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George Myers takes over as Chamber CEO

20130820 MissionChamber Myers Matt CAB 0017MISSION – As Matt Ruszczak leaves his post as Mission Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, George Myers is ready to take over where Ruszczak has left off. Ruszczak, who has been hired as city manager for Rio Grande City leaves the Mission Chamber post effective Aug. 31. He has served as the leader of the chamber since summer 2010.

“I am in a very fortunate situation of coming into an organization working on all eight cylinders,” said Myers. I want to take what’s already been done and continue to build on that.

Ruszczak said Myers, the previous chairman of the board, has the necessary tools and skill set to take the helm of CEO of the chamber. He also thinks his military experience is a key trait that can be utilized at the chamber, adding the chamber is high intensity. He has the understanding of controlled chaos, said Ruszczak.

He has the ability to manage multiple things at the same time, he continued, and the leadership skills to lead the chamber and help the community.

He thinks the board made the right decision in selecting Myers.

“I am actually quite excited to have him be the individual that’s going to lead this organization forward,” said Ruszczak.

As a past chairman of the board, Myers already has a leg up and some insight in how the chamber functions.

For the past few weeks, Myers and Ruszczak have been working side by side. Myers has been very proactive and is getting involved in the day-to-day ride and activities the chamber is involved in.

He has the experience, vision, insight, familiarity and connections to do a great job for the chamber and the community, said Ruszczak of Myers.

Myers said the transition has been much easier for him since he is familiar with the inner workings of the chamber.

Myers said he has been involved economically with the City of Mission for a number of years while working with Hunt Valley Development. He was involved in bringing commercial and residential developments to the Mission/Sharyland area.

But he thinks his experience being a vice president at the Brownsville Convention and Visitors Bureau will be the most benefit to him. In Brownsville, the convention and visitors bureau was separate from the chamber and economic development council. Here, he said, as the chamber director, you kind of wear two hats working as the visitors bureau chief as well.

He believes his learning curve is quicker, already knowing about associations such as the Texas Travel Industry Association and Texas Recreational Vehicle Association. Now he is just getting back up to speed as to what the organizations are doing now.

Myers is looking forward to getting more involved in the activities in Mission, especially the legacy events, such as the Texas Citrus Fiesta, and the Winter Texan events. He also mentioned new events like the South Texas Outdoor Life Festival, which he says is still in its infancy but he sees it getting bigger and bigger each year.

As to the growth of the area, Myers said over the last few years, Mission has seen some exciting growth and he remembers how key the growth on Shary Road has been to the city. He is pleased with the relationships the chamber has with local entities such as the city, TIRZ and the Mission Economic Development Corporation.

The revitalization of downtown Mission is what any chamber president lives for, that kind of support from the business community.

“Everybody’s really on the same page, ready to move forward,” said Myers.

We have a strong program, we have a strong staff, a great board of directors and fantastic support from the city and city entities and department heads, said Myers.

“I think we’re just going to continue to keep going the direction we’ve been going,” Myers said. We will continue to offer outstanding networking and educational opportunities, grow membership, be an advocate for both small and large businesses and create value for our members and community.

Prior to being selected as the new president and CEO of the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce, Myers was a director of sales and marketing for Hunt Valley Development where he developed strategies for Sharyland Plantation, one of the largest master-planned developments on the Texas-Mexico border. Before joining Hunt, Myers was responsible for the leasing, facility management and administration of the JP Morgan Chase Bank real estate portfolio located in the Rio Grande Valley. He also held several management and marketing positions with shopping mall developer, Simon Property Group.

Myers hold a BBA in marketing as well as an MBA from the University of Texas-Pan American.

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