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Our Staff

Gil Staley has been with The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership since 2005 and serves as Chief Executive Officer. In this position, he is responsible for recruiting new businesses to The Woodlands area as well as directing the business retention and expansion program. Gil also oversees the operational aspects of the EDP while maintaining the financial integrity of the organization. 

Prior to joining the EDP, he was the District Sales Manager in Houston for Delta Air Lines. In this role, he was responsible for marketing, corporate sales and community affairs for Central & South Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Gil was with Delta for over 26 years. Gil is a 2009 Center for Houston's Future Business/Civic Leadership Forum graduate, as well as a 2006 Leadership Montgomery County graduate and a 2013 Hometown Hero. 

Gil serves on numerous community boards including Montgomery County Food Bank, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, Conroe North Houston Regional Airport Board of Directors, and Gulf Coast Workforce Board. He is a member of the Texas Economic Development Council, the International Economic Development Council and Commercial Real Estate Association of Montgomery County. 

Gil is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University with a B.B.A. degree in Business Management. 

Gil and his wife, Debra, live in The Woodlands. He and Debra are proud parents to twin grown sons, Johnathan, and Joseph.

Holly Gruy has been with The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership since 1999 and serves as the Chief Operating Officer. In this position, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization, which includes managing the organization’s staff, budget, accounting processes and functions. She also serves as the HR administrator and oversees assigned committees in order to meet the organization’s strategic goals. She also assists the CEO with business recruitment efforts, including representing the organization on domestic and international trade missions. 

Holly has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice-Victim Studies from Sam Houston State University, where she maintained a 4.0 GPA in her major and graduated with Latin Honors of Cum Laude. She also has an Associate of Arts Degree from Lone Star College – Montgomery. She is a 2002 Leadership Montgomery County graduate and a 2019 graduate of the Center for Houston’s Future Business/Civic Spring Forum. Continuing her professional development, she has received certificates for Essentials of Leadership and Effective Strategy Formulation through Rice University Jones School of Business. 

Holly is a member of the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce (GHWCC), Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), HR Houston, and the Leadership Montgomery County Alumni Association. She currently serves as an Ex-Officio Board Member for GHWCC and has previously served on the board for Inspiration Ranch, Executive Women’s Alliance (EWA), and the Montgomery County Humane Society. 

Holly has also volunteered for many non-profit organizations in the community such as LMC’s Leadership Series, CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County, and Interfaith of The Woodlands

Holly lives in Montgomery with her husband Ryan and their daughter Selah. When not working, she and her family are passionate about music, movies, cooking, gardening, camping, and traveling.

Mariana Almanza-Cook joined The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership in January 2020 as the Director of Business Retention and Expansion for the organization. In this role she is responsible for maintaining existing relationships with businesses in the community, as well as assisting them with their employee recruitment and development, expansion of space as needed, and providing demographic/labor market profiles when appropriate. 

Mariana earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas - San Antonio. She has also obtained a Multimedia Design Certification from Lone Star College. 

Since joining the EDP team she has focused on professional development designed to complement her economic development role. This includes completion of the Basic Economic Development Course program certified by the Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) as well as the Business Retention & Expansion Course offered by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). She is also proud to have added to her resume The Leadership Accelerator, a program offered by Rice Business Executive Education. 

Mariana also enjoys volunteering for professional leadership organizations in the community such as Education for Tomorrow's Alliance (EfTA) and is a proud member of the Leadership Montgomery County (LMC) program’s Class of 2021. 

Mariana and her husband, Nathan, live in Magnolia. In their personal time, they love to travel and enjoy exploring the great outdoors.

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