The City of Cedar Park has hired Ben White, former Vice President of Economic Development for the Round Rock Chamber, as its new Director of Economic Development.
The position has been vacant since Phil Brewer, who served as economic development director since 2005, retired May 18.
“Cedar Park has been very fortunate to have Phil here the last thirteen years,” White said. “He brought a tremendous amount of experience and did a great job while he was here so trying to carry on the work that he started and keep moving forward is our goal.”
City Manager Brenda Eivens said White was the obvious choice to succeed Brewer.
“Ben is highly regarded in his field and knows the lay of the land for economic development in this region,” Eivens said. “He brings the right experience, credibility and approach to lead our economic development program.”
While serving in Round Rock, White and his team were credited with contributing over $1 billion in major development projects in the last five years, creating close to 10,000 jobs.
White said that Cedar Park is on its way to becoming “the next employment hub,” noting the city’s demographics as highly appealing to businesses. According to the city’s Development Services Department Planning Office, Cedar Park has a median age of 34.2 years, 45.9 percent of residents have at least a bachelor’s degree, and the area has a median household income of $90,160.
“I think the demographics lend themselves well to corporate headquarters, the high tech industry and advance manufacturers,” White said. “The employees they are seeking live here in Cedar Park, and along the corridors that run through Cedar Park. It presents a unique and exciting opportunity to be part of something that’s going to be very special.”
White has more than 18 years of experience with economic development and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Central Texas Foreign Trade Zone. He is also President of the Williamson County Economic Development Partnership and was named by Consultant Connect among its Top 50 Economic Developers for 2017.
White said he will be proactive and bring a high level of enthusiasm in recruiting businesses to Cedar Park.
“First I will be heading out and listening. I’ll be meeting with elected officials, developers and landowners, and listening to what their thoughts are — what has and hasn’t worked here. Then, I’ll develop an aggressive plan to get targeted businesses to come to Cedar Park,” said White, adding that there are a number of projects being worked on by city staff that he will “help get over the finish line with the team,” but said those projects have yet to be publicly announced.
White began his first day of work on Monday, October 15, 2018.