The Sherman Economic Development Corp. is looking for new leadership, SEDCO announced Tuesday. President Scott Connell is resigning from the organization to take the job of economic development director for the city of Irving.

The Sherman Economic Development Corp. is looking for new leadership, SEDCO announced Tuesday. President Scott Connell is resigning from the organization to take the job of economic development director for the city of Irving.


"We are extremely grateful for Scott’s tremendous work over the last three years and wish him well in his new endeavors," SEDCO Board President Brooks Hull said in a prepared statement released Tuesday. "Sherman is growing rapidly, and we are anxious to bring in a leader who will help us continue the momentum we’ve built."


Connell had been at SEDCO since 2012, having previously served as senior vice president of strategic development and vice president of economic development for the Waco Chamber of Commerce, which he joined in 2005.


Since joining SEDCO in February of 2012, Connell has been involved in several high-profile business acquisitions and expansions, including helping to facilitate the city’s agreement with Panda Power Funds for the construction of a natural gas power plant in Progress Park. Additionally, SEDCO helped incentivize expansions at Globitech and a massive upgrade at Emerson Process Management’s Fisher Controls plant.


County Judge Bill Magers pointed to the recently announced expansion plans at longtime Sherman manufacturer Kaiser Aluminum as indicative of the kinds of deals Connell excelled at closing.


"I think Scott came in at a time of transition for SEDCO, and he was able to put his stamp on the organization," Magers said. " He helped move SEDCO forward while helping Kaiser and others expand their operations."


SEDCO released numbers Tuesday showing Connell was responsible for a total of 24 incentive agreements worth $729 million to local businesses. Those agreements, said SEDCO, helped create 865 jobs and more than $3 million in infrastructure improvements.


Sherman leaders said Tuesday they were appreciative of those efforts, and lauded the work Connell did to improve the city’s industrial landscape.


"Scott has been a visionary leader, ensuring Sherman’s diverse industrial base thrives while also setting the stage for future expansion," Sherman Mayor Cary Wacker said. "Sherman has developed a culture of innovation and success, and the new president has an opportunity to further establish Sherman as an economic leader in the Dallas-Fort Worth area."


Irving City Manager Chris Hillman issued a statement regarding Connell’s hire, citing the SEDCO president’s track record of luring businesses throughout his career.


"Mr. Connell has proven himself to be a tremendous leader, and his diverse experience in both private and public organizations give him a unique outlook that will be beneficial to our city as we continue to grow and expand our business landscape," Hillman said.


In Irving, Connell will be responsible for all of the city’s economic development activities, according to the city’s release.


And as for SEDCO, the search for his replacement has already begun, said Hull, with a target date for filling the position set for early fall.


The organization has hired North Carolina-based Jorgenson Consulting, a national executive search firm, to assist in the search process. Hull appointed the following individuals to serve on the search committee: Search Committee Chair Willie Steele, vice-chairman of SEDCO Board; SEDCO Board member Greg Kirkpatrick; Sherman City Council Mayor Pro-Tem David Plyler; industry representatives Brad Douglass, with Douglass Distributing, and Heidi Means, with Texas Instruments; city of Sherman CFO Mary Lawrence; and SEDCO staff member Stacey Jones.


Connell’s last day on the job will be June 16.