Mayor of Sugar Land and HBU alumnus shares career story

Houston Baptist University MBA Alumnus Joe Zimmerman was elected mayor of Sugar Land, Texas, on June 11, 2016. Sugar Land is in the Houston metropolitan area and is one of the fastest-growing and most affluent cities in Texas. The 2016 estimated population of Sugar Land was 87,367. Mayor Zimmerman returned to the HBU campus on Tuesday, October 25, to speak to students about the ups and downs of his career at the event  “American Dreams: Stories of Uncommon Valor & Career Success.” James Mable, HBU’s director of Career & Calling, interviewed Mayor Zimmerman.

In the interview, Zimmerman spoke of the importance of character and integrity both in business and in public service. When speaking about his career in business, Zimmerman talked about living long-term in Libya where he experienced life under a dictator and developed a deep appreciation for the American democratic system. Zimmerman also discussed how his Christian faith impacts his role as mayor of Sugar Land and his full-time job. Because there are different types of city governments, the mayor explained to students how the City of Sugar Land operates, who runs the day-to-day activities of the city, and who reports to the Sugar Land City Council. The mayor gave advice about setting priorities, building business relationships, and preparing for interviews.

A question-and-answer time followed the interview. When one student asked about dealing with failure, Zimmerman told students that failure is one of life’s greatest teachers. He used examples of failure from his own life, such as when he dropped out of college and when one of his start-up businesses “flopped” during the Great Recession.

Joe Zimmerman and his wife, Nancy, have been married 40 years and are active members at Second Baptist Church- Woodway. They have a daughter and son-in-law, Allison and Chris Wallace, and two grandchildren, Emmy and Campbell. Zimmerman is the director of development for Cobb Fendley & Associates, Inc., a private civil engineering consulting firm. He will serve in his elected position as the mayor of Sugarland for two years.

Houston Baptist University is grateful for alumni who are willing to return to campus to invest in current students. Zimmerman also told students that he considers HBU’s MBA program equal to some of the best business programs in the country. Learn more about the MBA at HBU.

The Office of Career & Calling at HBU hosts multiple events throughout the year to serve students, alumni, and employers, including career fairs, mock interviews, and resume writing workshops.