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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 received her Master Economic Development Practitioner (MEDP) certification in 2023 through a dynamic partnership among four major universities: The University of Southern Mississippi, Texas Christian University, The University of New Mexico, and Valdosta State University. She also has earned 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 Director of Marketing and Events, she is responsible for the marketing and event planning efforts of the organization. 

She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas - San Antonio. She also completed a Multimedia Design Certification from Lone Star College. She most recently completed coursework to become a Professional Community and Economic Developer (PCED). 

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, and is a proud member of the Leadership Montgomery County (LMC) program’s Class of 2021.

Mariana enjoys volunteering for personal and professional organizations in the community. She serves on committees for The Woodlands Arts Council and the Montgomery County Community Foundation, and is on the Board of the Montgomery County Hispanic Chamber.

Madison Becker joined The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership in October 2023. As the Administrative Assistant, she is responsible for handling the daily administrative needs for the organization, provide executive support to the CEO, and assist with high profile projects. 

Madison earned her Bachelors Degree in University Studies Leadership from Texas A&M University, where she double minored in Business and Sales and graduated with Latin Honors Cum Laude. 

Madison grew up here in The Woodlands. She enjoys volunteering at the local Montgomery County animal shelter where she has fostered multiple dogs throughout the years. During her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and taking her dogs out on hiking trails around the area.







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