The City of Gahanna and Mayor Laurie Jadwin are pleased to announce the hiring of Nathan Strum as the City’s Director of Economic Development. In this role, Strum will be responsible for leading the City’s economic development efforts, including business attraction and retention programs, workforce development initiatives, and collaborating with partner organizations and stakeholders in implementing overall economic development strategies for the City.
Mayor Jadwin initiated a search to fill the role of Economic Development Director in December 2020, following the departure of Dr. Donna Goss, who stepped away from the role after being named the Director of Real Estate for The Ohio State University. Identifying a development professional with the needed experience and skill set was crucial. “Nathan’s demonstrated success in attracting both businesses and jobs, and his deep relationships within the Columbus Region development community, will be important assets in helping us to frame a successful path for Gahanna’s future development,” said Jadwin.
For the past five years, Strum served as the Director of Economic Development and Executive Director of GROW Licking County, the County’s leading economic development organization. In that role, he was the primary point of contact for business and industry attraction and expansion. He also currently serves as President of the Mid-Ohio Development Exchange (MODE), a regional membership organization that facilitates economic development within the Columbus Region and encourages interaction of member communities and businesses for the betterment of the Region. He has broad public administration experience and a long track record of growing and managing development projects. Strum stated that he is excited about the development opportunities in Gahanna and touts Gahanna’s geography as a premier location in Central Ohio. “As the Development Director for the City, I am most looking forward to helping develop the whole community — building lasting partnerships, identifying catalytic opportunities, and bringing visions to fruition.”
For Jadwin, this is another positive step toward furthering development projects that are vital to Gahanna’s long-term success and vibrancy. “Throughout 2020, we began the work of building a foundation that is focused on cost effective, streamlined operations and enhanced customer service for our businesses and our residents. In 2021, our efforts expanded to concentrate on smart economic development opportunities and strengthening Gahanna’s attractiveness for new business. We are excited to welcome Nathan to Gahanna and are confident that his strong skill set will bring positive results to our community. Gahanna is open for business, and Nathan is well-positioned to spread that message throughout the Region,” Jadwin stated.
In addition to his extensive development experience, Strum recently completed his Master of Public Administration degree from the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University. Additionally, he credits some of his volunteer efforts for his balanced approach to community development. “From volunteering in Pittsburgh and helping the Brewhouse Association shape the creation of the Brew House Artist Lofts, to my roles most recently with the Licking County Coalition for Housing — these experiences shaped my career as a balanced economic development practitioner focusing not only on job creation and growth, but also economic equity,” Strum said.
Strum is originally from Pittsburgh and is married to Christy, who hails from Cleveland. Strum will begin work on May 10, 2021. For more information on the City’s Department of Economic Development, go to Gahanna.gov.