A Day in the Life of an Economic Developer



One of the many things that I love about my job is that no two days are the same.  Economic development is a very fluid activity that is based on the needs and wants of the community, so there is a wide array of thoughts regarding how I can and should approach my position.  In sum, I try to be an advocate, an analyst, a catalyst, a resource, an educator, and a visionary.  On a daily basis, some or all of these roles manifest themselves into activities that provide some semblance of structure to my work.

My routine typically begins with a review of my task list, which I keep handy on my desk.  Some things are checked off, some things haven’t been addressed yet, and most others are in limbo—I’ve gotten the process started, but I’m waiting for someone else to get back to me or take care of his or her part of the deal.  This list is primarily made up of prospect communications, organizational management stuff (budgets, board communication, etc.), requests for technical assistance, and committee responsibilities and assignments.

I then check any emails that arrived overnight and address those that require responses or further action.  This doesn’t typically take too long, as I have become a slave to my phone.  While occasionally inconvenient, the constant flow of communication helps me to stay on top of things.  I can manage my communications in real time, as opposed to dreading an arrival at an office to sit in front of the computer for the first three hours of every day working on emails.

In terms of content, I spend some time almost every day reviewing commercial real estate transactions to see where deals are happening, who is involved in those deals, what the details are, and how that information can be applied in Marble Falls.  I also communicate a lot with people involved in helping us to market Marble Falls: those who sell ads, those who handle the technical specifications of ads, those who help us build the ads, and, of course, those involved with keeping our web site up-to-date and active.

I take a few minutes every day to peruse social media outlets for activity or news related to Marble Falls and try to help spread the word when good news is reported.  I also try to dedicate about fifteen minutes every day to some sort of professional development exercise.

During the legislative session, I monitor traffic related to bills that could have a potential impact on our citizens, our quality of life, and/or our organization’s ability to operate effectively.  When items of potential concern arise, I will conduct research, seek legal counsel, consult with our advocacy groups, and, occasionally, reach out to our legislators and their staff members to better understand their positions on these items.

I regularly update my prospect/lead list with new activity and reach back out to those who have expressed an interest in Marble Falls.  The companies and individuals on this list represent the heart of our recruitment and retention activity: included are local business owners who would like to expand their operations, firms that are interested in relocating to the community, and companies that have provided general criteria for their site selection search.

On average, I spend several hours each day in meetings or on the phone, with the majority of my time dedicated to project and program management.  Accordingly, I interact with staff and those in leadership positions all day long, as we attempt to mobilize the best teams working toward the best outcomes for all of our various projects.

Currently, those projects include our Downtown plans, support for higher education and workforce development, the hospital, the BIG program, Business & Technology Park recruitment, Capital Improvement Plan involvement, and more.

It’s an exciting time to be in Marble Falls, and I am honored, thrilled, and humbled to be a part of this community.