Shawn Miller has been affiliated with the City of Clovis since 2003 and currently serves as business development manager. In this position, he manages the city’s Business Retention Expansion and Attraction Program, making sure that Clovis’ economy remains healthy through its diverse business community. One of his responsibilities includes acting as the chief liaison between the business community and city government. His main goal in this role is to enhance these valuable relationships and to help maintain a vibrant local economy.
Miller’s early professional career was spent in a variety of jobs focused on marketing, advertising, public relations, media, and special event management. In the mid-1990s, he worked with a group of Clovis business owners to create a special event in Old Town. It was then when his interest in economic development and love for the City of Clovis was born. A few years later, Miller joined Armadillo Advertising, a full-service advertising and marketing firm. There, he helped create numerous successful and award-winning campaigns as well as managed the accounts of several municipal agencies. One of those was the City of Clovis.
Miller has earned numerous local, national and international awards from the American Advertising Federation, California Alliance for Local Economic Development, International Economic Development Council, California Downtown Association and others. Miller has served as the chairman of the board for the Fresno Clovis Convention and Visitors Bureau, president of the Kiwanis Club of Clovis, co-chair of the Regional Jobs Initiative’s Tourism Cluster, and membership committee chair for the board of directors the Clovis Chamber of Commerce.
He also served as a member of the Mayor’s Creative Economy Council, the marketing director for the 2009 and 2012 Amgen Tour of California Stage-Four Finish in Clovis, and is the City of Clovis’ staff contact for the Tourism Advisory Committee, the Business Organization of Old Town.
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Shawn is married and has “the best daughter anyone could wish for and two dogs that would make most people extremely jealous.”
Q (Sheldon Baker): Tell me about your role and responsibilities with the City of Clovis?
I work in the Community and Economic Development Department of the City of Clovis and serve as the City’s Business Development Manager. Since 2003, I’ve enjoyed working with the business community. I work with new businesses to help them move into Clovis and existing businesses to help them grow and thrive. It’s an exciting position. I am proud to work with Clovis’ business owners and operators and have come to consider most of them personal friends. A great job to have is one where you get to work with your friends. Right?
A (Shawn Miller): Is the City overall moving in a positive direction?
The City of Clovis’ elected officials and staff members have a long history of doing what is right for the community. Sometimes it’s not easy to make decisions which may be unpopular, but history has shown that those hard decisions have helped shape the community that we have. Two years ago, the City of Clovis was recognized as the number one city in the State of California to raise a family. That was quite an honor and says a lot about the decisions that have been made along the way.
Q: What do most visitors find surprising when they visit Clovis?
A: Clovis hosts many events. Between Clovis Unified School District, the Rodeo Association, Chamber of Commerce, Business Organization and a few other organizations, we have more than 52 large-scale local, regional, national and even international events every year. The most common comments that I hear are about how clean our city is, how cute Old Town is and how friendly our people are. They are also surprised to find out that we have a population of more than 100,000 people, yet still maintain a small-town feel.
Q: If you could wave a magic wand and make one change to the City, what would it be?
A: Honestly, I love everything about the City of Clovis, its culture and its leadership. The issues that drive me nuts have more to do with state legislation. We comply with everything they throw at us and do a great job with what we have, or what we have left. But it’s never enough for the folks in Sacramento.
Q: What has been one of your proudest accomplishments while working with the City?
A: There are a lot of great projects that I have worked on that have been very cool. I wrote the application for Clovis to be involved in the 2009 and 2012 Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Finish and also served as the director of marketing for the local organizing committee both times. There was the 2012 City of Clovis Centennial Celebration. I served as the staff coordinator for a small group of volunteers who planned a year’s worth of activities which celebrated Clovis’ first 100 years of incorporation and welcomed in the next century of success. Attracting a number of local businesses such as KW Automotive North America, Niacc Avitech, Kohl’s, and a number of other businesses that have helped form Clovis’ diverse business community has been very satisfying. Currently, I’m working on building a commercial kitchen. When completed, this will be something that I will be very proud of too.
Q: What would you do if you weren’t in your present position?
A: I enjoy working with people and helping them solve problems. It’s just my nature. I also enjoy creative activities and media in general. So, I’m sure I’d be doing something that includes those things. With that said, there have been times during my career when I have been so stressed out that I have wished that I could work for about a year as a mailman on a walking route, or as the guy that cleans carts at a golf course or something like that. Anything that would require no decision making, just fresh air and a clear direction of what to do with my time.
Q: Do you have a morning ritual?
A: I do. And it’s a little odd. I get up very early, take my two dogs outside and smoke a cigar while the three of us sit there in the quiet darkness. We usually stay there until the sunlight begins to appear. I really love that time of the day. It’s the only time that truly belongs to me.
Q: Do you sing in your car or the shower?
A: I usually listen to talk radio while in the car and use my time in the shower to plan out how to solve all of the world’s problems. So I kind of forget to sing. However, when my wife is in the car with me, I like to sing along with the radio to simply annoy her into laughter. Generally, I try not to sing around people. It wouldn’t be a nice thing to do to them.
Sheldon C. Baker is chief executive officer for Clovis-based Baker Dillon Group and has created numerous brand marketing and public relations campaigns for companies and brands. For Q&A interview consideration e-mail Sheldon atSBaker@BakerDillon.com.