EDINBURG, RGV – Less than one year after closing it, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has decided to re-open its Monterrey, Mexico, office.
At a board meeting on Tuesday, EEDC directors unanimously authorized their executive director, Gus Garcia, to enter into a “professional services agreement” with Guillermo Canedo Sternenfels, the consultant who ran the Monterrey office for many years.
In an interview with the Rio Grande Guardian after the meeting ended, Garcia said he had recommended re-hiring Canedo. Garcia said he was confident the consultant would help promote Edinburg as a “destination city” in Monterrey and other parts of Mexico.
“There are a lot more destination sites happening in Edinburg. The point of having Mr. Canedo in Monterrey on behalf of the EDC and the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce was to promote Edinburg and so now is a really good time to up those efforts and to get the word out that Edinburg has a lot to offer,” Garcia said.
Asked why Edinburg is now more of a “destination city,” Garcia said: “There are a lot of destination sites here, with the new IMAX cinema, with the new soccer stadium and the concerts that will coming to the new arena. Plus, we have the medical community and the university. There are so many great things happening here. There are a lot more destination venues that we need to promote in Mexico.”
The decision to close the Monterrey office came when a new board of directors took over at EEDC last year. The new board wanted to review all the projects and programs the EDC was running to improve efficiency. The board decided last summer that it could save money by closing the Monterrey office.
“The office has been closed about a year, which is not too bad. As you know, the board made a decision not to renew Mr. Canedo’s contract but after consideration of our new masterplan and the destination sites that are here, we thought it a good time to resurrect it,” Garcia said. “We need to promote ourselves. For example, soccer is big in Mexico. There is potential tourism that can come from that and we need to it.”
Asked if Edinburg is well-known in Monterrey and Mexico, Garcia said: “I think Edinburg is well known in Monterrey. The effort Mr. Canedo and the EDC and the Chamber has made over the years has been strong. In the past I think Mexican shoppers and tourists have bypassed us and so now is the time to reach out to them. We have new hotels being built, such as the Marriott and the Resident’s Inn. We also have a new customs facility opening next month at our airport. That will allow Mexican tourists to fly into our airport and get checked by customs. We have never had that before. This is another reason we feel we need to have Mr. Canedo promoting us in Monterrey.”
Garcia said Canedo has been associated with Edinburg for approximately ten years. He said his record of attracting business to Edinburg speaks for itself.
“He played a role in us landing Santana Textiles. He has been part of Select USA, which has a big summit every year. He has participated in that. They know him very well. He has lots of ties in Mexico. He has made lots of connections for us. He has helped bring in various restaurants, such as Luciano Neighborhood Pizzeria, the industrial park and some of the businesses there. He has brought us business in the past and I think he will do so again.”
Garcia added: “My recommendation is to rehire Mr. Canedo so I hope it works out.”
Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia (no relation to Gus Garcia) made making Edinburg a destination city the main theme of his recent state of the city address. Mayor Garcia is a member of the EEDC board of directors.
Another decision taken at the EEDC board meeting was to authorize Garcia to enter into a “Professional Services Agreement” with Signature Advocacy Public Affairs, Inc.
Another decision taken at the EEDC board meeting was to table discussion of approval for a sponsorship arrangement with the Junior Vipers Academy, Venom Volleyball, and RGV FC Toros Academy.
Coming out of discussions taken in executive session, the EEDC board also agreed to:
• Authorize the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Project Golden;
• Authorize the Executive Director to extend the Santana Textiles, LLC, agreements;
• Authorize the Executive Director regarding Project Zone;
• Authorize the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with MG Kamal Properties;
• Authorize the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Bert Ogden;
• Authorize the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Mayan Marketing, LLC;
• Authorize the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Project Liberty;
• Authorize the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Mateo Leal.
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above story is a file photo showing Guillermo Canedo Sternenfels at the old Edinburg EDC offices. Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor.