Midland Development Corporation’s Board of Directors: Part 1

Midland Development Corporation’s Board of Directors: Part 1 Main Photo

18 Oct 2022


Midland is home to large corporations, innovative entrepreneurs, thriving family businesses, and cultural activities. Many area leaders have generously donated their time to growing Midland’s economy by serving on the MDC board. Their leadership, guidance, and insight have been essentialto the organization and the community that has evolved in Midland.

The Midland Development Corporation is governed by a seven-member board. Board members are appointed by the Midland City Council and commit to serving three-year terms. Our current board members talk about their roles, responsibilities, and aspirations for MDC and the community that they serve, in the 1st part of a 2-part article. 

Meet all of Midland Development Corporation’s Board of Directors here

Member profiles at MDC:

Stephen Lowery is the Chairman of the board and is very active in reviewing and analyzing opportunities, assisting in deal structuring, participating in negotiations, and meeting with local government officials and stakeholders. Being an accountant, he has helped structure and review the MDC’s annual budgets during his time on the board. 

Berry Simpson is a second-term board member and currently serves as second vice-chairman.

Jill Pennington currently serves as the board’s Secretary. Along with those responsibilities, she contributes with her sound legal knowledge to help review contracts and agreements presented to the board.

Brad Bullock utilizes his background in banking and finance to assist with vetting potential MDC projects. Brad feels that the MDC board has a fiduciary duty to the city as stewards of taxpayer funds, and so he along with the other members strives to ensure that every decision is made in the best interest of the city and its citizens.

Why did you choose to be a part of the MDC board?

Berry SimpsonStephen Lowery: I wanted a chance to serve our city by using the skills I had acquired throughout my career.

Berry Simpson: Being part of the MDC board gave me an opportunity to make significant changes and additions to Midland. I have lived in Midland since 1982, served as a City Councilman from 1995-2007, and have constantly searched for ways to make a difference in my hometown. I was happy to come out of “retirement” to join MDC.

Jill Pennington: Midland has a unique opportunity to become the city of economic growth in Texas. The mineral assets centralized in our community are exponential. The opportunities for diversification into other industries are exciting and anticipated. Finding a balance with those in need in our community while promoting business growth is attainable with a dedication to MDC’s core values.  I chose to be a part of the MDC Board with the hope of being instrumental in community progress.

Brad Bullock: I volunteered to serve on the MDC board to help foster collaboration between the private and public sectors to enhance economic opportunities and the quality of life for our residents. I want Midland to be viewed as a destination for both current and future residents, not just because of job opportunities, but because of the quality of life that it offers.

Why is it important for you to help govern the MDC?

Jill PenningtonStephen Lowery: Assisting in overseeing the MDC has been a huge honor. I have been able to work with some incredible board and staff members. The passion everyone shares for making our city the greatest in the country is shared by all. The MDC is an incredible organization that has the ability to impact every stakeholder in Midland. Overseeing the execution of the MDC is important to me because of how great of an impact it can have on all of us for the next 50 years. We stand on the shoulders of the great leaders before us and hope that we can continue the tradition of improving the lives of everyone in Midland.

Berry Simpson: The structure of the MDC board, members who are appointed by the elected City Council, is important to ensure the direction and investments are accountable to the voters and taxpayers of Midland

Jill Pennington: In serving on MDC, I strive to utilize my experience and education to provide reasoned judgment and thoughtful analysis of items presented to us for consideration. My hope is that I can play a small role in helping our community grow.

Brad Bullock: As a lifelong banker, I’m passionate about finding opportunities to assist existing businesses and also attract new businesses to our region. 

Could you speak to MDC’s role in Midland’s quality of life and sense of community? How would you like to see this role expanded?

Stephen Lowery: The MDC has been able to participate in improving the quality of life in Midland. Our contributions to infrastructure to expedite development, assisting the hospital with medical recruitment, participating in the expansion of Texas Tech’s Physician Assistant program, and many other investments have helped pave the way for parks such as Hogan Park and Centennial Park. Creating a sense of community and pride is something we have sought to do in many ways. We pride ourselves in how we constantly seek to connect people to our community through introductions, education, and most importantly our partnerships.

I would like to see more people include the MDC as a consultant and advisors on how to accomplish their goals. The MDC might not always be able to contribute to every project due to state laws and restrictions, but we can be instrumental in helping individuals and organizations accomplish their goals by sharing our knowledge, making introductions, and advocating for the stakeholders at the local, state, and federal levels.

Brad BullockBerry Simpson: It is our responsibility to think forward, to be out in front of public knowledge and involvement, to improve employment in Midland, and to improve the quality of life, which makes Midland a more attractive place to live and do business.

Jill Pennington: One of MDC’s goals is to make Midland an enjoyable place where people want to work and live. Our board has a special opportunity to contribute a certain amount of funds to projects that help improve the quality of life in Midland.

Brad Bullock: As a proud, and sometimes exhausted, father of four, I want my children to grow up in a community that they are proud to call home, and one where they will consider returning to long-term as adults when they start families of their own. The MDC has invested tens of millions of dollars since 2002 improving Midland’s quality of life amenities, infrastructure, healthcare, and educational resources but we understand that there is still a lot to be done to make Midland a destination of choice. Quality of life and place projects help make our city a more sustainable, desirable place to call home. 

Learn more about MDC’s investment in Quality of Place intiatives in Midland.

Why do you enjoy living and working in Midland?

Stephen Lowery: Midland has always been home to me. It is cliché, but I love Midland because of the people. I am blessed to live in a community where their faith & family remains their #1 priority. To me, Midland is a larger Mayberry. Incredible people everywhere you turn who are friendly and happy to be given the opportunity to chase their dreams and raise a family. In addition to those reasons, Midland provides an electric atmosphere for young eager entrepreneurs. It is not uncommon to meet a young person who has created a successful enterprise before the age of 30. If you have the courage, work ethic, and ‘don’t give up attitude’ then you will find someone willing to give you a chance to chase your dreams in the Permian Basin.

Berry Simpson: This is an ideal place to live for any energy worker or professional. The size of Midland is comfortable, small enough to know a lot of people, small enough to make a real difference in lives, and yet large enough to be a significant player on the national and world stage. It is also a great place to raise a family and make long-lasting friends.

Jill Pennington: I have lived and worked in Midland for over 25 years. The legal community in Midland can outmatch anywhere else in the state.  My husband owns a local business and both of my children have gone to school in Midland. Midland is a place for businesses and families to thrive. It offers a lot of the same benefits that a big city can provide but with the sense of a small town. 

Brad Bullock: Most of what brought me to Midland seventeen years ago all had to do with the quality of the place; the school system, the medical community, and the unique cultural offerings that were lacking from my previous home.  I use that unique perspective of what attracted me to move to Midland, and what keeps me here to guide my decision-making processes. Aside from career opportunities and cultural attractions, Midland provides so many opportunities to volunteer and be involved in civic life to make a difference. Along with the board of the MDC, I serve on the board of the Midland Community Development Corporation, which works to provide affordable housing and the board of the Midland Community Theater.  Previously, I have served on the boards of the Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale (now known as the West Texas Symphony) and Basin PBS.