A search is underway to replace longtime Addison Economic Development Director Orlando Campos, who has been named the finalist for a similar position in the city of Harlingen in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.
“After 16 years of living in North Texas, I have decided to turn the page and start a new chapter in my career. I am heading home to start a new adventure! I am very excited,” Campos wrote on his LinkedIn page.
Assuming the role of Addison’s inaugural economic development director in 2011, Campos has been instrumental in shaping the town’s business landscape. The director dedicated his energies to drawing in new corporations, retaining existing businesses, and supporting their growth. Beyond that, Campos was an active player in redevelopment efforts with a special interest in nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in the town.
Addison said that during Campos’ tenure, his department was named one of the top economic development offices in North Texas by the Dallas Business Journal based on capital investment and deals closed.
In 2014, Google honored the town with the e-City Award for Texas, and in 2015, NerdWallet selected Addison as the No. 1 place in Texas to start a business.
Innovative incubator closes as $170 million development project kicks off
Campos played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Addison TreeHouse. The coworking incubator, launched in 2014, was a collaborative effort with the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, Baylor University’s Accelerated Ventures Program, and the North Texas Small Business Development Center.
With a 15,000-square-foot workspace located in the Office on the Park, the Addison TreeHouse became a launchpad for startups, providing well over 100 of them with support.
But in May this year, the TreeHouse closed its doors for good. This came after the city council approved a significant $170 million mixed-use development plan for the Office on the Park in August 2022. The new project also resulted in the relocation of Addison’s Economic Development Department to the Addison Conference Centre and the Public Works & Engineering Bonds to a new space situated near Keller Springs Road.
The Town of Addison says developers have already begun the demolition process, marking the commencement of the expansive project signifying a new chapter in the evolution of Addison’s economic landscape.
Going ‘full circle’ in his career
“I’m reaching full circle,” said Campos in an interview with MyRGV.com.
Campos began his economic development career with the Brownsville Economic Development Council and the position in Harlingen marks his return to the Rio Grande Valley.
In Brownsville, he was appointed director of marketing before being promoted to vice president of business development. There, Campos worked with companies to establish operations on both U.S. and Mexican sides of the border.
Campos also worked for the Valley International Airport in Harlingen as its manager of business development.
Before Addison, Campos worked for the Arlington Chamber of Commerce as its senior director of business & community development. His accomplishments there were the attraction of Trend Micro’s R&D/sales office to downtown Arlington and the attraction of the U.S. Bowling Congress to the city’s entertainment district.
A 7-month national search
The naming of Campos as the finalist in Harlingen culminates a seven-month national search for the job of manager and chief executive officer of the city’s Economic Development Corp.
Earlier this month, Harlingen city commissioners picked Campos as the finalist for the EDC’s manager and chief executive officer job.
“I’m very excited to be working with an organization such as the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation,” Brownsville native Campos told MyRGV.com. “I’m very honored by the trust bestowed upon me by the board as well as the city commission—and I’m excited to be returning to the Valley.”
In Harlingen, Campos is succeeding Raudel Garza, who was drawing an annual salary of about $180,000 as the EDC’s manager and CEO when he resigned in October after more than 10 years, according to the Rio Grand Valley publication. Garza is taking a job as Edinburg’s top economic development official.
Campos drew an annual salary of about $193,000 in Addison, per RGB.com.
“We are eager and ready for our new economic development president and CEO to begin his new role and congratulate Orlando Campos on the offer,” Harlingen EDC board President Javier De Leon said in a statement. “Along with his experience in the booming town of Addison as its economic development director, Orlando will bring a wealth of knowledge to Harlingen, and we can’t wait to see his proficiency and passion in action very soon as he takes the lead in invigorating our local economy.”
Town of Addison opens search for new Director of Economic Development
The town of Addison said its search is led by Mosaic Public Partners. The town said interested candidates should apply immediately, as the recruitment will close once a sufficiently strong pool of candidates has been established.
The town of Addison got a new City Manager in January, David Gaines, and recruited for its next Deputy City Manager in May.
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