Roy Rodriguez wins Lifetime Achievement Award

McALLEN, Texas – McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E., has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas City Management Association.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes city management professionals “who have made significant contributions to the field of local government management for more than 20 years.”

Rodriguez received the honor at the TCMA Annual Conference Awards Luncheon held at the Marriott Dallas Allen Hotel & Convention Center in Allen, Texas.

“McAllen City Manager Rodriguez was selected for the vast accomplishments the City of McAllen has made under his leadership for the benefit of its residents, businesses as well as its own employees,” said Jay Stokes, president of TCMA and city manager for the City of Deer Park. 

Stokes said Rodriguez also won the award “for the strides he made in other communities he worked in; and for serving as an example and a leader, including providing support, to neighboring cities in the Rio Grande Valley and beyond.”

Rodriguez, an engineer by trade, has been city manager for the City of McAllen since March 2014. Before this he was assistant city manager for the City of McAllen and, at the same time, general manager of McAllen Public Utility for nine years and four months. Before this he was city manager for the City of Harlingen for three years and nine months.

A press release from the City of McAllen stated: “With a state and municipal government career that spans over 30 years, Rodriguez has consistently embodied the highest standards of governance, service, leadership and ethics. Equally important, throughout his career, he has led with a spirit of inclusivity and diversity. He is highly regarded for his visionary leadership and enthusiasm for building strong teams. This is especially evident whenever Rodriguez reaches out to other communities to offer support, share ideas and promote the profession of city management.”

The 2023 TCMA Annual Conference started June 8 and runs thru June 11. Rodriguez spoke as a panelist at the conference on a session titled “Love Your Job, Don’t Live Your Job.” 

Joe Vera

At the same TCMA conference, McAllen Assistant City Manager Joe Vera was also recognized. The former Hidalgo City Manager was honored with the Mentoring Award in Memory of Gary Gwyn. This award recognizes a city management professional who has “made significant contributions in the development of new talent and who has designed and implemented outstanding career development programs for local government employees.”

TCMA President Stokes said of Vera: “Throughout his career, whether it was in municipal leadership roles or the countless industry and community organizations he served, his leadership philosophy is his commitment to developing new talent and building top level performing teams, with a strategic mentorship approach.” 

A press release from the City of McAllen said: “Vera, with an equally long and impressive career in municipal, economic development, event management, has always served the community in ways that created an impact for both residents and most especially, those he worked with by developing talents, partnerships and opportunities for professional growth for employees and staff, ensuring that his leadership, experience and institutional knowledge was shared.”

McAllen reaction

In an entry on Facebook, McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos said: “I beam with pride as earlier today, the Texas City Managers (sic) Association recognized two City of McAllen administrators. Our City Manager Roy Rodriguez, received the Lifetime Achievement Award and our Assistant City Manager Joe Vera was honored with the Mentoring Award. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. McAllen is a great place because of the leaders (team) we have. Roy and Joe, I am honored to serve alongside you gentlemen.”

In a City of McAllen press release, Villalobos said: “What impresses me most about both City Manager Rodriguez and Assistant City Manager Vera are that their management and mentorship style helps make everyone around them better because they believe in their talent and skills. They are able to motivate employees and commissioners alike to help make the entire City of McAllen the example by which other municipalities measure themselves against.” 

In an entry on Facebook, McAllen City Commissioner Tony Aguirre said: “Congratulations, Roy and Joe! There is a reason McAllen is a fantastic place to live! Thank you for your expertise, your knowledge, and your loyalty to our residents and our city.”

In an entry on Facebook, Nedra Kinerk, president of Futuro RGV, said: “Proud of our city and our public servants who make it great.”

Both Rodriguez and Vera were nominated by TCMA Region 10, the region to which the City of McAllen is a part of through the Texas Municipal League.

Past Winners

On its website, TCMA lists Past Recipients of TCMA Professional Awards going back to 2010. Past award winners from the Rio Grande Valley include:

2022 Lifetime Achievement Award: Mike Perez, retired City Manager, City of Weslaco

2022 Administrator of the Year: Noel Bernal, City Manager, City of Brownsville 

2021 City of the Year: City of McAllen

2017 Administrator of the Year: Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, City of McAllen

2012 Administrator of the Year: Mike Perez, City of McAllen

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