Denise Hamet

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Denise Hamet, I am a parent of two wonderful young adults, a volunteer, and a community and economic development professional. I am a middle child who enjoys relating to both older and younger people. As a left-hander, I have learned to exist in a right-handed world; a characteristic which I believe has contributed to my ability to think both analytically and creatively. Growing up in a family with four children, I learned the value of hard work, and that you either lead, follow, or get out of the way. I was born and raised for five years in Louisville, Kentucky and then grew up in a small town in the Midwest, where I learned the value of community, the enjoyment of nature, and the wonder of music. Having attended college out west and worked in California, I appreciate the diverse aspects of our country.

I am a versatile development professional with an MBA and more than 25 years of both private and public experience encompassing economic and community development, real estate development, banking, nonprofit management, community planning, and financial analysis. I am an experienced Business Developer and Project Manager able to move complex projects from concept to reality. My diverse experience includes positions in public organizations and private industry, with both large and small companies and organizations, in locations in Southwest Ohio and along the west coast.

What has been one insight or lesson that has been most helpful in your career?

My insight would be that in today’s world, it is vital to do your research. So much information is available that it is expected that you do your homework going in.

What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress.

When we relocated to Ohio from the west coast, we confused the location a third party had referred us to and went to the neighboring city of Mason instead of the one that was recommended. We loved raising our kids here, and we’re very happy. I guess the lesson is that life is really what you make it.

Project forward ten years. How will your industry or field be fundamentally different then? What opportunities do you see?

I love this question even though it is challenging to envision the future. I see the availability of natural resources such as water and fuel as effecting both community and economic development. The driving force for economic growth will be finding well-qualified employees. Clearly, that is always a concern, but as baby boomers age out of the workforce, the population makeup will shift, and workers will be even more scarce.

Green practices and housing will drive community planning. I hope and dream that more affordable housing will be available, with some unique models and structures that we aren’t using now. Revitalization of aging and/or vacant retail spaces will allow creative forms of housing, and the trend of moving back to the city will continue and will result in more creative urban housing options.

Lastly, transportation planning will shift. Alternative transportation plans will be included in any large-scale redevelopment. More cities will build or expand a passenger rail system. Additionally, we will need to accommodate more self-driving cars, and roadways will need to allow for more abundant pedestrian and bicycling access.

In the last two years, what have you become better at saying no to?

I have become better at saying no to buying consumer goods – as I streamline my home and my belongings, I have come to appreciate the simpler life. More “things” add more clutter to our lives. I also have limited involvement in outside activities – I love to participate, but too many activities can add stress.

What is the one book you recommend most often and why?

I recommend The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy, Publisher of Success Magazine. It is based on the principle that little, everyday decisions shape your destiny.

What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?

My advice is to build your base by networking so that you can get different points of view, as well as diverse ideas and abundant contacts. Don’t be afraid to try a new venture, but also trust your instinct to know when it is working out and when it isn’t. Be open to life. Embrace change. You can do the thing you think you cannot do. VOTE! Always make time for your family.

What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?

My personal mantra is do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In this world of divided politics and “us against them,” I think it is important to listen even if you don’t agree, and to be kind. My work ethic quote is to follow up and follow through. You must cross the finish line.


Reach out to me via email. I am happy to connect.