Fall 2021 Economic Development Symposium

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Name: Fall 2021 Economic Development Symposium
Date: November 3, 2021
Time: 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM CDT
Registration: Register Now
Event Description:
The State of Texas provides a number of local economic Development programs for Texas communities. The Data Analysis and Transparency Division (DAT) provides detailed information about these programs, serving as a turnkey information source for improving government efficiency and achieving economic growth. 

  • Chapter 311 Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones
  • Chapter 312 Abatements
  • Chapter 313 Value Limitation Agreements
  • Chapter 380-381 Economic Development Agreements
  • Type A & B Economic Development Corporations (EDCs)
  • Hotel Occupancy Taxes, Municipal Development
  • Districts (MDDs) Public Improvement Districts (PIDs)
A question and answer session will follow each presentation
This symposium is part of a series presented in multiple locations in Texas.  For more information on other locations, please visit the Comptroller's webpage at Local Economic Development Programs (texas.gov)

IMPORTANT: Currently, all presentations in the series are to be in-person at each site and streamed live to all interested persons locally and across Texas. All in-person presentations for the dates below are tentative and may be changed to being exclusively a webinar presentation depending on the status of COVID cases.

Continuing Education credit is approved for those registered with TACA and/or TDLR as property tax 
professionals attending this Economic Development Symposium.

Speakers will be:

- Frank Alvarez is a Senior Analyst in the Data Analysis & Transparency Division for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Frank’s work primarily focuses on 312 tax abatements and reinvestment zones and Chapter 311 tax increment financing (TIFs) and tax increment reinvestment zones (TIRZs). Frank was recently appoint by the Comptroller to serve on and as the presiding officer of the Community Reinvestment Work Group to work with the banking and community to develop statewide community reinvestment strategies using existing investment pools and other investment vehicles to leverage private capital from banks, insurance companies, and other entities for community development in the state. Frank’s other tasks include hotel occupancy tax, Chapter 380 and 381 economic development agreements, and municipal and county budget processes.

Frank has assisted local governments save taxpayer dollars by facilitating shared service discussions in El Paso.

As a proven leader, Frank’s experience and increased responsibilities include work with public and private enterprises and a non-profit association.

Frank’s extensive professional background includes serving as Vice President of External Affairs for the Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce and Program Administrator for the Texas Hispanic Association. He also served as a Community Affairs Producer at KXAS-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth and worked as an Account Executive for a North Texas Public Relations/Advertising firm.

Alvarez holds an undergraduate degree from Austin College in Sherman, Texas; a Master of Science in Administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma; and a graduate degree in Journalism from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. He is a Certified Public Manager (CPM) from Texas State University and a Certified Risk Assessment Facilitator from the Comptroller of Public Accounts.

- With more than 30 years of experience in business and government, Russell Gallahan is the Senior Economic Development Analyst for the Texas State Comptroller’s office and advisor to state and local officials on issues related to economic development.

Gallahan leads the Texas Comptroller’s local government assistance team and is the administrator for the Texas Economic Development Sales Tax program. It is the largest dedicated source of funds for municipal economic development in Texas. The program serves more than 725 cities with revenues of  more than $1 billion each year.

Through his affiliation with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), Gallahan is a noted lecturer and trainer for more than 1000 economic development professionals each year in courses sanctioned by the Texas and International Economic Development Councils.

Previously, Gallahan was a business developer and hotel operator for projects in Austin, Texas; Orlando, Florida; and Nashville, Tennessee. He also served as an adjunct college lecturer.

Gallahan holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Administration Degree from Texas State University.

- Heather Hampton is a research analyst in the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' Data Analysis and Transparency division. Heather’s work centers around hotel occupancy tax and sports and community venues.

In her nearly five years of service at the Comptroller’s office, Heather has worked in the Property Tax Assistance (PTAD) and Revenue Accounting divisions. In PTAD , she analyzed proposed property tax legislation and managed an educational program for property tax professionals.

Heather earned a Bachelor's of Arts degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She spends her free time exercising and volunteering for several local nonprofits.

- John Villarreal is the manager of the Economic Development and Local Government section within the Data Analysis & Transparency division at the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. In that capacity, he oversees administration of the Texas Economic Development Act (Chapter 313), along with the agency’s local government assistance programs, and works closely with agency executives, members of the public, and legislative members and staff.  

Before being promoted to manager, John was a senior research analyst. He was the project manager for the Texas Works report, and was a key resource in the development of the Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) program. In addition to working on research reports, John also has conducted performance reviews of city and county operations.  John has been with the Comptroller’s Office since 2004. Prior to his work with the Comptroller’s Office, John worked for six years at the Texas Workforce Commission in its Labor Market and Career Information department.

John has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in public administration from Texas State University.
Coppell Arts Center 
505 Travis Drive
Coppell, TX  75019
Date/Time Information:
Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Contact Information:
Ellie Braxton Leveen, Pres & CEO
No cost, but you will need to register here. 
Continuing Education Units:
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