At its regular meeting September 13, the Kilgore Economic Development Corp. board of directors made a recommendation of appointment of a new director to the Mayor and City Council, along with a request of reappointment of two current directors.
Jeff Stone will be stepping down as Vice-President of the KEDC board on September 30th, after serving two years of his first term, due to a new role he has taken on with Yamaha Marine. In June of 2022, Yamaha US Marine Business Unit announced that Mr. Stone would now have oversight of both G3 and Skeeter Boats.
“There is much being done by so many to provide a better life for each and every citizen of Kilgore,” said Stone. “It has been a great honor to work with those that are making this happen---the staff and board members of KEDC, City of Kilgore officials and so many others. The commitment and dedication of these individuals are at the highest levels and I am certain the results of their labor will continue to be felt for many years to come. I wish to thank the Mayor and Council for the opportunity to serve on the KEDC board and look forward to seeing the growth and positive impact of future projects for all the residents of this great city.”
Since 2001, Jeff has served as Senior VP/GM of Skeeter Products, Inc., a manufacturer of fiberglass fishing boats serving the U.S. market as well as markets in Canada, Japan, South Africa and Australia. In addition to the product development, engineering and manufacturing of boat segments serving the southern freshwater bass, northern deep V and saltwater bay boat markets, responsibilities also include all marketing, sales, customer relations, HR and financial reporting functions. During this time Skeeter’s national market share has grown from 8% to 20%. Skeeter Products, Inc is a wholly owned subsidiary of Yamaha Motors, USA, headquartered in Cypress, CA.
Jeff graduated with a BBA in Accounting from North Texas State University in 1980. He spent 3 years working for Green, Green, and Associates, a public accounting firm in Longview with a practice that included many clients throughout East Texas. During this time, he received his CPA certification and focused on audit services ranging from manufacturing to banking and also corporate and individual tax.
Said KEDC President Bob Davis Jr, “Jeff’s expansive business experience was of great benefit to the board over the past two years; especially given scope of projects we have been involved with during his term. We appreciate the time he has dedicated to the organization and wish him well in his new responsibilities with Skeeter and G3 Boats.”
Joining the board is Alan Pollard, an East Texan native with over 23 years of diverse business experience across many facets including development, operation and management of business, both domestic and international in nature.
Alan Pollard is the Site Manager of the Kilgore, Texas and Torrance, California facilities for Communications and Power Industries (CPI, formally General Dynamics). He also serves as the Business Manager for Antennas and RF Components for ground terminals and space systems. In this role, Alan is responsible for establishing product pricing and quoting, setting product roadmaps, establishing contracts, customer management and overall financial performance of the product lines.
Alan’s family is from the Kilgore area, but he was raised in Henderson, TX where he graduated in 1993 in the top 5% of his class. He attended the University of Texas at Austin where he obtained his Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.
Alan returned home after graduation in 1998 and started his career with CPI as a RF Systems Engineer when the company was known in Kilgore as Vertex Communication Corporation. In this role, he was responsible for system design and RF testing of antenna systems for satellite communications. He later became the Manger of the Technical Services group where he was responsible for all domestic and international RF testing services, antenna installations, as well as oversight for the CPI test range facilities located in Kilgore. TX. After successfully growing the Technical Service business and increasing profits by more than 50%, Alan was elevated to Director of Programs and Technical Services where he was responsible for all Government and Commercial programs. Throughout his career with the company, Alan has traveled the world earning over 2 million actual airline miles. During this time, he has established business relationships with customers from various industries, which have resulted in significant growth for the facility in Kilgore. Alan has led several local Community Investment Programs for CPI and has been involved in partnership projects to help improve the retention of high tech and skilled labor in the East Texas area.
Pollard was also recently named Pastor at Bethany Word of Life Tabernacle in Tyler. He has served in ministry at some level since high school. Alan and his wife, Tanya, have been married 22 years and have four children and four grandchildren. They reside in Henderson, TX.
Both Johnston and Viloria have been recommended for reappointment to the KEDC Board.
Ricardo Viloria was first appointed in 2019. This would be his second three-year term with the board. He has experience of more than 25 years in leading businesses domestically and internationally, focusing on P&L oversight, operations, multi-channel distribution, and marketing involving both startups and growth organizations. He holds a firm reputation in transforming and growing businesses, creating breakthrough profit performance while spearheading operational improvements, and lean thinking to drive productivity to reduce costs.
Viloria was the founding President/CEO of FREEDOM Communication Technologies (“FCT”), a leading technology Test Equipment company for the Mission Critical Communication Industry, which was later acquired by Astronics Corporation.
Prior to FCT Ricardo held senior operating roles including Director of Operations of GD Satcom, COO of Surface Equipment Corporation, and VP of Orangex, Inc.
He holds a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Venezuela and Executive Business education from Harvard, MIT, Rice, and SMU.
Bryan Johnston was appointed in 2020, to complete the unexpired term of Mike Head. This will be the first full term of his appointment. He is the President of Merritt Preferred Components, where he is responsible for all aspects of the business.
Johnston, a native of Kilgore, attended Kilgore public schools and Kilgore College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas A&M University in 1990. Prior to joining Merritt, Mr. Johnston was an investment advisor for Edward Jones and a financial analyst for GE Capital.
He is an active community volunteer, having served in the past on several boards for youth sports (soccer, softball and baseball), the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce board of directors and the Boys & Girls Club of Kilgore advisory board. In addition, he has volunteered as an election judge for Gregg County and supported numerous productions and galas for the Longview Ballet Theatre. Johnston has served the Kilgore College Foundation advisory board, the Kilgore High School Football Booster Club and as President of the Kilgore High School Baseball Booster Club.
He is married to Tiffany, and they have three grown children and three grandchildren.
The complete list of officers for 2022-2023:
Bob Davis Jr, President
Brad George, Vice President
Ricardo Viloria, Secretary/Treasurer
Bryan Johnston, Asst. Secretary/Treasurer
Alan Pollard, Director
About KEDC: KEDC is an organization focused on growing the Kilgore economy and funded by a dedicated sales tax approved by voters. It is directed by a five-person board and managed by a staff of four with certifications in economic development and economic development finance. KEDC has won international awards for excellence in economic development. In the last five years the organization has closed deals representing more than $190 million in new and retained investment and 2,600 jobs under contract.