Dan Havener has become Grove City's new economic development manager.

Havener, who served the past four years as economic development director for the city of Reynoldsburg, began his new job on Nov. 27.

Havener's salary is $88,129.

He is a Grove City resident who served eight years on the planning commission, leaving the commission shortly after starting work as Reynoldsburg's development director in 2013.

"It's an exciting opportunity to join the staff in Grove City and help develop more economic development opportunities that will help increase the city's revenue," he said. "Having lived in Grove City for 25 years and raised my family here, and with no plans to move, it's an honor to be able to help contribute to my community."

Havener's connection to Grove City made him an obvious choice for economic development manager, Mayor Ike Stage said.

"As we looked for someone to fill the economic development manager position, we wanted to make sure we got someone who understood the Grove City area," Stage said. "Dan's certainly someone who meets that, being a Grove City resident and a former member of our planning commission.

"The other piece is that he's had unique experience in Reynoldsburg with different development tools that we think would be very appropriate and beneficial for our city," he said.

Although there's always a learning curve with a new job, Havener said being a Grove City resident and former planning commission member "will help me get up to speed faster."

Before serving with Reynoldsburg, Havener worked as a project manager with Shremshock Architects and Engineers and worked 22 years at Bob Evans Farms Inc., which included a stint as the company's director of engineering in its development department.

His previous private sector experience has helped him in his public sector positions, Havener said.

"When you're involved in economic development, it helps to know what businesses and developers are looking for and what concerns they may have," he said.

Grove City is "positioned in a very good way," for continued growth in economic development, Havener said.

"With the health and medical facilities that are being built here, including the Mount Carmel expansion, and the development that's being planned for Beulah Park, it's going to help lead to more development opportunities in the city," he said.

Havener's new role will include creating programs to attract businesses and retain existing businesses, supporting the city's business incubator program and assisting with the administration of the city's economic development policies and programs.

"One of the primary responsibilities of the economic development manager is to make sure we take care of our core businesses," Stage said. "A lot of the jobs that are added to our community will come from our existing businesses. It's important for the development manager."

"Havener's history of establishing strong business relationships and his extensive experience employing development tools are skills we are eager to take advantage of," said Kyle Rauch, city development director.