Business View Magazine | May 2019

35 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE MAY 2019 T he George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB) opened on the east side of downtown Houston on September 26, 1987. The building was named for internationally recognized entrepreneur, engineer, civic leader, and philanthropist, George Rufus Brown (1898-1983), who donated six of the 11 blocks necessary to build the facility. “Right off the bat, it hosted the top 25 conventions and trade shows in the country,” recounts Senior Vice President of Operations & General Manager, John Gonzalez. One of the challenges, however, according to Gonzalez was retaining those initial clients who hosted events at a time when Houston didn’t have the convenience of a convention campus. “The closest hotel was about four blocks away, but the headquarter hotel was close to a mile. At that point, the building was flanked with open parking lot spaces, and the myth was that there was nothing to do in the George R. Brown C O N V E N T I O N C E N T E R In the middle of it all