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The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary

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The Woodlands, TX – The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership (EDP) celebrated their 20th Anniversary last month.

EDP was established in September 1997 as an extension of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce. In April of 2016 the EDP separated from The Chamber into their own entity, a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization. EDP is the only member based, non-profit Economic Development organization in Montgomery County which includes the master planned community of The Woodlands and the cities of Shenandoah and Oak Ridge North.

The organization is run by a staff of four. Gil Staley, Chief Executive Officer has been with the EDP for over 12 years, Holly Gruy has been with the company for more than 19 years and serves as the Vice President of Operations, Laura Lea Palmer joined over 6 years as the Vice President of Business Retention & Expansion and Ashley Byers has been with the organization for over 5 years and acts as the Administrative & Communications Coordinator. Combined the team has over 42 years of economic development experience.

As the lead economic development organization in The Woodlands Area, the EDP’s primary focus is job creation, capital investment, recruiting new businesses and supporting existing businesses in job retention and expansion. The EDP promotes The Woodlands Area as a premiere business destination and has traveled all over the world doing so in partnership with The Woodlands Township and the Greater Houston Partnership.

Businesses rely on the EDP as a primary source of information and influence. The EDP connects employers with a number of resources and offers these complimentary services on behalf of businesses in our area:

  • Coordinates business expansions & relocations
  • Facilitates business incentives with local & state officials
  • Assists with government, regulatory & transportation infrastructure needs
  • Is a business advocate for local, state & federal issues
  • Has strong relationships with developers & site selectors
  • Connects employers to resources: utility companies, research & development, workforce development & non-profit organizations
  • Provides profiles on the labor market statistics, traffic counts, demographics, population growth and other custom reports that impact local business

Gil Staley, CEO of The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership, said, “It has been my pleasure and honor to lead the EDP over the last eight years. I am thankful for a dedicated team that is committed to maintaining the economic vitality of our community. Over the last two decades, our Partners and Board of Directors has grown the EDP into one of the most well respected and recognized economic development organizations nationally and internationally.”

The EDP is publicly and privately supported by 92 funding partners active in the organization to include: Gold Partners: Strike, LLC, Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital, The Woodlands Development

Company, LP A Division of The Howard Hughes Corporation and The Woodlands Township.

For further information on the EDP, visit or call 281 363-8130.


Source: Ashley Byers, The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership