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WEDC Executive Retiring

WEDC Executive Retiring 

By Joe Reavis

Staff Writer


After working 24 years to help Wylie grow by attracting businesses and jobs, Sam Satterwhite is stepping down from his position as executive director of Wylie Economic Development Corporation.

Satterwhite announced his plans last week and will officially retire on Feb. 15, the anniversary of his first day on the job in 1996 when he joined a community of about 11,000 people and went to work helping it grow to 52,000.

"It has been an honor to serve the Wylie community over the past 24 years in my capacity with the Wylie EDC," he said. "The 'commitment to community' has been the constant over the years from the perspective of the WEDC board of directors, city council and city staff as a whole."

Since 1996, the WEDC has completed more than 70 projects geared toward bringing investment and jobs to the community. Those projects have produced more than 2.7 million square feet of new commercial facilities, 3,670 new or retrained jobs and $374 million in new investment, Satterwhite pointed out.

"I am most proud, however, of the assistance we have provided to 37 small businesses, which are the backbone of the Wylie business community," he said.

Satterwhite is reluctant to take credit for his roll in helping Wylie grow over the years, explaining that it was a partnership among the city, school, WEDC and merchants that has led to success.

"He's done a lot for our community," Marvin Fuller, Inwood Bank president and former WEDC chairman, said. "The impact he has had over the past 24 years has been tremendous."

Fuller served almost 26 years on the WEDC board, many of them as chairman, and was a member when Satterwhite was hired. He recalled that the executive was interviewed via videoconference because he had recently taken a job in Florida.

"He was an absolute, great hire," Fuller declared. "This wasn't just a job to him. He is engaged in our community."

The WEDC is funded from a portion of the city sales tax and the former chairman recalled that the organization had a budget of about $100,000 when Satterwhite was brought on board. Today, WEDC receives about $3 million in sales tax revenue.

"Sam Satterwhite is someone who truly cares the community," Mayor Eric Hogue said. "For years in the future, people will see the impact Sam Satterwhite has had on the community."

The WEDC executive points to a couple of projects that stand out to him over the years, the Target Center of stores and restaurants on FM 544 and redevelopment of a corridor along Hwy. 78 that took 10 years.

He reported that the Target Center businesses generate about $1.5 million annually in sales taxes and the property has a tax value of $79 million.

Redevelopment along 78 started with an agreement by Kansas City Southern to relocate a portion of its railroad tracks in Wylie from along to highway to loop to the north. With the railroad tracks moved, the WEDC worked with a number of small industrial concerns to move to new facilities, which freed up the area for retail stores and restaurants.

Satterwhite explained that in two separate projects, a total of 10 acres was redeveloped over 10 years to create a business corridor. He credits the city council for having the patience to see the project through.

"Without the commitment from the city council and WEDC board, that would not have happened," he said.

Fuller pointed to another project as the top of his list, that of helping an aluminum extruder move into new facilities through Satterwhite's innovative structuring of a deal. The business was bought by Tower Extrusion of Olney, adding jobs and taxes to the community.

"Whatever he does, he will be a success," Fuller said. "He has been a pleasure to work with."

The WEDC executive was reared in Rockwall, earned a degree at Baylor University and worked in economic development for the city of Allen before taking the Wylie job. He and his wife, Kate, a third grade teacher at Akin Elementary School, are parents of three children: Allie, at student at Texas A&M University; Sarah, a junior student at Wylie East High School; and Brian, a sophomore student at WEHS.

Satterwhite noted that he is not leaving for another job, but expects to continue working in economic development.

"I think it's just time for a change," he said. "This has been the opportunity of a lifetime. I hope I've given as much to the organization as it's given to me."

WEDC is expected to fill the executive director position in the near future.


About the Wylie Economic Development Corporation

The Wylie Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is funded through a citywide half-cent sales tax that is impacted/funded via the 220,000 consumers in our retail trade area. The WEDC facilitates corporate relocations, local expansions of existing businesses, retail/commercial development and revitalization projects that lead to the creation of new jobs and the generation of additional tax revenue for the community.

For more information, visit www.WylieEDC.com.


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