City councilman Dillon Meek, BA ’07, JD ’10, says Waco is in a “get in while the getting’s good” phase.
“To Baylor folks who love Waco, who are looking for a fresh start or want to be a part of building a city, I invite you to come help us do that,” Meek says. “If you have a pioneer spirit, I can’t imagine there is a better place for you to be than Waco. Jump in with both feet—do it, and the community will support you.”
Meek, an Edna, Texas, native, is living proof of that. He won a seat on Waco’s City Council in 2015 at age 30, fought predatory payday lending and was named 2016 Person of the Year by Waco Today magazine.
He also serves as general counsel for Rydell Holdings, founded by Ryan Gibson, BBA ’04, and Chris DeLeenheer, BSEd ’03. With offices downtown, Rydell owns various multi-family and commercial properties, and it has interests in businesses like Campus Realtors, Rydell Real Estate, Fuego Tortilla Grill, Premier ER/urgent care facilities and a hydroponic lettuce farm inside the city limits (Urban Star Produce).
Meek says the City and other entities are working together on an entrepreneurship initiative that will provide space, resources, and capital for startup businesses. He also wants to make it easier for Baylor graduates to find the best possible jobs.
Data shows that more Baylor graduates want to stay in Waco than there are jobs. In the age of remote employment, Meek urges businesses to employ a workforce that will raise the city’s median income.
“I invite every graduate of Baylor and of universities across the state to consider what it looks like to open a satellite office or relocate their businesses to Waco,” Meek says. “What incentives can that city provide that make sense for you? We have a lot of work to do figuring out exactly how to make that happen efficiently, and the harvest is plentiful. We’re having those strategic discussions, and it’s exciting. We want to make it easy.”