Gonzales Economic Development Corporation executive director Jennifer Kolbe unexpectedly resigned last week from her position with the municipal corporation.
“I love Gonzales. I left my job and the GEDC in much better shape than when I got there,” Kolbe told the Inquirer. “With the support of the board, we were able to settle hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt owed; fund water tower studies; provide Main Street grants; work with Remschel, Snavely, Laurel Ridge and Shear Designs; and put in processes and implemented rules and procedures that were not there when I got there that will only make the community better in the future.
“Even though I will not be there to see it, all of these things the GEDC is working on will come to fruition and Gonzales has a bright future.”
She referred further questions about her departure to Gonzales City Manager Tim Crow.
“Jennifer Kolbe is no longer employed by the City of Gonzales. As this is a personnel issue, the City of Gonzales will not be providing any public comments about this matter," Crow said Monday afternoon.
Her resignation is a surprise as it came just days after she led another successful Gonzales ISD Spring Career Fair, in which more than 300 GISD students were introduced to careers and opportunities in various fields available in the Gonzales area.
Kolbe was also working on a number of other projects for the GEDC, including a potential new water tower for the Industrial Park and the national marketing of property that GEDC owns off Harwood Road.
“I believe Jennifer Kolbe served the community and the board very well during her employment as the Gonzales EDC director," said GEDC President Ken Morrow, who confirmed Kolbe’s departure from the position. “Without Jennifers' leadership, I do not believe we would have purchased the Harwood Road property. This is the property which we are using to bring national business investment attention to Gonzales.”
Kolbe was hired as the Gonzales EDC executive director in November 2020 and served in that position for nearly two and a half years. Her annual salary as GEDC executive director for fiscal year 2023 was budgeted at $88,200 plus benefits.
Prior to that, she was the business retention manager for the Schertz EDC for four years and the executive director of the La Vernia Municipal Development District for five years. Kolbe also worked for Texas Lutheran University as a research manager and for Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative as an economic development representative, a position she also held for the city of Seguin.
The Gonzales EDC was formed as a Type B economic development corporation on March 11, 1997, to “promote economic development within the city and the state of Texas in order to encourage and enhance employment and the public welfare of, fore, and on behalf of the city” as allowed by Chapter 505 of the Texas Local Government Code. Articles of incorporation were filed with the state three days later.