Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation welcomes new member

Published 12:40 am Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The pandemic led Kaala Jacobs back home to Port Arthur three years ago, and now as she works on her professional career she’ll spend her time as a new board member for the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation.

Mayor Pro Tem Tiffany Hamilton recently appointed Jacobs, thus replacing the spot left vacant with the dismissal of former board president Jerry LaBove.

During last week’s City Council meeting, Hamilton called Jacobs a visionary, saying she believes Jacobs is going to be a positive asset to the organization, making sure the City is attracting good, strong businesses and helping hold the City accountable in following through in how it treats businesses.

PAEDC Executive Secretary Joanie Collazo, left, Contract Compliance Manager Krystal Muller and newly appointed Board Secretary Kaala Jacobs take part in Monday’s meeting. (Mary Meaux/The News)

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Jacobs attended her first Economic Development Corporation meeting as a board member Monday and was named secretary.

Board President Darrell Anderson congratulated Jacobs for taking on a challenge, coming onto the EDC and being appointed secretary at her very first meeting.

Board Member Ellen Clark said Jacobs’ background in accounting is helpful as they go forward to get a strategic plan in place.

Jacobs is a Port Arthur native. She went to the University of Houston, where she studied accounting and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting.

She’s lived in Houston for 10 years, then the pandemic led her home, she said, adding she always thought she’d move back but three months turned to three years of her living in her hometown.

After several failed attempts to move back to Houston, she decided to plant roots and reestablish herself in Port Arthur.

“I recently finished a tenure with a public professional services firm, where I did internal audit work for almost the last decade,” Jacobs said after Monday’s meeting.

Currently she’s searching for something that’s a bit more passionate and purpose-driven.

“So this is very timely,” she said of the appointment to the PAEDC board. “This is something I’ve passionate about.”

Jacobs said she has known Hamilton for a long time and Hamilton knows her interests.

“I am very interested in representing younger people in the city because we have a voice and we have concerns and are tax-paying citizens but also, as being back home, I have a vested interest in improving the quality of life, which has to do with workforce development as well as the beautification of the city,” she said.