Environmental Fluids celebrates groundbreaking in Matagorda County - May 16, 2018

Wadsworth, Texas -- Environmental Fluids broke ground to build an environmentally-friendly chemical blending facility on Sims Lane in Wadsworth, Wednesday.   

The project is a $5 - $30 million capital investment over four phases and is projected to create about 25  new jobs in its initial phase and more than 100 at peak employment.

The facility will warehouse and blend green surfactants or components of a variety of commonly used items like detergents, paints and coatings, agricultural materials, oil and gas industrial materials, and other materials, according to Environmental Fluids Principal Edward G. Esner.

Esner said Matagorda County was chosen as the site for this facility due to it’s clean environment, dependable logistics, proximity to Houston and ability to connect to rail.

Environmental Fluids, a family-owned and operated company, will be led by Corporate President Ryan E. Esner; Bryan Esner is Vice President of Sales and the local Plant Manager is Tammy Lindemann.

In his comments to those attending the groundbreaking ceremony, Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald commended Esner and Environmental Fluids for their commitment to green practices and being another responsible member of Matagorda County’s industrial community devoted to protecting its pristine environment.

McDonald also praised the company for providing the primary jobs needed for the county to accomplish one of its goals – to offer good-paying jobs that will bring the younger generations back to the county to live and work and give them the opportunity to make a good living here at home.

Mitch Thames, Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) board chairman and Bay City Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture president, explained that this project has been in the works for over a year now.

 “We worked hard to provide them with the information they needed to get started on their project,” said Thames

“In the last couple of years, people have helped me understand the economic development world better. I have come to realize that this groundbreaking we are celebrating now is a culmination of months and months of hard work and dedication. I have come to realize that this doesn’t come quickly. It takes a lot of perseverance to get a project from first introduction to the celebration of a groundbreaking,” Thames explained.

In his comments to the crowd gathered at the ceremony Wednesday, MCEDC Executive Director Mike Ferdinand reminded everyone that economic development successes don’t happen in a vacuum.

“This project was accomplished through a public-private partnership,” said Ferdinand.

“We appreciate Bryan Alexander and Thompson Land Company bringing us in early to help the client make the decision to locate in Matagorda County.”

“Public Private Partnerships work best when all community partners, utilities, private businesses and local officials can work together,” said Ferdinand.

He explained that there is a multiplier effect each time a new primary job is created in the community. It typically results in the creation of 2-3 secondary jobs, such as retail, food service and other support industries, said Ferdinand.

As local officials, Environmental Fluids associates and local realtors lined up to turn over the first shovels of dirt on the project, Thames made a projection.

“We look forward to them being a great member of our business community in Matagorda County for many years to come,” said Thames.

MCEDC selects Michael Ferdinand as new executive director - Oct. 31, 2016

Bay City, Texas – Michael Ferdinand, of Ocean Springs, Miss., has been named executive director of the Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC), DC Dunham, MCEDC president, announced Monday.

Ferdinand, set to begin work on Tuesday, Nov. 8, will fill the position left open following Eva Peterson’s August resignation. Peterson served as Executive Director for 14 months.

“As I started exploring states and communities in which to pursue the next phase of my economic development career, Matagorda County EDC emerged as a ‘best fit’,” said Ferdinand.   

“When it comes to economic development, Texas communities are fierce competitors and Matagorda County is no exception. Matagorda County has developed a strong mix of agribusiness, manufacturing, commercial retail, fisheries, energy and tourism sectors while maintaining a phenomenal quality of life.  Every community has potential. What I see different in Matagorda County is a commitment to develop that potential in a positive way.”

Ferdinand began his career in economic development in 1993 working as the Senior International Business Consultant for the Mississippi Development Authority in Jackson, Miss. In 2001 he became the Executive Director for the Natchez-Adams County Development Authority in Natchez, Miss. Five years later, he was selected to be the CEO of Terrebonne Economic Development in Houma, La. Ferdinand was recognized as the first CEO of a new state authority tasked with the development of a new organization to fulfill a Parish-wide strategic plan.

During his tenure at Terrebonne Economic Development, Ferdinand fostered the creation of 3,008 new jobs, including a major-impact project that created 1,100 jobs with a $65 million investment.  He successfully recruited a $16 million civic center hotel and spearheaded the retention of an existing business employing 408 with a re-investment of $45 million. As CEO of Terrebonne Economic Development, he also created innovative solutions that guaranteed the recovery of the Terrebonne economy through five disasters in five years, including four hurricanes and the BP oil spill.

