Edinburg EDC hires former Harlingen commissioner

EDINBURG — The city named a new economic development director Friday afternoon.

Board members for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation interviewed a second finalist during a noon meeting and immediately named him executive director.

Harlingen native Plinio “Joey” Treviño, 53, was selected to lead the city’s economic development efforts after the EDC board terminated its former director last year.

Treviño, a former Harlingen commissioner, comes with extensive urban planning and economic development experience, EDC Board President Gilbert Enriquez said.

“He’s been in the backside of the dais, and he’s been in front of the dais,” Enriquez said. “I think that separated him from a lot of the other applicants, and we had a lot of very good applicants.”

The city received more than 50 applications. Every applicant had strengths in certain categories, but did not fulfill all of the board’s expectations, the board president said.

“And we felt that he had the total package,” Enriquez said about Treviño, who graduated from Texas State University in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in geography, urban and regional planning.

Treviño previously served as executive director for the Weslaco Economic Development Corporation from February 2014 to 2016. While there, he helped broker a deal between the city and the then newly created University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to develop a mixed-use incubator aimed at promoting education, entrepreneurship and economic development.

“We have a great opportunity here with the university and the medical school,” Treviño said about UTRGV. “You’ve got energy and technology; who knows, we might be the next Silicon Valley.”

The Harlingen native did not appear fazed by the political climate of the city nor the EDC, both of which have undergone a recent change in direction.

“Every community has their politics involved with it,” he said. “I just (want to) come in with an open mind and start working away and get together with the board to start developing a plan. Edinburg is a dynamic community, and I can’t wait to hit the ground running.”

The EDC will begin negotiations with Treviño as it prepares to formalize an agreement with its new executive director.