Matt Ruszczak, executive director of Rio South Texas Economic Council, spoke at a meeting of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council in Weslaco, Texas, on Dec. 7, 2016.
Matt Ruszczak, executive director of Rio South Texas Economic Council, spoke at a meeting of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council in Weslaco, Texas, on Dec. 7, 2016.

WESLACO, RGV – Matt Ruszczak has announced that Rio South Texas Economic Council will be title sponsors of a major site selectors forum to be held over three days in February at the Hilton Garden Inn on South Padre Island.

The forum is being put on by SiteLink. On its Website, the group says it “convenes experienced site selectors and industry leaders in economic development to connect, provide insight, and share expertise to improve your community’s strategic position in the noisy landscape of economic development today.”

Jeff Pappas
Jeff Pappas

Ruszczak, executive director of RSTEC, said the three-day event will bring together seven site selectors with a proven track record in industries such as automotive, aerospace and transportation. He said the day after the forum ends, the site selectors will be given a tour of the Valley.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to be the title sponsor. We are very excited about bringing these individuals to the region. This is a great opportunity for seven top site selectors to come to the Valley and learn about the opportunities that present themselves here for investment and site selection,” Ruszczak told the Rio Grande Guardian and RGV Public Radio 88FM.

“These site selectors can be influential in company expansion and relocations. One of them – Jeff Pappas – has already done some projects here in the Valley. So, we have one convert in the group. But the other six, it will be their first trip down here.”

For more information about the forum’s agenda, click here.

The keynote speaker for the forum has yet to be announced. The seven site selection experts to speak at the forum are:

•    James Beatty, president of NCS International, a nationally recognized site selection and economic development consulting firm based in Omaha, Nebraska.
•    James Blair, founder and managing director of Navigator Consulting, an international consulting firm that provides site selection services to European companies looking to expand their business operations into the U.S. market.
•    Dusty Duistermars, strategic account executive for Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, where his expertise is utilized in portfolio and location strategy, workplace strategy, transaction management, CRE Technologies/IWMS, and economic development Incentives.
•    Allea Newbold, principal, Ryan-Tampa, Florida Office, where she specializes in federal and state planning for clients, negotiating credits and incentives for new and expanding companies nationwide, to help them maximize their return on investment.
•    Tim Feemster, managing principal of Foremost Quality Logistics, where he specializes in hands on problem solving situations in economic development, real estate, transportation, logistics, distribution, and marketing.
•    Jeff Pappas, managing director, E Smith Partners, where he represents corporate clients on a national and international basis, managing their global real estate strategy through location advisory and labor market analytics.
•    Paige Webster, president, Webster Global Site Selectors; has worked with many projects across many industry sectors including:  aerospace, bio tech, geo-thermal, wind and solar, warehouse/distribution, office projects, data centers, corporate centers and the retail sector.

For more information on the presenters at the site selectors forum, click here.

RSTEC’s Ruszczak spoke about the site selectors forum at last week’s Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council board meeting. At the meeting, he discussed a key goal he has set himself at RSTEC: to develop a detailed data set of information about the Valley for top site selectors.

“With site selectors and developers, it is important to build relationships and tell our story well. We want them to consider the Rio Grande Valley. It does not mean we will always come out on top. Sometimes we will not but there will be times when we will stick out, maybe in an unexpected fashion. At present, when somebody mentions Texas, the Rio Grande Valley does not always come up at the top of that list. But, we are growing in stature. I want us to have a fair shot and an opportunity. We want to be in the hunt. A good data set will help,” Ruszczak told the Rio Grande Guardian and RGV Public Radio 88 FM.

Asked if there was anything else he wanted to tell listeners and readers, Ruszczak said: “Continue to tell the positive story. Every person has an aspect of the Valley that they love and I encourage everybody to share that love for the region that they have. We want to showcase what a wonderful piece of planet Earth that we have here.”

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying this story shows the Hilton Garden Inn on South Padre Island.