Sealy Economic Development Corporation

Since 1979, Texas law has allowed cities to form economic development corporations to attract businesses and create job opportunities.
In 1989, the Legislature gave eligible cities the option of adopting a dedicated sales and use tax to fund many industrial development projects. Further legislation in 1991 recognized the need of some cities for funds to improve their appeal as places to live, work, and visit. This local sales and use tax became commonly known as the economic development sales tax.

On May 3, 1997, City of Sealy voters elected to adopt this additional sales tax under Section 4B of the Development Corporation Act of 1979. While the Section 4A tax is primarily intended for manufacturing and industrial development, the Section 4B tax provides cities with a wider range for the use of the tax revenues because it is intended to give communities an opportunity to undertake projects to provide for quality of life improvements, including economic development. In accordance with State law, the City created the Sealy Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and appointed a board of directors to administer the Section 4B sales tax revenues. The City began collecting the additional half percent economic development sales tax effective October 1, 1997.

Current Board Members & Administrative Staff

Bill Atkinson

Sealy EDC Executive Director
(979) 627-6121

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Bill Atkinson has had a career spanning nearly three decades serving three (3) cities in Oklahoma and Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and a Master of Public Administration degrees. He held three leadership positions in his 30-year city management career that included Assistant City Manager in Missouri City, Texas (2007-2022) and City Manager in Sachse, Texas (1999-2006) and Dewey, Oklahoma (1994-1999). Bill retired from city management in 2022 becoming a local government consultant. In these positions, he focused on team building, economic development, strategic planning, and providing leadership in initiatives that resulted in multiple national and regional recognitions for financial transparency and excellence.

During his career he was instrumental in bringing the largest retail and entertainment project to Missouri City, creating jobs and generating revenue. He was appointed to lead a team in revamping a failing golf course acquired by the city and turning it into a profitable and recognized asset for the community. He successfully negotiated advantageous contracts that saved millions in operational costs translating to savings to the taxpayers. Throughout he has enjoyed representing the city and working with citizens. He worked with the Missouri City Citizen Bond Exploratory Committee to develop a $86M bond proposal for Streets and Mobility, Facilities and Parks in November 2021. As well as serving as a member of a multi-disciplinary team putting together and presenting bond programs in 2008 of $17M and $40M in 2014 that were all overwhelmingly approved by voters.

He is a member of Government Finance Officers Association and a credentialed member of the International City/County Management Association, reflecting his dedication to professional development for himself and others.

His commitment extends beyond professional pursuits. He actively engages in volunteer work, supporting organizations like the Red Cross as a Community Volunteer Leader and as a
member of the Texas Gulf Coast Disaster Action Team.

Katherine Ellis

Deputy Executive Director
(979) 627-6127

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Katherine Ellis has lived in the Sealy area for about 18 years. She started her role with Sealy Economic Development Corporation early 2020. Her role as the Sealy EDC Deputy Executive Director started in March 2022, soon after, she received her Basic Economic Development Certification with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service. Katherine is optimistic for Sealy’s future, and believes her work has an impact improving the quality-of-life in the city. Previous relevant experience includes working in Human Resources for 8 years, while also completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. After graduation, she worked as an Administration Coordinator, devoting time to both HR and business development for an oil and gas surveying business. Katherine has worked with various non-profit organizations and currently volunteers at her local church as a children’s teacher and in Women’ s Ministry leadership, while parenting an active Sealy High School student. In her spare time, she enjoys a healthy lifestyle with the use of Sealy’s amenities including sports, outdoor activities, restaurants, and shopping.

M. Cody Hogue

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A native Texan who has lived throughout the world, Cody Hogue and wife Gloria moved to Sealy, Texas, nine years ago.  Working 32 years for Motorola, Cody witnessed firsthand the growth and rapid changes of the communications industry. He held many positions: (Area Operations Manager, Director of Quality, Director of Marketing, and Political Strategist). In Houston in the early 1980’s, Cody managed Motorola’s cellular phone system products and worked with system implementation. As Director of Marketing & MIS, he instituted a Computerized Order Entry system nationwide while marketing the Motorola brands. In his role as Political Strategist Manager, he interfaced with politicians at all levels of government including the Department of Homeland Security.
After retiring from Motorola in 2008, Cody joined Lockard and White Engineering as Executive Vice President. Cody retired for a second time in 2010.  Cody and Gloria’s move to Sealy started with a complete remodel of their 40’s bungalow home. Following, they fully remodeled two additional homes in Sealy, both originally built in the 1890’s. Their simple goal: to help beautify Sealy. Cody believes a person’s involvement in their community makes for a better living environment.

Education: University of Southwest Louisiana 

He has been active in many non-profit organizations:

SIRE, Therapeutic Horseback Riding  
President, July 200811 
Board member, 2009-2013 
Brookwood CommunityVolunteer, current 
Sunday Villas HOA    
President 2000-2007 
Board member 1998-2008  
Texas Sheriffs Association 
Associate Member 1997-2006 

Carolyn Bilski

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Bio Coming Soon…

Mike Nowotny

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Mike Nowotny was born in Houston and raised in and around Bellaire, Texas. He graduated from Bellaire High School and Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. He was trained as an Industrial Safety Consultant by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. In 1985, he joined Houston Lighting & Power Company in the Electric Safety Department, retiring 27 years later as the Driving Compliance Coordinator.

Additionally, he served as a relief paramedic for Fort Bend County EMS from 1992 to 2007. During the late 1980s, while living in Bellaire, he served on the City Planning Commission and was a Volunteer Captain with the Bellaire Fire Department.

In 1996, he moved to Sealy, where he volunteered with the Sealy Fire Department for four years. He has been a buyer at the Austin County Fair and a supporter of the Sealy FFA.

Charlie Wade

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Charlie Wade’s BIO Coming Soon!

Sterling Shiller

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Sterling has been a resident of Seay for over fifty years.  He graduated 3rd in his class from Sealy High School.  He obtained an associate degree from Blinn College in Brenham and a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University majoring in accounting.  He recently retired after being employed by the Katy Independent School District for 31 years where he served as senior accountant in the finance department.

Sterling has served on the past two City of Sealy Charter Review Commissions and is a current long-standing member of the City of Sealy Parks Board.  He is also a member of the Sealy Trinity Lutheran Church and the Peter’s Hacienda Community Hall.  He was also a member of the Sealy Volunteer Fire Department where he served as secretary for several years.

Sterling applies his financial knowledge and appreciation of Sealy heritage in helping direct the EDC in their decision-making processes and approaches to handling growth.  He truly believes that Sealy is a great place to live, work, and prosper.

Jennifer Sullivan

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Jennifer Sullivan‘s Bio is coming soon…

(COL) R James Brooks

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(COL) R James Brooks BIO Coming Soon!

Current SEDC Board MembersExpiration of Current Term
Sterling Schiller, President2024 – 2026
Jennifer Sullivan - Vice President2023-2025
Carolyn Bilski 2023-2025
M. Cody Hogue 2023-2025
Charlie Wade 2024-2026
(COL) R James Brooks2024-2026
Michael Nowotny2024-2026
Administrative Members
Expiration of Current Term
Bill AtkinsonEDC Executive Director / Treasurer
Empty spaceEmpty Space
Katherine EllisDeputy Executive Director / Secretary
Tim KirwinSEDC Attorney