New advisory board member wants to encourage connection
When Susannah Porr was invited to join the University of Houston-Victoria President’s Regional Advisory Board, she was eager to get involved with the university that already had impacted her family members’ lives.
“A university should be the center of a community, and UHV has the potential to touch every part of Victoria,” Porr said. “In my own family, we’ve experienced the benefits of an institution that is open to community involvement, and I want to help make that available to others.”
Porr and her family moved to Victoria from Houston 15 years ago when her husband, Don, bought Diamond Fiberglass, and Porr brought her nonprofit operations to Victoria. The couple have three children. Liam is enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, and their daughters, Ella and Thea, attend St. Joseph High School.
“Susannah is a wonderful woman who is involved in so many levels of the Victoria community,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “Her work in promoting community involvement and activities will be a great help to the university. I look forward to adding her voice to the advisory board and hearing her perspective about university issues.”
Porr is the executive director of the National Association of Steel Pipe Distributors, a nonprofit group based in Victoria that focuses on legislative and economic issues that impact the steel industry. Her son, Liam, also has attended robotics courses for high school students at the university and penned two research papers about artificial intelligence that will be presented in November in Las Vegas.
Before her work with the National Association of Steel Pipe Distributors, Porr was program coordinator for the TriTech Regional Council in Houston. While there, she organized grassroots political events, worked with local governments and nonprofits on economic development, and helped manage memberships.
Porr also is involved in many community organizations, including working as a Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer, serving as a member of the Crossroads Progressive Voices Steering Committee, serving as Promise Pointe’s interim executive director, and attending the Wednesday Lunch Group made up of community leaders focused on bettering the area. She previously worked with organizations that include Habitat for Humanity, Victoria TX Indie Film Festival, Parks & Recreation Commission, Homeless Coalition Steering Committee, City of Victoria Fine Arts Board and Victoria Citizen’s Academy.
In 2017, Porr partnered with UHV School of Business Administration classes to offer a contest for students to create a social media strategy for the National Association of Steel Pipe Distributors. UHV students worked in teams to create social media strategies and plans for the nonprofit. The top two teams were invited to the nonprofit’s Feb. 16 annual convention in Houston. The first-place team received an award, and both teams were invited to meet with industry representatives and network during the convention with resumés in hand.
“The contest was a huge success for our business, and we’re still using many of the strategies students suggested,” Porr said. “The result was a perfect example of how a university can have a positive impact on its community while also helping its students gain practical experience. I want to help UHV and the community find more opportunities like this to connect and help each other.”
While Porr joins the board, Sally Aman-Barnes is stepping into the position of PRAB chair. John Shutt of Edna is stepping down from his third consecutive year in the position, but will continue to serve on the board.
Aman-Barnes is a senior vice president in the Private Banking Department of Prosperity Bank. In addition to her service with PRAB, she has been involved in many community organizations including serving as president of the Victoria Adult Literacy Council, treasurer of the Victoria Business and Education Coaliton, past president of the Victoria Chapter of the American Heart Association and past president of Victoria Preservation Inc. Aman also served on the executive committee of the Victoria County United Way and currently is on the organization’s board of trustees.
“I am pleased and honored to serve UHV and our community as incoming chair of the President’s Regional Advisory Board,” Aman-Barnes said. I’m looking forward to a great future for the university and the Victoria area!”
To learn more about the board, contact Kathy Walton at 361-570-4332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All Initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student popular, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.