City staff member Anthony Satarino will be the next director of the Celina Economic Development Corporation.

Satarino serves as the city’s director of strategic services. He will step into his new role sometime in June, according to a May 18 news release.

“Celina is in an extraordinary position with a solid foundation for development already in place,” Satarino said in the release. “I intend to continue the vital relationships established with our small businesses and the focus on our downtown development, balancing the strategic recruitment of larger companies and retailers to fortify and grow Celina’s economy.”

Two-minute impact

Celina City Council members approved Satarino’s EDC contract with a 4-3 vote after discussing it in executive session during a May 14 meeting.

Council members Wendie Wigginton, Philip Ferguson and Brandon Grumbles voted in favor while members Andy Hopkins, Mindy Koehne and Eddie Cawlfield voted against. Mayor Ryan Tubbs broke the tie and voted in favor.

Council members did not comment on the appointment during the May 14 meeting.

“We are excited to have Anthony lead our economic development corporation,” Tubbs said in the release. “Celina is experiencing unprecedented growth, and with new businesses looking to come to Celina every day, we believe that Anthony will help our small businesses thrive while fostering the growth of our commercial tax base.”

One Celina resident spoke against Satarino’s appointment during the meeting’s open forum to ask council members to reconsider.

Diving deeper

Former Celina EDC Executive Director Alexis Jackson was removed from the position by the corporation’s board of directors in December. Melissa Thomas was appointed as the EDC’s interim director shortly after.

“We are confident Anthony will lead the economic growth that we are so fortunate to have in our beloved city,” Tubbs said in the release.

Before he was hired as Celina’s director of strategic services in 2021, Satarino worked for the city of Frisco as a planning manager from 2014-21. He is credited with helping plan and negotiate developments inside Frisco’s $5 billion mile, a 1-mile stretch of the Dallas North Tollway that includes multiple mixed-use developments, according to the release.

“Anthony has a proven track record of aligning the goals of the Celina EDC board with those of the Celina City Council,” EDC board President Clint Bisset said in the release. “We are excited to have him lead our economic development efforts and look forward to the positive impact he will make on our community.”