The general manager of the Wyndham Downtown said Monday he will be relocating to downtown Houston to become head of the Embassy Suites Galleria, a move he calls a "super opportunity" for his career.
"I've been in Jacksonville just about all of my life," Harris said. "It's just uncommon for anyone to be with one city as long as I have."
A longtime member of the hospitality industry, he graduated from the culinary program at Florida Community College at Jacksonville, now Florida State College at Jacksonville, and worked in several historic Northeast Florida restaurants.
He has worked his way up in the industry and in 2011 was named general manager of the Wyndham, a 320-room conference center hotel on the Southbank.
He said downtown Houston "has everything we have talked about" for Downtown and that he looks forward to being closer to family and walking to work.
Harris, who was the inaugural chair of the board, is the third original member of the nine-member board to resign.
Don Shea, former executive director of the Jacksonville Civic Council, stepped down in January to lead the economic development efforts for St. Tammany Parish in Lousiana.
Jim Bailey, publisher of the Daily Record, resigned in mid-September, citing his belief he could be more effective in Downtown revitalization as a private citizen rather than a board member.
Shea and Bailey were two of the four selections by former City Council President Bill Bishop. Shea was replaced by Mike Saylor. Council President Bill Gulliford has not replaced Bailey.
Mayor Alvin Brown selected Harris as one of his five appointments.
David DeCamp, Brown's spokesman, said the mayor "appreciates and respects Donald Harris' contributions as the first chairman of the Downtown Investment Authority."
He also said the administration will appoint a replacement "as soon as possible" to continue momentum in Brooklyn and other urban core initiatives.
Donald Harris has resigned from the Downtown Investment Authority board.