Clyde A. Barbour
Captain Clyde A. Barbour was a young and ambitious steamboat captain who helped shape the city of Houston and transform Port Houston into the fastest growing container port in the United States and the first in overall tonnage.
A resident of Houston for 20 years in the early 1900s, Barbour recognized the potential for expanding the waterborne commerce in the Houston Ship Channel. He envisioned and undertook a bold endeavor to cut the five-hour trip from ships traveling from the Gulf of Mexico to Port Houston in half by dredging an inlet that included a turning basin off the Houston Ship Channel only two and a half hours from the Gulf of Mexico. He named the inlet and terminal Barbours Cut and Barbours Terminal, respectively. His ambitious project catapulted Port Houston to the forefront of container activity in the Gulf Coast.
Barbour owned the Galveston, Harrisburg and Houston Transportation Company, as well as other companies, and was awarded the contract in 1910 to supply concrete for the first great causeway over Galveston Bay between Galveston Island and the mainland, making building materials one of the largest branches of trade in Houston.
Gary C. Thomas
A longtime leader of transformational change in the transit industry, Gary C. Thomas served for almost 20 years as President and Executive Director of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), which serves 13 cities within 700 square miles. Today, he continues to serve the transit industry in a consulting role.
Under Thomas’ leadership from 2001 until 2021, DART’s light rail system grew from 20 miles to 93 miles, becoming the longest in the United States. Thomas implemented a clean fuels program for DART’s bus fleet, advanced new models for bus and paratransit services, and developed a mobile ticketing app that became an industry best practice and subsequently received the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Innovation Award. Known for successfully balancing regional, urban and suburban issues, he helped revitalize communities, spur economic activity, and improve connectivity through DART initiatives, including connecting light rail to the Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport, the nation’s second largest airport.
Thomas served as Chair of APTA, was recognized as APTA’s 2016 Outstanding CEO of the Year, and was inducted into the APTA Hall of Fame in 2022. He also received the Texas Tech University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016.