October 27, 2022
Communication and Media Coordinator
Valdosta State University recently honored two-time alumnus Shannon W. James Sr. (right) with the 2022 Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration Distinguished Alumnus Award. He’s with Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, President of VSU, pictured.
VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University recently honored two-time alumnus Shannon W. James Sr. with the 2022 Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration Distinguished Alumnus Award.
“This award is not only inspirational; It also validated that my early choices and sacrifices are yielding great returns on my quality of life investments,” he said.
After a highly successful 15 year career in banking, James made the decision to follow his heart and devote himself to making a difference in an underserved area of Metro Atlanta. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance, he leads a public-private partnership working to improve the regional economic competitiveness of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport area. Atlanta Magazine recognized him as one of the city’s most powerful leaders in 2021 and 2022.
The Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance has received numerous awards under James’ leadership – the 2018 Atlanta Regional Commission Development of Excellence Award in the Great Place category, the 2019 Leadership Award from the International Economic Development Council and the 2022 Community Beacon Award from Beloved Benefit .
James lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia with his wife, three children and Cane Corso. When he is not working, he enjoys serving his community on various committees and initiatives. He coaches his son’s AAU basketball team and enjoys travelling, reading, working out and spending time with his friends and loved ones. He and his wife / best friend met during VSU.
James earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management in 2004 and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing in 2005.
Q: What are some highlights of your experience in the state of Valdosta?
A: My biggest highlights have been playing for the men’s basketball team, the promise of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and finding my life partner at Taco Bell on the corner of St. Augustine Road and Gornto Road.
Q: What advice do you have for current Valdosta State students? What do you wish someone would have said to you when you were in college?
A: Trust yourself. Break some rules. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Work your butt off! To give something back!!
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