MISSION, RGV – Mission Economic Development Corporation has announced the hiring of Cristina Garza as program director.

Garza’s duties will include creating, organizing and coordinating Mission EDC’s Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (E-STEAM) related programs, such as Ruby Red Ventures, Code the Town, and Enginuity.

Cristina Garza
Cristina Garza

In addition, said Alex Meade, Mission EDC CEO, Garza will provide strategic guidance and support to the EDC team for current and future programs “in ways that promote the organization’s culture and vision.” Garza will also oversee the development and implementation of an Arts program that compliments Mission EDC’s existing initiatives.

“The Mission EDC Board of Directors along with the City of Mission City Council are thrilled about Ms. Garza coming on board. Her well rounded education and experience will not only help strengthen the organization but will play an integral role as we seek to prepare a 21st century ready workforce in the City of Mission,” Meade told the Rio Grande Guardian.

In a news release, Mission EDC said Garza previously worked as a Teaching Assistant at Syracuse University in Florence, Italy where she taught the course Italian Arts: Antiquities to Michelangelo. In addition, she also worked as a Curatorial Assistant at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. While at Villa I Tatti, Ms. Garza contributed to the research, design, building, and editing of the online exhibition: Yashiro and Berenson: Art History Between Japan and Italy.

Prior to this, Garza worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as the Academic Programs Associate. “In this role, Ms. Garza coordinated the renowned Fellowship program at the museum where she planned professional development programs for 50 fellows annually including the Fellows Colloquia, as well as gallery teaching and public speaking workshops. Additionally, she led the implementation of the fellowship program’s first online application system,” the news release stated.

Meade said Garza’s involvement in program management started when she worked at the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) as Public Programs and Visitor Services Coordinator. In addition to managing the Visitor Services department, Garza planned and facilitated over 90 public programs per year. While at BHS, Meade said, she established “crucial partnerships” with companies such as Brooklyn Brewery and Shake Shack. Furthermore, Garza has had the opportunity to work at the Rubin Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and the Buia Gallery.

Garza is a Valley native, has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from New York University and a Master of Arts in Art History from Syracuse University.

Earlier this year, Mission EDC expanded its team with the hiring of Teclo Garcia as director of Strategic Partnerships and Program Development. In this role, Garcia helps identify strategic partners and develop funding opportunities to expand and diversify Mission EDC’s project and program portfolio.

For more information, please contact: Mission EDC at (956) 585-0040.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying this story shows Cristina Garza, Alex Meade, and Teclo Garcia in Mission EDC’s new Center for Education and Economic Development building.