McKinney EDC Appoints City’s Parks & Recreation Director as President and CEO

Michael Kowski brings extensive long-term city planning experience to MEDC, including urban development and design, land acquisition, and capital improvement projects, the organization said. He most recently served as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of McKinney, where he oversaw multiple eight-figure projects.

Michael Kowski

The McKinney Economic Development Corporation has announced the appointment of Michael Kowski as President and CEO beginning October 1. 

He replaces Peter Tokar III, who resigned the positions earlier this month after five years in the posts. 

Kowski brings extensive long-term city planning experience to MEDC, including urban development and design, land acquisition, and capital improvement projects, the organization said.

He most recently served as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of McKinney where he oversaw projects including the creation of the $11 million indoor tennis facility at The Courts of McKinney; the $25 million renovation of the McKinney Soccer Complex at Craig Ranch; and the acquisition of 230 acres of parkland within the Painted Tree development, which will be used for recreational facilities. Kowski oversaw other future community and economic development projects for the parks department as well.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead MEDC in expanding economic opportunities in the city and to promote our great city to national and international audiences,” Kowski said in a statement. “I look forward to attracting new businesses and experiences to our community by showcasing our high quality of life and seizing every opportunity for our continued economic success.”

From Open Lands in Illinois to parklands in McKinney

Prior to joining the city of McKinney, Kowski worked for the city of Orland Park, Illinois, where he oversaw the city’s Open Lands Commission, managed various site planning, transportation, and economic development activities, and negotiated land swap details and capital improvements associated with city facilities, the MEDC said.

Kowski also played a key role in Orland Park’s downtown Main Street redevelopment project involving the University of Chicago Medical Center, the MEDC added, as well as the construction of associated public infrastructure improvements that helped expand the community’s portfolio of public-private partnerships.

He also served on the Land Use Committee for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

A Certified Urban Designer, Kowski is a credentialed urban planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners. He holds a Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies degree from Harvard University and Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Art History with a concentration in architecture and urbanism from the University of Illinois in Chicago.

“We look forward to continued success with Michael Kowski and our MEDC team as he brings his experience in regional economic development and urban planning to our organization,” MEDC Board Chairman Brian Loughmiller said in a statement. “With his proven track record of project delivery, talent for building relationships, and working knowledge of the city of McKinney as a former Director, we will continue to work effectively with our development partners and city council to bring quality economic development to our community.”

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