Meet Our Board of Directors

"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

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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, and Bellville Economic Development Corporation & Bellville Chamber of Commerce. In addition to 18 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 as Chair of the H-GAC Local Development Corporation and H-GAC Gulf Coast Small Business Finance Corporation Boards, 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 Byron Ryder, Leon County - ARCIT Board Vice-President

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.

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.

Bert Cunningham, City Manager, City of Bowie

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.

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.

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.

Keith Whitfield, City Manager, City of Daingerfield

Genora Young, Interim Executive Director, Bastrop EDC

Genora is a passionate advocate for rural Texas communities and rural economic development.

During her time as 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.

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.