Muskingum News


Alumni in Action: Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority Executive Director Matt Abbott ‘05
matt abbott headshot

As the Executive Director of the Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority, Matt Abbott ’05 helps lead the region’s efforts in community and economic development, partnering with city and county authorities, state government, and multiple public-private growth organizations. 

“Our focus at the ZMCPA is on retaining and recruiting businesses to our region and providing them with the infrastructure and support they need to succeed. That can be through enterprise zones for entrepreneurial businesses, commercial and industrial property development, administering state and federal community and economic development programs, or accessing bond financing for intergovernmental, civic, non-profit, and commercial development projects.”

“With the COVID-19 crisis and the passage of the federal CARES Act, we’ve directed many of our efforts to connecting regional businesses with state and federal opportunities for assistance. Anything we can do to provide information or help with application processes benefits our entire region.”

“It’s challenging to hear the stories of our business owners and their economic struggles but at the same time very rewarding when we can help them make well-informed decisions, advocate for them, and support what they are doing.”

“My Muskingum education prepared me well for building partnerships, thinking critically, and solving problems.  It broadened my thinking by exposing me to new ideas and people with different perspectives. I learned how to research, develop, and defend a position, as well as to look for common ground in multiple and sometimes conflicting positions."

Mr. Abbott majored in political science and history at Muskingum, earned his Master of Education degree from Salem University (Salem, West Virginia), and holds the Ohio Certified Economic Developer credential. 

Prior to joining the ZMCPA, he was a school administrator in Muskingum County.  He serves in leadership roles on multiple regional boards and committees, including as Chair of the Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce board and as President of the East Muskingum Local School Board. He and his wife Lindsay reside in New Concord with their children Hadley, Blake, and Cade.

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