UHV, Chamber to host Eagle Ford Shale presentation

Area small business owners can learn more about the opportunities and impacts of the Eagle Ford Shale on Wednesday morning during a free forum at the University of Houston-Victoria.

The event is being hosted by the UHV Small Business Development Center and School of Business Administration, and the Victoria Chamber of Commerce. It will take place from 8 a.m. to noon in the UHV University Center Multi-Purpose Room, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

Thomas Tunstall

The forum will include an economic impact presentation by Thomas Tunstall, director of the Center for Community and Business Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development, and a talk about technology frontiers for small businesses by Matthew Lathrop of Rackspace Hosting, a business leader in hosting and cloud computing. Tom Kennelly, a project manager for the UTSA Institute for Economic Development Rural Business Program, will give an overview about the program.

Other topics will be business and employer services presented by Golden Crescent Workforce Solutions and connecting with the oil and gas industry.

Joe Humphreys

“The Eagle Ford Shale play is impacting our region and giving an opportunity to many of our small businesses,” said Joe Humphreys, director of the UHV SBDC. “Our forum is open to the public, and we encourage anyone interested to reserve their seat now and hear directly from some great resources.”

Tunstall has many years of experience in economic development, strategic planning, Internet Technology management and research for corporate and governmental entities, including KPMG Consulting and USAID. He holds a doctorate in economics and public policy, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

He recently served as the principal investigator of a study about the Eagle Ford Shale for the Center for Community and Business Research at the USTA Institute for Economic Development. The study released on May 9 showed that development of oil and natural gas in the Eagle Ford Shale contributed $25 billion in total economic output to the region in 2011.

Lathrop is responsible for all SharePoint-related activities at Rackspace, new sales and current customers. He helps project manage all SharePoint projects for customers and ensure accuracy of implementation.

Kennelly provides advisory services, research, strategic planning and resource development for local communities, small business owners, local governments and economic development corporations. He has worked at the Institute for Economic Development for several years and was the 2010 UTSA SBDC Business Advisor of the Year.

Registration for the forum will open at 8 a.m., with the program beginning at 8:30 a.m.  A continental breakfast will be available. Seating is limited and must be reserved. Interested community members can register through UHVConnect at, by contacting the UHV SBDC at 361-485-4485 or by email at, or by calling the Victoria Chamber of Commerce at 361-573-5277.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs 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 an instructional site in Katy, Texas, 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 population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler