Rose Haddad Snell Becomes Port of Harlingen's First Female Commissioner
Judge Sandra Diaz (left), swears in Rose Haddad Snell (right) as the Port of Harlingen Authority Commissioner Place 1 during a regular board meeting, Thursday, June 1. Photo courtesy of Port of Harlingen.
Rose Haddad Snell was officially sworn in as a member of the Port of Harlingen Authority Board of Commission Thursday, June 1, during their regular meeting.
“As a new commissioner, it’s very exciting to be a part of a board with this much expertise and experience,” Snell said. “It’s apparent that their guidance is a big reason the port has grown to be the 106th largest port in the U.S. and it will no doubt continue to grow in the years to come.”
Snell was appointed to the Place 1 position recently vacated by long-time commissioner Bryan Duffy. She is also the first female to serve as a commissioner in the port’s history. Although new to the commission, Snell is very familiar with the Harlingen community and the economic development of the region.
“We cannot express how pleased we as a commission are that Rose Snell will be joining us to lead this organization,” Commission Chairman Alan Johnson said. “Her business acumen and reputation as a community leader will bring so much experience and knowledge to the Port of Harlingen. Although Mr. Duffy leaving is a loss, I know we will not miss a beat with Ms. Snell on our team.”
Duffy came to the commission in 2011 with a goal to contribute to the community. During those years, he contributed significantly to the port's success and continued growth. Since that time, the Port of Harlingen has grown from tonnage in the hundreds of thousands to more than 3.9 million tons last fiscal year and an economic impact of $1.79 billion.
“I enjoyed working on various projects with other commissioners and staff and getting things done. With a small commission I really considered it to be a ‘working board,’” Duffy said. “I am most proud of how the port has grown over the last several years and the amount of commerce that is done there. I wish for the port to continue to grow and provide additional jobs for the citizens in our community. It has been an honor to serve the community, but it is time I move on to other projects. I will miss my time there.”
Since 1998, Snell has owned and operated FASTSIGNS in McAllen and Harlingen. After running both stores for 18 years, her husband, Rod Snell, joined her running the McAllen store the last seven years. Both the Harlingen and McAllen stores are in the top 25 highest volume stores, out of 600 FASTSIGNS stores Internationally. The Harlingen Chamber of Commerce awarded both of them the Small Business award 2022, and in 2004, the Common Wealth award for growth and development in Harlingen.
“I’ve always been involved in our community, and this is another opportunity to learn and grow individually,” Snell said. “In turn, I hope that my experience being a multi-business owner will be of value to the board.”
Snell was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, where she graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a bachelor’s degree in finance. She moved to Harlingen, with her husband, Rod, in 1994. She is very proud of their two children Hunter and Skylar, both graduates of Texas A&M University, College Station. Rose’s love for children, education and her community has called her to serve in different capacities, including as a vestry member and senior warden for St. Albans Episcopal Church and vice president for St. Albans Episcopal Day School Board. She is an ambassador for HCISD and served as a HCISD Graduation Celebration member and past co-chair. Last year, Rose was chosen to be a local “celebrity” for the Harlingen Area Education Foundation where she helped raise over $100K in scholarship money for graduating seniors. She loves to mentor women in business and leadership, and she finds time to hunt and fish with her family.
“As sad as it is to lose a commissioner like Bryan Duffy, it is equally exceptional to gain someone like Rose on our team,” Port Director Walker Smith said. “I look forward to working with her, and the experience and expertise she will bring as a leader for the Port of Harlingen and the impact it will have on our community.”