Dallas’ New Economic Development Corporation


Dallas City Hall | Image by Jonathan Richie/The Dallas Express

The City of Dallas formed the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) in January 2022.

The EDC, according to the City, is a public non-profit corporation established for the purpose of aiding and acting on behalf of the City on matters related to economic development. The intention of the corporation is to draw more business to Dallas and develop properties already owned by the City, such as Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center downtown and Hensley Field.

The EDC has the power to buy, sell, and lease land for redevelopment on behalf of the City and is a distinctly separate entity from the City’s Office of Economic Development.

When it was first formed, City officials said that lower-income communities would benefit most from the new job opportunities the EDC would usher in, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. Other Texas cities, including Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, have similar economic development groups.

The corporation will last perpetually, according to its certificate of formation. The complete bylaws of the EDC can be read here.

When it was formed, the City allocated $7 million to this corporation. The money was to be taken from ARPA grant funds provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury meant for COVID-19 pandemic relief.

When asked for an update on the work of the EDC, the City told The Dallas Express, “This is a brand-new entity made up of volunteers, without dedicated staff, so they are still in start-up mode.”

“Since the board was selected, they have met to begin the process of hiring a search firm to find an executive director,” the City said in a statement sent to The Dallas Express by C.C. Gonzalez-Kurz, marketing and communications manager for the City of Dallas.

“They are also working on a budget; a strategic plan and they’re reviewing the interlocal agreement with the City of Dallas,” the statement concluded.

On August 24, 2022, the City Council approved 15 nominees to the EDC Board of Directors.

The City said it wanted to create “a board that represents diverse industries and organizations,” according to a press release.

The 15 inaugural members are as follows:

  • Alan Dorantes, senior corporate counsel at T-Mobile USA Inc.
  • Ardo Fuentes, senior vice president of investments at Stifel.
  • Chris Bradshaw, business services support director at Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.
  • Cynthia Figueroa, managing attorney at the Figueroa Law Group PLLC.
  • Dania Duncan Moreno, partner at Bell Nunnally and Martin LLP.
  • Debra Hunter Johnson, founder, president, and principal consultant at Reciprocity Consulting Group LLC.
  • Gilbert Gerst, senior vice president and corporate manager of community development banking at BOK Financial Corporation.
  • Holly Reed, current principal and advocacy practice leader at Ryan LLC.
  • Jimmy Tran, owner and area developer at Code Ninjas.
  • John Stephens, general partner at MJ Lupton Partners LP.
  • Johnnie King, president of KG Concessions DFW LP.
  • Kim Noltemy, president and CEO of the Dallas Symphony Association.
  • Linda McMahon, president and CEO of the Real Estate Council.
  • Michon Fulgham, CRA director, community development lending principal advisor, and community development director.
  • Walter (Alan) Walne, chairman of the board and CEO of Bottom Lien Consultants, Inc.

More detailed biographies of each of these directors can be read here.

Each member of the board will serve a four-year term, after which they will be eligible for a three-year reappointment. However, they cannot serve more than eight consecutive years, according to the City.

The City also said that directors do not receive any form of salary or payment but can be reimbursed for expenses incurred through the role.

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