Four Points’ own Phil Wilson will lead the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce as Chairman of the Board this year. He plans to focus on regional mobility and a more conducive regulatory environment in 2018.
“The chance to serve our members and the larger Central Texas business community is a task I’m excited and eager to take on,” said Wilson, Lower Colorado River Authority general manager and former Texas Secretary of State.
“A couple of my Chamber goals for this year include a strong focus on regional mobility solutions and partnerships,” said Wilson, a River Place resident. “Additionally, creating a regulatory environment that makes it easier to bring more housing and other development to the Austin region.”
In 2017, Wilson served as the Chamber’s chair-elect. He was also the Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation.
“Phil’s experience in the business world alongside shaping important public policy makes him a wonderful fit to lead the Chamber,” said Ellen Wood, 2017 Austin Chamber chairwoman and president and CEO of vcfo.
“This is a pivotal time for Austin and the Central Texas Region, many decisions will take place in 2018 that will resonate for years down the road. Phil’s steady hand and proven leadership will be invaluable to the community,” Wood said.
Wilson earned a Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree from Hardin-Simmons University. In February 2014, he became the LCRA’s 11th general manager and serves as the organization’s chief executive officer. The LCRA is one of the nation’s largest public power utilities, it has assets of $5.7 billion, generates annual revenues of about $1 billion and employees 1,800 Texans.
Prior to joining LCRA, Wilson was executive director of the TxDOT. Under the direction of the Texas Transportation Commission, he managed, directed and implemented TxDOT policies, programs and operating strategies. He also represented TxDOT before the Texas Legislature and other entities.
Before joining TxDOT in 2011, Wilson served as senior vice president of public affairs and as a corporate officer for Luminant, Texas’ largest electric generation company.
In 2007, then-Gov. Rick Perry appointed Wilson as Texas’ 106th Secretary of State. In that position, he was the chief elections officer and the chief international protocol officer for Texas. Wilson also served as chair of the Governor’s Competitiveness Council and on the Texas Border Security Council.
Phil has served the Chamber in numerous capacities, most recently as chairman of Opportunity Austin 3.0, a highly successful, five-year, five county economic development initiative aimed at fostering job-creating investment in Central Texas.
“It’s important for me to continue the outstanding work the Chamber has accomplished these past years and use that momentum to build new opportunities for a bright and prosperous future,” Wilson said.
The Chamber Board also selected Brian Cassidy, managing partner of the Austin office of the Locke Lord law firm, as the chair-elect. Cassidy is aligned to become the Chamber’s chair in 2019.
“The Central Texas Region is the epicenter of so much innovation, growth, and economic development, I’m excited to be part of this team and look forward to accomplishing some great things,” Cassidy said.
Lynette Haaland contributed to this article.