Madisonville's claim of the best kept secret in Texas, may not be a secret for too much longer if it's up to it's new economic development director Tom Quarles.
"We need to work extremely hard and be creative and innovative and we need to beat the bushes," Quarles said. "We need to try and generate as much interest in Madison County as we possibly can."
Madisonville's economic development corporation is going strong after hitting a bump in the road last fall. That's when, it came close to losing city funding, but in a reverse decision the council agreed to a $60,000 a year commitment to the group. And Quarles says the group will be put to good use.
"We're going out trying to identify and do everything we can to attract new businesses and industry to Madison County," Quarles said.
And some of that is already happening. Four businesses are coming into the area, two trailer manufacturers, Atkinson Toyota, and Bucky's.
The EDC focuses on Madionville's assets like nearby I-45, it's proximity to Texas A&M , and it's central location to Austin, Houston, and Dallas. Also, Madisonville has a business park.
Quarles says he plans to continue promoting these assets. As for his vision for the county's future, he says he's still settling in, but hopes more businesses will fall in love with what the county has to offer and the ones already established there will continue to prosper.
"My hopes would be to take the ball at this point with all the momentum and the progress they've made to this point and to keep moving forward," Quarles said.
Tom Quarles started work a week ago. He used to be in management at Post Oak Mall and was the Assistant General Manager of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.