The Big Spring Economic Development Corporation today announced Mark Willis as its new Executive Director following an intensive nationwide search. Willis has over 25 years of economic development experience in Texas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. He most recently worked as the Economic Development Manager at the Lower Colorado River Authority. He will take over as the Big Spring EDC Executive Director on August 5th, 2020.
Big Spring EDC Board President, Jeff Ward, stated, “Mark brings a significant amount of Economic Development Experience from all over the country with him. Mark's resume, reputation, interview and professionalism is more than we could have asked for. Mark was born in West Texas and has been looking for the right opportunity to move back home. We are thrilled with the opportunities that Mark has discussed with the Board and are anxious to see the growth and development he will help foster!” Ward continued, “The Board as a whole was very impressed with his composure and confidence in his abilities. Mark has many proven Economic Development projects under his belt. He has helped large scale distribution plants set up in his service area as well as foster the stability of businesses that were already established. Mark is confident, experienced, professional and intelligent, we feel he will be able to serve Big Spring well!”
Upon former Executive Director, Terry Wegman’s retirement in late March, the Big Spring EDC Board has worked hand-in-hand with The PACE Group, the leading executive search firm specializing in economic development. A top-notch pool of candidates was developed, and several finalists were interviewed by the board over the last several weeks.
Prior to joining Lower Colorado River Authority, Willis served for four years as the Director of Economic Development for The City of Leander, TX. Willis went to Leander after serving as the Chief Operating Officer for Wyoming Business Council. Willis has managed economic development organizations in Ada, OK, Bryan-College Station, TX, and Johnson County, TX.
"I'm really looking forward to coming home to West-Texas and working with the Big Spring team. Economic development is very much a team sport and from what I have experienced I will be proud to be a member of this one,"said Willis.
He also stated, "Everyone, everywhere is in the mist of perhaps one of the most challenging times in our lives on every level imaginable. The economy is no exception and it is going to be difficult for a while. However, the challenge and resulting evolution/adaptations the system will be making will also open up opportunities. Good economic development teams will strive to recognize the changes coming, prepare for them and ultimately benefit from them. I'm confident we can do that in Big Spring."
Willis spent his formative years in Midland, TX. Following high school Willis attended Texas A&M in College Station, TX and completed his bachelor’s. Willis ultimately received his Master’s of Business Administration from Texas A&M and has completed several professional development programs including receiving his Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in 2002. He has been on many boards and councils and has held memberships from many organizations throughout his career including International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Texas Economic Development Council, Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC), Team Texas and Wyoming Economic Development Council among others.
The new Big Spring EDC Executive Director will head up efforts to encourage and support the economic growth of Big Spring by developing and implementing Big Spring EDC’s aggressive economic development marketing program focused on business expansion and recruitment, workforce support, image enhancement and economic development marketing.
About Big Spring Economic Development Corporation
Big Spring EDC targets specific industries, activities and opportunities on which to focus recruitment and retention efforts. Matching location strengths to industry requirements and to industry demand patterns is critical in target industry identification, and an essential component of an effective development strategy. These defined industries are a likely match for the relocation or expansion of primary jobs in Big Spring. Our Mission is to assist, stimulate, and enhance economic development in Big Spring, Texas, subject to applicable State and Federal laws and the Bylaws and the Articles of Incorporation. To utilize its Sales Tax Revenues to increase the job opportunities available to the citizens of Big Spring by assisting the expansion of local businesses and attracting new business activities to Big Spring.
Big Spring EDC is governed by a Board of Directors and employs an Executive Director and staff. The organization is based in Big Spring, TX.