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KEDC Board Members Elect New President

At its regular monthly meeting, the KEDC board of directors named Bob Davis, Jr. president, elected officers and welcomed two new directors.
 
Bryan Johnston, president for 2018-2019, retired from the board after his second term.  
 
Bryan Johnston
Bryan Johnston retired as a board member of the organization. In his second term, Johnston has served as president the last two years. He served as vice-president during the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
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. Today, Johnston serves as President of Merritt Preferred Components, where he is responsible for all aspects of the business. Prior to joining the company, 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 children: daughters Alexis and Colby and son Jack, with one grandchild on the way.
 
Bob Davis, Jr.
The board elected Bob Davis of Bob Davis Sales as president to replace Johnston. Davis is in his first term as a board member.
 
He has worked in the supply chain sector of the oil and gas industry for more than 38 years and is the co-owner of Bob Davis Sales, Inc., a wholesale distributor of products used in the drilling and production of crude oil and natural gas.  The company, founded by his father in 1978, represents 18 companies and provides sales, distribution, and technical support for the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas.  Bob attended the University of Central Oklahoma.
 
Davis has lived in Kilgore since 1990 and has served on and chaired many local boards and civic organizations including Kilgore United Fund, Kilgore Chamber of Commerce, Kilgore Community Crisis Center, Kilgore Oilpatch Kiwanis Club, and Kilgore College Foundation Board.   He was a co-founder of the East Texas Oilmen’s Chili Cook-off in 1992.
 
He is married to Holly, who works with him at Bob Davis Sales.  They have four children, and four grandchildren.   He is a member of St. Luke’s Methodist Church.
 
Ricardo Viloria of Freedom Communication Technologies and Mike Head of Closure Systems International were inducted as new voting members.
 
Ricardo Viloria
Ricardo Viloria was elected Secretary.
 
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.
 
Ricardo was the founding President and CEO of FREEDOM Communication Technologies (“FCT”), a leading technology Test Equipment company for the Mission Critical Communication Industry, recently acquired by Astronics Corporation. He led the consolidation of FCT as a stand-alone business after the acquisition of the Communication Test equipment division of General Dynamics Satcom Technologies. Ricardo now continues to lead the growth of the business and the worldwide market penetration of FCT products for 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 has a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Venezuela and Executive Business education from Harvard, MIT, Rice, and SMU.
 
Mike Head
Mike Head has experience of more than 30 years in manufacturing with the Kilgore facility of Closure Systems International, which manufactures closures for food and beverages. CSI serves multiple countries with manufacturing facilities throughout the world and has been in Kilgore since 1985, expanding several times through the years. 
 
He has been employed with CSI since 1990 and began his career as a process engineer. From there he worked in Technical Sales before being named Engineering and Maintenance Manager. From there he was promoted to Operations Manager before being named Plant Manager in June 2018.
 
He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University.
 
Bobby Beane will remain on the board as Vice-President and Ruben Martin will remain as Asst. Secretary.