Today, City Manager Clay Pearson announced the appointment of Jon Branson as Deputy City Manager, Trent Epperson as Assistant City Manager and Matt Buchanan as Executive Manager of Development Services and PEDC President. All three are seasoned City staff members taking on expanded duties.
Branson will have direct team leadership responsibilities for Human Resources, Finance, City Secretary, Communications, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Municipal Court and Parks & Recreation and provide
citywide support through these groups and line responsibilities wherever needed. Epperson will lead a new combined group consisting of the Public Works and Engineering departments, an organization of 165 employees with an operating budget of $10.8 million plus major capital improvements. Buchanan will continue to oversee the Pearland Economic Development Corporation but will now also lead the Community Development department, which consists of the Planning and Building Inspection Divisions.
“I know that Jon, Trent, and Matt have the skills necessary to take the City to the next level in effective service delivery,” said Clay Pearson, City Manager. “They all consistently show commitment to finding new and innovative solutions to improving our public services which is important given the changing times and opportunities that Pearland has created. We have a great bench of Pearland staff and we are going to rely upon them and their teams for keeping up with the pace and expectations of the city.”
Branson has more than twenty-five years of executive level experience in municipal government. He has been with the City of Pearland since 2006 serving as Director of Parks and Recreation from 2006 to 2009, Assistant City Manager from 2009 to present as well as serving as Interim City Manager earlier this year. Branson serves on multiple Houston Galveston Area Council committees and is the Chairman of Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership. He has a Bachelor of Science in Education and is a recent graduate of the LEAD program from the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.
Epperson has been with the City of Pearland since 2006 when he was hired as Director of Capital Projects. In 2012, he was promoted to his current position as Director of Engineering & Capital Projects. Some highlights of his 8 year tenure with the City include preparing the 2007 Bond Program for a successful referendum, creation and implementation of a City of Pearland Project Delivery Model which includes strategies, policies, and procedures for the Projects Department to improve project delivery. He also played an integral role in developing the City’s first Five Year CIP Budget in conjunction with the Finance Department.
He has successfully developed projects that have been awarded federal/state transportation funds totaling $83.5 million for nine (9) projects from 2012 to 2019 and the delivery of approximately $239 million of capital projects at City of Pearland. Epperson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Distribution from Texas A&M University and is a member of the American Public Works Association and serves on multiple committees for the Houston-Galveston Area Council.
Buchanan has been with the City of Pearland for four years. During the time since he was hired as President of the Pearland Economic Development Corporation, he has facilitated projects that have resulted in more than $400 million in new investment and the creation of 2,800 new jobs in Pearland that include: Merit Medical Systems, Dover Energy, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kelsey Seybold, Hatch Mott, Ref-Chem and Base-Pair Technologies to name a few.
Additionally, he initiated and led a community strategic planning effort to addresses specific Pearland challenges and capitalizes on opportunities for continued economic growth. Known as Pearland 20/20, this action-oriented blueprint incorporates a wide range of economic development partners in government, education, healthcare and business.
Buchanan holds masters of business administration from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and dual degrees in political science and business administration from the University of Iowa. He is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional and is an active member of the Pearland community where he currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Campaign Chair for the United Way of Brazoria County.