Head of Frisco Economic Development retiring

After 21 years as president of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation (FEDC), Jim Gandy announced on Oct. 30 he is retiring.

“It has been my honor to serve as president of the Frisco EDC through these years of dynamic growth and prosperity,” said Gandy, president. “It’s been a wonderful journey.”

Gandy is the second person to hold the position of president of the FEDC, which was created in 1991 by Frisco voters who approved a half-cent of sales tax, not property tax, be used to fund economic development. Gandy was hired in 1996 when Frisco’s population was estimated at 16,500. Today, Frisco’s population is about 169,000 and has been recognized as one of the fastest growing cities in the country for more than a decade.

During Gandy’s career with the city, he helped bring internationally recognized corporations to Frisco including the Dallas Cowboys, Jamba Juice, T-Mobile and Invest Group Overseas. He also helped attract destination developments including the Centre at Preston Ridge, IKEA and Stonebriar Centre mall, often considered Frisco’s first ‘major economic engine’, which opened its doors in 2000.

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Over the years, Gandy was part of Frisco’s team that established innovative public-private partnerships resulting in the development of venues including Dr Pepper Ballpark, Dr Pepper Arena, Toyota Stadium and the Ford Center at The Star, which is the training facility for the Dallas Cowboys.

“Jim has been at the forefront of economic development in Frisco for his 21+‎ year tenure,” said George Purefoy, city manager. “His successes range from the pivotal role he played in the development of Stonebriar Centre to the recruitment of the Dallas Cowboys which has set the new standard for NFL headquarters/practice facilities. Through Jim’s efforts, the Frisco Economic Development Corporation has been recognized as one of the most effective in the United States.”

A recent, independent economic impact study, commissioned by the FEDC, reports a cumulative economic impact of $31.1 billion from 345 projects the FEDC helped facilitate during its first 25 years in operation. Insight Research Corporation also found the City of Frisco’s total tax base grew from $654.7 million in 1991 to $25.028 billion in 2015. During that same period, more than 27,000 direct jobs were created – or one in every five jobs in Frisco. The same study shows return on investment (ROI) calculations show each dollar invested by the FEDC returned $22.37 in investment to Frisco’s tax base and $4.77 in new tax revenue to the City of Frisco.

“Jim has been an integral part of the FEDC team over the past 21 years and his work contributed to the great results reflected in our economic impact study,” said Craig Moen, chairman, FEDC Board of Directors.

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Under Gandy’s leadership, the FEDC received the 2017 Economic Development Leadership/Innovation award from the North Texas chapter of CoreNet Global. The Dallas Business Journal ranked the FEDC number one among North Texas economic development agencies in 2012 and 2015. Gandy was named the 2015 Citizen of the Year by the Frisco Chamber of Commerce.

Gandy has served Frisco as a volunteer, as well. He served on the chamber’s board from 1996 to 2002; he has been a Leadership Frisco instructor since 1997. He’s also been serving as an advisory board member of the Frisco Association of the Arts since 2004.

Assistant City Manager Ron Patterson will serve as interim president while the FEDC board of directors conducts a national search to fill the vacancy. Gandy will retain a role of Special Advisor to the Interim President/President until March 31, 2018.