PIQUA — Justin Sommer, assistant city manager and economic development director for the city of Piqua, has announced that he has accepted a position with Bruns General Contractors located in Tipp City. Sommer has been with the city of Piqua since April of 2014, and his last day will be July 13. His efforts to bring recognition to Piqua on a state, regional, and national level have been instrumental in inspiring new economic opportunities to the city.
Sommer led efforts to establish placemaking initiatives including the Downtown Riverfront Redevelopment and Historic East Piqua Community Campus. Important “Quality of Life” pursuits were obtained for the city including designations as Bicycle Friendly Community and Trail Town. These cumulative efforts resulted in the Ohio Economic Development Association selecting the city of Piqua for the Economic Development Small Community Marketing Excellence Award in 2017.
“Justin has been invaluable to our organization from helping existing businesses to expand, to bringing recognition and economic opportunities to Piqua, to developing new placemaking initiatives such as the Downtown Riverfront Redevelopment Project and Historic East Piqua Community Campus,” stated Piqua City Manager Gary A. Huff.
Serving as executive director of Grow Piqua Now, Sommer worked successfully to encourage many business expansions and establish new businesses in the community. Important business expansions during his tenure include Nitto Denko, Harmony Systems, Crayex, Winans, P&R Specialties, Scott Steel, and Hartzell Industries, along with new businesses such as Dunham’s Sports, RUSO Business Center, Family Farm & Home, and Kettering Health Network.
Sommer broke new ground for the city of Piqua by helping establish the city’s first Economic Development Strategic Plan. This plan has guided the city in formulating a brand, marketing campaign, and wayfinding signage. The Economic Development Strategic Plan was also the catalyst for the creation of the iPiqua Partnership Fund established with Piqua business leaders that successfully raised over $1M to provide gap funding for private economic development projects.
One of his final accomplishments was the approval by the state of Ohio and U.S. Treasury Department for an opportunity zone designation in the city of Piqua. This important designation has the potential and capability of bringing significant future private development investments to Piqua.
Huff also expressed, “With dedication, expertise, and leadership, Justin has successfully enabled the city of Piqua to effectively advance our economic development strategies.”
The city commissioners, city manager, and city staff thanked Sommer, expressed appreciation for his dedication, expertise, and leadership provided to the city of Piqua, and wished him much success in any future career endeavors.