Allen economic development veteran Dan Bowman has been named executive director and CEO of the Allen Economic Development Corporation (AEDC).
According to Board President Scott Sutherland, the decision was made last week following an international three-month search led by Waters & Company Executive Recruitment, a Dallas-based public sector recruiting firm that was hired following the resignation of Executive Director Harry Whalen earlier this year.
Sutherland said the search initially produced a pool of 50 candidates. The Board interviewed 12 and narrowed the field to five finalists from North Texas, Houston and Wyoming, which included Bowman. An Allen native, Bowman has worked for the Allen Economic Development Corporation for 10 years, serving as assistant director and most recently as interim executive director and CEO.
“The Board really focused in on management style and leadership qualities as we reviewed the candidates,” said Sutherland. “We didn’t want a sales guy, so to speak. We wanted someone who knew how to lead an organization and manage people and who understood the corporate environment.”
Sutherland said the national search was a critical process that solidified Bowman as the best person for the position.
“He was a real standout in the process, and during the five months he served as interim executive director,” said Sutherland. “Dan is connected with an extensive network in Allen and the Metroplex. He is trending as a major player in the economic development arena, and he is ambitious, innovative, progressive, and creates energy in an organization. Any city would be lucky to have Dan, and we are very fortunate to have him on our team.”
According to Bowman, Allen has undergone an incredible transformation over the past few decades and has much to look forward to as the community continues to grow.
“I’m honored to have been selected to head the Allen Economic Development Corporation,” he said. “I’ve been a part of this community for a long time, and I’ve seen Allen grow from a smaller residential community to a thriving center of business with regional shopping and dining amenities that rival any other high-end Metroplex city.”
Bowman said the growth has occurred as a result of a united community of residents and businesses, and the vision of city leaders.
According to Chuck Rohre, senior vice president with Waters & Company Executive Recruitment, the recruitment process started with interviews of the Allen Economic Development Board and City Council members to determine the desired attributes, education and experience in candidates. Each member also completed a management style analysis to identify what was important in the search.
“From this process, we determined two factors were paramount,” said Rohre. “We needed to find a strong leader and communicator to represent the Board well in dealing with the community and prospective companies considering Allen. And the ideal candidate would have strong business and financial acumen, and would be able to review and triage the deals that were truly viable and made sense to Allen.”
Rohre said the search produced applicants from across the nation, but the majority were based in the southwest or Texas.
Moving forward, Bowman said he is focused on spearheading AEDC office developments, including AllenPlace and Allen Central Park as well as commercial development opportunities along Sam Rayburn Tollway. He will be filling key support positions and emphasizing marketing initiatives to increase the visibility of Allen as a location for corporate headquarters.
Bowman has managed Allen economic development projects including the relocation earlier this year of California-based MonkeySports, the leading online retailer of hockey and lacrosse equipment in the U.S., which will create 200-plus jobs in Allen. Also this year, he represented Allen on the $26 million KONE relocation to AllenPlace.
Previously, he was the lead economic development representative on the $500 million Cisco Systems Data Center, a project that received the Community Economic Development Award from the Texas Economic Development Council. Bowman also led the recruitment of PFSweb’s corporate headquarters and 450 employees to Allen in 2012. In 2011, Bowman recruited Frontier Communications to lease 85,000-sf of vacant office space in Allen and relocate more than 750 employees. He worked with the Governor’s Office and the Dallas Regional Chamber in a team effort to recruit projects to Allen.
Prior to joining the AEDC, Bowman worked for the San Antonio Economic Development Department. He is an Allen native and a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio. He is a graduate of Leadership Allen Class XVII and a Past President and current member of the Allen Kiwanis Club. He received his MBA Degree from the University of Texas at Dallas and is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and was recognized in 2013 as one of the Top 40 under 40 by Development Counsellors International. Bowman served on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Chapter of CoreNet Global in 2013 and 2014.