005- Economic Development Secrets- Ben White, Round Rock, TX

Ben White Headshot  This month’s episode of Economic Development Secrets features Ben White, Vice President of Economic Development for the Round Rock, Texas Chamber, representing a community known for its highly-educated workforce, strong and cooperative city government, stable economy, and affordable cost-of-living.  White has fifteen years of experience in economic development, and currently serves as the president of the Central Texas Foreign Trade Zone board and Williamson County Economic Development Partnership.

Since joining the Round Rock Chamber in 2011, White has overseen the chamber’s economic development efforts. Most recent announcements include Clear Correct (medical manufacturing), Cornerstone Hospital (5th hospital for Round Rock), ProPortion Foods (480 jobs), Bass Pro Shops (destination retail), ThermaSol (manufacturing), Insys (pharmaceutical), South University (Round Rock’s 5th higher education institution), Benchmark Electronics (high tech manufacturing), Odyssey Technical Solutions (information technology), UPS Distribution Center (500 jobs and $70 million capital investment) and Kalahari Resorts ($400 million capital investment).

Under White’s leadership, Round Rock was selected as an International Economic Development Council Excellence in Economic Development for its Multi-Year Economic Development Program in 2015.  The Austin Business Journal awarded Round Rock with the best Real Estate Deal for the expansion of Insys Therapeutics in the Industrial Development Category.  The Texas Economic Development Corporation awarded Round Rock with the Community Economic Development Award (CEDA) for 2014.  This award is only given to one community in each population category for excellence in economic development.

From 2008 -2011, White was the Director of Economic Development for the City of Rowlett, Texas. While in Rowlett, he started a business retention and expansion program, hosted events for the development community, and developed a marketing plan for the community.

From 2000-2008, White worked for the Greenville, Texas Board of Development.  He began his career as the Projects Manager and was elevated to Executive Director in 2006.  He was responsible for pursuing business development and establishing relationships with industries, businesses and developers.

White is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Business Administration.