The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership presented Dr. Bill Merrell its prestigious 2015 Quasar Award for Exceptional Leadership in Economic Development during its 22nd annual Quasar Award Banquet on Friday, Jan.16, 2015, at the South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center.
Merrell is the George P. Mitchell ‘40 chair in Marine Sciences at Texas A&M University at Galveston and president of Merrell Historic Properties, Inc. Following the massive devastation caused by Hurricane Ike in 2008, Merrell began work to study a system that would provide storm surge protection for the Upper Texas Gulf Coast. The Quasar Award was presented to honor Merrell in appreciation and acknowledgment of his tremendous work in storm surge protection and his development of the Ike Dike concept, which, when completed, will be a major economic driver for the region.
Victor Pierson, president, Moody National Bank and BAHEP 2015 board chair, said, "When I compare the tremendous economic impact the Galveston Seawall had 100 years ago to the even greater benefits the Ike Dike concept promises for the entire Galveston Bay region, I can think of no one more worthy of the Quasar Award than Dr. Bill Merrell. "He has spearheaded this movement from its infancy, and he richly deserves this high honor for his leadership, ingenuity and focus on our future.”
Merrell holds a B.S. in physics and an M.A. in mathematics from Sam Houston State University, as well as a Ph.D. in oceanography from Texas A&M University. He is a past president of TAMUG.
Merrell has also held presidential appointments with the National Science Foundation and served as chair of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment among many other notable positions.
Maj. Gen. Bill McClain, special advisor to the CEO, Texas A&M University at Galveston, said, "Dr. Bill Merrell epitomizes the Aggie value for serving the greater good. His concept to suppress storm surge and his coordination and leadership to bring the very best research to the issue will result in averting social and economic tragedy.”
Shown from left to right: Vic Pierson, president, Moody National Bank and 2015 Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership board chair; Quasar Award honoree Dr. Bill Merrell, Texas A&M University at Galveston; Dr. Brenda Hellyer, chancellor, San Jacinto College District and 2014 BAHEP board chair; and Bob Mitchell, BAHEP president. (Photo by Brittany Havican)