EHCMA’s new leader ‘does good’


For many, taking the reins of the leadership of a trade association representing one of the world’s largest petrochemical manufacturing and refining regions would be a daunting prospect, especially since the role would begin at a global public health crisis. But MaryJane Mudd, executive director of the East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA), was not intimidated by the challenge or the timing; going through a crisis is his specialty. His vast experience has enabled him to be the ideal leader of an organization comprising over 115 member companies that represent over 130 individual factories.

Founded in 1987, EHCMA supports member companies that operate primarily in the East Harris County, Texas area, including Houston, Deer Park, Baytown, Pasadena, North Channel, the Bay Area, and La Porte. EHCMA members transform natural resources into materials needed to manufacture products such as cosmetics, gasoline, jet fuel, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, electronics, building materials, household items, clothing, plastics, auto parts and other items that are part of everyone’s daily life. . Industry in EHCMA’s territory contributes approximately 33,000 jobs and $ 12 billion to Houston’s economy.

“Industry’s mission is to ‘do good’ and EHCMA is proud to be its voice. “ – Mary Jane Mudd, EHCMA

Prior to this role, Mudd was already well aware of the many ways the industry positively benefits society in terms of economic impact and on consumers, but said she continues to be amazed at the enormous value that member companies of EHCMA provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The refining and petrochemical industries provide the raw materials needed to manufacture the PPE needed to protect first responders and healthcare professionals, coatings and protective coatings to protect food products, and solutions to ‘sanitation and sterilization, such as hand sanitizer and processes to clean and sterilize surgical tools. and hospital equipment and rooms, ”she said. “Manufacturing these valuable products required the presence of many factory workers every day throughout the pandemic, as companies created, invested and implemented effective and innovative protective measures to prevent the spread. of COVID-19. “

The ways in which EHCMA companies have evolved during the pandemic are no exception, Mudd said. Rather, that’s what they always do, day after day. This is an apt reflection of EHCMA’s slogan, “doing good”, which is a clever nod to both the production of essential goods produced by industry as well as the social good created in its industries. communities.

Hailing from Baltimore, Mudd’s family “moved a lot” throughout his childhood based on his father’s job as a plant manager for General Motors. His father’s profession would profoundly shape his work ethic and professional ambitions.

“When I was five years old, I remember my father holding my hand and taking me around the factory on foot,” she recalls. “When we walked past the workers on the assembly lines, they would smile and wave at us. Even though I was so young, I was amazed at how focused they were on their work. I still remember looking at my father proudly, knowing that he and the others were responsible for making the cars people needed and used every day. “

The combination of Mudd’s pride in her father, awe of the dedication of the assembly workers, and an awareness of the importance of the factory’s products convinced her that she wanted to work in an environment commercial because it “makes a real difference in people’s lives.”

Mudd then studied journalism at Central Michigan University, where she met a recruiter from Dow Chemical. This introduction led her to receive and accept a sales position at the global chemicals manufacturer. However, selling was not his passion, so when an opportunity presented itself within the Dow communications team, Mudd seized the opportunity. In this new role, she realized that communications were her true calling, and she has been in the field ever since.

Mudd has worked in communications in the corporate and non-profit spheres. His private sector resume reads like a “who’s who” of the main players in the industry: Air Liquide America, Conoco, ConocoPhillips, Dow and Shell Oil; she was also a consultant for SABIC and Clariant while running her own communications company. Over the years, she has developed a passion for community engagement, crisis communication and reputation management. Mudd’s proudest professional achievement has been the role she played in public affairs for the Red Cross during Hurricane Harvey, a period in which she was able to help those in crisis while applying her skills to participate in approximately 80 interviews with local and national media. Over the years, she has held leadership roles on boards of directors including Leadership Houston, the American Marketing Association, the Purdue University Parent Advisory Council, and the League of Women Voters of Houston.

She is also a strong advocate for funding medical research to treat tuberous sclerosis of Bourneville (TSS), a rare disease that the eldest of her three daughters was diagnosed with at the age of one. “My advocacy for TSC has enriched my life in many ways,” she said. “It’s been a 28 year journey, and advocacy in Washington, DC has taught me so much about lobbying and public policy in general.”

Hit the ground running

Since taking over as head of EHCMA on March 1, Mudd has led the association to refine its mission, vision and values. “Our mission is to deliver value to our members with health, safety, environmental responsibility and economic growth in mind,” she said. “We do this by creating opportunities to share best practices as well as engaging in emergency response, advocacy and ongoing communication partnerships with our members and neighbors. “

One of her first goals for EHCMA was to develop a strategic plan in which she defined six strategic pillars, or areas of focus: business operations, membership, HSE, communications, advocacy and community (including the development of the workforce). -work).

Mudd presented the plan to the EHCMA board in September and early October, board chairman Rod Herrick led a workshop where board members met in person and determined the ‘big rocks ”- the most critical strategic priorities for the coming year. While all of the strategic pillars will be pursued, the Big Rocks for 2022 are organizational structure, best practice sharing, crisis communications and community engagement. Implementation plans are underway and a status report will be presented to members, partners and community leaders at the EHCMA annual meeting in December.

In the meantime, EHCMA continues to involve its member companies and to have an impact on local communities through its committees: mutual aid of the chain industries (CIMA), emergency management, communications, environment, legislation, security, transport and logistics, and workforce development. The committees, made up of representatives from several member companies, meet monthly to discuss the implementation of specific objectives and adapt according to needs or opportunities. For example, the communications team conducted a community survey earlier this year to better understand the community’s concerns and their impressions of the industry. The results of the survey will be presented to member companies through webinars and meetings across the region. The emergency management team works with member companies and local partners to assess ways to improve communications in the event of an incident. Mudd said there are many other examples of good work being done by EHCMA committees.

“Through it all, we return to our mission to deliver value to our members with health, safety, environmental responsibility and economic growth in mind. It impacts everyone – our member companies, communities and the industry as a whole, ”Mudd said.

Mudd also wants to effectively communicate EHCMA’s “do good” message to the community.

“I know it can sometimes be difficult for the public to make the connection between what the industry provides to make modern life liveable. Our job is to make sure that message gets to them,” she said. . “As the pandemic eases, our challenge is to ‘socialize the industry’ or create opportunities for member companies to share what they offer to society. EHCMA members provide vital products including people need, and are at the forefront of, producing safer, cleaner, more affordable, more responsible and more sustainable products and processes. Industry’s mission is to ‘do good’, and EHCMA is proud to be its voice. ”

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