October 27, 2022
Communications and Media Relations 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 is pictured with Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of VSU.|
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 has also provided validation that my early decisions and sacrifices are yielding great returns on my investments in quality of life,” he said.
Following a very successful 15-year career in banking, James made the decision to follow his heart and dedicate himself to making a difference in an underserved area of Metro Atlanta. As president and chief executive officer of Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance, he leads a public-private partnership working to improve the regional economic competitiveness of the area around Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Atlanta Magazine recognized him as one of the city’s most powerful leaders in 2021 and 2022.
Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance has earned numerous honors under James’s leadership — the Atlanta Regional Commission’s 2018 Development of Excellence Award in the category of “Great Place,” the International Economic Development Council’s 2019 Leadership Award, and the Beloved Benefit’s 2022 Community Beacon Award.
James lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia, with his wife, three kids, and Cane Corso. When not working he enjoys serving his community on various boards and initiatives. He coaches his son’s AAU basketball team and enjoys traveling, reading, exercising, and spending time with his friends and loved ones. He and his wife / best friend met while attending 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 from your Valdosta State experience?
A: My greatest highlights were playing for the Men’s Basketball Team, pledging 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 had told 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! Give something back!!
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