The Deep East Texas Council of Governments and Economic Development District will launch a yearlong celebration of 50 years of service at its upcoming Annual Membership and Awards Luncheon. The event will be held Thursday,
May 25th at Noon at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center in Lufkin.
“It all started with approximately 55 local government officials and community leaders attending a meeting to discuss the formation of the Deep East Texas Economic Development District on November 2, 1966 in Groveton,”
according to DETCOG Executive Director Lonnie Hunt. “It’s been an interesting journey. Over the next year we plan to celebrate where we’ve been and what has been accomplished, while we keep moving forward to improve our region.”
A key partner all along has been the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). EDA Regional Director Jorge Ayala will be the featured speaker at the luncheon. “From the very beginning the EDA has been an essential part of DETCOG’s service to the region. Mr. Ayala is now the director over a five-state region, but for many years he was DETCOG’s area representative. He has helped make more than $10,000,000 in investments to create jobs and improve infrastructure in our region over the past eight years,” stated Hunt.
One highlight of the annual meeting is the presentation of the Ralph W. Steen East Texan of the Year Award. The Steen award was named in honor of the beloved past president of Stephen F. Austin State University. It honors an individual who has played a major role in leadership and service to the DETCOG Region. The recipient is chosen by those who previously received the recognition.
Several other awards will be presented including the President’s Award for someone who has gone “above and beyond” in their service on a DETCOG committee and the DETCOG Employee Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is funded by contributions from DETCOG employees and is awarded to the children or grandchildren of DETCOG employees.
DETCOG’s Board President, Lufkin City Councilperson Lynn Torres, would like to extend an invitation to the public to attend. Luncheon tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door. RSVP’s are appreciated and reserved
tables are also available. Anyone needing information may contact Cynthia Trowbridge at the DETCOG office in Jasper at (409) 381-5254.