Recently, the Board of Directors with the Wharton Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) unanimously approved to hire Josh Owens as executive director.

According to a WEDC press release, Owens is moving to lead from his current position as senior planner for the Houston Galveston Area Council where he has also led the Gulf Coast Economic District since 2013. Owens first day as WEDC executive director will be Monday, Aug. 3

“Owens was selected from among a field of qualified candidates because of his excellent credentials and his familiarity with Wharton,” WEDC Board President Marshal Francis said. “Now is not the time to pump the brakes on progress, it’s time to continue moving forward with the good work that we have been doing.”

Owens will replace Chad Odom, who was hired for the Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance director job last month. According to Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., Odom will begin working in Central Alabama, Aug. 10.

The WEDC press release said Owens has regional and local economic development and planning experience. Owens has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Virginia Tech. 

“The board was also impressed by Mr. Owens’ work with WEDC and the City of Wharton over the past seven years as well as his familiarity with the future infrastructure plans,” Francis said. “Owens has assisted in writing several grants for economic development in his current role.”

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