ODESSA, Texas (Local 2/Fox 24) - At Thursday's public meeting held by Downtown Odessa, Inc. residents learned about upcoming projects and grants available to downtown business owners.
The meeting was a series of four opened to the public and led by Downtown Odessa's outgoing Director Gloria Salinas.
She says the experience she has gained by working for the City of Odessa has opened doors for her career that she will always be thankful for.
"I've accepted a position with the City of Dallas' Office of Economic Development. I will be a Senior Economic Development Analyst in that office." she said.
Now that she's leaving she says she's not worried about the future of Odessa's downtown master plan which includes the hotel and convention center she and her Board of Directors found funding for.
"It wasn't possible without, the City Managers Office, we've got great city leadership in place, it wasn't possible without the legal department working to create those grants, and the applications."
Two more people she says had a big part in Downtown Odessa's master plan are Toby and Sondra Eoff.
The Odessa natives have invested more than 45-million dollars in the Marriot hotel that will be attached to the city's convention center.
"We were nervous about the large investment, but we felt like it was important for the future of Odessa so that made it a lot easier." Sondra said.
She and her husband say it was Gloria's passion for working with private investors like them that will make the vision for a better downtown Odessa a reality.
"She is going to be greatly missed and we just hope to find someone of her caliber, or even better than what she was. I don't think we're going to find anybody better, equal to would be just fine."
Salinas' last day in the office will be January 20th 2017. "It's been a wonderful opportunity, and we are excited about the future of downtown Odessa, it's a very bright future." Salinas said.
Downtown Odessa's Event Coordinator Haley Howey will fill her position as Interim Director until the City hires a new Director.
Salinas will be leading Downtown Odessa's fourth and final public meeting held at The Downtown Venue, 515 n. Grant Ave. at 6:00 p.m. Friday.
For more information, please contact Downtown Odessa at 432-335-4682
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