A business veteran who for more than 25 years has led efforts to attract and grow multi-million dollar industrial and advanced technology projects in Texas and elsewhere in the U.S. will be Port San Antonio’s next President and CEO.
Roland C. Mower will begin his new leadership role on September 29. He succeeds Bruce E. Miller, who has served in that role since 2002 and announced his retirement last January.
For the past nine years, Mower has been President and CEO of the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation (CCRED)—the leading economic development organization in the Texas Coastal Bend Region, with a focus on supporting the growth of the Corpus Christi area economy while helping create new jobs.
Mower’s economic development team at CCRED has assisted in attracting $4.6 billion in business investment to the Corpus Christi region. These efforts have helped bring about to the creation and retention of over 8,500 area jobs.
Deals supported by CCRED under Mower’s watch are among the largest investments made by foreign companies in the U.S.
Significant recruitments in the last three years include an initial $700 million investment for an iron plant owned by Austrian firm voestalpine Stahl (2013); a $1 billion investment for PET and PTA food-grade plastics container plants owned by Italian firm M&G Resins (2012); and a $1.3 billion investment by Chinese firm TPCO America to build a seamless pipe plant in the Coastal Bend region.
As part of his work to bring these and other new businesses to the Corpus Christi area, Mower collaborated with a range of stakeholders, including Port Corpus Christi; county and municipal authorities of the Coastal Bend; school districts; Del Mar College; and various state and federal entities.
“We’re excited about the range and depth of experience Roland brings to Port San Antonio as we continue to develop one of the community’s most important economic assets,” said Alex Nava, Chairman of the Port San Antonio Board of Directors. “He will hit the ground running in support of our customers as they continue to grow in key industry sectors that already provide good jobs to thousands of families in our community.”
“The Port has established a great track record over the course of nearly two decades thanks to the work of Roland’s predecessors—Paul Roberson and Bruce E. Miller, whose service to the Port has been invaluable,” said Wayne Alexander, member of the Port’s Board of Directors, who also served as Chairman from 2007 to 2013. “With Roland’s talent and background, we look forward to building on that foundation and capturing new opportunities.”
“I’m honored to become part of one of our country’s exemplary redevelopment efforts, and to work with the Board of Directors and a talented management team to help the Port and the San Antonio region reach new milestones in the years ahead,” said Mower. “This is an exciting time in South Texas as aerospace, advanced manufacturing, energy and other key industries thrive here. The Port will continue to play a central and increasing role in their success.”
For nearly 20 years Port San Antonio has been redeveloping the 1,900-acre site of the former Kelly Air Force Base to its best and highest use—creating the conditions that maintain and grow quality jobs. To date, the organization has attracted over 80 tenant customers who employ over 12,000 workers, principally in the aerospace, government / military, manufacturing and logistics sectors. Business activity at the Port has a regional economic impact in excess of $4.4 billion a year.
Furthermore, only about 40 percent of Port land has been developed thus far. Future construction at the Port’s Kelly Field industrial airport, East Kelly Railport and mixed-use Kelly Center could support over 30,000 jobs upon full build-out—underscoring the large site’s significant potential to further benefit the region.
In his upcoming role, Mower will lead a team of about 100 employees, including professionals in real estate and business development, airport and railport management, construction, asset management, finance, and marketing. Port staff also provides comprehensive customer support through its experienced property maintenance specialists—electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, handymen and a landscape crew that is transforming the large former base into a vibrant part of the surrounding city.
Prior to his role in Corpus Christi, Mower was CEO of The Research Valley Partnership, Inc., a regional economic development corporation headquartered in Bryan, Texas. He has held similar positions in Colorado, including at the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation, Fort Collins Economic Development Corporation, San Luis Valley Development Resources Group and Bent County Development Foundation.
During his long career leading economic development initiatives, Mower has been part of an array of local, state and national organizations as both member and officer. He served on the Leadership Development Committee of the Industrial Asset Management Council and completed a term on the Institute for Food Science & Engineering Advisory Board at Texas A&M University. He is past Chairman of the Larimer County Workforce Investment Board, from 1996 to 2001, and served in various leadership positions with the Economic Developers’ Council of Colorado, including as its President between 1999 and 2000.
He is active in various other professional associations, including the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), through which he has been a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) since 1999. He also received his certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) from the National Development Council in 1993.
Mower has been an active member of several business and industry groups, including as an advisory board member of the Flint Hill Resources Community Action Committee and the Innovation Center of the Coastal Bend. Since 2011 he has been the interim chairman of the Coastal Bend Marketing Alliance.
Mower and his wife, Charlotte P. Yochem, an attorney in private practice, live in Corpus Christi.