Henderson Economic Development Corporation (HEDCO) hosted an Industry Appreciation Luncheon last week with Carlton Schwab as the keynote speaker.

“This event hasn’t taken place in years but we plan to make it an annual event,” said HEDCO President John Clary.

Schwab is President of the Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) and has served in that position since 1999.

TEDC is a powerful voice for economic development policy in Texas and provides leadership and professional development to its members.

“It’s a real plus for you to have John in Henderson,” said Schwab. “I wish we had 50 Johns’ in Texas.”

According to Schwab, TEDC was established in 1991 and there are 620 EDC’s in Texas.

He shared with the audience the importance of economic development in Texas and especially Henderson. Emphasis was placed on jobs being the key to success.

Schwab said, “Henderson has the organizational structure to succeed. HEDCO is at the forefront of operating a program that is consistent with the latest trends and very best organization in economic development.”

He told the audience that economic development is a local responsibility and that businesses looking to locate to a city are searching for readymade buildings and that HEDCO was smart to pursue their speculative building project.

Board President Bill Garmon recognized the guests and then presented the Community and Economic Development Award to Gary Kappen of William Grant Tank & Vessel, Inc. of Henderson.

William Grant Tank & Vessel, Inc. is a manufacturer of custom pressure vessels and shop fabricated tanks and products to the chemical manufacturing, petroleum refining and gas processing industries.

They came to Henderson in March 2008 after HEDCO agreed in 2007 to an incentive agreement for the new start up business that included a conveyance of 10.47 acres of land and $45,000 for the creation of 16 jobs. Today they have three fabrication bays, one sub-assembly bay, a warehouse, two paint booths and a 5,300 square foot office complex.

“We would not have a business in Henderson if it were not for HEDCO,” said Kappen. “It’s been a great partnership.”

Industries represented at the luncheon are:


Case-Hill Group, Inc.

Blacklands Railroad

Fiberglass Creations THE REFUGE

Hacker Machine shop

Lone Star Equipment


Meridian Brick

MTC Bradshaw State jail

MTC East Texas Treatment Facility

Old School Services

Panel Truss Texas, Inc.

Pro Hydronic Specialties, Inc.

Rusk County Electric Cooperative

Sadler’s BBQ

Top Line Rental

Truss Ops Trucking, LLC

West Fraser Lumber

William Grant Tank & Vessel, Inc.

Dignitaries and representatives represented at the luncheon are:

BTH Bank

City of Henderson Officials

District Director for Senator Bryan Hughes

HEDCO Staff John Clary and Karen Smith
Gary Kappan receives HEDCO's Community and Economic Development Recognition Award
Keynote Speaker, Carlton Schwab, CEO Texas Economic Development Council
Carlton Schwab and HEDCO Executive Director, John Clary