Jimmy Ryan Named 2006 Honorary Race Director

Jimmy Ryan checks out the color for the 2006 race shirt with Glenn Gaetano.

"In necessary things, unity: in disputed things, liberty: in all things, charity."

Jimmy Ryan, a life-long Valley resident and current President of the Shelton Economic Development Corporation, has been named as the Honorary Race Director for the 2006 Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race. The award was announced by the Race Committee and is given to an individual who has made a strong contribution to the quality of life in the communities of Shelton and Derby. Legendary three sport Shelton coach Joe Benanto was the first recipient of the award in 2005. Ryan will be formally recognized at the race on Thanksgiving morning and he will be firing the gun to start the race!

In making the announcement of the award; Glenn Gaetano, Chairman of the Race Committee, said that the Committee was pleased to name Ryan who shares the same enthusiasm and vision as the Race Committee for the future of the downtowns in Shelton and Derby where the race is held. "Jimmy not only contributes to the community through his leadership of the SEDC, but also through his many volunteer activities. We are pleased to recognize him for his leadership and dedication."

In his professional life Ryan spent nearly seven years as Executive Director of the Ansonia Redevelopment Agency and has just completed his twenty-second year with the SEDC which is a private not for profit local development corporation which serves as the Development Agency for the City of Shelton for their downtown revitalization efforts and which provides technical assistance to the City of Shelton’s overall economic development program.

Ryan’s efforts include a myriad of local, regional and state affiliations, past and present. In particular, Ryan sites his former role as President of the Connecticut Community Development Association, Chairmanship of the Governor’s Central Housing Committee on two separate occasions, and charter membership on the Connecticut Housing Authority as key experiences which have helped shape his professional and personal development. Recently, Ryan also spearheads a 18 town planning effort to insure ongoing federal investments in our region. Ryan also serves as a member of the Recreation Camp Board of Directors and is Chairman of the Valley Advisory Committee for the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. He was also instrumental is starting the new Valley Community Foundation and has served as its Chairman for two years.

Ryan served for many years as a Trustee at the Hewitt Organization, is a practicing Valley Chamber of Commerce member, and is completing his eighth year as a United Way Director. Over the years he has had affiliations with the Ansonia Recreation Commission, has been a Jury Commissioner, participated in creation of the State of Connecticut’s first three year housing plan, and has belonged to numerous other local and regional organizations.

Ryan was involved in the important fundraising campaign for the Boys and Girls Club’s new building program and has twice chaired the Griffin Hospital’s Annual Appeal. Ryan is an active member of the Assumption Church in Ansonia and is very involved in working on a new long range plan. He is also a former member of the Shelton/Derby Exchange Club and is a former Rotarian.

Ryan graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 1975 with a degree in liberal arts with concentrations in Political Science and English. He is the proud father of two daughters, Megan (18) and Katey (16). Jimmy resides in Ansonia with his wife, Maureen, a nurse at the Griffin Hospital, and relishes his family time and rewarding work in the field of community economic development, and volunteer affiliations.

A major project which he points to as work which has made a difference is the Shelton Enterprise and Commerce Park which will create new jobs, eliminate major environmental hazards and provide public spaces along the Housatonic River, including a Farm and Public Market, Shelton Riverwalk, and Veterans Memorial (The starting and finishing point for the Race!). Ryan also played a prominent role in the planning and development of the Shelton Community Center.

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