Helotes, Texas – Helotes Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) Assistant Executive Director Glenn Goolsby recently promoted to Executive Director.
Glenn’s path to this recent promotion last month started thirteen years ago with an internship beginning in January 2009 in the middle of the 2008-2009 Great Recession. Helotes has grown tremendously since those days during Glenn’s tenure and all while weathering some of the most difficult challenges placed upon the broader economy.
Helotes News is excited to bring you this exclusive interview with the HEDC Executive Director Glenn Goolsby.
Helotes News: What are your three biggest HEDC accomplishments over the years?
Glenn: The improvements in Old Town Helotes, which started in 2009 with the addition of sidewalks, street lighting and landscaping. We later secured funding in 2015 to engineer and construct a pedestrian bridge across Helotes Creek.
During the COVID-19 pandemic everyone was hit hard. The HEDC quickly began discussions on how we could assist the business community. We initially rolled out a 0% interest loan program to help with financial loses in revenue suffered by small businesses due to the shutdown. The HEDC was later able to secure federal funding and converted all the loans to grants. As the pandemic continued to negatively impact our small businesses the HEDC launched a second round of grants that assisted 23 Helotes businesses.
Through a partnership with the City of Helotes the HEDC spearheaded the engineering phase to develop approximately 1.3 miles of water and sewer infrastructure along Hwy 16 that provided service to nearly 90 acres of commercial property. The City provided funding for construction which was completed in 2019. The first project to utilize the new services is the Legacy at Helotes, a 20,000 square foot mixed-use concept that will be completed early 2023.
Helotes News: How have you grown professionally over the years?
Glenn: Public speaking used to make me nervous, but thorough my experiences and continued training I have gained more confidence and now make regular presentation to boards and city council without apprehension.
I have learned the value of listing to other perspectives and being flexible in my opinions. It’s been my experience by understanding different points of view I can develop better strategies or programs to accomplish our organizational goals.
Helotes News: What advantages do you believe you had over other candidates for the Executive Director positions?
Glenn: I believe my overall personal history and education have provided me a unique aptitude to understand the challenges faced by small businesses and the skillset to aid in their development.
I started working for my family’s business at the age 8 albeit just cleaning up messes. As I grew up, I had the opportunity to see the challenges and rewards to owning a business. I’ve even endured the heartache of having to close a business. These experiences are invaluable and have given me an insight on ways to help small businesses.
Helotes News: How does your long tenure with the Helotes community support your position as the HEDC Executive Director?
Glenn: Being a part of the community for 13 years has allowed me to develop many professional relationships with area business owners. That not only gives me an understanding of their unique needs, but has built a level of trust and confidence that is hard to rebuild.
Helotes News: What skills, training, education, certifications and/or networks do you maintain and how do they benefit the HEDC?
Glenn: I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Texas San Antonio. Both of which have proven valuable in providing a framework of understanding business and organizational planning.
I’m a member of the Texas Economic Development Council and the International Economic Development Council and through their training programs working to become a Certified Economic Developer. I also participate in the Innovating Commerce Serving Communities “ICSC” as a member and exhibitor.
I’m an active member of the Helotes Area Chamber of Commerce. This organization was created in 2014 to assist in connecting the business community and provide a network of learning. It’s proven valuable in connecting with the business community and encouraging local growth.
Helotes News: How has your work in the HEDC over the past few years helped shape the small-town charm of Helotes as a community?
Glenn: From the first project of redeveloping Old Town Helotes to expand on the charm and character of the area, to working thoughtfully to attract businesses that are willing to become a part of the community, the HEDC has been able to influence development to provide sustainability and a better quality of life.
We extend our thanks to Glenn for taking time to participate in this interview. The HEDC’s mission is to promote, encourage, and enhance the creation of jobs, the expansion of the local tax base, and our quality-of-life through projects that assist in the retention and expansion of existing employers and which attract new employers and aid in their development and growth. For more information about the HEDC please visit https://helotesedc.com.