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WESLACO, RGV – The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council’s board of directors has appointed Ron Garza as its new executive director.

Garza, who has been working as the LRGVDC’s deputy executive director since January, will assume his new role sometime in August, when longtime executive director Kenneth N. Jones, Jr., retires. Jones has been the LRGVDC’s executive director for 24 years. His last day could be August 12.

“The board has made this appointment now to ensure a smooth transition phase, to ensure continuity for the council of government’s varied programs,” Jones told the Rio Grande Guardian.

The LRGVDC is the official council of government for Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties. It acts as a conduit for millions of state and federal dollars that come into the Valley for programs in the fields of homeland security, economic development, 9-1-1, regional planning, helping the aged, police academies and transportation.

In recent months, Garza has overseen the implementation of the LRGVDC’s new five-year regional strategic plan and has administered the work of the large cities coalition. He has also ushered in the LRGVDC’s in-depth use of social media.

His official appointment as incoming executive director was made at the LRGVDC’s board meeting on May 25. At the same meeting a new executive committee was elected.

The new executive committee for the LRGVDC comprises Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez as president, San Benito Mayor Celeste Sanchez as 1st vice president, the Hon. Norma Garcia as 2nd vice president, Edinburg Mayor Pro Tem Richard Molina as secretary, Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez as treasurer, and McAllen Mayor Jim Darling as immediate past president.

Click here to read a profile on Ron Garza. Click here to read a profile on Ken Jones.

Editor’s Note: The photos in the slide show accompanying this story were provided by Ron Whitlock Reports.