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Volume one, Issue three September 2007

By Kyle Arnold Only four months after breaking ground on a new dealership, Bert Ogden’s Fiesta Chevrolet is set for customers to start checking under the hood and kicking tires on Monday. The new 32,000-squre-foot facility will be the new flagship Chevrolet dealership in Edinburg, replacing Roberts Chevrolet downtown, which Bert Ogden Motors purchased in January. Fiesta is located at the northeast corner of Expressway 281 and Trenton Road. “It’s bigger and there’s more showroom space,” said Carl Johnson, general manager at the dealership. Eventually, owners Bob and Janet Vackar hope to build three dealerships on the site, including one by April 1. The site is 17 acres. Johnson said the new location, away from downtown but along the growing Trenton Road and Expressway 281 corridors, is poised to be a busy commercial center. Across the highway, developers are building a new outdoor mall. And just to the south is the recently opened U.S. Border Patrol’s regional headquarters. The traffic out here is just phenomenal,” Johnson said. “It’s one of the best locations in Edinburg.”



- NASCO and Free Trade Alliance San Antonio will host IPANA on September 6-7, 2007, in San Antonio. The conference will focus on the air cargo industry, and will be geared towards shippers, freight forwarders, port authorities, developers, customs brokers, foreign trade zones, 3PLs, equipment suppliers and other players in the supply chain. Conference attendees will benefit from learning the latest on intermodal trends, cargo security, new logistics corridors, port technology and the air cargo industry. EEDC will be attending the day-and-a-half program. This conference will benefit the City of Edinburg since the International Airport is a Foreign Trade Zone and it is also an inland port of entry.

This is made possible in large part by significant economic growth the City of Edinburg has experienced in the last couple of years. As a way to recognize and show our appreciation to the financial institutions that have made this possible, the Edinburg Marketing Committee will host a reception on September 4th at the ITT building at the University of Texas- Pan American. The reception will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

IEDC Annual Conference

Join your peers in Phoenix, Arizona for the 2007 Annual Conference. This year’s Annual is devoted to models that will help American communities create successful and sustainable economies in the global economy. The conference theme, "Economic Development in the 21st Century: New Leadership, New Models", stresses the need for communities of all types to adjust their economic models and leadership to meet the challenges posed by globalization and technology.

Start Date: End Date: Sunday, September 16 2007 Wednesday, September 19 2007

Address: Westin Kierland 6902 East Greenway Parkway Scottsdale, AZ 85254

TEDC Annual Conference

AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS: *Keynote Speakers - Secretary of State, Phil Wilson; Dr. Ray Perryman; Dr. Jim Kern; Dr. Willard Daggett *Community Economic Development Awards Luncheon *PAC Auction

SESSION TOPICS: Film Industry & Economic Development; Trans-Texas Corridor; Workforce & Education; Leadership; Understanding HB 621; Attracting Retirees to your Community; Retirement in the ED Profession; Positive Public Relations, and other economic development related matters

Hestec Week - HESTEC is a year-round program that culminates in a weeklong event held on the UTPA campus during the week of September 24th to the 29th. During this week, events are held for educators, students and parents that emphasize the importance of science literacy. For more information please visit the HESTEC website at

After more than a year without a permanent city manager, Edinburg city leaders believe they finally found someone to take the position. It turns out they did not have to look far from City Hall to find him. J.J. Rodriguez, who had been acting as interim city manager since July 2006, was tapped to lead the city’s daily operations on a full-time basis during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. He said he would “absolutely assume the responsibility” of continuing to manage the city’s day-to-day operations. “It's certainly a huge vote of confidence for me on part of the council,” Rodriguez said. The city is still working out the final details on his employment contract, which likely will be renewed on an annual basis, Councilman Gene Espinoza said. Details of Rodriguez’s employment contract likely will be finalized by the City Council’s next meeting on Sept. 18, said Mayor Joe Ochoa. Rodriguez has earned $119,000 per year as interim city manager, the mayor said. Edinburg received about 20 applications for the permanent post, but the council felt none had experience comparable to Rodriguez’s, according to Espinoza.

“Not to say that they wouldn’t be able to do the job, but we’re not in a position to have that little lapse of service when it comes to our community,” he said, referring to bringing in someone without enough experience. Espinoza said after a year of working on an interim basis, and with nearly 20 years of experience working for the city, Rodriguez has proven he knows how to keep the city moving. “I guess you could say he’s grown up with the city,” Espinoza said. The job opened up after Wendy Smith Sturgis stepped down as city manager in July 2006 to accept a deputy city manager position in McAllen. Rodriguez has proven he can handle the job during the intervening time, Espinoza said. “So far, he’s produced a balanced budget and that’s always a big test on any city manager,” he said. “I think it sets a good mark for us to move forward.”


Edinburg’s ICSC 2007 - Open Forum

September 5 - U.S. Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary Israel Hernandez pays a visit to South Texas on Thursday to talk about how the region can become more competitive in the global market place. Hernandez visited the City of Edinburg on September 5th. “We are delighted to have the Assistant Secretary visit the Valley,” Dinah McDougall, who runs the Department of Commerce’s South Texas Export Assistance Center, told the Guardian. Hernandez spoke at the University of Texas-Pan American on the subject of “Keeping South Texas Competitive in Global Markets through Rapid Response Manufacturing and Free Trade Agreements.” Hernandez was appointed to the Department of Commerce in 2005 by President Bush. The Export Assistance Center Hernandez oversees has more than 1,700 employees operating in 47 states and 80 countries. Hernandez previously served as the senior advisor to Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, and was employed as deputy assistant to Bush and senior advisor Karl Rove overseeing strategic planning, political affairs, and intergovernmental affairs during the president's first term. McDougall took over the South Texas Export Assistance Center and an office in the McAllen Foreign Trade Zone earlier this year from Robert Shipley. McDougall is a native of Kerrville, Texas, and previously worked for the Commerce Department in Brazil.

Chapin to Edinburg: A Historic Retelling - The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, the City of Edinburg and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation are pleased to announce 100 Years of Edinburg History. The City of Edinburg was founded in 1908, where it was first named Chapin, Texas; in 1911 the town of Chapin was newly named Edinburg, Texas and today the Edinburg Marketing Team is celebrating the Centennial date from which Edinburg was founded. From April 8th-12th, Edinburg will again go down in History by looking back and reflecting on the establishment and growth of our great city. A series of events will take place, including an invitation to those who have preserved Edinburg’s history through photographs, clippings, and other various memorabilia to be displayed at the Edinburg Activity Center. We are limiting the amount of exhibitors to the first 50 interested applicants. The Edinburg Marketing Team invites the community of the Rio Grande Valley to dig up all of their historic Edinburg Artifacts to be on view and shared with the masses.

Richard H. Garcia Mike Govind Fred Palacios Glenn A. Martinez Mayor Joe Ochoa

President Vice-President Secretary/Treasurer Director Director

Ramiro Garza, Jr. Nelda Ramirez Leticia Reyes Dalila Razo

Executive Director Assist. Executive Director Project Manager Administrative Asst.

EEDC is a non-for-profit company and is responsible for economic development in the City of Edinburg. This newsletter is produced monthly to update the business community and stakeholders on EEDC’s key initiatives. Edinburg Economic Development Corporation 602 W. University Drive Edinburg, Texas 78539 Phone: (956) 383-7124 E-mail:

September 2007  

Edinburg EDC September 2007 Newsletter

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