Gilda Ramirez directs the Small Business Development and Maritime Education for the Port of Houston Authority. Since the inception of the Small Business program in 2002, the Port Authority has awarded almost half a billion dollars in contract awards – or about 39 percent of all eligible Port Authority contracts to local small businesses and there are nearly 1000 registered small businesses in the program.
Ramirez also directs the Port Authority’s Maritime Academy Program, a public/private partnership designed to help fill the maritime employment pipeline with bright, well-trained, young talent.
Now in its sixth year, the program is anchored by two Houston Independent School District high schools – Stephen F. Austin and Jack Yates – and Galena Park, Pasadena and Channelview school districts also have Maritime programs. The program is so highly regarded by HISD that it earned the Port Authority recognition as one of the school district’s Partners and they designated Austin High School as a Maritime Magnet School.
Ramirez brings a rich portfolio of civic service and recognition. She has been named “Hispanic Executive of the Year” by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; was awarded the Texas Business Alliance’s “The One Woman Soaring Heights Award”; Women on the Move, and Government Procurement’s Small Business Advocate.
Ramirez worked for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County for 18 years prior to joining the Port Authority. She holds a bachelor of arts in Public Administration and Boston College’s certification in Corporate Community Relations.