Houston First
Patner Spotlight

Driven by a mission to enhance the quality of life, advance economic prosperity and promote the Houston region, Houston First Corporation is a local government corporation created to operate the city's convention and performing arts facilities. The organization also promotes Houston as a world-class destination for tourism and conventions.

The Corporation owns and manages the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel, Jones Hall, Jones Plaza, Wortham Theater Center, Miller Outdoor Theatre, and other city-owned properties.

Their operations include day-to-day maintenance, management and licensing of its properties as the sites of conventions and trade shows (40 major events and 200 smaller events, per year), concerts and theatrical performances (more than 600, per year), and civic events.

Texas Black Expo is pleased to have enjoyed a partnership with Houston First for the past 12 years, working with the Corporation as a sponsor of the George R. Brown Convention Center facility for our annual signature event, the Summer Celebration.

With the support of Houston First, TBE has been able to promote both the four-day Summer Celebration experience and the city of Houston against the backdrop of the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Hilton Americas, and the Avenidas corridor. Together, we have been able to introduce Houston as a world-class event locale to the thousands of TBE guests who travel to the city for our popular Summer Celebration.

Houston First is headed by President and CEO Michael Heckman, who was appointed to the position by Mayor Sylvester Turner in 2020. Before this appointment, Heckman served as Chief Operating Officer of Strategic Initiatives and as the Senior Vice President of Partnerships and Event Development of Houston First Corporation. Although he has been with Houston first for 13 years, Heckman has a 20+-year career with leadership roles spanning destination marketing and hotels, as well as sports and event management.

Texas Black Expo appreciates our longstanding relationship and commitment that Houston First has offered to our organization as a community partner. For more information about Houston First, visit houstonfirst.com.