Chamber hires economic development director

by Seth Roy

Newark Advocate

NEWARK — Licking County’s diverse population and business climate were key factors in Dan Evers applying for the Chamber of Commerce’s new economic development director position.

“From a business development perspective, there are a myriad of aspects that are favorable,” Evers said. “The beauty of the diversity — the needs of one community are different from another’s.”

Monday, Chamber President Cheri Hottinger announced that Evers had been hired for the new role, which will play an integral part in the public-private partnership of the Grow Licking County Community Improvement Corporation.

She cited his previous experience working in economic development at the township, city and county level as making Evers uniquely qualified for the position.

“We’re just really excited to have Dan,” Hottinger said. “We’re not starting from square one. He is hungry for the job.”

Grow Licking County is a partnership between the county, Hebron, Heath, Pataskala, Johnstown, New Albany, the Chamber, the Port Authority and a variety of businesses.

Evers said the collaboration between the various governments and businesses is exciting and means the focus of economic development needs to be in celebrating the different areas of the county.

Licking County can attract both big and small companies.

“We’re not just hunting elephants,” Evers said, “because of the diversity of the community, because of the assets that are in place and how they orient.”

The governments involved have pledged or paid $10,000 each, and the CIC’s budget includes money from various private businesses.

Evers officially is hired by the Chamber of Commerce, and will fulfill the chamber’s role to provide economic development services with the CIC, Hottinger said.

Before being hired by the Chamber, Evers was a finalist for the village administrator position in Hebron. Mayor Clifford Mason was impressed with his preparedness for earlier interviews.

“He knew a lot about Hebron, but he had done his homework about Licking County, as well,” Mason said.

Evers’ hiring means Grow Licking County can start moving forward in other areas. The group met for the second time Monday, and approved finance and marketing plans.

Next, the group needs to finalize its operational agreement.

The next Grow Licking County meeting will be at 9 a.m. on April 16 at Mid-Ohio Development’s Newark office, 33 W. Main St.

Seth Roy can be reached at (740) 328-8547