Staff Listing


Murphy D. Cheatham II, Chief Executive Officer

Phone: 972-230-9611

Murphy D. Cheatham II has long been committed to economic development throughout the United States. He has managed the financing and development of affordable housing and commercial projects for over 15 years. Murphy began his career as a developer of the first Leader in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) Certified Residential Development in the State of Arizona, with The Modus Development Group, managing the multi-million dollar Galleries at Turney. He then succeeded in partnering with HDR, Inc., leading the strategic planning of over $300 million in mixed-use development in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Texas.

Murphy’s other roles have included working with the National Development Council and leading affordable housing redevelopment projects funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as achieving the role of principal on the Memphis Pyramid, a $120 million economic redevelopment project.

Murphy is also committed to investing back into his community and is passionately involved in diverse community service activities, such as volunteering at the North Texas Food Bank and Second Saturdays. As a proud alumnus of Grambling State University, Murphy currently serves on the University’s Foundation in support of the nationally distinctive arts, education and business programs.


Alicia Villanueva, Administrative Assistant

Phone: 972-230-9611

Alicia Villanueva joined the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation as an Administrative Assistant in 2013. She has been an administrative professional for 25 years in the areas of banking, hospitality, and commercial real estate/property management. She holds a Texas Real Estate Salesperson License and an Accounting Certificate.

Villanueva relishes the opportunity to assist citizens, board members, prospective customers and employees within the City of DeSoto. She enjoys spending time with family, reading, listening to music and appreciating the Arts.