Ray Watson has been hired as the new economic development director for the town of Flower Mound, the town announced on Friday.
Watson has more than 18 years of experience working with both the public and private sector. He is currently based in Dallas as a partner with US Consults, a national consulting company specializing in site selection and government relations.
Previously, Watson has served as the executive director of economic development corporations in Kerrville (Texas), Windcrest (Texas), Ruston (Louisiana), and Ouachita (Louisiana).
“Ray’s broad economic development experience and work with the public sector will be an asset for us and for the Flower Mound community, and we’re excited to get him on board,” Interim Town Manager/CFO Debra Wallace said. “He has negotiated landmark economic development deals for local governments in Texas, and with his extensive knowledge and passion for community, we know he’ll steward our economic development activities in a way that meets Flower Mound’s vision and values.”
During Watson’s time in Windcrest, he spearheaded redevelopment efforts in the city’s business district, known as the Walzem Road corridor. He led a collaborative project team that constructed a complex and innovative economic incentives package that facilitated fast-growing technology company Rackspace’s relocation of its headquarters, and 6,000 employees, to an abandoned shopping center along Walzem Road. For his accomplishments with this project – which is still one of the largest economic development incentive projects in Texas to date – Watson was named one of San Antonio Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” winners in 2007.
Watson is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). He received both his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Development and his master’s degree in Agricultural Education, with an emphasis in Economics, from Texas A&M University. He also received a degree from the Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute.
He replaces Andrea Roy, who left her position late last year to take the post of director of development for the city of Bedford.
“I can’t wait to get started in Flower Mound and build upon the Town’s economic development efforts,” Watson said. “Flower Mound’s reputation precedes itself, with its proximity to major airports, incredible quality of life, low tax rate, and excellent school system making it a premiere business destination.
“I look forward to working with the business community, local developers, brokers, and residents on development projects that complement the Town’s existing businesses and continue distinguishing this community as a preferred place to live and work.”
Watson’s first day with Flower Mound will be Aug. 23.