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Inspiring Conversations with Jacquie Baly of BalyProjects

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacquie Baly. She shares her story with us below:

*Native of St. Croix USVI, came to Texas at the age of 7.
*Parents are from the French West Indies and a majority of my relatives live in St. Martin/Maarten
*I am the first of my family to graduate from college (however my mother earned her degree soon after).
*My parents taught me that hard work, discipline, dedication and a good work-ethic will take me very far.
*After graduate school (I have a master’s in City Planning with a concentration in Public Affairs) I began my work career as a city planner and progressed to Vice President of the Greater Houston Partnership before starting my own consulting practice.

She began her career as a city and regional planner for numerous entities, worked at the Greater Houston Partnership as Vice President, started her own consulting practice in public affairs and media affairs, served as a gubernatorial appointee on the Brazos River Authority dealing with water and wastewater policies under Governor Rick Perry, She was Mayor Pro Tem and Councilmember for the City of Sugar Land and is now a recent appointee to Governor Greg Abbott’s University Research Initiative Board.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed Jacquie to Governor’s University Research Initiative Advisory Board 6 years ago. The initiative was one of his higher education emergency items stated during his campaign and first term as Governor. Governor Abbott believes the Initiative will advance the state’s higher education system to unprecedented levels and “fuel future growth for generations to come.” The goal of the Board is to help public universities lure game-changing researchers and result in new companies and jobs involved in commercializing research the universities produce.

Ms. Baly founded BalyProjects in 1999 with the objective of providing public affairs, corporate services, media relations, public policy and planning services to individuals, institutions, small businesses, government and corporations.

Ms. Baly is a policy and news analyst for television and radio stations and is often featured on KTRH/AM740. She lectures on public policy at the University of Houston and served as a Faculty-In-Residence at the University of Texas in Austin. Jacquie, always a trailblazer is not only a former member of the Sugar Land City Council, she was also only the 4th woman and 2nd black person to serve on the Council. (not sure if those numbers are trailblazer numbers. Here are some others–I was also the first black woman to serve as an Executive at the Greater Houston Partnership and the first black person on the Executive Teams at the Cities of Seabrook and Sugar Land).

Specialties: government liaison, policy analyst, media relations
Because I’m an immigrant and the US has been so good to me and my family–volunteering and public service are extremely important. Below is a listing of Boards served.

Jacquie has served on several boards and is involved with many organizations including: Houston Contractors Association as Governmental Relations Chair and PAC Board member, Houston Realty Breakfast Club Advisory Board Member, Houston Crime Stoppers, World Affairs Council of Houston as Council Cabinet Member, National Association of Women Business Owners as Policy Director, ESCAPE, Houston Livestock Show & Ro-deo’s Corporate Development Committee and Western Art Committee, Fort Bend Education Foundation as Vice President, YMCA as President, Alley Theatre Advisory Board, Fort Bend Lawyers Care, The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston, Parks Youth Ranch Inc., Fort Bend Boys Choir as President, River Oaks Women’s Breakfast Club as President, and Fort Bend Professional Women’s Club as President, The Houston Symphony League as Vice President of Communications. She is also a member of The Center for Houston’s Future Business Leadership Forum, Leadership Houston,American Leadership Forum the Exchange Club and the Junior League of Houston.

Jacquie is the proud mother of two young men, Raphael Chaumette who is pursuing an MBA at Boston College while playing baseball for the D1 team and Alex Chaumette a senior at Harvard majoring in neuroscience and chemistry while on the pre-med track.

On another personal level–I married at a young age and stayed married for 20 years. At the dissolution of the marriage, I focused on launching my sons and didn’t think I would remarry. Last year I married the love of my life and am living a dream. I never thought that would happen at 53. Ha!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Professionally and politically I am often the only woman and (used to be) youngest at my levels. As such, I was often underestimated. However hard work and making ethical decisions shine through and have allowed me to have a pretty stellar reputation in my field.

Another issue–I’m very much a hands on mom. When the boys were younger I wanted to do it all. I served on the PTA, served as room mom and worked 50 hour weeks. I wanted the boys to know that even though I worked (and worked a lot LOL) I am still always accessible. The pressures for working moms are much worse than for fathers who work.

Looking back I must say it’s been pretty smooth. I always have worked hard and have been honest in my approach. Those qualities go a long way in my profession.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
Like–The incredible history and enriched art scene in Houston. I have served on the MFA Board, Alley Theatre Board and now the Houston Symphony League board. Many may not realize just how blessed we are to have all facets at our backdoor. We are only second to New York and that may not be for much longer.

Like least–My Hubby and I have been living downtown and the homeless situation is daunting and troubling.

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