Most recently, Ferdinand has worked primarily in emergency management serving from 2012- 2015 as the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency-Recovery Division Office Director; and since 2015 as the Gulf Coast Managing Director of Emergency Responder – ID Trust Network in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

Ferdinand has also operated his own consulting agency working out of Louisiana and Mississippi rendering professional project management services to assist the recovery activities post-Hurricane Katrina, among other services offered.

His areas of expertise include project management, marketing and client management, entrepreneurial development, proposal development and research, coalition building, team management and risk management.

A highlight of Ferdinand’s career is his appointment to the transition team supporting economic development for the State of Louisiana for Governor Bobby Jindal.

Ferdinand has extensive experience working with Gulf ports and Navigation Districts. “Ferdinand’s experience working in geographically similar regions, particularly port authorities,  will be a real benefit to Matagorda County,” said Debbie Morris, Matagorda County Navigation District #1 Port Director and MCEDC Secretary.

He is looking forward to getting settled and getting to work in Matagorda County and moving forward with a plan of action for Matagorda County EDC and Palacios EDC.

“When presented with the opportunities that Palacios, Bay City and Matagorda County have, it is hard not to have a ton of ideas,” said Ferdinand.

“When it comes to priorities, it is critical that we evaluate where MCEDC is today and how to move from ideas to an executable plan as soon as possible.”

Ferdinand will be settling in Matagorda County with his wife Carol. Carol is in residential real estate, but for many years was a graphic artist. They describe themselves as “almost empty-nesters” with two grown children. Their oldest, Patrick, lives in New Orleans and works in the hospitality industry.  The youngest, Angel, is a sophomore at the University of Southern Mississippi majoring in education. 


Best rural county in Texas - Business In Focus Magazine, July 2016

(Click image to read full, four-page spread.)


MCEDC selects Eva Peterson as new executive director - May 26, 2015

Bay City, Tex – Eva Peterson, MBA, has been named executive director of the Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC), announced DC Dunham, MCEDC president. 

Peterson, set to begin work on Tuesday, May 26, will fill the position left open following Mike Strotheide’s March announcement that he would return to private business after serving as the Corporation’s executive director for almost two years.

We feel we have found an excellent new Matagorda County leader in Eva Peterson,” said Dunham. “We are looking forward to working with her and benefitting from her experience and expertise.” 

Peterson began her career in Economic Development in 2003 working for the City of Davenport, Iowa as an Urban Planner in Community and Economic Development. For Escambia County Board of Commissioners in Pensacola, Fla., she managed the Community Redevelopment Agency, Transportation Division and Long Range Planning Division. She served as an instructor in the Bachelor of Business program teaching Economics, Business and Communications at ITT Technical Institute in Mobile, Ala. Most recently, Peterson has been the Marketing Director for the City of El Campo.

Her areas of expertise include team leadership, project management, downtown revitalization, public speaking, strategic planning, budgeting, land use planning, cost/benefit analysis, operations management, market analysis, process improvement, marketing and public relations.

“During the interview process, it was obvious that she would be able to represent the County well to any type of industry looking at Matagorda County,” said Dunham.

Peterson said she is looking forward to getting started in her new position. “Some of my first priorities will be to meet the local decision makers, leaders and volunteers as well as identifying opportunities for growth,” she said. “I’m excited to learn more about the treasures in Matagorda County and using my talents to help make them shine.”

In the long-term, Peterson said she “hopes to develop a long range strategic plan which exceeds the MCEDC Board of Directors’ goals and expectations for our County.” 

“We are pleased to welcome Eva to the Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation. Her professional experience in economic development and her personal tenacity will prove to be vastly beneficial for our community, “said Mitch Thames, MCEDC board member.

Peterson moved to Bay City from the Florida/Alabama panhandle with her husband Ryan who works as a Construction Project Manager for TenarisBayCity. Originally, the Petersons hail from Iowa and Illinois.

The Petersons have one son and one daughter, ages 19 and 21. Their daughter currently attends college in Florida and their son will be starting college in Texas in the fall.

Since moving to Matagorda County in 2014, Peterson has already enjoyed becoming an active member of the community. She currently sits on the executive board of the Art League of Bay City and Matagorda County and she is an active member of the Bay City Lady Lions Club. She also served on the executive board of the City of Bay City Main Street Program. Peterson’s other memberships include: National Association of Women MBA’s, American Heart Association and Texas Downtown Association Conference Committee.  

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