McKinney Economic Development Corp. CEO, president nears one-year, celebrates rebrand

MEDC President and CEO Peter Tokar speaks at a manufacturer opening in McKinney.

MEDC President and CEO Peter Tokar speaks at a manufacturer opening in McKinney.

Nearly one year ago Peter Tokar moved from Alpharetta, Georgia, to McKinney. Tokar joined the McKinney Economic Development Corp. to serve as president and CEO on July 30, 2018.

During Tokar’s first year with the MEDC, he has rebranded and restructured the organization and helped build a pipeline of businesses looking to call McKinney home.

“The projects that we announce in a given year may have started two to three years ago,” Tokar said. “... I’ve got a lot of leads, and we definitely have a good, solid project pipeline [of businesses and projects]. … A lot of the first year is rebuilding, and it takes a year to do a full rebrand.”

Under the rebrand, Tokar hopes to connect with McKinney residents and show them how the MEDC impacts the city’s tax base. The rebrand launched July 9.

“In some respects we’re not putting a new face on [the MEDC]; we’re putting a face on it,” Tokar said. “It’s been kind of this silent organization, or people see it as a silent organization. It’s really putting an image to what we do out there in the public.”

The MEDC is primarily funded with the levy of a half-cent sales tax.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about McKinney?

“The thing that surprised me about McKinney is that it’s a huge city, but going from a small city [like Alpharetta] to a city that’s three times the size, the impression you think you’re going to get is [that] this is going to be a massive undertaking. But for being as large a city as McKinney is, it feels small. … With 190,000 people living here, I run into the same bunch of people all the time around town. [McKinney is] this huge place that still has that small-town feel, but it’s a huge, growing, budding city.”

What projects are you most excited to bring to McKinney?

“Cirrus [Aircraft] at the McKinney National Airport was a big project. And [Dynacraft moving its division headquarters was announced June 21]. … It will be a headquarters for an advanced manufacturing operation. … We work with businesses, and then we work with projects as well. There’s a difference between business and projects. Our mission is not only to go out and recruit new companies here; we work with existing companies for expansion opportunities or relocating companies within the region. When we work specifically with a business, it’s usually on a relocation or expansion. A new business coming into McKinney is usually a project, and it’s got a fancy code name. … At any given time it’s safe to say between a combination of those two we’re working on about 20-25 different projects. And because they span years and years, the pipeline just grows, and every now and then one will drop off the back, and we’ll add one on the front and that pipeline just keeps going with us until they either make a decision one way or the other.”
By Cassidy Ritter
Cassidy graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Journalism and a double minor in business and global studies. She has worked as a reporter and editor for publications in Kansas, Colorado and Australia. She was hired as senior reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano edition in August 2016. Less than a year later, she took the role of editor for the McKinney edition.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Phase 3 of his Open Texas plan June 3. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott's June 3 guidelines allow most Texas businesses to operate at 50% capacity

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to lift coronavirus-related business restrictions.

McKinney ISD announced summer school will be held online this year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
McKinney ISD announces virtual summer school

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, McKinney ISD announced June 2 that MISD students attending summer school will do so online this year.

Plano-based Cinemark announced it would begin a phased reopening of its movie theaters June 19. (Courtesy Cinemark)
Plano-based Cinemark to begin phased reopening of theaters June 19

Cinemark has announced a “multiphased” reopening of its movie theaters that will begin June 19, three months after the Plano-based company closed all its locations nationwide in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

A merger between McKinney-based EnginSoft USA and MotionPort will create a nationwide software provider, officials said. (Courtesy EnginSoft USA)
McKinney-based EnginSoft USA announces merger with MotionPort for computer-aided engineering solutions

The merger creates a nationwide computer-aided engineering services and software provider.

Registration is now open for a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic to be held in Frisco on June 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Frisco opens preregistration for free drive-thru COVID-19 testing on June 4

The free testing will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the “Red” parking lot of Toyota Stadium. Preregistration is required.

Census reinstates some field operations in Texas following coronavirus delay. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)
Census reinstates some field operations in Texas following coronavirus delay

Operations began in Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio beginning May 25.

McKinney transportation project: Lamar Street improvements

Work will finish up in June on specific improvements along Lamar Street between Tennessee Street and Sherman Street, McKinney officials said.

Although Texas restaurants will begin to open May 1, to-go alcohol sales will be allowed to continue, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. (Courtesy Pexels)
McKinney allows drinking alcohol in downtown, other public places

McKinney City Council amended the city’s code of ordinances June 2 to allow open alcohol in public places.

Oun said he perfected his fried chicken recipe over a six-month period. (Courtesy Mother Clucker)
ROUNDUP: Read about local businesses in the DFW area

Read Community Impact Newspaper's latest business coverage from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

SugarBacon Proper Kitchen will reopen this month under new ownership. (Courtesy SugarBacon Proper Kitchen)
SugarBacon in downtown McKinney to reopen under new ownership

After closing in September last year, SugarBacon Proper Kitchen will reopen with a new owner.

A volunteer works with drive-thru grocery services for The Salvation Army to help families suffering from lost wages. (Courtesy The Salvation Army)
The Salvation Army of North Texas faces decrease in food supply through COVID-19

The Salvation Army of North Texas is working to meet the needs of hundreds of McKinney and Plano families each day through COVID-19, officials said.

Businesses shuttering their doors due to coronavirus restrictions lowered the sales tax revenue collected by cities in May compared to May 2019. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas comptroller reports 13.2% year-over-year state sales tax revenue drop in May

Tax collection revenue fell significantly in several sectors from May 2019 to May 2020, according to the comptroller's office.