New SEDCO president talks growth, goals on first day of job

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SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) - It's the new SEDCO president's first day on the job.

Kent Sharp says his experience in the Texoma region will help him serve people here in Sherman.

"We have a lot of family and friends [in Sherman]," Sharp said. "I have a lot of knowledge of the economic landscape."

Sharp is no stranger to economic development or Texoma.

He's been in the field since 1991, working in Texas cities like Big Spring, Gainesville, and most recently Abilene.

Last summer, SEDCO president John Plotnik resigned, and a board was formed to hire a new one.

Sharp saw his chance to come back to North Texas, and he was hired in December.

"I've gotta do a deeper dive about the plans leading up to me coming here," he said. "I'm not wanting to make a wholesale change, I want to make changes at the margins."

Sharp said he believes economic development organizations are just the final push in bringing business to a city.

"Low taxes, business friendly, not strict regulations-- Sherman has all that," he said. "We get to do that last five yards of bringing the business."

He said the climate of growth in Sherman and the county is rare.

"It's the right place at the right time, at all levels-- ma and pop places, to giants out there," he said.

A November economic barometer report shows in the past year, the labor force in Sherman has gone up five percent and there has been a 200 percent increase in building permit values.

State data shows the population may go up about 180 percent in the county by 2050.

"You may see it slow, but I don't see it reversing or quitting," Sharp said about the growth.

Sharp said he's looking forward to one-on-one connection with businesses and locals in the city.

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