District to hire senior economic development director

New position reflects changing relationship with chamber of commerce

Welcome to Houston

A senior managerial position is being created at the District of Houston to concentrate on economic and community development.

Called the Director of Economic and Community Development, the person hired will have the job of attracting and keeping new businesses and economic opportunities combined with the task of building communications connections within the community.

“Your commitment to economic and community development will drive you in advancing our organization and furthering or community as a healthy, vibrant and fullfilling community for all,” reads a portion of the job description posted by the District.

District of Houston chief administrative officer Michael Dewar added to the job description by saying more responsibilities are now being downloaded onto local governments and that new social challenges are emerging in the community.

“Key priorities for the new director will be determined as council develops their strategic plan in the new year,” Dewar said.

A budget for the director will become part of council’s spending plans for the District’s 2023 financial year.

The job description includes a salary range beginning $81,800 and increasing to $95,700 as well as benefits.

This new position also means a downsizing in the contractual relationship between the District of Houston and the Houston and District Chamber of Commerce.

For years the District has contracted out its economic development function to the chamber with chamber manager Maureen Czirfusz acting as the District’s economic development officer.

The current contract ends Dec. 31 and is being replaced by one aimed at local businesses.

“This shift will allow the chamber to focus its efforts on core functions related to supporting local businesses,” said Dewar.

“We anticipate maintaining a strong partnership and working relationship with the chamber of commerce as we evolve and adapt our organization to better service the community to accommodate changing conditions,” he said.

Also newly posted is the position of Deputy Director of Corporate Services/Grant Writer, a position that’s been vacant since mid-year.

The vacancy was created when Madelaine Swift moved up to replace Holly Brown as the Director of Corporate Services.

“Your commitment to supporting community project and effective stakeholder relationships through grant administration services will aid community development and quality of life for our residents,” states one portion of the job description.