The city of Dallas has unveiled the lineup of the first board of directors for its newly created Dallas Economic Development Corporation. The EDC was approved for creation in January.
Today, the Dallas City Council voted unanimously to appoint 15 members to the inaugural board. The 15 nominees were selected from a pool of 120 candidates by a committee that included City Manager T.C. Broadnax and Mayor Eric Johnson.
“The corporation will play an integral part in growing the Dallas business community, and we need passionate and qualified people at the helm,” said Councilmember Tennell Atkins, chairman of the city’s Economic Development Committee, when the city began accepting nominations to the board in March.
Created with the goal of boosting economic activity
Formed with the help of $7 million in federal money from the American Rescue Plan Act, the nonprofit Dallas EDC will aim to attract new businesses while supporting economic and workforce development. With the ability to operate separately from the city, the Dallas EDC can also act as a public developer—buying, selling, and leasing land to help with projects.
“The EDC, in partnership with the City of Dallas, will focus on marketing and developing Dallas, with a particular focus on southern Dallas,” Robin Bentley, the city’s director of economic development, wrote on LinkedIn. “The City of Dallas is overflowing with strengths and opportunity, and it is time to get the word out.”
Serving terms of up to four years, with the eligibility for reappointment to three-year terms, the new directors were chosen based on their expertise, the diversity of their backgrounds, and the industries they work in. No director will be able to serve for more than eight consecutive years.
The organization is the first of its type in the city, according to The Dallas Morning News, which notes that city leaders have stressed the need to promote development in historically underserved areas in southern Dallas.
“This is a great group of nominees,” Councilmember Atkins said. “I’m excited to see how they steer the City of Dallas Economic Development Corporation and support the Dallas business community.”
Inaugural members of the board are:
- Alan Dorantes, senior corporate council at T-Mobile USA
- Ardo Fuentes, senior VP of investments at Stifel
- Chris Bradshaw, business services support director at Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses at Dallas College
- Debra Hunter Johnson, founder, president, and principal consultant at Reciprocity Consulting Group
- Cynthia Figueroa, managing attorney at The Figueroa Law Group
- Dania Duncan Moreno, partner at Bell Nunnally & Martin
- Gilbert Gerst, senior VP and corporate manager of community development banking at BOK Financial Corporation
- Holly Reed, principal and advisory practice leader at Ryan
- Jimmy Tran, owner and area developer at Code Ninjas
- John Stephens, general partner at MJ Lupton Partners
- Johnnie King, Jr., president and COO at KG Concessions and Domain Enterprises
- Kim Noltemy, president and CEO Dallas Symphony Association
- Linda McMahon, president and CEO of The Real Estate Council
- Michon Fulgham, principal consulting advisor
- Walter ‘Alan’ Walne, chairman of the board and CEO at Bottom Lien Consultants
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