ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Driving on East South 11th Street, near the Expo Center, you may notice the large building that is now the Great Lakes Cheese Factory. Perhaps you have heard about the new energy technology company called Lancium being developed in Abilene, or the expansion of Bandag – an Abilene company that retreads tires. Who is the face behind bringing these major projects and others to Abilene?
That would be the president of the Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA) – Misty Mayo.
Mayo joined the DCOA three years ago when Abilene was looking for a president. Sam Vinson, chair of the DCOA board, told KTAB/KRBC when he came across Mayo, he knew she was different than the other candidates.
“The DCOA needed a shot of life in it, and with her presence in the room, and later her experience, we knew almost immediately that she was the one for the job,” said Vinson.
Not originally from Abilene, Mayo said once the city was on her radar for work, she was intrigued by the tightknit community.
“The thing that piqued my interest the most about Abilene was the potential,” Mayo recalled.
As a wife and mother, Mayo had to relocate her whole family to help develop the city, but she was committed. She explained that she wanted to invest in the community for her children’s future here.
“I’ve never been in a community that’s so gracious and embracing of the success we’ve had,” bragged Mayo.
Mayor Anthony Williams had a part in hiring Mayo, calling the move his point of pride. Now that he is leaving, he said her being a community leader gives him peace of mind.
“What makes me rest easy is professionals like Misty Mayo that will allow Abilene to continue to serve in a way that is befitting of our community,” Mayor Williams vouched.
Over the past 33 years, companies have committed more than $3.3 billion of their money back into Abilene, but greater than 82% of that has been committed just over the past two-and-a-half years while Mayo has been here.
Mayor Williams added, “I’m proud that Misty is part of team Abilene.”
Now that new companies have come to Abilene, and older ones have expanded, Mayo said she has more great plans for the future.
“We need to ensure that we are a part of growing their future workforce as well,” shared Mayo.
A major part of the DCOA’s plan this year, as according to Mayo, is to put a large sum of funds in the budget towards career technical education in primal schools, and at adult education levels, to help more people be qualified to work at these new locations.