Gahanna deputy development director Anthony Jones is being promoted to director, following the retirement of Sadicka White.White is one of several employees who's taking advantage of the city's early retirement incentive that's estimated to save Gahanna $1.3-million over five years after the initial outlay.

Gahanna deputy development director Anthony Jones is being promoted to director, following the retirement of Sadicka White.White is one of several employees who's taking advantage of the city's early retirement incentive that's estimated to save Gahanna $1.3-million over five years after the initial outlay.

Jones began working for the city on June 18, 2008. As development director, his annual salary will be $87,339. His total package, including benefits, is $119,725 annually. White had been making $108,048 annually plus benefits.

"I am humbled by the opportunity to lead Gahanna's Planning & Development Department," Jones said. "First and foremost, I want to thank Sadicka White for her leadership and commitment to Gahanna. She has paved a path that I intend to build upon and take to the next level."

Jones has been instrumental in the city's efforts to retain and attract new businesses.

He helped bring a group of Ohio State University physicians to Gahanna at the former Big Bear site, bringing about $5 million in improvements to the facility.

"I am looking forward to stepping into this leadership role that will help shape Gahanna's future," Jones said. "I am excited and ready for the challenges and the opportunities that lay ahead."Before coming to Gahanna, he served for two years as an economic development specialist for the city of Toledo, where he worked to revitalize the city's downtown. While in Toledo, he helped secure $62 million in capital investment, helping retain over 1,000 jobs and create more than 400 new jobs.

Jones has a bachelor's degree in business from Bowling Green State University and a master's degree in economics and public administration from the University of Toledo.

Moving into Jones' slot as deputy development director will be Leah Evans, who began working for Gahanna on March 30, 2009 as economic development manager. She will earn an annually salary of $74,238 as deputy development director.

She has been responsible for the city's business retention and expansion efforts with local businesses, administration of the city's economic development incentives, and executing development programs and policies to maintain and grow the city's economic base.

She previously worked for the Ohio Department of Development as a credit analyst and business development representative in the economic development division.

Evans received a bachelor's degree in urban geography and a master's degree in city and regional planning from the Ohio State University.

While earning her masters, Evans worked on planning projects for COSI, the city of Worthington and the North Campus Residential Area.

She's also a certified Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council.

Brian Hoyt, Gahanna public information manager, said the economic manager's position is being evaluated, and a decision hasn't been made if it will be filled.