Q & A with the New Director of Palestine Economic Development Corporation: Christophe Trahan
Friday, December 23, 2022
Texas native Christophe Trahan is ready to combine his economic development expertise with the energy and assets of Palestine, Texas, to make the directorship of Palestine Economic Development Corporation his own.
Trahan, a East Texas Baptist University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with concentrations in economics and finance, comes to Palestine from Wood County Economic Development Commission, where he served as executive director. Before his tenure in Wood County, he served for close to three years in his hometown of Linden, Texas, as the executive director of the Linden Economic Development Corporation.
Christophe Trahan: In His Own Words
Q: What drew you to the PEDC Director position?
Trahan: Two things stand out. I was energized by the City of Palestine’s excellent economic development track record of embarking on new and innovative projects targeting capital investment, job creation, and infrastructure expansion in the city. I was also impressed by the quality of City and PEDC leaders, including leaders within the staff and on the PEDC board and City Council.
Q: You have considerable marketing experience. Could you describe what that experience will bring to your position?
Trahan: In the economic development roles I’ve had, understanding the available marketing channels and leveraging those channels with positive, consistent messaging surrounding the economic development goals of the boards I worked for has always been key.
Specifically, during my most recent role in Wood County, the county EDC functioned partially as a marketing department to promote the recruitment of new businesses and residents to the county, as well as promoting the county to tourists. Moving forward with PEDC, I plan to leverage that experience to promote Palestine's already burgeoning economic landscape.
Q: Your background indicates that you know Texas. How have your experiences formed your expertise and understanding of how business functions in Texas?
Trahan: Getting to work in rural communities in Northeast and East Texas has allowed me to become intimately familiar with the challenges these communities face, but more importantly, I was involved in projects that utilized new and creative ways to solve those problems.
It’s well understood that Texas does business differently from every other state. Still, challenges persist even in an extremely business-friendly environment like Texas, especially for small and rurally located businesses. Having worked closely with businesses facing those challenges, I’m blessed with an “up-close” perspective that I strive to use to advocate for the growth our communities need.
Q: What advantages would a business have if they chose to expand or relocate to Palestine? What could they expect from your office?
Trahan: A business choosing Palestine gets the advantages of a skilled workforce, a quality of life to suit that workforce, desirable proximity to larger metroplexes, and the key benefit of a close-knit, welcoming, and growth-friendly community. From the PEDC, they can expect responsive, enthusiastic support as they navigate their expansion or relocation.
Q: The new year is almost upon us. Can you share any of your plans and goals for PEDC for 2023?
Trahan: Looking out into the future, the continued growth the City of Palestine is experiencing will necessitate an even greater focus on quality of life for new families and residents that come to call Palestine home.
From PEDC’s perspective, that focus will take on many forms: investment in the downtown district and support of our local Main Street program; creation of strategies for retail business recruitment to ensure that residents have a plethora of goods and services at their disposal: and the recruitment of well-paying jobs close to home. All of these are part of the PEDC’s future.
Q: How are you settling into life in Palestine?
Trahan: I moved to Palestine at the very beginning of December, settling into a home in the historic district that I absolutely love. I enjoy working out in my downtime — especially running — and I’ve loved waking up on weekend mornings, going for a jog, and just exploring the city as I go.
I was raised by a single mother, Lucinda Trahan, who encouraged my sister, Hannah Trahan, and me to be independent thinkers with a love of learning and self-improvement. In fact, my mother — who is 67 now — and I run 5Ks together on a monthly basis. She hasn’t managed to outpace me yet, but she consistently places at the top of her age division.
Q: Any closing remarks?
Trahan: In my position with the PEDC, I plan to leverage my experience to promote the already burgeoning economic landscape of Palestine. I’m honestly humbled to be able to work in and for a city of the quality of Palestine. The people here are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met, and I’m excited to work hard for Palestine to continue down the path of prosperity that the city is on.
Palestine Economic Development Corporation
The mission of Palestine Economic Development Corporation is to promote and facilitate responsible commercial and industrial business retention and growth that expands, diversifies, and strengthens the local tax base while enhancing local amenities and destination attractions throughout the City of Palestine.
To learn more about opportunities in Palestine, Texas, contact the PEDC at 903-729-4100 or by email. We are prepared for growth and ready to provide immediate and customized assistance. Explore our available properties here.