PROGRESO, Texas - Progreso/Donna Port of Entry bid farewell to a senior manager who has served with a variety of federal agencies and ends his career with over 32 years of federal service.
On March 30, 2017 CBP employees from the Progreso/Donna and neighboring ports of entry celebrated the retirement of Assistant Port Director Gilbert Aldaz with a commemorative luncheon.
Mr. Aldaz attained a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry from the University of Texas, in EL Paso, Texas; his hometown.
At the age of 23, APD Aldaz began his career in federal service in 1985, as a Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal Plant Health Inspection Services at the port of El Paso, Texas. In 1988, Mr. Aldaz accepted a position as a Customs Inspector, then in 1991 promoted to a senior inspector. While cultivating his career, he was promoted to a Customs Supervisor in 2000. Mr. Aldaz was later promoted to the position of a Chief CBP officer at the Port of Brownsville, Texas where he oversaw passenger and cargo operations at the Los Indios Port of Entry.
June 2006, Mr. Aldaz was promoted to Assistant Port Director for the Progreso Port of Entry where he has been a part of many facets of CBP. He played a vital role in the addition of the Donna international crossing which was brought to fruition in 2010. He maintained oversight of both the Donna and Progreso International Bridges, the Valley International Airport and the Mid-Valley Airport.
Those in attendance to the farewell luncheon included his wife of 27 years, Phyllis Aldaz, his son Michael Aldaz, his mother Maria Aldaz, his niece Cassie Villeskas, his fellow colleagues, and CBP officers, many of them who have worked side by side with him throughout their careers. A few shared some of their career experiences and anecdotes encountered while working together. Director of Field Operations, Laredo Field Office, David Higgerson honored Mr. Aldaz with a surprise visit and presented him with a token of appreciation. DFO Higgerson wished Mr. Aldaz the best of luck on his new endeavors and thanked him for his fruitful years in government service.
“I would like to thank APD Aldaz for his dedication to CBP mission and relentless commitment to excellence,” said Carlos Rodriguez, Port Director of Progreso/Donna Port of Entry.
While having lunch he shared many memories with fellow colleagues and officers, APD Aldaz expressed that he was extremely grateful for the rewarding career he has had with CBP and to the many lifelong friends he made along the way.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.