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Yorktown gets new civic leader

By Sonny Long
April 28, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated April 28, 2013 at 11:29 p.m.

Alan Rasco

MEET ALAN RASCO, Ph.D.

A meet-and-greet will be from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce office, 141 S. Riedel St. The public is invited to come and meet the new executive director of the chamber and economic development corporation.

• AGE: 62

• HOMETOWN: Odessa

• HIGH SCHOOL: Odessa Permian, class of 1968

• COLLEGES: Bachelor's degree from University of Houston, master's degree from University of Houston-Victoria, doctorate degree from Baylor, post-doctoral degree from Harvard University

YORKTOWN - Alan Rasco helped start the respiratory therapy program at Victoria College 35 years ago and now hopes he can help breathe new life into Yorktown, too.

Rasco began his duties April 15 as the new executive director of the city's Chamber of Commerce and its Economic Development Corp.

"I am excited," Rasco said. "One of the first things I am recommending is a meeting with community leaders to do a 'SWOT' analysis.

"This looks at our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats," he said. "It will help us find out where everyone thinks we should be and where they want to go. There are opportunities here."

Rasco anticipates no major changes in the annual Yorktown Western Days/Ziegfest that will continue in the fall as it has for more than 50 years.

Rasco brings decades of management experience to the positions, including two stints as a college president.

He served as president of Texarkana College and of South Arkansas Community College.

He has also served in several administrative positions, including dean, at Tyler Junior College and at Austin Community College.

Rasco began his career in hospital administration serving as vice president of patient care services, director of nursing and director of respiratory therapy.

It was 1978 when he helped start the respiratory therapy program at VC that continues going strong today.

His experience also includes working for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and he was the state liaison for the Texas Skills Standards Board.

"I have been on the academic side, but I am also a strong leader in workforce education," he said. "I think that will fit in well here. I want to try to get together with the school district, the high school, and discuss technical education opportunities."

Rasco, who has family in Victoria, saw the positions in Yorktown as a way to return to South Texas.

"I want the people of Yorktown to know that I am approachable and I am transparent," he said. "I like working with people and groups and developing teams.

"I am a strong leader, but I like to have shared visions and work together as a team. I won't work in a silo. That's impossible."

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