Please meet Sreekanth Pannala.
Times of emergency often bring a spotlight to the needs of our community. Hurricane Harvey was one such event that led to many asking essential questions about what happened and, most importantly, why it happened to determine ways to understand and make sure we are not in the same situation again.
Such was the situation with the LID 19 newest board member Sreekanth Pannala. During Harvey, he and his family were evacuated from the area. Like many residents, he grew frustrated at the lack of information on the event or the outright misinformation shared among the residents.
“I kept asking myself why did our area suffer so much? I was determined to use my research background to find ways to understand and prevent this from happening again.”
Originally from India, Sreekanth is a product of Indian Institute of Technology and later graduated from Georgia Tech with a master’s and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. After working for Oak Ridge National Laboratory (US Department of Energy) in TN for 16 years, he was recruited to Texas by SABIC in 2015. This education and his innate curiosity drove Sreekanth to learn about LID 19 and LID 15. He documented his findings about our LID and Harvey and soon was asked to speak at various residents organized post-Harvey town halls.
He worked with others to get the board converted to elected and expand the board from three to five to ensure representation for the district residents. When board member John Arndt moved from the area, Sreekanth applied to the position and was voted on the board unanimously.
“I have seen the pain first hand though we were lucky to not get flooded. We need to continue to educate and communicate our efforts. While we need to be responsible for our actions’ tax implications, I will do whatever I can to reduce the chances of flooding in our district.”