Meet the Mission EDC Board
Board President Richard Hernandez is president of El Capote Inc., a real estate investment trust, and has held that position for more than 25 years. Throughout his career, he has held many leadership positions, including as former president of the Boys & Girls Club of Mission, former chairman of the Mission Redevelopment Authority, former chairman of the Mission Economic Development Authority and former president of the Shary Municipal Golf Course Advisory Board. Hernandez was also heavily involved with the Junior Chamber, a leadership training and civic organization also known as Jaycees. He served as president of the Texas Jaycees and vice president of the United States Jaycees.
Board Vice President Jose G. Vargas is the owner and cofounder of Apple Pharmacies, which operates 22 locations throughout central South Texas. He began serving at MEDC two years ago and is currently serving as chairman of the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce. Vargas is also a permanent deacon with the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville.
Board Secretary Deborah Cordova is an attorney and a founding member of the firm Walsh McGurk Cordova Nixon, PLLC. She served on the Board of Directors for the State Bar of Texas from 2019-2022, is a former president of the Texas Women Lawyers and was named a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation in 2019. Cordova is the first woman chair of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce, and her volunteer work is extensive, having served on various community organizations, including the Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas, Boys & Girls Club of Mission, Teach for America and the Junior Service League of Mission. She is also currently an Advisory Board Member at Mission Regional Medical Center and an Advisory Board Member for Lone Star National Bank.
Board Treasurer Estella Saenz has been in the banking industry for 29 years and is currently a business relationship manager/vice president of PNC Bank, formerly known as BBVA . She previously served 17 years on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Mission, was part of the Volunteer Chapter Board for BBVA and currently sits on the Mission Regional Medical Center Advisory Board.
Mission Mayor Norie Gonzalez Garza was elected Mission mayor in June 2022. Before that, she served on the city council for four terms and previously three terms on the Mission Consolidated Independent School board. Garza has been a real estate broker for more than 30 years and owns Real Estate Investments Company. She has served in numerous community organizations, such as Mission Chamber of Commerce, Junior Service League, Mission Boys & Girls Club, parent-teacher organizations, Texas Citrus Fiesta and the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Board Member Carl Davis owns Davis Insurance Agency, which has been in business for 32 years. He is currently chairman of the Mission Building Board of Adjustments and he previously served on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Mission and as a former president of the Shary Municipal Golf Course Advisory Board. He also previously served as an ambassador for the Mission Chamber of Commerce and was on the Board of Directors for the Farmers Employees & Agent Political Action Committee of Texas.
Board Member Noel Salinas has been in the healthcare industry for more than 26 years and currently serves as chief executive officer for Valley Cancer Associates in Harlingen. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration and a master’s in business administration. He is also a registered X-ray technician and a registered radiation therapist.