Bay City, Texas – Michael Ferdinand, of Ocean Springs, Miss., has been named executive director of the Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC), DC Dunham, MCEDC president, announced Monday.
Ferdinand, set to begin work on Tuesday, Nov. 8, will fill the position left open following Eva Peterson’s August resignation. Peterson served as Executive Director for 14 months.
“As I started exploring states and communities in which to pursue the next phase of my economic development career, Matagorda County EDC emerged as a ‘best fit’,” said Ferdinand.
“When it comes to economic development, Texas communities are fierce competitors and Matagorda County is no exception. Matagorda County has developed a strong mix of agribusiness, manufacturing, commercial retail, fisheries, energy and tourism sectors while maintaining a phenomenal quality of life. Every community has potential. What I see different in Matagorda County is a commitment to develop that potential in a positive way.”
Ferdinand began his career in economic development in 1993 working as the Senior International Business Consultant for the Mississippi Development Authority in Jackson, Miss. In 2001 he became the Executive Director for the Natchez-Adams County Development Authority in Natchez, Miss. Five years later, he was selected to be the CEO of Terrebonne Economic Development in Houma, La. Ferdinand was recognized as the first CEO of a new state authority tasked with the development of a new organization to fulfill a Parish-wide strategic plan.
During his tenure at Terrebonne Economic Development, Ferdinand fostered the creation of 3,008 new jobs, including a major-impact project that created 1,100 jobs with a $65 million investment. He successfully recruited a $16 million civic center hotel and spearheaded the retention of an existing business employing 408 with a re-investment of $45 million. As CEO of Terrebonne Economic Development, he also created innovative solutions that guaranteed the recovery of the Terrebonne economy through five disasters in five years, including four hurricanes and the BP oil spill.
Most recently, Ferdinand has worked primarily in emergency management serving from 2012- 2015 as the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency-Recovery Division Office Director; and since 2015 as the Gulf Coast Managing Director of Emergency Responder – ID Trust Network in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.
Ferdinand has also operated his own consulting agency working out of Louisiana and Mississippi rendering professional project management services to assist the recovery activities post-Hurricane Katrina, among other services offered.
His areas of expertise include project management, marketing and client management, entrepreneurial development, proposal development and research, coalition building, team management and risk management.
A highlight of Ferdinand’s career is his appointment to the transition team supporting economic development for the State of Louisiana for Governor Bobby Jindal.
Ferdinand has extensive experience working with Gulf ports and Navigation Districts. “Ferdinand’s experience working in geographically similar regions, particularly port authorities, will be a real benefit to Matagorda County,” said Debbie Morris, Matagorda County Navigation District #1 Port Director and MCEDC Secretary.
He is looking forward to getting settled and getting to work in Matagorda County and moving forward with a plan of action for Matagorda County EDC and Palacios EDC.
“When presented with the opportunities that Palacios, Bay City and Matagorda County have, it is hard not to have a ton of ideas,” said Ferdinand.
“When it comes to priorities, it is critical that we evaluate where MCEDC is today and how to move from ideas to an executable plan as soon as possible.”
Ferdinand will be settling in Matagorda County with his wife Carol. Carol is in residential real estate, but for many years was a graphic artist. They describe themselves as “almost empty-nesters” with two grown children. Their oldest, Patrick, lives in New Orleans and works in the hospitality industry. The youngest, Angel, is a sophomore at the University of Southern Mississippi majoring in education.