When Emily Pollard worked as a reporter covering local government and economic development, she found that she had a passion for both. So she decided to go all in. She now works for Frisco's Economic Development Corporation and was recently promoted to serve as head of marketing and communications.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a native Houstonian from a small town called Friendswood, Texas. There, I played lacrosse and was captain, and then coach, of my high school team. My alma mater is Sam Houston State University (Eat em’ up kats!) where I studied journalism, public relations and criminal justice. I also met my wonderful husband, Jonathan, at SHSU. Now we both work in city government as passionate public servants and own a house in Aubrey with our two crazy dogs and two crazy cats.
What brought you to the Frisco area?
My first job out of college was in Frisco. I was a journalist at Community Impact Newspaper’s North Texas metro, headquartered here in Frisco. Local government and economic development were two beats I regularly reported on, and it was something I became very passionate about. I realized that instead of writing about it, I wanted to be a part of it, so I found my way to the Frisco EDC.
Tell us about your role with the Frisco EDC.
I have been at the Frisco EDC since December 2021. I was recently promoted to Head of Marketing & Communications, and in a nutshell, I lead our marketing, communications, and public relations initiatives. My role is to promote the city of Frisco as THE top choice for businesses looking to expand or relocate in a city that’s built for success. I often joke that my job is “easy” because there are so many great things to say about Frisco. We truly have one of the top business environments and talent pipelines in the nation, not to mention our forward-thinking, pro-business city leadership and continuous ranking as the No. 1 Safest City in the U.S... You see? I could go on forever. I’m doing my job right now!
How do you view the role of the EDC in the Frisco community?
Our mission here at the Frisco EDC is to create jobs and improve the economic opportunities for Frisco residents. We do this by attracting companies to Frisco and by supporting existing companies in their growth and creation of new, primary jobs. Despite Frisco’s success and high growth rate of new jobs, our current labor-shed of residents commuting outside of Frisco for work is still 86%. We work to lower that number by having more job opportunities here, so our residents are not leaving Frisco to find jobs. When our workforce stays local, they spend more locally, and this helps the local economy. Having more sales tax revenue helps reduce property taxes for residents by keeping the tax rate low. We really are champions for the community and work hard to create new opportunities for residents.
How would you describe the current state of Frisco's economic development?
Frisco is booming! Last year, 2022, was a banner year for Frisco. We had 16 new corporate brands choose to move to or expand in Frisco, including a Fortune 500 regional headquarters operation (TIAA), which will generate more than 2,600 Frisco-based jobs over the next several years. Looking at our project pipeline for 2023, we are maintaining momentum and have some exciting projects we are working towards closing and announcing soon.
What is a normal day like for you?
Nothing is ever normal around here! Every day is different, but that’s what I love about my job. I work closely with our Research, Business Attraction and Retention & Expansion teams to create and implement marketing initiatives and campaigns to meet our goals. I also manage a third-party marketing agency as part of my day-to-day. With their help, I develop print and digital advertisements that run in our target markets and come up with creative ways to get the Frisco story in front of corporate decision-makers. I also plan special events, develop pitch presentations, craft e-mail marketing campaigns, take media inquiries and more. It is never boring around here, that’s for sure, but it is fulfilling work and I love working alongside such talented, amazing people.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy reading and watching movies – thrillers are my favorite. I also love trying new recipes in the kitchen and finding new local restaurants. When the weather permits, you’ll find me and my husband on café patios or at parks on long walks with our dogs. Since my workdays are usually so busy, I try to unwind and slow down as much as possible on the weekends.
Where in Frisco is your favorite place to spend time, and why?
As a foody, the plethora of food options in Frisco is the best, so I can't just pick one. Grabbing a coffee from Summer Moon in downtown Frisco is a common occurrence for me – I always get a Blue Moon (I love all things lavender). For lunch, my favorite spot is Pure Poke or Kura Revolving Sushi. For a sweet treat I’ll pick up a bun from 85°C Bakery Café or a boba tea from Fruitealicious. For dinner, Nikugen Steak & Ramen is my favorite – I always get the Nikugen Ramen. When I am hanging out with my friends there are so many options, but I mostly go somewhere at The Star. There are just so many great places to go!
If you had to pick a theme song for yourself, what would it be?
I feel like I should pick something classic rock since that is my favorite genre, but I think I’d have to go with "Vienna" by Billy Joel. That song always reminds me to slow down and enjoy the ride instead of focusing on the destination. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, put that song on and let the words sink in.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I don’t know if I qualify for either to be honest — I love my sleep! I go to bed early and sleep as late as I can.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want to look back and know that I've made a lasting, positive change in my community.