Straight out of college and Daniel Silva was job hunting after earning a degree in computer information systems from then-University of Texas-Pan American.
His job search then led to the Mission Economic Development Corporation at their former home at the Texas Sweet Building. He started as a project manager, a job that had little to nothing to do with computers. Then in late November 2018, after a 14-year climb, Sliva was named chief executive officer of the organization where he got his first job out of college.
“There was no learning curve,” says the 37-year-old Silva, who was previously the EDC’s chief operating officer. “Everybody (on staff) was accustomed to me and my leadership style.”
The Mission EDC is far removed from its formerly modest office quarters to the 55,000-square-foot Center for Education & Economic Development facility that serves as its headquarters today The facility has high-end technological amenities and tenants. It also house creative entrepreneurs looking to make their mark with the backing of an EDC. The organization not only provides the resources, but the mentors and regional conferences that attract expertise.
“It’s a great resource that speaks to our programs,” Silva says of the EDC facility. “We wanted to make sure we had a facility that would be of value to everyone and would foster entrepreneurship.”
Silva is revamping the EDC’s signature Ruby Reds Ventures program. He looks to build a longer relationship with the small businesses it recognizes and awards funds in their development. He says the program will now lean toward companies that are more established in providing guidance and insights. The new CEO also plans a continued emphasis on technology as a key to recruiting and attracting more businesses to the city.
“It’s been a smooth transition,” Silva says of becoming the CEO. “I see great things ahead.”