Tucson Industrial Development Authority Names Dre Thompson First Ever CEO

Since its formation in 1971, the Tucson Industrial Development Authority has been run exclusively by a volunteer Board, appointed by each Mayor; until now. For the first time ever, the Board has appointed a Chief Executive Officer to oversee a bold new vision for the development financing organization. Dre Thompson, formerly the Executive VP of Startup Tucson, is the newly installed CEO and brings a background of community and organizational development as well as entrepreneurial expertise. “IDA’s, though somewhat under the radar, are how American cities are built. They are bedrock financial institutions that make essential projects happen by creating access to capital and building cross-sector collaboration. I was drawn to the incredible, inspirational leaders on the Board of Directors and their vision to fund an equitable, sustainable, and innovative future for Tucson. With unprecedented federal dollars flowing to infrastructure, it is more important than ever to be investing wisely in Tucson’s long-term growth, affordable housing, innovation, climate adaptability, and leveling the playing field for communities that have been underserved by traditional financial institutions,” said Dre Thompson, Tucson IDA’s new CEO.

As a quasi-governmental organization, the Tucson IDA is tasked with leveraging public and private funding to develop critical civic infrastructure, such as affordable housing, manufacturing, transportation, broadband, and to create access to capital for small businesses and homeowners.

“The Tucson IDA has accomplished a lot in its past, but with a CEO in place we will be able to fully maximize our potential to serve the community. We were specifically looking for leadership that was visionary with entrepreneurial know-how, and deeply rooted in the Tucson community,” stated Judy Clinco, Tucson IDA Board President.

Since its inception, the Tucson IDA has overseen almost 700 million dollars in bond financing to power projects, such as the Fox Theater renovation. It has provided over 6 million dollars in loans to small businesses and nonprofits, and, in partnership with the Pima IDA, has facilitated over 1 billion dollars in homebuyer reservations through their down payment assistance and mortgage credit certificate programs, which amounts to almost 700 million dollars in funding for over 6,000 homeowners. The Tucson IDA has been especially focused on providing COVID-19 relief and support to small businesses, disbursing over 1 million dollars in 2021 alone.

“Our focus right now is tackling the pressing needs of our community in the wake of COVID-19, but our job is also to be focused on what the needs of Tucsonans will be 20, 30, and 50 years down the road. It is the long-term, mission-driven investment lens that sets IDA’s apart as financial institutions,” Thompson said.

Tucson IDA is a nonprofit that improves the economy and quality of life in greater Tucson by attracting and investing capital into local housing, economic development and community development projects.

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