Edinburg chamber president steps down after decades-long tenure

EDINBURG — The longtime chamber president resigned abruptly from her post earlier this month after more than three decades of service to the organization.

Letty Gonzalez, former president of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and Edinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, turned in her letter of resignation effective immediately Sept. 7, said interim director Ronnie Larralde.

Larralde, who was previously serving as the chamber’s director of marketing and special events, was not present the day Gonzalez left, but said she cited a desire to spend more time with her family in her letter.

“She said that she was taking the opportunity to focus on her health and share special moments with her family and make up time she spent away due to her work responsibilities,” Larralde said.

When asked if anything else had prompted her departure, he responded: “That, I do not know. She just turned in her letter. I actually wasn’t here at the time.”

Larralde, who has been with the chamber for almost seven years, said the 18-member board will begin a search to replace Gonzalez in the coming months.

Gonzalez began her career with the organization 31 years ago as an intern and worked her way up to president about two decades ago. As the leader of both the chamber and the bureau, she wore a number of hats — coordinating events, spearheading tourism efforts, overseeing membership drives and taking care of administrative duties, such as booking and payroll.

“She’s done a lot of work for the city of Edinburg and its growth,” Larralde said, praising his predecessor. “Letty worked tirelessly for this community for over 30 years. She was instrumental in all things Chamber, from economic development, membership services to developing some of the region’s best quality-of-life events such as Fiesta Edinburg and Texas Cook’Em. We are forever grateful for her service and dedication to Edinburg. “

Other changes are coming to the chamber and bureau via the board of directors.

Each member serves a three-year term and four of them are up this month: Jacob de Leon of Memorial Funeral Home, Sergio Gonzalez of Rosie’s Flower Shop, Elva Jackson Garza of Edwards Abstract and Title Company and Lee Castro of Legacy Funeral Home.

They will be replaced by incoming members Noel Perez of Magic Valley Electric Cooperative, Marsha Green of Bert Ogden Dealer Group, Carlos Guajardo of South Texas Health Systems and Dina Puente of BIC Realty.

The new directors will be inducted during the chamber’s annual banquet at the end of October, which honors the man and woman of the year, a firefighter and an ambassador, among others.

Also, stepping down as chairman of the board is Alex Rios, who will pass the torch to Jennifer Garza, vice president of operations for Superior Health Plan. Rios, however, will remain on the board for the upcoming year, serving as past chairman.

nlopez@themonitor.com