Jeff Harris 1 col

Jeffry Harris, president of the Area Development Foundation

MOUNT VERNON - The Area Development Foundation announces it has accepted the resignation of current President & General Counsel Jeffry Harris as he leaves to pursue other employment opportunities in Columbus.

“The Board has enjoyed working with Mr. Harris as he has led the Foundation through many worthwhile changes during the past several years," said Foundation Board Chair Clint Bailey. "We appreciate that Mr. Harris’ efforts have allowed the Foundation and Knox County to have a more prominent role in the Columbus Region for development opportunities.

"We are confident the organization is on solid footing as we seek a new President to guide the Foundation into the future.”

Hired in 2015, Harris worked closely with local elected officials, business owners, and community stakeholders to encourage commercial and industrial development. During his tenure, Harris grew the organization to a three-member staff team now recognized as among the Columbus Region’s highest performing economic development agencies.

In particular, Harris led the county’s response to the Siemens closure, recapitalized the Knox County Revolving Loan Fund, and monitored tax abatement projects. Harris is leaving to take a full-time position with a law firm in Columbus.

“I am pleased with the status of the Foundation as it grew in stature and responsibility during these past several years," Harris said. "I believe strongly the organization is in excellent shape, and well-staffed, for Knox County’s continued development.”

Harris’ last day with the Foundation will be Dec. 18, 2019. The Foundation’s staff team, comprised of Vice President Jeffrey Gottke and Projects Coordinator Cathy Youtkus, will work to ensure a seamless transition in the organization’s professional staff leadership position.

Established in 1955, the Area Development Foundation serves as the central clearinghouse within Knox County for economic and community development expertise and activities.

The Foundation negotiates and monitors financial incentives offered to businesses in Knox County, applies for and manages grants, serves as the go-to source for information on available commercial properties in Knox County, and represents our community in all development-related conversations. In its efforts, the Foundation is a full partner with One Columbus, the economic development organization for the 11-county Columbus Region, now considered the fastest growing metro in the Midwest.

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