McALLEN, RGV – McAllen Economic Development Corporation is to hold a retreat for its board members later this year, president and CEO Keith Patridge has confirmed.

Patridge told the Rio Grande Guardian that board members will be asked to look at big picture issues facing the region.

“I have probably got some of the strongest brain power in the Valley on my board. I am extremely pleased with it. But the board is so big that sometimes it is tough to really harness all of that power.

“So what I want to do at this retreat is sit down with all this brain power and get an idea on where the members see economic development for our community going.

“How can we assist the city leadership in their goal, which is to continue to keep taxes low, create jobs for the residents of McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley and continue to have development in McAllen?

“How can we do our job in light of the changing environment around us? How can we do our job in light of the demographic shifts, in light of the changes taking place in Mexico? How can we do our job in light of the changes taking place in the United States? In light of the fact that maybe our competition is changing and we now are going to have to compete on an incentive basis with San Antonio, or Austin or Dallas or Houston or various areas around the country?

“We have not had a retreat like this for a while. I want to get their ideas on where they think we should be going so that we can really set the tenor for the next 20 years for the city of McAllen and MEDC,” Patridge said.