Gloria Salinas serves as Vice President of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation.
What brought you to Frisco?
The exciting opportunity to serve as the Frisco Economic Development Corporation’s Vice President brought me to Frisco. My role in Frisco, at this point in time of its rapid growth, is truly a once-in-a-lifetime gift to grow alongside an innovative community and work on some of the Dallas-Fort Worth region’s most impactful developments. Frisco has been very welcoming, and I have enjoyed working with so many talented leaders and their teams that are making an impact daily throughout the community.
How did you get to be involved in the world of economic development?
After three years as a journalist with The Dallas Morning News, I pivoted a transferrable skillset of using complex data to tell a story into economic development. In my first economic development role in Irving, I had the great fortune of working with economic development legend John Bonnot. John quickly became a close friend and mentor throughout my career in economic development. He was really the person who encouraged me to continue pursuing opportunities in economic development and served as a mentor in each of my subsequent roles up until I was a finalist candidate for my role in Frisco. John knew economic development was about people, community and long-term planning, and he gave me a solid foundation to build upon in my career.
What should Frisco residents know about the Frisco EDC?
The Frisco EDC operates a holistic portfolio of economic development projects from real estate to attracting and scaling new and existing companies. Our mission is centered around our residents and providing them access to jobs of the future. The Frisco EDC is one of the state of Texas’ top economic development organizations, and we are often recognized for our breadth of work and its positive impact on our rapidly growing community, the region and the state of Texas.
Tell us about your role as Vice President of the Frisco EDC.
I began my role as Vice President of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation one year ago, on Oct. 11, 2021. This is a such a great question as I begin to reflect on the past year and look forward to the year ahead. In my role, I’m extremely lucky to work with an outstanding team of brilliant minds who carry a diverse background of experiences in economic development, marketing, international markets, urban and regional planning, tech and software development, journalism and consulting. I learn from my team every day, and they are the most valuable part of my role.
I work with Frisco EDC President Jason Ford and our Board of Directors to develop and implement policies and strategy to attract headquarters, corporate offices, and emerging tech industries to the city of Frisco. I work closely with our team to shape short-term and long-term strategies around research and innovation initiatives aimed at attracting the best companies to Frisco and helping our existing Frisco companies to continue to grow here.
What is a normal day like for you?
No two days are ever the same, and that is one of the most exciting parts of this role for me. On a typical day, my alarm blares the rambunctious iPhone radar sound at 4:30 a.m. I’m up with coffee and The Dallas Morning News, of course. After perusing Metro and reading the Business section, I’m off for a brisk one mile walk around The Star with Ralph, my maltipoo. I review assignments, work on homework and study for my Executive MBA program at SMU before heading into the office by 8 a.m. I check in with President Jason Ford and focus on team one-on-ones, staff meetings, meetings with site consultants, brokers, developers and check in on the status of our projects that are moving forward in their process to join the Frisco business community or expand here. I spend a large part of my day benchmarking and reviewing our alignment on strategy and engaging our team in the process of execution. Most importantly, we have fun while doing what we love.
How would you describe the state of economic development in Frisco?
The state of economic development in Frisco is vibrant and strong.
We had a phenomenal year for job creation from October 2021 through September 2022, with announcements of three out-of-state relocations Ruiz Foods, ExteNet Systems, and a new 15-story office tower at The Star for Fortune 100 company TIAA. We also saw two new Fortune corporate research and development centers announce new innovation hubs in Frisco—Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions USA and Comerica’s new Business and Innovation hub.
We are carrying a lot of momentum into the upcoming year, and we’re excited about the many new projects we’re working on that will continue to make a positive impact on our community.
How would you describe the future of economic development in Frisco?
Frisco is leading the region in true mixed-use master planned developments that will generate 37,700 potential new jobs, more than 7 million of square feet, and more than 15 billion dollars of investment. Economic development in Frisco will continue make headlines as the city continues to experience rapid growth and realizes plans for new mixed-use developments surrounding downtown, Hall Park, The Star, Frisco Station, the PGA headquarters and championship golf course and more. As future developments launch and plans come to life with announcements of major anchors, Frisco will remain at the forefront of economic development.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
In my natural habitat, I am an early bird, but these days I am both. Juggling an Executive MBA program alongside my role at the Frisco EDC requires I rotate 5 a.m. study sessions with late night study sessions depending on my coursework. I enjoy being an early bird and really taking in the quiet of the morning before the world wakes up. I use my mornings to reflect and plan for my day ahead.
What do you want your legacy to be?
As an economic developer, I am naturally passionate about cities and underserved neighborhoods and creating access thriving opportunities for the people who live in them and call them home. I hope to continue building on the legacies that came before me, and through my efforts, I hope I can bring awareness to the important work we do to build, design, and shape our community for our residents of today and tomorrow. My hope for a legacy is to leave a lasting impact on people’s lives in the cities I serve by creating their next job opportunity for growth and well-being. Along the way, I hope I can mentor and pass the torch, as it was given to me, to the next generation of economic developers who will shape the future of our cities and lives.