The International Economic Development Council (IEDC), a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers, announced on Friday their selection of Josh Mejia, Executive Director of the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC), as the Young Young Economic Developer of the Year for 2020. Only two individuals from over 5,000 members across the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and other nations are selected.
The award recognizes outstanding achievement by a young, emerging leader in the economic development profession. IEDC takes into account the impact the leader has on their organization, the community as a whole, and how their achievements contribute to the advancement of economic development as a profession. IEDC is recognized as the premiere economic development association, dedicated to helping economic development professionals create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions.
“I am extremely grateful to be recognized by the world’s leading organization for economic development” says Josh Mejia, BCIC Executive Director. “The successes we are capturing could not be possible without the work and support of the BCIC team, Board of Directors, and our Community leadership. I am excited to continue to foster a diverse local economy, attract the best economic development opportunities, and continue to work for the betterment of Brownsville.”
A Brownsville native, Josh Mejia began working for the BCIC in 2016 as the head of marketing and small business development. In April of 2019, he was selected by the Board of Directors as the Executive Director for the organization. Since then, he has managed the successful implementation of BCIC’s role in the community as an innovative economic development organization. Through its newly established economic development tool-kit, the organization focuses on the recruitment of targeted industries, public-private partnerships, and investing in the human capital of the community.
“With creative leadership and innovative thinking Josh has displayed the tenacity necessary to perform at a high level with successes that rival other larger markets,” says Michael J. Limas, BCIC Board Chair. “We are excited to see how his talents continue to shape economic development in our beautiful city.”
Among many of his accomplishments, Josh has received recognition for the development of the “eBridge Center,” the largest entrepreneurial center of its kind south of San Antonio, Texas that is intended to produce scalable businesses locally through the implementation of foundational business resources including capital, skills training, acceleration and incubation. In addition, the organization recognizes the organization’s efforts in entrepreneurship-led economic development which ultimately fosters a pro-business environment for all business in the community.
“This award is another example of Brownsville’s emerging leadership team,” says Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez. “Josh has grown tremendously in his role at BCIC through innovation and vision. I have seen his development throughout the years and am proud to work alongside him in our quest to help build a better Brownsville.”
Most recently, the BCIC assisted a Brownsville manufacturing company obtain financing to help bolster the nation’s domestic production of personal protective equipment (PPE). America Care, founded by Professor Hansheng Lei, was one of the first companies in Brownsville to be awarded a Brownsville Cares Grant, part of the StartUp Texas COVID-19 Relief Grants offered through the BCIC.
“One of Josh’s strongest traits is his ability to be innovative with restraints” says Limas. “Josh and his team have maximized every dollar our budget allows and created programming that will not only create a significant quality of life change for our community but also make us economically stronger.”
The cities of Brownsville, TX, and New Orleans, LA were the only two selected worldwide with economic development professionals featured for the prestigious award. For more information on Josh Mejia or the BCIC’s incentives, programs and resources, please visit our website at BrownsvilleEDC.org or call our office at (956) 382-7500.