Carolyn Gibson

The most important facet of membership in ARCIT is the respect and attention ARCIT has garnered for rural Texans, with the State Legislature and the state agencies in Austin. As a combined voice our members are heard in the same way as the Texas mega-cities.

Carolyn Gibson
El Campo CDC

Board of Directors

Carolyn Gibson, CDC of El Campo - ARCIT Board President

Carolyn is the Executive Director of the El Campo City Development Corporation. She is responsible for performing all duties related to the management of non-profit and Type B & A sales tax funded corporations. Her previous experience includes serving as the Executive Director of the Gonzales Economic Development Corporation, as well as the Bellville Economic Development Corporation & Bellville Chamber of Commerce. In addition to 14 years in Economic Development, Carolyn has over 20 years of experience in business management in the travel industry, real estate sales and property management, emergency medicine and nursing. Carolyn also serves on the H-GAC Local Development Corporation Board, H-GAC Gulf Coast Small Business Finance Corporation Board, Northside Education Center Board, El Campo Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture Board, and LCRA Ambassadors representing the Mid Basin.  Carolyn attended Lone Star College, Allen Military Academy, Bryan School of Vocation Nursing, Texas A&M University and Blinn College.

Judge Richard Cordes, Menard County - ARCIT Board Vice-President

Judge/Dr. Richard Cordes received his DVM degree from Texas A & M University in 1975 and has operated a veterinary practice in Menard, Texas since 1978.  As well as running a full-time veterinary practice, Judge Cordes has served as Menard County Judge since 2003 and served as Menard County Commissioner from 1986-1998.  In 2007, he was awarded Official of the Year by the West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association, and has been twice named Menard’s Citizen of the Year.  Judge Cordes has also served as Secretary, Vice-President, and President of the Concho Valley Council of Governments and as President of the Concho Valley Community Action Council.  He has served as a Director of the Frontera Health Care Network since 2008. He is a Member of the Texas Department of Licensing Licensed Breeder Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Texas Small Business Development Corporation. As a member of the Texas Rural Foundation he has been instrumental in making loans available to rural communities for economic development.

Marty Mangum, City Manager, City of Vernon - ARCIT Board Vice-President

Marty is currently serving as the City Manager of Vernon, Texas. Marty began his career in public service when he was elected to the City Council of the City of Littlefield where he served for four years. A short time later, he was appointed City Manager and served in that capacity for thirteen years. He also served as City Manager of Garden Ridge, Texas and Los Fresnos, Texas and Somerville, Texas, as well as owned and operated his own real estate business in Dal, Texas.

Denice Harlan, Executive Director, Giddings Chamber of Commerce

Denice has been with the Giddings Chamber of Commerce since February 2006 and has resided in Giddings, Texas since 1983. She serves as president of the New Horizons Lions Club, of which she has been a member for 30 years. Denice is also Treasurer for Lee County Youth Center, past-president of the Lee County Fair Association, and serves on the board of trustees at St. Mark’s Medical Center in La Grange, as well as the Giddings Economic Development Corporations Board as an advisor. She was raised in Houston, Texas and attended Galena Park High School. Denice is married and has two grown daughters.

Kim Little, Executive Director, Coleman EDC

Kim Little is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Coleman and has been employed in Coleman since 2015.  Little has been working in the Economic Development and Hospitality industry for 27 years.  She has worked for the Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce, served on the board for the Marfa Chamber of Commerce and also served as the Executive Director of the Murray County Development Authority and Chickasaw Country Marketing Association from 2003-2014.  Kim serves on the WCTCOG Business Development Loan Program committee, serves as an officer for the Circle C Cattlewomen and manages the Coleman County Youth Activity Center/Goree Expo Center.  Little previously served as Chair of the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association and Oklahoma Lakes & Trails Organization.  Kim attended Oklahoma State University majoring in Agricultural Communications.

Mark Meuth, Bastrop County Commissioner, Pct. 3

Mark is currently serving as Bastrop County Commissioner for Precinct 3. He was first elected to the position in November 2016.  He worked for Texas Department of Transportation for 29 years before retiring on October 2017. He was a transportation specialist and was involved in designing and maintaining roadway, bridge, maintenance and construction projects, developing budgets and analyzing data for cost analysis.

Lynda Pack, Executive Director, Jacksboro EDC

Lynda Pack is the Executive Director with the Jacksboro Economic Development Corporation, where she has been for the last eight years. Prior to that time, Lynda worked in Llano, San Saba, and San Angelo. In addition to serving as an ARCIT Board Member, she also serves on North Texas Workforce Development Board, Texas Forts Trail Board, Texas Heritage Trails Board, Lions Club, EDD Advisory Board with Nortex Region Planning, Jack County Extension Service Advisory Board, and Ladies of Faith Advisory Committee. Lynda attended Amarillo College, West Texas State University, Angelo State University, and Lone Star College.

Judge Byron Ryder, Leon County

Byron Ryder has been the County Judge of Leon County for 13+ years. Before being elected as county judge, he was the Mayor of Buffalo, Texas for 12 years. Judge Ryder is involved in the Brazos Valley Council of Governments (BVCOG) where he served as its chairman. He also served as the President of the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), as well as various advisory committees that helped form policy in many areas.

Judge Keith Umphress, Jack County

Keith Umphress was elected Jack County Judge in November 2018. He took office January 1, 2019. Judge Umphress became an ARCIT Board member in February 2019.

Chris Whittaker, City Manager, City of Rockdale

Chris Whittaker is a 25 year veteran of the US Army serving several combat tours and over 14 years overseas in critical leadership positions. His final tours include Commander in 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq and on the Army Staff at the Pentagon. Upon his retirement, Chris was selected for his first city management at Rockdale. In addition to serving on the ARCIT Board, he serves on various TCMA, TML and Regional boards. Chris has a BA graduate in History of Virginia Military Institute and is a graduate of American Military University with a MA in Management. He has PMP and CPM education.

Genora Young, President//CEO, Gonzales EDC

As the President/CEO of the Gonzales Economic Development Corporation, Genora coordinated and facilitated the 2018 winning bid package for the BYK USA, Inc. $50M expansion project, the largest Economic Development Project in Gonzales’ history, defeating Germany, China, and Kentucky.

Genora is a passionate advocate for rural Texas communities and rural economic development.  She is a certified Professional Community and Economic Developer and Business Retention Expansion Coordinator.  Her career spans approximately twenty-five years beginning in Fort Stockton as the Director of Tourism/Main Street Manager where she and fellow tourism professional, Tex Toler, established the Big Bend Open Road Race between Fort Stockton and Sanderson in 1998.