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MBA alumna oversees economic development in Pilot Point
Amanda Davenport got her MBA at TWU in 2014 and now manages economic development for the City of Pilot Point
As the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex continues to grow at a breakneck speed, one Texas Woman's University alumna is in an exciting position to help guide a rural North Texas city in sustainable economic development.
Amanda Davenport, just 27, has been the City of Pilot Point’s director of econonmic development for just over a year and got the position a mere seven months after completing her MBA at TWU’s School of Management in May 2014.
“Amanda showed remarkable intellectual curiosity and leadership ability while at TWU,” said associate professor Pamela Baker, who taught Davenport’s accounting class on the weekends. “I was impressed by her approach to problem solving and her willingness to go the extra mile. The City of Pilot Point has found a wonderful advocate and colleague.”
The parameters of her day-to-day work have her recruiting businesses to Pilot Point, helping to revitalize businesses already there and planning for future growth, which has recently become the big-ticket item for the outskirt as development pushes into North Denton County.
“There is a lot of opportunity to help the community and help guide how we grow as everything comes this way,” Davenport said. “We know there will be a lot of development coming our way as the Dallas North Tollway expands to become the eastern border of our city.”
Target industries for Pilot Point include equine and agribusiness, destination tourism, woodwork, millwork and high tech services.
In a town like Pilot Point, there are two sides to development, though. Davenport is keenly aware of the second part of her task as Pilot Point grows throughout the next five to 10 years, helping the town retain its unique rural quality provided by a cozy downtown Main Street sector and proximity to Lake Ray Roberts.
“We want to keep that feel, play on the tourism the downtown and the lake bring, have a very walkable town and keep in mind with the development the ‘live, work, play’ concept,” Davenport said.
It’s a high-profile balancing act for Pilot Point and for Davenport, whose Denton County roots give her keen insight into all the town hopes to preserve, and what it hopes to become. Davenport grew up just blocks away from the TWU campus and came to know the more rural outposts of Denton County, like Aubrey and Pilot Point, from her passion for riding horses.
She got her first taste of local government in an administrative position she held under Denton County Commissioner Hugh Coleman while she was working on her MBA at TWU. Davenport said her studies at TWU have directly correlated to her new job responsibilities, from research to properly conducting surveys to estimating return on investment when the city offers incentives to bring businesses to the area.
“The education Amanda received at TWU was wonderful and it prepared her tremendously for the work she did in our office, and more, Coleman said. “Her commitment to our community was typified by the relationships she forged in the committees to which she was assigned and all she was able to accomplish for us.”
The concept of advocacy in her role is something that isn’t lost on Davenport. She stresses it. Davenport isn’t someone who pursued MBA to earn a higher salary, or to get a promotion or because it was a job requirement.
She simply wanted to serve the community, something that runs deep in her family. Davenport was able to use a grant from leftover funds associated with her father’s GI bill to further her education and ran with the opportunity to make herself more marketable.
“I’m really focused on helping people with small businesses and helping make their dreams come true,” Davenport said. “City government should play a role in facilitating that and being a support system for them. That’s what we’re here for.”
Page last updated 5:04 PM, December 7, 2018