John Hubbard, executive director of the Stephenville Economic Development Authority, wasn’t kidding when at the time of his hiring in June 2015, said he “planned to hit the ground running.”

Since then, he’s been hard at work with the SEDA board on economic development in the city — and at the same time, he’s been wrapping up his Ph.D. in human capital development at the University of Southern Mississippi. He earned that degree in January.

In addition, he’s just been named to the board of the North Central Texas Region Economic Development District.

As a doctoral candidate at The University of Southern Mississippi, he was a Munro Petroleum Scholar, and was selected as the 2015 Outstanding Human Capital Development Ph.D. Student at the university.

Hubbard was also inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key Honor Societies while at Southern Miss.

Asked to speak about his completion of his doctoral work, Hubbard said, “At the core of the human capital development degree is its focus on the development of people. Workforce development and return on investment are key components of the degree program. This knowledge has been very beneficial to me as I work with SEDA and the community to improve the quality of place in Stephenville.”

In the other major development in Hubbard’s life, his board appointment, here’s the background on that: The North Central Texas Council of Governments recently announce that the U.S. Economic Development Administration has officially designated the North Central Texas Region as an Economic Development District.

In conjunction with that designation, Dr. Hubbard has been appointed to a seat on the first EDD board

Regarding his board appointment, spokesperson for NCTCOG, Lucille Johnson said in a letter to Hubbard, “Thank you so much for your committed and hard work given to the process of developing the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) and your work in any measure on the Bylaws for the North Central Texas Economic Development District (NCTEDD), and for your recommendations of potential Economic Development District (EDD) Board Members.”

She continued, “We are pleased to inform you that at NCTCOG’s Executive Board meeting today, you were appointed to serve on the first district board.  Representatives from EDA will attend our February 23, 2017 NCTCOG Executive Board meeting to offer congratulations on our work to seek district designation and the successful designation received.”

About the appointment Hubbard  said, “Having the U.S. Economic Development Administration designate the North Central Texas Region as an Economic Development District will facilitate new growth to the region.  I am excited about the opportunity to provide Stephenville a voice as the North Central Texas Region plans for this economic growth.  I commend the NCTCOG Executive Board for understanding the importance of including smaller cities and rural areas in the planning process”

For EDA, this designation is an extremely important accomplishment as it represents a 100 percent participation of all Councils of Government Planning Regions within the five states that make up the EDA Austin Region.

Those states are Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico.