Featured: Edinburg Police Chief César Torres looks on as Rubén R. Ramirez, Interim Executive Director for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, addresses hundreds of area residents who came to the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 for the Biannual Job Fair hosted by the Edinburg EDC.
Photograph Courtesy CITY OF EDINBURG
Edinburg EDC Interim Director Rubén R. Ramírez resigns position effective January 25 as he looks forward to returning to being a full-time attorney
By DAVID A. DÍAZLegislativemedia@aol.com
A military veteran who served four years in Afghanistan, earning a Bronze Star for his service to the nation, Rubén R. Ramírez, the interim Executive Director for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 announced that he was resigning his position in order to return to private practice as an attorney.
Ramírez’ resignation goes into effect on Monday, January 20, 2020.
He will be returning to work for a former employer: Chávez Legal Group, headquartered in Edinburg, which serves as Staff Counsel for Loya Insurance Group.
During that evening’s executive session portion of the Edinburg EDC’s Board of Directors monthly meeting, Ramírez said he informed the five-member group, which includes Edinburg Mayor Pro Tem Gilbert Enríquez and fellow City Councilmember Jorge Salinas, of his decision.
When that governing board, which met in closed session in the meeting room behind the City Council Chambers at Edinburg City Hall, returned into open session, each of the five board members expressed high praise and appreciation for Ramírez’ work.
Enríquez motioned to accept Ramírez’ letter of resignation, which was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors, which includes recent appointees Xavier Salinas, Daniel Díaz and Roland Gómez .
Ramírez had been hired on a temporary basis on Friday, July 5, 2019, after former Edinburg EDC Executive Director Joey Treviño had resigned a few days earlier to return to his consulting business.
In thanking the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors for the opportunity to be part of the city’s economic development strategies, Ramírez emphasized that he was departing on positive terms with the Edinburg EDC governing board.
“I don’t want anybody to think that somehow, this was an ousting or a termination, or for the (Edinburg EDC) board to get a bad reputation, because it is unwarranted,” he said. “We have a great working relationship. These things happen.”
Ramírez noted that when he came on board with the Edinburg EDC, it was on a temporary basis.
“If I had wanted to stay around, I probably could have,” he said. “But I wanted to get back into law. I especially enjoy being in the courtroom. I enjoy trials.”
Ramírez, a graduate of the University of Houston School of Law, said he used his professional skills and experiences, along with his academic background – he attended Texas A&M University before earning a business degree from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and has completed the first year of a Master of Business Administration – said his time with the Edinburg EDC was good for everyone involved.
“It is a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship because being here as the executive director, I was able to use my negotiation skills,” he explained. “There a lot of people who don’t realize that a big portion of an attorney’s job is trying to find common ground, mediating, negotiating these contracts to try to get a better leverage, better deal, and in the case of the Edinburg EDC, for the taxpayers, and further the objectives and goals of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors.”
He is also a licensed teacher who specializes in chemistry and physics, Ramírez was quick to say how being the interim executive director for the Edinburg EDC was professionally and personally fulfilling for him.
“I learned to lot about construction here because we have a number of projects going on. My network was really about to expand. I was able to meet some amazing people and create some really good lasting friendships, just like these board members here,” said Ramírez. “Also, sometimes, you hear or read about someone on the political spectrum, but when you work with them, you realize that everything you hear about them is not bad. Hopefully, you realize these are people of integrity, they really do a good job, and that negative image goes away.”
He singled out Nelda Ramírez, who was serving as the Edinburg EDC’s Director of Finance and Contract Administration until she resigned in September 2019, and Michael Balderas, Small Business, Workforce Development, and Special Events Coordinator, for their work.
“I want to thank my staff. Mike is amazing, and so was Nelda when she was here. It was a great staff. I couldn’t have done it without them,” he said. “I am sure there will be a lot more success for Edinburg, such as in its local sales tax collections, in construction figures, and so on. It continues to look up-and-up.”
Rubén R. Ramírez said he “was honored and blessed to have been able to lend my talents to the City of Edinburg. I always have this mantra (belief) that you take something, you guard it, you improve it, and you pass it on. So I believe that is what I was able to do here as interim executive director. I left it better than how I received it, and be able to pass it on.”