July 3, 2013
Message from the Chief Executive Officer
It’s a great feeling to hear a toddler speaking, isn’t it? Toddlers babble. They mumble. They say things we don’t usually understand, but eventually they get to the age where one can actually HEAR what they said. My almost 22 month old daughter and I have a ritual of sorts when I get home from work. She helps me take off my shoes and socks, and usually mumbles “shoes, shoes”. Today was a bit different in that she actually said “I did it!” when she took my shoe off, and I understood those three words completely.
A sense of accomplishment is like no other feeling in the world. My graduation from UT-Austin gave me one of those moments when I said, “I DID IT!” As one gets older, one hopes to have more of those “I did it” moments. They stand for something. To some it is accomplishing what they thought couldn’t be done. To others, it is a way of expressing joy for getting through some difficult time.
In economic development, there are times when a person can say “I did it,” but in reality most of what we do isn’t done alone. I am blessed to be surrounded by a staff that is eager to help our community grow. I’m blessed to have Board members who, individually, all have servant hearts. I’m blessed to work with a Mayor and City Commission, city staff and other community leaders who give back to their community. Counting blessings is great and even better when the “WE did it” moments come.
For Harlingen, some of those moments have come, and many more are yet to materialize. We have been working on several projects that will hopefully come to closure in the next few months. Sorry, I can’t go into detail on them right now, but when the time comes, I hope everyone all yells at the same time with the enthusiasm of an almost two year old, “WE DID IT!”
In the past few weeks, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing some good programs come to fruition:
- Gulf Coast Trades Center graduated another class of GED students recently.
- The Academic Leadership Alliance (ALA) finalized its summer program. ALA’s program includes having teachers work in a private business setting to learn first-hand how the lesson’s they teach can help students be better prepared to enter the workforce. RGV LEAD plays an important role in this program. Thanks, Pat Bubb! YOU did it!
- Ramiro Aleman, HEDC Business Development Manager, attended a training seminar sponsored by the International Economic Development Council on Business Retention and Expansion. He came back with tons of ideas on how better to serve our existing industries. Way to go Ramiro! YOU did it!
- Lyle Garza, QC Manager, came back from a trip to visit a prospect (which will remain nameless for now), with a very strong signal from the business that our area is on top of the “short-list” of communities they are considering. Lyle, “YOU did it!” And you came to work even when you had to sleep at the airport in Houston due to delays and flight cancellations.
- Our newest Board member, Lupita Gutierrez-Garza and several of her colleagues in the commercial real estate community joined together for their monthly breakfast to discuss various issues facing the real estate market, and had a great presentation from Gilbert Salinas from Brownsville EDC on the potential impact of Space X. Thanks Lupita! YOU did it!
- Board President Dr. Gilbert Leal attended a one-day economic sales tax workshop sponsored by Texas Economic Development Council, and came back with an even-greater understanding of his role in Harlingen’s development. Thanks Dr. Leal! YOU did it!
These are just a few examples of what the community is doing to help make Harlingen a better place for everyone. There are many more of these moments that I experience every day. I see and hear our Mayor and City Commissioners interact with their constituents weekly. I see our school officials participating in activities that lead to better students and ultimately better engaged citizens. Thanks to you all! YOU DID IT!
In the should have, could have department, this newsletter was written a few days ago and should have gone out earlier, but things happen. I hope you are having a great week, and remember to enjoy each and every “I did it” moment. I know I will.
News from around the Harlingen area and beyond
Manufacturing Building Available for Lease
1805 North Loop 499, Suite 110
Harlingen, TX 78550
72,000 Total SF available
24′ minimum clear height
and much more. Call the Harlingen EDC office for more information at 216-5081.