WILMINGTON — Dan Evers loved his community.
He was instrumental in leading the way to boosting its economy and making it a better place to live — all the while ensuring that everyone he encountered shared a smile and a laugh.
Evers, 57, passed away suddenly Thursday evening at home after a dinner with loved ones.
Evers served as Executive Director of the Clinton County Port Authority since fall of 2015. He also recently served as President of the Rotary Club of Wilmington.
“Dan was a true gentlemen with a great sense of humor,” Clinton County Board of Commissioners President Brenda Woods told the News Journal. “As many know, Dan played a vital role in our community’s day-to-day operations at the air park and in economic development. He will be greatly missed by many. We send our thoughts and prayers to his family at this difficult time.”
Evers was named to lead the Port Authority in September 2015 and he later moved to Wilmington.
Clinton County Port Authority Board Chair Walt Rowsey said Friday, “I could go on and on about all the things he brought to his job and the community. He made a lot of important improvements to the Port.”
The buildings at the Wilmington Air Park were at less than 50 percent occupancy when Evers became the Port’s executive director in 2015; now there are business tenants — employers — in almost 100 percent of them, Rowsey observed. Nearly 4,000 employees arrive for work at the air park over a 24-hour period.
“He also had a great affection for Clinton County,” said Rowsey, remarking on Evers’ outreach in the community.
Rowsey added Evers was a “very bright man, with a really great sense of humor.”
The Port Authority Board chairman said simply that Evers, in his capacity as Clinton County Port Authority executive director, will be hard to replace.
Clinton County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Taylor Stuckert said, “My deepest condolences go to Dan’s family and loved ones. I had the honor of working closely with Dan from the day he arrived in Clinton County. I will always remember Dan for his tireless commitment to his work; his constant care for those around him, whether a stranger or familiar; his fondness for his family, his children, grandchild, and his friends; and his persistent positive attitude.
“He embodied what it meant to be a dedicated public servant, a loving person to all, and he was someone that I looked to as a role model,” added Stuckert. “He embraced our community as his home, and we are a better place because of him. His legacy will be felt for generations to come, and he will be greatly missed.”
“We have lost a visionary in Dan, someone with well-adapted talents to help us re-imagine a new role for the Wilmington Air Park and our grateful community,” read a statement from the City of Wilmington. “More than a colleague, Dan Evers was a friend to everyone he met. All who knew him and appreciated his immense patience are diminished by his sudden death. A quick wit, thoughtful and smart, he worked diligently and faithfully to provide economic opportunities for many. We will work with his many friends to find an appropriate way to honor his outsized legacy.”
Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth added, “What an absolute tragedy. We lost one of Wilmington’s finest. It just breaks my heart. Those are going to be some hard shoes for somebody to fill.”
“He was one of the finest men that I knew,” said Wilmington Councilmember Jonathan McKay. “This is a huge loss to our community. I liked him very much and he always encouraged people. I will miss his very dry sense of humor and how he never seemed to have a bad day, and he was always very professional. As the City Revitalization Chair, I worked closely with Dan on many projects. He was wonderful to work with.”
Wilmington Councilmember Matt Purkey told the News Journal, “As a council member, I can say that we are saddened by this news and will miss Dan terribly. City council routinely conducts business involving the Port Authority and its economic development office, and Dan was always an excellent partner, skilled in helping to grow our community. His gregarious personality and sharp, dry wit always brought a smile and brightened the world around him.
“For me personally, I’ll miss my friend, and the world seems a bit darker today without his light in it.”
“On behalf of the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, we are shocked and saddened by Dan Evers’ untimely passing,” stated Executive Director Dessie Rogers. “Dan was a true leader and hugely responsible for so many of our collaborative economic development efforts here in Clinton County. He was skilled at bringing us all together with the perfect mix of professionalism and personal humor. His commitment to his work, our community, and, most importantly, his family and loved ones was evident in all that he did. Dan was a personal role model and a beloved friend to so many of us that had the opportunity to know and work with him closely. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, and everyone affected by this tragic loss.”
Before coming to Clinton County, Evers served nearly four years as Economic Development Director of GROW Licking County Community Improvement Corporation.
He brought more than 20 years experience working in economic development and in the public sector, including as administrator of Deerfield Township in Warren County for four-plus years and of Sugarcreek Township in Greene County, and Business Development Director for the Downtown Dayton Partnership.
Evers was born in Cincinnati and moved as a child to Millville and Hamilton, where he would later intern for the city, doing economic development research while in college. He had three children, Maggie, Drew and Dylan.
Grandson Nicholas Matthew Shamp was born to Maggie and her husband Matt just over a month ago.
He was a proud graduate of Miami University Class of ’86 with a B.A. in Public Administration and Political Science, and he held a Master of Public Administration degree from Xavier University. He graduated from Badin High School in Hamilton.
Evers served as an advisor to the Miami University chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha. He was a graduate of the Leadership Clinton Class of 2018.