Skelton represents Richardson at US Ignite Conference, SXSW


The past several months have been very busy for international economic development. Mike Skelton traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend a US Ignite applications conference along with his Richardson Community US Ignite associates Dr. Don Hicks, Professor, UT Dallas and Brian Dourty, Associate VP and CTO at UT Dallas. US Ignite is an initiative to facilitate next generation, high bandwidth (1GB+) internet service and applications. Richardson is one of only 14 US Ignite cities in the US.


In March, Mike attended the SXSW Conference in Austin. In addition to meeting with foreign high-tech companies and economic development agencies exhibiting at the conference, he attended Governor Greg Abbott’s international business reception at the Governor’s Mansion. 




Left to right: UK booth at SXSW; Mike Skelton with Texas Governor Greg Abbott at SXSW

Mike has been working to develop a bilateral economic development relationship with the Cote d’Azur region of France and arranged for a small delegation to visit Richardson in April. The delegation was headed by the Vice Mayor of Nice, Mr. Christian Tordo, along with Chris Perez from the Cote d’Azur economic development agency. They are looking for U.S. locations to partner with for “soft landing” assistance for their local high-tech companies expanding to the U.S.


Also in April, the US-China Chamber of Commerce DFW held a US-China Business Leader Conference in Addison, Texas and invited Mike to be involved in two panel discussions for 50+ Chinese attendees. He spoke about helping foreign companies setting up operations in the U.S. during one panel session and about US style of entrepreneurship on a panel with Mr. Charlie Chen.



The Governor of Aichi Prefecture in Japan, home of Toyota and many other Japanese manufacturing companies, came to Texas at the end of April to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Governor Greg Abbott for trade and economic development exchanges. Accompanying the Japanese Governor was Mr. Hiro Watanabe, Director of the Texas Japan Office in Tokyo. He was the gentleman who assisted Mike, Bill Sproull and Charlie Chen with their trip to Japan last fall. The Governor and Mr. Watanabe also visited DFW to attend the Japan-America Society of DFW’s annual Sun & Star Legacy Awards Gala. While Mr. Watanabe was in DFW, Mike arrange a meeting with him, John Stich, Honorary Consul General of Japan in Dallas and local economic development leaders to see how Mr. Watanabe could assist North Dallas communities in attracting Japanese companies to the area. 

connect with us