Kilgore Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Amanda Nobles (right) awards a certificate to KEDC Assistant Director Jana Russell at a December 2019 city council meeting, recognizing her for 10 years of service. Nobles, the first and only director of KEDC in its 30-year history, retired recently and Russell is filling the director role.

Executive Director of the Kilgore Economic Development Corporation Amanda Nobles retired yesterday and Assistant Director & Marketing Manager Jana Russell will now fill the head role.

This marks the first time in KEDC’s three decades in Kilgore in which Nobles will no longer lead the organization.

KEDC released a press report announcing the retirement and promotion June 1, and Nobles was honored at a recent city council meeting.

“Amanda has led the KEDC since it was established in 1990. She is recognized across the state and region for her economic development knowledge, and has played a key role in the economic development of Kilgore. She has spent her years here working diligently to attract businesses from not only the United States, but also around the world, to relocate to Kilgore, Texas. She leaves a great foundation for her staff to build and continue this mission in the future,” said KEDC Board President Bob Davis in the release.

Amanda has closed numerous agreements with companies such as Closure Systems International (CSI), Skeeter Products, Command Packaging Texas (Pak-Sher)and General Dynamics to assist them with expansions, creating new jobs and keeping their business in Kilgore.

“It has been a great joy working with Amanda over the past 20 years. Her constant and sincere efforts personally and also through KEDC in providing so much to the Kilgore community in the business sector as well as to its citizens will be felt for many years to come. Through her guidance of and assistance from KEDC, Skeeter Boats has been able to grow not only as a boat manufacturer, but also as a company with increased operational diversity which has provided many valuable jobs for our local economy,”said Jeff Stone, Sr. Vice President/GM, Skeeter Products.

Nobles was integral to the development of Synergy Park, a Class-A campus-style industrial park that includes the Amanda S. Nobles pavilion, dedicated to her as a tribute to her tireless efforts to the economic development of Kilgore.

She has been an active member of many different organizations in economic development such as the Texas Economic Development Council and the North East Texas Economic Developers Roundtable, as well as community organizations such as a founding member of the Kilgore Historic Preservation Foundation and the Texas Shakespeare Festival Guild.

“We are pleased to announce Jana Russell as the new Executive Director,” KEDC Board President Bob Davis said. “We are confident in Jana’s experience and her abilities to lead our organization and we are excited about the future.”

Russell joined KEDC in 2009 after working 17 years with Southwestern Electric Power Company as a regional project manager, managing prospect leads and assisting economic developers with local activities. She also served communities as a regional community development specialist and as a senior communications specialist during her time at SWEPCO.

During her time at SWEPCO, Jana worked closely with Kilgore EDC and became familiar with the community and developed lasting relationships with business owners.

“It has been a pleasure working with Jana over the years. She has become a family friend since I moved to East Texas 20 years ago. When I was deciding to bring my business to East Texas, she leveraged her breadth of knowledge in economic development as regional manager at SWEPCO and showed me the benefits that came with choosing Kilgore as the place to be. Jana always goes above and beyond as a friend, professional peer, and as a respected individual in the community,” said local businessman and KEDC Board Member Ricardo Viloria.



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