The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to name Jim Jeffers, Nacogdoches City Manager, Citizen of the Year for 2019. The Citizen of the year award is sponsored by Tipton Ford Lincoln.
A native of McAlester, Oklahoma who grew up in Hobbs, New Mexico, Jim attended West Texas State University on a Division I football scholarship where he received an undergraduate degree in Public Administration and Masters in Political Science. He started his career in city management in Fritch, Texas followed by a stint in Portales, New Mexico. Before coming to Nacogdoches, Jim served as city manager of Plainview, Texas for 20 years. Jim said both economies of Plainview and Nacogdoches are based on agriculture, but one has trees and one doesn’t. Jim enjoys East Texas and the people! He and his wife Gwendolyn quickly fell in love with Nacogdoches.
Jim credits the influence his mother and father for his personal development and moral compass. Jim idolized his father Ed, a highly decorated World War II veteran. After the war, his father played professional football and later coached and taught junior high school. One important ”Pop-ism” Jim’s father taught him was to talk with his “‘bonnet’ and not his mouth” – in other words let your actions speak for who you are and what you accomplish for the greater good.
Jim says he is very much like Momma Leota Mae. Her charge to Jim and his three brothers to “play nice” when they went out to play became a mantra for Jim and has served him well.
Jim is very proud of his family. He and his wife Gwendolyn plan to continue to live in Nacogdoches after retirement. They have five children and ten grandchildren.
When you talk to Jim, he is quick to credit others for the extraordinary success he experienced in his career. Jim talks of the many mayors, city council members, 300-plus city employees and most importantly the citizens that contributed to the growth and prosperity of Nacogdoches. When asked who he would credit for his success in Nacogdoches, he simply said everyone. Everyone has an important message, if we will take time to listen. Another Pop-ism “slow down and listen” served Jim well!
Jim has been instrumental in helping position Nacogdoches for investment and growth. His advocacy for I-69, tax policy, growth planning and many, many more issues helped keep Nacogdoches attractive for investment. When asked about his greatest accomplishment Jim says “We have been able to provide core services without interruption. This accomplishment is because of the folks I had the honor to work with and the community.”
Jim was recognized for transportation advocacy in East Texas being named a “Road Hand” by the Texas Highway Commission in 2017. Jim currently serves as a Trustee for the Texas Municipal Retirement System by Governors Perry and Abbott, and served in numerous capacities for the Texas Municipal League, Texas City Management Association, International City Management Association, Deep East Texas Council of Governments and Nacogdoches Booster Club.
Larissa Philpot, President and CEO of Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO), says of Mr. Jeffers “Those that work directly with him are incredibly lucky to have had access to his decades of experience. Always having the big picture in mind, he is quick to share ideas and keep the greater good at the forefront. Under Jim’s watch, Nacogdoches has grown into a thriving city that has managed to retain its unique charm. He has been a leader across the state in advocating for I-69. The benefit of that hard work will be felt in Nacogdoches for generations.”
C. Wayne Mitchell, President & CEO of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, said of Jeffers “I have had the privilege of working with many City Managers in my 40-year career. Jim Jeffers would rank as the best of the best. His vision and willingness to advocate for Nacogdoches has been a benefit to both businesses and citizens.”
Jim is looking forward to a very active retirement. Jim says he plans to read, write, travel, garden, rekindle his musical roots, attempt to set the world record in completing honey do’s and attend countless dance recitals, soccer matches, choir performances and yet to be revealed gifts from the youngest grandchildren. Jim and Gwendolyn will continue to be good citizens and contribute to the community.
The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to recognize City Manager Jim Jeffers as Citizen of the Year for 2019 at the 98th Annual Meeting and Membership Banquet presented by The Fredonia Hotel and Convention Center. The event begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24. Tickets and table reservations are available now. Go to www.Nacogdoches.org or call 936-560-5533 for more event information.
C. Wayne Mitchell is CEO of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce.