September 14, 2014
TEMPLE, Texas—The Temple Economic Development Corporation (Temple EDC) today announced that Lee Peterson will retire from his position as president, effective Sept. 30. Peterson, who has enjoyed a successful, 35-year career in economic development, served as president of the Temple EDC for approximately 9 years.
Temple EDC Chairman of the Board of Directors Bob Browder believes Peterson was the right leader at the right time for Temple.
“We are grateful for Lee’s leadership in building a first-class economic development organization in Temple,” Browder said. “He will leave a lasting impression on Temple with his many business attraction and retention successes, such as the H-E-B distribution center and The Panda Temple Power Project. We wish him a very happy, long and fulfilling retirement.” Peterson has been directly involved in recruiting new businesses to Temple, including the largest project in Temple’s history—The Panda Temple Power Project I and II, a 1500-megawatt natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle power plant that broke ground in September 2012. In the span of his career at the Temple EDC, Peterson has worked numerous projects that resulted in more than $1.6 billion capital investments and approximately 800 new jobs in Temple.
Other economic development accomplishments include a total 34 percent increase in sales tax collection, and a 15.87 percent increase in the Temple workforce since 2004. Peterson said serving as president of the Temple EDC has been the most rewarding decade of his career.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished and Temple is set up for a bright future,” he said. “I leave the organization in great hands as this staff is among the best in the economic development industry, and our board of directors has great foresight, professional experience and passion for Temple. Together, I am confident they will find the most qualified, experienced and motivated leader for the Temple EDC.”
Under Peterson’s leadership, Temple EDC developed programs to actively recruit capital investment and job creation while also fostering relationships with existing industry and manufacturing employers. He was an integral leader in the development of the four shovel-ready industrial and business parks known as the Parks at Central Pointe and an advocate for investment to the parks in 2008 and 2009 when the Temple Reinvestment Zone and the City of Temple invested a total of $22 million in new infrastructure to serve the Airport, Bioscience, Enterprise, and Rail Parks at Central Pointe.
In October 1988, Peterson began his career as an economic development professional for the Chadron-Dawes County Economic Development Corporation in Nebraska. He was directly involved with the creation of 200 new jobs in the Chadron-Dawes area from then until December 1990.
In December 1990, Peterson was hired as the president of the Minot Area Development Corporation (MADC) in Minot, North Dakota. With the start of his tenure there, MADC was completely redirected, with the main emphasis being the creation of new basic-industry (primary sector) jobs and the creation of new wealth for Northwest North Dakota. In December 2000, Peterson was named director of the Department of Economic Development and Finance and Commissioner of North Dakota Department of Commerce by North Dakota Governor John Hoeven.
Peterson will have served as president of the Temple EDC from December 2005 to Sept. 30, 2014.
About Temple Temple, Texas, is a community with a diverse economic base that includes healthcare, distribution and warehousing, and manufacturing as its foundation. Within 200 miles of a population of 19 million, Temple is in a strategic location that is central within the Southwest U.S. marketplace. Visit