NEWS RELEASE

For Release: Jan. 25, 2010 CONTACT: Rick McGarry, CIS Coordinator, City of Richardson, 972-744-4106

RICHARDSON HIRES COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
The City of Richardson is pleased to announce the selection of a North Texas communicator to lead its enhanced communications efforts. Greg Sowell, City of Mesquite Communications Manager, has been appointed to serve as the City of Richardson’s first Director of Communications, effective February 15, 2010. In this capacity, Sowell will be responsible for managing the activities of a new Communications Department to be formed by joining together the City’s Citizen Information Services (CIS) group and Citizen Information Television (CITV) group. The Communications Department, along with members of the City’s Information Services staff who manage the City’s web presence, will be implementing Richardson’s new communications, marketing and open governance initiatives. These initiatives were identified in the City Council’s 2009-2011 Statement of Goals and further outlined in a plan reviewed and discussed by the City Council at its September 14, 2009 work session. “We had significant interest in this position and many strong candidates,” said Bill Keffler, Richardson’s City Manager. “Greg’s background in local government, journalism and crisis communications, as well as his expertise in establishing internal and external communications systems to deliver timely, relevant information on behalf of local government, made him the perfect fit to meet our communication needs. With this addition, we expect to enhance our marketing and communications outreach to meet the needs of our community.” Sowell has more than 20 years of experience as a communications professional. His background includes nine years as a local government communicator and more than 11 years working in television. Before working for the City of Mesquite, Sowell spent nearly six years as Information Specialist with Martin County, Florida. During that time he created several public outreach programs, and helped lead the crisis communications response during that county’s direct hits from Hurricanes Frances, Jeanne and

Wilma. He also did emergency response work in Jackson County, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. A portion of his work has been added to the Katrina Collection at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Library. While in Mesquite, he led the crisis communication efforts during the Gulf Coast evacuations from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Sowell’s television experience includes service as a broadcast news journalist with roles both in front of and behind the camera at NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox news affiliates located in Lubbock, Texas; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and West Palm Beach, Florida. Major stories he worked on include the Florida election situation in Palm Beach County, Florida during the 2002 Presidential election; the anthrax attacks on the National Enquirer at American Media, Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida; and localized stories after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for me, both professionally and personally, and I am looking forward to my new role with the City of Richardson,” said Sowell. “I have a good deal of experience creating community outreach programs, and I feel fortunate to have this chance to use my experience and training to help lead Richardson’s communications efforts.” In its recently adopted “Statement of Goals,” the Richardson City Council added two new objectives related to communications – an emphasis on proactive marketing and communications, and a commitment to principles of open governance. The hiring of a Communications Director to centrally guide the City’s communications efforts was one of the key strategies identified as critical to achieving both of those objectives. Sowell holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida Atlantic University specializing in Crisis and Emergency Management, and he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications degree from Texas Tech University. He is currently the Vice Chair of the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ North Texas Communicator’s Subcommittee. Sowell and his wife, Urmilla, live in Plano and have two daughters Alyia (4) and Keira (2).

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