Come Monday, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation will be down to a single employee following two years of high turnover.
Interim Executive Director Ruben Ramirez announced his resignation Tuesday during an EEDC meeting, indicating he will return to his practice as an attorney. His resignation takes effect Monday.
“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,” Ramirez said via a news release earlier this week. “We have a great working relationship. These things happen.”
Ramirez took over the reins of the nonprofit in July 2019, just days after Plinio “Joey” Treviño parted ways with the corporation. Prior to that, Ramirez served as a liaison to the Edinburg council.
“If I had wanted to stay around, I probably could have,” Ramirez said about his temporary post. “But I wanted to get back into law. I especially enjoy being in the courtroom. I enjoy trials.”
The University of Houston School of Law graduate plans to return to his former employer: the Chávez Legal Group, which serves as staff counsel for the Loya Insurance Group.
Ramirez’ departure leaves the EDC with only one employee — Michael Balderas, the small business, workforce development and special events coordinator. The EEDC board, however, plans to meet Monday to discuss and possibly take action on the vacant post.
The nonprofit was in a similar position in 2018, shortly after four staff members and former executive director Gus Garcia were terminated. Since then, EEDC has seen a high turnover that included Myra Garza, Edinburg’s former city secretary who briefly worked for EEDC for a few months, and Nelda Ramirez, a fixture of the organization.
Nelda Ramirez, who most recently served as the director of finance and contract administration, left her post in September and took with her a wealth of institutional knowledge and a void difficult to fill. The longtime employee served as interim executive director on at least three occasions throughout her 19 years at the nonprofit, taking over in 2009 when former director Ramiro Garza left his post, in 2011 after his successor, Pedro Salazar, left, and once again in 2017 after Garcia was fired.