Harrison Director of Development Shannon Hamons gave notice to City Council May 31 that he accepted a similar position with the City of Gahanna, Ohio, near Columbus. His last day in the City is July 7.
Hamons came to Harrison in 2016 after serving 20-plus years as a community development director for several cities in Ohio and Texas. He also spent more than eight years in the private sector as a vice president of a development company in Columbus, OH.
While in Harrison, Hamons managed the creation of the City’s first full-time Building and Zoning Department and oversaw its operation. During his tenure, the City has realized the attraction of hundreds of new jobs and many company expansions. The largest of these were two expansions of the City’s largest employer, JTM. For the projects, totaling more than $120 million, Hamons spearheaded the Enterprise Zone agreements and secured more than $1.5 million in grants from JobsOhio and ODOT for road improvements near JTM.
During his tenure, Hamons also was instrumental in expanding the City’s Community Reinvestment Area to assist companies such as CTS to expand and others to invest, such as Hillwood’s new 535,000 square foot industrial building. That building is expected to employ several hundred people by the end of this year. Other initiatives included the creation of a Community Improvement Corporation, establishment of the Downtown Redevelopment District, creation of the Downtown Entertainment District and Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area.
“Shannon will be greatly missed,” said Mayor Bill Neyer. “His energy and enthusiasm for Harrison was remarkable. His work here will have a positive lasting effect on our city for many years to come. I knew I could count on him to get the job done, no matter the challenge he was given.”
Hamons said that his leaving was an unplanned surprise, even to him.
“I really thought I would be here a few more years and retire from Harrison,” he said. “My wife and I built a house here and made so many good friends here. I wasn’t looking for a job, but several colleagues encouraged me to apply for the Gahanna position. Quite frankly, I was a little shocked to be selected.”
Hamons said he has mixed emotions about leaving because he feels there is so much more to be accomplished in Harrison.
“There are a few more things I wanted to see get done in Harrison. Mayor Neyer and all the Council members I have worked with have been nothing but supportive of smart, controlled economic development. They really deserve the credit for the positive direction Harrison is headed.”
Hamons said that moving closer to his children and grandchildren in the Columbus area was just too hard to pass up.
In addition to his extensive work in the economic development field, Hamons has been a member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for more than 25 years and has held the designation as Certified Economic Developer for 15 years. He also is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA). In 2021 and 2022, he served as a Capstone Course Mentor for the OEDA.