Abbott appoints new members of Texas Economic Development Corp., several with North Texas connections

The Texas Economic Development Corporation on April 8 announced a new Board of Directors, appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott. Among the new members are two from North Texas and others with North Texas connections.

To serve as the new Texas Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, Abbott has appointed J. Pat Hickman, Vicki Hollub, Woody Hunt, Jim Lentz, Drayton McLane, Jr., Abid Neemuchwala, Scott Prochazka, and Bryan Sheffield, for terms to expire at the pleasure of the Governor. Additionally, the Governor named McLane chair and Hollub vice chair of the board.

“Our work over the last several years would not have been possible without the leadership of our outgoing board members,” said Robert Allen, president and CEO of Texas Economic Development Corporation (TxEDC). “We thank them sincerely for their efforts to elevate the Texas economy, both in their current roles as business leaders and economic developers, and in their work with TxEDC.”

“It is my great honor to welcome a new Governor-appointed Board of Directors to Texas Economic Development Corporation,” Allen said. “We believe this powerful group of dynamic individuals will help to make us even more competitive, as an organization, and as a state.”

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The organization markets Texas globally as a premier business destination.

Outgoing board members include: Chair Sanjiv Yajnik, president of financial services, Capital One Financial Corporation; Vice Chair Mark Griffin, president and general counsel, Rip Griffin Truck Service Center; Secretary Nancy Windham, president and CEO, Texas Forest Country Partnership; Treasurer Steve Head, chancellor, Lone Star College; Mike Rollins, president and CEO, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce; and Alex Meade, city manager, City of Pharr, who departed the board in 2017.

J. Pat Hickman of Canyon is chairman and CEO of Happy Bancshare, Inc. He previously served as chairman and vice chairman of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT), director of the IBAT Education Foundation, and as chairman of IBAT Services. He is a former member of the Texas Department of Banking Commissioners Council, the Independent Community Bankers of America Government Affairs and Education Committee, and the Independent Community Bankers of America Federal Legislative Committee.

Vicki Hollub is president and CEO of Occidental Petroleum, an international oil and gas exploration and production company, and one of the largest U.S. oil and gas companies based on equity market capitalization. She joined Occidental’s Board of Directors in 2015. During her 35-year career with Occidental, she has held management and technical positions in the United States, Russia, Venezuela and Ecuador. She has extensive operations and leadership experience and, most recently, was president and COO, overseeing oil and gas, chemical and midstream operations. She serves on the boards of Lockheed Martin, the American Petroleum Institute and Khalifa University for Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi. She is the U.S. chair for the U.S.-Colombia Business Council and a member of the World Economic Forum and the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative. Hollub received a Bachelor of Science in mineral engineering the University of Alabama. She was inducted into the University of Alabama College of Engineering 2016 class of Distinguished Engineering Fellows.

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Woody Hunt of El Paso is senior chairman of Hunt Companies, Inc. He is a member of the Complete College America Board of Directors and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, a trustee of the Texas Higher Education Foundation, and founding chairman and board member of the Borderplex Alliance in El Paso. He is a member and former chairman of the Texas Business Leadership Council, vice chairman for Texas Aspires and the Council for Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development, and an advisory director for WestStar Bank.

Jim Lentz of Westlake is the CEO of Toyota Motor North America. In this role, Lentz oversees all business for Toyota’s North America region, including Manufacturing, Research and Development, Sales, Marketing, Product Support and Corporate Resources. He is a member and former chairman of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, secretary of The Association of Global Automakers, and a member of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Advisory Board. Additionally, he is a member of the University of Denver Executive Advisory Board and the Dallas Stars Advisory Board. Lentz received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver.

Drayton McLane, Jr. of Temple is chairman of the McLane Group. He is board chairman of Texas Central Partners, board member emeritus of the Baylor University Board of Regents, and a board member for the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, Baylor Scott & White Healthcare Board of Trustees, Cooper Institute, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors. Additionally, he is a member of the Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees, board director of Happy State Bank, and a board member of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance. McLane received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University and a Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University.

Abid Neemuchwala of Coppell is CEO and board director of Wipro Limited. He is a board member of the DFW World Affairs Council. Neemuchwala received a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication from NIT, Raipur, India, and a master’s degree in industrial management from IIT Mumbai, India.

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Scott Prochazka of Houston is president and CEO of CenterPoint Energy. He is the incoming chairman of the American Gas Association and a board member of Edison Electric Institute and the Electric Power Research Institute. He is a former board member of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and former chairman of Texas Gas Association, Gridwise Alliance, and the Southeastern Electric Exchange. Bryan Sheffield of Austin is the executive chairman of Parsley Energy, Inc. Sheffield founded Parsley in 2008 and quickly set the stage for the successful growth of the publicly-traded independent oil and gas company. He is a member of the Texas Business Leadership Council and serves on the board of the Greater Austin Crime Commission. Sheffield received a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Southern Methodist University.

These appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.