October 27, 2022
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
Valdosta State University recently awarded two-time alumni Shannon W. James Sr. (Right) with the 2022 Harley Langdale Jr. School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award. He is pictured with Dr. VSU President Richard A. Carvajal.
Valdosta — Valdosta State University recently awarded two-time alumni Shannon W. James Sr. with the 2022 Harley Langdale Jr. School of Business and Administration Distinguished Alumni Award.
“This award is not only inspiring; it confirms that my early decisions and sacrifices are yielding tremendous returns on my investment in quality of life,” he said.
After a very successful 15-year career in banking, James decided to follow his heart and commit to making a difference in underserved areas of Metro Atlanta. As President and CEO of Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance, he leads a public-private partnership focused on improving the regional economic competitiveness of the area surrounding Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Atlanta Magazine named him one of the city’s most powerful leaders in 2021 and 2022.
Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance has won numerous accolades under James’ leadership – the Atlanta Regional Council’s 2018 Outstanding Development Award in the Great Places category, the International Economic Development Council’s 2019 Leadership Award and Beloved Benefit’s 2022 Community Beacon Award.
James lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia with his wife, three children and Cane Corso. When not working, he enjoys serving the community on various boards and initiatives. He coaches his son’s AAU basketball team and enjoys traveling, reading, exercising, and spending time with friends and family. He and his wife/best friend met while attending VSU.
James received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management in 2004 and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing in 2005.
Q: What were the highlights of your experience at Valdosta State University?
A: My biggest highlights were playing for the men’s basketball team, joining Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and finding my life partner at Taco Bell on the corner of St. Louis. Augustine Road and Gornto Road.
Q: What advice do you have for current Valdosta State students? What do you want people to tell you when you go to college?
Answer: Believe in yourself. Break some rules. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Work your ass! return things! !