When a person first meets Denison Development Alliance’s new Vice President of Business Development William Myers, it’s a bit like meeting a sparkplug. "He’s got an unbelievable energy level. I wish I could can it!" said Bridgeport Economic Development Council Chairman Eddie Bland. "He’s just very personable, very knowledgeable. He’s awesome."

When a person first meets Denison Development Alliance’s new Vice President of Business Development William Myers, it’s a bit like meeting a sparkplug. "He’s got an unbelievable energy level. I wish I could can it!" said Bridgeport Economic Development Council Chairman Eddie Bland. "He’s just very personable, very knowledgeable. He’s awesome."


Bland has a good seat from which to judge: For the past few years, Myers has been under his direction while serving as the executive director of Bridgeport’s Economic Development Corp. It’s a position Myers will leave next month as he and his family of four relocates 90 miles northeast to Denison.


"He’s been running the (Bridgeport) program for eight-and-a-half years, so he’s been the director of a (similar) organization," said DDA President Tony Kaai after the Alliance held a Board meeting to approve the hire on Tuesday afternoon. "That’s No. 1, is he has the capability to understand everything that has to be done with (specially designated tax) money."


Specifically, Kaai pointed to Myers’ experience using Tax Increment Reimbursement Zones in Bridgeport to spur economic growth. The zones allow private developers to be reimbursed for infrastructure improvements through the additional taxes their construction generates. Denison has made a pair of the zones the focal points of its Preston Harbour high-end real estate development off Lake Texoma, as well as the mixed-use Gateway Village plan at the intersection of U.S. Highway 75 and Highway 691.


Bridgeport, a fast-growing city located 35 miles northwest of Ft. Worth, has expanded its industrial and commercial footprint under Myers’ watch using TIRZ, including the 1,225-acre Endeavor Bridgeport project — an effort to create an industrial park interspersed with off-roading trails and other recreational amenities.


Myers explained that each community is unique when it comes to attracting business.


"When I moved to Bridgeport, I wasn’t thinking ‘Hey we’re going to do a … recreational/industrial park.’ But I just try to embrace whatever is the local desire," said Myers. "(In Denison), I just want to take the local flavor and support Tony’s leadership and the Board’s leadership."


As head of business development, Myers will be in charge of spearheading the city’s efforts to attract commercial interests such as hotels, restaurants and retailers. DDA Board Chairman Robert Brady said the organization landed the man it wanted for VP after Scott Smathers left the alliance after a decade to take a job in Kansas.


"We said from the get-go we wanted to find the best person available, and I think we’ve done that," Brady said. "Looking at the résumés, there was quite a gap (between Myers and the other applicants). To find somebody that had all that experience was pretty unique."


Once Kaai set his sights on Myers, the next step was convincing his family to make the move.


"It’s a great community," Myers said of Denison. "The collaboration — it was just absolutely obvious on our tour when we went around and met different people and different organizations. It was abundantly clear that there’s very good coordination among the different entities. And the family liked the city; they liked the improvements being done at the schools."


Myers earned a finance degree from Texas Tech and completed economic development courses at both Oklahoma University and Texas A&M University. He worked as a marketing director and real estate broker in his hometown of Breckenridge, Texas, before moving to Bridgeport in 2005.


Bland said the town is sorry to see him go.


"He’s been a great ambassador for the city of Bridgeport, and we’ve had some successes. We’ll definitely miss him."