EDINBURG – Longtime Edinburg EDC assistant executive director Nelda T. Ramirez has been appointed in the interim to the department's top spot following a unanimous vote by EDC board members last week.

Ramírez, who has been working for more than a decade, promoting Edinburg's successful job-creation measures, business development policies, and state legislative agendas, was appointed Interim Executive Director for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation on Aug. 3

She succeeds Pedro Salazar, who tendered his resignation earlier this summer after accepting an offer to help lead commercial lending efforts with Lone Star National Bank at that firm's headquarters in McAllen.

"I have been EEDC's Assistant Executive Director for about seven years, so I am very familiar with all the projects and the processes of economic development for Edinburg," Ramirez said.

The EEDC is the job-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. In addition to collecting and administrating a one-half economic development sales tax that is generated from eligible retail purchases within the city limits, the EEDC is designed to play a key role in assisting companies to expand, while helping to attract new business and industry to Edinburg.

Ramírez initially led the EEDC during the transition period in late 2009, when then EEDC Executive Director Ramiro Garza, Jr. left that post to become Edinburg's City Manager. Salazar succeeded Garza in early 2010.

Her selection to again lead EEDC's team of staff professionals, coupled with her extensive credentials, provides crucial continuity with the EEDC's and Edinburg City Council's economic goals, she said.

For the time being, she said she would be focusing on preparing the EEDC and its leadership on the more immediate major economic development and administrative initiatives, rather than throw her hat into the ring for the EEDC's top administrative post on a permanent basis.

"Right now, we're looking to keep going forward, and the EEDC board has not yet considered filling the Executive Director's position on a more long-term basis," she said. "In the meantime, I want to express my deep appreciation for the confidence again shown in me by the EEDC Board of Directors, and I want to say thank you to my predecessors, Pedro Salazar and Ramiro Garza, and to my colleagues on the staff, Letty Reyes and Dalila Razo, for sharing their invaluable skills, ideas, and successes with me."

Prior to her job on the EEDC, Ramirez worked for nine years with the Law Office of James (Jim) Darling, while he was the City Attorney for the City of McAllen. Darling, who several years ago resigned as McAllen City Attorney in order to run for public office in that community, was reelected last May to a second term on the McAllen City Commission.

Her first day on the job last week as Interim EEDC Executive Director included a full slate of key assignments, including updating board members on potential new projects, beginning final preparations for the EEDC's upcoming proposed annual operating budget, and - in executive session - helping review offers of financial or other incentives to business prospects.

"Through my work with Commissioner Darling at his private law firm when he was McAllen City Attorney, I received top-notch experience and education in the legal, business, and economic development fields," Ramírez said. "Those skills I developed with Jim Darling and with the EEDC continue to serve Edinburg in many ways, ranging from drafting and procurement of contracts, helping coordinate and conduct public meetings, and working with local, state, and federal leaders on behalf of their constituents."