Head of Weslaco chamber departing organization

The head of the Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce announced his intention to depart the organization this month for a similar position in his home state of North Carolina.

Doug Croft, the chamber’s president and chief executive officer, was hired in January 2017. His last day will be Friday.

“I’m very happy here, and there are no negatives,” Croft said of his current position. “It’s been wonderful.”

Croft, offered a job to head the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce in North Carolina, submitted his resignation to the Weslaco chamber’s board in November.

Croft took the position after Martha Noell retired in December 2016. Noell lead the Weslaco chamber for 17 years.

Croft, who oversaw the chamber of about 500 members, will nearly complete a two-year tenure.

“As cliché as this is, the difference maker (in Weslaco) is the people,” he said. “I have enjoyed the community of business leaders, which includes city hall and the EDC (Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco).”

The Weslaco chamber, a nonprofit organization dedicated to attracting visitors to the area implemented a digital marketing strategy under Croft’s leadership. The strategy included online marketing to attract birders and international shoppers to the area.

“We are disappointed to see Doug move on. He has been valuable to the Weslaco chamber and community,” the chamber’s board chair Luis Reyes said in a statement. “Doug has prepared our organization for the next chapter and we are in a great place to move forward.”

He previously worked at the Thomasville Area North Carolina Chamber of Commerce as a consultant before moving to Weslaco.

“I look forward to coming back to visit,” Croft said.

The chamber’s board appointed marketing director Laura Espinosa to fill Croft’s position in the interim.

The board seeks a CEO and president who has chamber of commerce experience as well as a bachelor’s degree, according to a job listing posted on www.weslaco.com/jobs.

The Weslaco chamber also manages the business and visitors center located next to Weslaco City Hall.