Q&A with Randall Malik, executive director Cuero Development Corporation
Sept. 27, 2010 at 4:27 a.m.
CUERO - Randall Malik looked comfortable behind his desk at the Cuero Development Corporation office.
And he should, his new job in Cuero is only miles from his hometown of Yoakum.
The proximity of the employment to Yoakum was one of the factors in seeking the position of executive director of the organization.
In addition to a graduate degree, Malik has work experience as an engineer's assistant with the Texas Department of Transportation and with the city of Buda Economic Development Corporation. He did a graduate internship with the city of San Marcos.
President of the CDC board of directors Charles Papacek said Malik is a good fit for Cuero.
"The Cuero Development Corporation is very happy to have Randall," Papacek said. "He has a good background, both with a graduate degree and professionally. He fits right in and has taken a leadership position in what we are trying to do here."
He replaced Shelley South Pennell who resigned to go to law school.
Ranging reporter Sonny Long talked to Malik about his new job.
Q: How do you think your background prepared you for this job?
A: Working for the city of Buda's economic development corporation with a population between 6,000 and 7,000 similar to Cuero, I got to see how a smaller community competed with the larger community of Austin and saw what they had to do. The situation is similar here in Cuero.
Q: What attracted you to this job?
A: It's close to home. I love the area. It's a beautiful area. I wanted to raise my family in more of a small town atmosphere.
Q: What kinds of programs did you find in place when you arrived?
A: Shelley left us moving forward. I have big shoes to fill. I was surprised at the level of innovative programs we have here, including the facade improvement grant program and a small business loan pool.
Q: What's the latest on SIPCO, the manufacturing facility that announced in February it was coming to Cuero?
A: Hopefully, by the end of the year they'll start production.
Q: What assets does Cuero and this area have that help make your job easier?
A: Eagle Ford Shale coming in. With the amount of sales tax money that drives into Cuero, it's been amazing.
Q: What do you see down the road for Cuero's economic development?
A: I'd like to build off the oil and gas industry and hopefully diversify. We already have a strong hospital and a strong agricultural sector. I just want to make sure we diversify.
Q: A new paddling trail is opening on the Guadalupe River, a new museum is opening downtown, things seem to be happening in the arts and in the recreation sectors, too. Why is that important to economic development when trying to attract a new business?
A: That's one of our main areas we are trying to emphasize. Not only does Cuero have the charm of a small town, but we also do a progressive job promoting historic tourism and ecotourism.
Q: What's the first month on the new job been like?
A: I've had a great time. I've been surprised at the amount of discretion the board has given me. I have a very capable board that is more than willing to work with me. I am very appreciative of that fact. And the people have been nice, stopping by to say hello.