Unanimous Decision: Dallas Economic Development Corporation Confirms Linda McMahon as First CEO

McMahon, recognized as a powerhouse in the real estate sector, currently serves as president and CEO of The Real Estate Council (TREC), where she has spearheaded transformative initiatives to enhance commercial real estate and economic growth in Dallas. With her impending departure on June 30, TREC CFO/COO Summer Loveland will step in as interim CEO, while the organization actively searches for a successor.

Linda McMahon, a powerhouse in the real estate industry, has been named the inaugural CEO of the Dallas Economic Development Corporation (DEDC) in a unanimous decision this week. McMahon is poised to steer the organization starting July 1, 2024.

The decision follows a six-month nationwide search and McMahon’s nomination as the sole finalist for the position on May 3, 2024, as reported by multiple news outlets.

John Stephens, president of the Dallas EDC board of directors and retired chief financial officer at AT&T, praised McMahon’s appointment. “Linda McMahon’s depth of experience and strategic approach to economic development align perfectly with Dallas EDC’s mission,” he said in a statement. “Her visionary leadership is exactly what we need to propel Dallas into a new era of economic prosperity.”

Currently, McMahon serves as the president and CEO of The Real Estate Council (TREC), where she will end her more than 13-year tenure on June 30, 2024, before transitioning to the new role. The DEDC, established as a nonprofit in January 2022, aims to bolster local businesses, stimulate economic growth, and enhance infrastructure in Dallas, including a focus on the city’s Southern sector. Operating independently from the city government, the DEDC can act as a public developer by purchasing, selling, and leasing land for projects.

Stephens expressed confidence in McMahon’s ability to lead the DEDC’s mission, calling her “an ideal fit” for the role. McMahon was among the 15 inaugural board members of the DEDC, appointed by the Dallas City Council in August 2022. The board comprises attorneys, bankers, former elected officials, and leaders from various sectors.

After the May 7 confirmation, she took to LinkedIn to share her excitement about the role: McMahon said she appreciates “the confidence the Board of Directors has shown in me to lead this crucial effort in transforming the City of Dallas into the epicenter of business growth and opportunity.”

In an interview with Candys Dirt—which calls McMahon a “force to be reckoned with”—the incoming CEO also emphasized the EDC’s focus on business growth and development.

“The EDC was created to attract businesses and to grow business in the City of Dallas and to be the public developer of real estate for the City of Dallas,” McMahon said. “That business attraction, that engagement, and identifying opportunities to grow our tax base with new businesses is our No. 1 priority.”

The publication also highlighted optimism from community leaders, including Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins and District 1 Councilman Chad West, about McMahon’s potential impact. Atkins noted, “Her leadership at the Dallas EDC signifies a promising future for Southern Dallas,” adding, “Her deep-rooted relationships and commitment to community development, her capacity to drive significant change, and her prowess in attracting impactful business investments are exactly what Dallas requires.”

During her tenure at TREC, McMahon led major community investment initiatives, fundraising efforts, advocacy campaigns, and leadership development programs that significantly bolstered the commercial real estate sector and economic growth in Dallas. Noteworthy projects include the $3 million Dallas Catalyst Project in the Forest District and the establishment of the Dallas Collaborative for Equitable Development. McMahon also played a critical role in the region’s Amazon HQ2 pitch, from the initial response to the detailed Dallas bid. 

Following McMahon’s departure from TREC and until a new CEO is selected, Summer Loveland, TREC’s CFO/COO, will serve as its interim CEO. TREC board chairman Mike Geisler emphasized that the organization’s solid foundation and deliberate preparation ensures TREC will “evolve smartly and will remain deeply impactful and influential well into the future.”

In an announcement, Geisler praised McMahon’s “tireless advocacy” for the real estate industry locally and at the state level. He added: “We are at a time of real opportunity in Dallas, and we are confident that Linda’s dedicated service and deep knowledge of our city will help Dallas continue to grow and prosper well into the future.”

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