New Katy EDC President Shares Vision for Area Business Growth

    The Katy Economic Development Council has a new President and CEO with a fresh vision to help businesses thrive in the Katy area. Chuck Martinez has been in his new position for a month and has already set a clear path for EDC to strengthen and grow the area in the future.

    Tell us about yourself and how you got involved in the EDC.

    I come to the Katy community with over 30 years of experience in economic development here in Texas, as well as in the state of Virginia. Before coming to Katy, I was in the Bryan College Station market helping the Texas A&M University system attract industries that had an impact on that market.

    I got involved in the Katy market because EDC started looking statewide and nationally for someone who might be the next person here who can help the community grow. They contacted me about the opportunity and it was a very quick conversation that started in January and ended in January.

    When the offer came to join the team, it was prophetic; It so happened that my first day was Valentine’s Day to signify a new love for my career.

    What role does an EDC play in serving the community? Specifically, what is the main focus of Katy EDC?

    The world of economic development involves helping businesses in their search for a place where they can stand out in the marketplace. Sometimes these are community businesses that have reached a point of growth and are making decisions about whether to continue in the same community or relocate.

    One of the often overlooked aspects of economic development is supporting businesses and industries in your own community so that they can serve you in a variety of needs that they may have, whether they are outgrowing their current facilities and potentially looking at options to expand on the same premise or looking for a larger footprint. For other businesses, it’s about the opportunity to start and potentially launch a new business.

    A lot of times, I think when economic development organizations come into the discussion, big business is trying to identify somewhere in the nation, or in Texas, and communities are competing to provide a value proposition of why their community would be a better fit for the operations of that particular company.

    Much of the work we do is interact with those private companies and introduce them to peer organizations or peer companies within their respective industries. In some cases, we engage public organizations to help them potentially support that particular company.

    What are some of your goals as president?

    There’s been an exceptional brand of Katy in terms of, when you say the words, “the Katy area,” there are certain immediate connotations that come to mind. All I have experienced with the Katy community is that there is a tremendous amount of support throughout the community.

    That brand of union is by far one of Katy’s biggest competitive advantages. In promoting that brand, what I want to focus on is serving as a regional partner and making it very clear that our team will be serving not only our regional partners, but also breaking new ground with local, state or local partners. federal or national groups. I want to establish that the Katy area is a great place to do business.

    Our role of representing the community implies a great transparency of work and communications. Our goal is to really raise the bar for competitiveness in our area.

    The other thing I’ve asked our team to really focus on is practicing this servant leadership to anticipate the needs of the companies we interact with: anticipate the priorities of our partners and just act in a way that gets them through. those higher expectations. .

    How is Katy different from other cities from an economic perspective? Are there particular challenges or advantages that we have here?

    The Katy community has been evolving since its founding, but there has always been a very rich history of coming together as a community. Most importantly, communities must ask themselves a big question: “Who are we?” Or, “What do we want to become?”

    I think the Katy Area Market recognizes its role in promoting the Houston Area Market, which, as you know, is not only the largest city in Texas, but also one of the largest cities in the country. When people think of Texas, they immediately start thinking of the larger metropolitan areas.

    There are often conversations about Katy being in the backyard of Houston, but somehow she is the frontyard of the Houston market. Katy is the western and northwestern gateway to a rapidly growing market. There are certain opportunities for scalability that other communities the size of our market might not otherwise have.

    Some of the unique advantages are just the phenomenal infrastructure for business to be conducted. There is a plethora of options for businesses to choose from here and to be able to live in a phenomenal community that hits a lot of the marks in terms of what people are looking for. At Katy, you are living in a world-class community.

    Katy is growing, the school district is expanding, and there are new developments constantly. How do you see the EDC moving into the future with Katy?

    The first thing is to reinforce the location advantages that have been built here. Sometimes communities have a hard time building momentum, but the Katy area market has incredible volume.

    What I would like to achieve is continued transparency of the work we are doing to help rebrand communities in the Katy area. There is no doubt that we live in a very hyper-competitive market where companies always have a choice of jobs, and we want to present as many options as we can and not just attract really great companies that want to be here.

    This is a team effort and we are looking for a lot of information to help us maintain our competitive advantage. We welcome invitations for us to go out and meet with groups and listen to community interest so that we can incorporate that feedback into the body of work that we’re involved with.

    I think the most important thing for us is to stay connected with our community and private sector member partners and stay ahead of the curve ahead.

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