August 15, 2014. Retrieved online August 19, 2014 from Alta LeCompte, Las Cruces Bulletin
Bi-national organization looks beyond the hemisphere
[Excerpts below reprinted with permission: Read the complete Las Cruces Bulletin article]
Heading into its second year, the Borderplex Alliance – which represents economic development interests of El Paso, Las Cruces and Ciudad Juárez – is developing a strategic plan, adding key staff and expanding its vision beyond the hemisphere.
“We claim we’re international, but we’re really only bi-national,” said CEO Rolando Pablos, asserting the larger vision.
Although release of the Alliance’s strategic plan is still several months in the future, Pablos cited several initiatives intended to give the region a stronger world-wide presence.
These include establishing honorary consulates, bringing a World Affairs Council to the region and beefing up Sister Cities programs.
“Our belief is if we’re able to have a very strong international relations strategy, we will develop the visibility needed to attract international businesses,” he said.
VP addresses global mission
One of three new hires, Anthony Giuliani is joining the Alliance staff as vice president of international economic development.
Giuliani joins the Borderplex Alliance from his previous role as general counsel for a holding company. He has domestic and international experience working with technology solutions, start-up companies and intellectual property rights.
Alliance comes of age
Pablos said the Borderplex Alliance has been diligently working to showcase the region’s large work force and other unique assets and has successfully recruited industries in the financial services, business operations centers and manufacturing industries.
Pablos said he expects the Borderplex Alliance will complete its strategic plan in the first quarter of 2015.
Pat Patton, El Paso Electric’s director of economic energy, chairs the committee overseeing the planning process and Garrey Carruthers, president of New Mexico State University is a member.
Valley weighs in
The Borderplex Alliance, formed in the last days of 2012, merged and expanded the mission El Paso’s Regional Economic Development Corp. (REDCo) and the Paso del Norte Group (PdN Group). A 13-member steering committee was chosen from representatives of three cities.
Carruthers and Tom Hutchinson of La Posta de Mesilla are Las Cruces area members of the steering committee.
Davin Lopez, CEO and president of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, said local organizations such as MVEDA will work in tandem with the bi-national, tri-state alliance.
“I think the results of the strategic plan they are developing will tell us what that will look like,” he said of the collaboration in which the two organizations will engage. “We look forward to expanding out partnership with them.”
Jerry Pacheco, vice president and founder of the Border Industrial Association in nearby Santa Teresa, and leader in the creation of the Bi-National Community in Santa Teresa and San Jerónimo, told El Paso Inc. the region already has too many plans.
Pairing business and education
Carruthers said formation of the Alliance was driven by a group of business leaders who were aware the biggest economic development challenge facing the El Paso-Las Cruces-Juárez region was its multiplicity of jurisdictions.
The initiative is led by and funded by the private sector.
The first order of business, he said, is to determine the region’s transportation, infrastructure and work force needs 10 years into the future.
Opportunities include developing joint degrees and striving to meet the needs of all sections of the region.
He said the university already offers a joint program in aerospace engineering with University Autonomous of Chihuahua.
Alta LeCompte can be reached at 680-1840 or firstname.lastname@example.org