Gahanna hires Nathan Strum as new economic-development director

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group

Gahanna has another new economic-development director. 

Nathan Strum, director of economic development and executive director of GROW Licking County, the county’s leading economic-development organization, will begin May 10.

Nathan Strum will become Gahanna's economic-development director May 10.

In his role as Gahanna’s economic-development director, Strum will be responsible for leading the city’s economic-development efforts, including business attraction and retention programs, workforce development initiatives and collaboration with partner organizations and stakeholders in implementing overall economic-development strategies.

Strum, 37, will be paid an annual salary of $102,500 plus benefits, estimated at $17,772, for a total package of $120,272. 

Mayor Laurie Jadwin initiated a search for the position in December 2020 after the departure of Donna Goss, who resigned after only a few months to take a position as director of real estate for the Ohio State University. 

“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,” Jadwin said. 

Strum, a Heath resident, said he’s 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,” he said.

For the past five years, Strum has worked as director of economic development and executive director of GROW Licking County, where 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, a regional membership organization that facilitates economic development within central Ohio and encourages interaction of member communities and businesses for the betterment of the region.

Strum’s hiring is another positive step toward furthering development projects that are vital to Gahanna’s long-term success and vibrancy, according to Jadwin.

“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,” she said. “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.”

Jadwin said Gahanna is open for business, and Strum is well-positioned to spread that message throughout the region.

In addition to his development experience, Strum recently completed his master's degree in public administration from the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University. 

He credits some of his volunteer efforts for what he described as a 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 a native of Pittsburgh and is married to Christy.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla