2011-08-10, Davin Lopez, Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance

President Ross Ramsey banged the gong to call the meeting to order, then led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Invocation was given by Steve Loman.  To celebrate the ground breaking for the Union Pacific Railroad rail yard at Santa Teresa, Jim Maxon selected "I've Been Working on the Railroad" as our song for the day.  Some of us engineers (train drivers) and tie tampers remembered it.  Dinah,blow your horn. 

We then went into the met and greet mode (no Gen. Eddie's instructions). Our mystery greeter was Davin Lopez.  (I missed him and chipped in my dollar). 

After the introduction of guests we had the call for happy dollars.

Announcements

September 11  International Youth Exchange meeting.

September 28  Joint meeting with District Governor Bobby Wallace at the Grapevine on Picacho Ave.

Jean Thomas has moved to an Assisted Living home-an upgrade.  We wish her well.

Happy Hour Thursday 18 August 5:45-8;00 PM at the Mangino residence  2102 Via Tesoro.  (Barbara reminded us that bring a dip means food, not a person.)  See you there.

The Program

Gary Lenzo, program chair, introduced our speaker, the director of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, MVEDA (Big name big job), Davin Lopez.  He received his MBA from jail oops I mean Yale.

Davin, a member of the Mesilla Valley club, told us that his degree in Economics is a BA not a BS-Economics is an art.

MVEDA logoMVEDA is a non profit supported by the city and county and a broad base of business representatives.

Our mission is to raise the wealth, broaden our economic base and promote a trade balance.  Historically if you dont grow, you decline, hence the saying "Grow or die."   We need to create jobs in the private sector.  We need a marketing plan and pay incentives for companies to invest in business here. We are working on these.

In our neighboring states, Texas is very agressive and good at it, Arizona has many incentives and they work.  We cannot compete with them in trying to attract big business,but we have some unique aspects that we need to sell to attract new business.  We have the Santa Teresa Port of entry, we have Spaceport America.  These are selling points.  We do well in Food Processing (our chile plants).  We have state of the art technology, thanks to NMSU, PSL, and WSMR.  And we have solar and algae research-these are job creators and will help our growth.

We are growing; last year 550 new jobs were created in the industrial park, 300 manufeturing jobs in Santa Teresa, and 100 jobs in the new company that tookover the old Frontier call center.  The average pay is $ 75,000 per year..

The private needs basic infrastructure and some are doing their own.  Heavy manufacturing in gradually moving back to the U S of A and we will be getting some of that. The largest maquila in Mexico supports us as opposed to China.  Why? China needs to use all their products at home. 

We have the opportunity and the challenge.  The state is now paying attention.  The bottom line is that we need to grow this area.  We need to focus on our economic base,review and revise our regulations and policies to make them more business friendly. Most important,we need to improve our reputation of problems and delays.  If we are going to attract new business,we must reinvest in our community.

Davin ended his presentation with a few Happy Dollars, one for each of the new employers in the lasy year.  (Lets encourage Davin and MVEDA so that the community will benefit and we may get some more happy dollars.)

After the Program

The 50/50 was won by Lya.  The can reported $19.  To BG: Some us got it ,others don't.  Nerds words:  " Man cannot by beer alone." 

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians

Guest  Host
Saul Perez Gus Gandara

Visiting Rotarians

Rotarian Home Club
Leslie Grehorn Ruidoso

Make-ups

Rotarian Date Club
Jim Maxon 8/08 West El Paso
Denton Holmes 7/27 Rio Grande

Submitted by George Miller