2023 P-16 Council Presenters

Apr. 2023 | Vol.4, Iss. 8

2023 P-16 Council Presenters

Cynthia Valdez

Cynthia (Cindy) Valdez is the Associate Vice President for College Access and K-12 Partnerships at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, a part of the University of Texas System with regional campuses. Ms. Valdez oversees a variety of college access and educational outreach initiatives at UTRGV, including 20 U.S. Department of Education grant programs such as GEAR UP and TRIO, Programs, the institutional testing center, and oversight of youth protection.

She joined the RGV LEAD board In January 2018, serving on the RGV LEAD Executive Board as P-16 Chair representing Higher Education.

Luis Rodriguez

Luis Rodriguez has been the Executive Director of RGV LEAD since April 1, 2020. A native of Brownsville, Rodriguez left the Rio Grande Valley to take the position of area director of the Boy Scouts of America for 12 years—particularly appropriate since Luis became an Eagle Scout at age 13.

He returned to the Valley in the position of Boy Scout leadership in July of 2019 and now brings his experience to RGV LEAD.

David O. Gutierrez

David O. Gutierrez serves as the Education Relations Supervisor at Workforce Solutions, the local workforce board serving Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy County. He works with local school districts, colleges, and employers to strengthen and empower our youth by providing access to guest speakers, site visits, mentorship, internship, and job opportunities.

Through these opportunities, youth obtain information on careers available in our area, the education and training required for these careers, and the skills and experience needed to be successful. He previously served as Project Coordinator for a DOL Grant focused on aligning and strengthening workforce systems to accelerate credential attainment and career entry.


SCHED. (2023, June 13). David Gutierrez’s schedule for the 2023 CCRSM leadership summit. David Gutierrez. bit.ly/3XrlFnf

Ron Garza

Mr. Ron Garza is the Associate Vice President for Workforce & Economic Development with the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley. Mr. Garza oversees UTRGV’s Office of Workforce & Economic Development, a comprehensive portfolio of departments and programs dedicated to supporting cities & economic development corporations with advancing the regional economic, workforce, and entrepreneurial development across the Rio Grande Valley.

Mr. Garza’s professional experience includes over 25 years in economics, workforce, and community development. His previous roles include City Manager for the City of Edinburg, Executive Director for the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council of Governments, Administrator for the City of San Antonio, and over 15 years with the Texas Workforce / Rehabilitation Commission.


Rotary Club of McAllen. (2022, September 7). UTRGV Workforce & Economic Development. Rotary Club of McAllen. bit.ly/3CSvEZe

Claudia Garcia

Claudia Garcia serves as Program Coordinator for workforce development initiatives in the Office of Professional Education & Workforce Development at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).

She has dedicated over ten years to supporting the success of students, faculty, and staff at UT-Pan American and UTRGV through roles in the Office of Faculty Success & Diversity, where she managed initiatives for recruiting, retaining, and advancing a diverse faculty body, including a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant, and in the School of Medicine coordinating clerkship experiences for medical students.

Ms. Garcia holds a BS in Advertising and Public Relations, an MA in English as a Second Language, and a Graduate Certificate in Mexican American Studies. Before joining UT-Pan American and UTRGV, she worked in the advertising industry and held marketing and customer business development positions at Procter & Gamble.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Professional Education & Workforce Development

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