By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
For the first time in its history, the City of Cleveland has a full-time person devoted to economic development. Robert Reynolds, who served on a volunteer basis for the City’s Economic Development Corporation board of directors, was selected from a pool of 20 applicants. His new job began on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
City Manager Kelly McDonald announced Reynolds’ new position at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
“I am very excited we are moving forward with an EDC director, someone who can focus directly on Cleveland and help bring in much-needed jobs and opportunities to the community,” McDonald said after the meeting.
As EDC director, Reynolds will report to both McDonald and Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Bobby Pennington, as well as the EDC board of directors.
Reynolds said he is very excited about his new role, particularly since he already has been working on economic development on a volunteer basis.
“We have a lot of good things coming to Cleveland that we have been working on for quite a while. In fact, Bluebonnet News reported on one of those things last week with the BNSF rail yard announcement,” Reynolds said. “In the past year or two, I traveled to see some of the other BNSF sites like this. This site is not just a rail yard. It’s going to have industrial areas and warehouses, too. This is going to be great for Cleveland. It will bring in jobs, new businesses and revenue for the city and school district.”
Even before the announcement was made Tuesday, Reynolds was working to bring new businesses to Cleveland. At the meeting, he was accompanied by two representatives of Quiktrip who are scouting for new store locations in the Houston area. Quiktrip is a chain of convenience stores based in Tulsa, Okla., which has dozens of locations in the Dallas area.
Prior to being named EDC director, Reynolds worked in residential and commercial construction, sales and managing sand and gravel pits. In the 1970s, he owned a residential and commercial construction company in the City of Houston. In the 1990s, when construction projects lagged, he went to work for PPG Paint, selling bulk paint to commercial and governmental customers. After 20 years of sales, he went to work for the late Paul Brockner, who owned B&B Aggregates in Cleveland. He also worked a short stint as the director of the Cleveland Civic Center and Convention and Visitors Bureau.