Waco’s booming growth lately has been impressive and much of that credit can go to Kris Collins, the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s senior vice president of economic development.
Since being hired to the role in 2013, Collins has diligently worked as the chamber’s industry recruiter in attracting businesses to the Waco area.
This year in particular she seemed to hit her stride with business growth, including high-profile news such as billionaire Elon Musk’ plan to bring a rocket-building plant beside his SpaceX rocket-testing plant in McGregor and the opening of diaper-making factory Hello Bello, owned by Hollywood couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard.
The Waco ISD superintendent has faced and withstood challenges this year. She defied Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning masks in schools, saying the safety of her students and teachers had to take priority.
A fire gutted G.W. Carver Middle School on July 27, prompting a quick adjustment in moving those students to Indian Spring Middle School for the start of the school year.
She got great news when a $355 million bond package passed on Nov. 2 that will allow the district to rebuild Waco High School, G.W. Carver Middle School, Tennyson Middle School and Kendrick Elementary School on their existing campuses, and expand South Waco Elementary School.