciate her dedication to the State of Texas and to the City of Houston and look forward to working with her to raise awareness of the importance of the Port of Houston to the entire nation. And that's just the way it is.