County Commissioner Ken Hagan is a native and lifelong resident of Hillsborough County. He was first elected to the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners in November 2002, and re-elected in 2004 and 2008 to District 2. He was elected to represent District 5 (county-wide) in 2010 and 2014, returning to District by popular demand in 2018 and 2020 During that time, he has held the leadership positions of Chaplain in fiscal years 2003, 2004 and 2010; Vice Chairman in Fiscal Years 2005, 2006 and 2007; and he was chosen by his peers to serve as Chairman in fiscal years 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Commissioner Ken Hagan also serves as the Board of County Commissioners representative on a committee of six, Florida Association of Counties Board of Directors, an alternate on the Emergency Policy Group, Hospital Authority, Tampa Bay and Company Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, and Tampa Sports Authority. In addition, Commissioner Hagan has chaired the County’s Transportation Task Force.
Since 2010, Commissioner Hagan has focused on helping Hillsborough County in the ongoing recovery from the Great Recession and is now fostering economic recovery while the country navigates the difficulties of COVID by recruiting and diversifying to higher paying jobs in energy, technology, e-commerce, manufacturing, and arts and culture. He has also strategically utilized federal and state workforce dollars on retaining and expanding small and mid-size businesses across the board, ensuring that extra attention and help goes to the important industries of retail and hospitality.
Ken Hagan believes that the extreme “cancel culture” and “no compromise” perspectives advanced by many in the current political arenas undermine the community’s stability, safety, and prosperity. During these unprecedented times of health and civil unrest, Commissioner Hagan strives to provide public and private leadership that works in a respectful and bi-partisan fashion to get things accomplished.
Ken Hagan has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Tampa. He and his wife, Susan, have a son, Jake, and daughter, Elizabeth and beloved two rescue dogs, Gator and Gryffin.
What makes you successful?
Hard work, determination, and a willingness to take risks are some of the key ingredients to my success. Additionally, having a strong support network of family and friends has been very important. Setting realistic goals, staying motivated, taking action, being persistent, and learning from my mistakes. I have found that it is also important to stay positive and have a good attitude even when things get tough. Finally, always be willing to help others who are looking for guidance because you can never know where it may lead.
What advice would you give a young person who aspires to do what you do?
Be patient and continue working hard because nothing worth having comes easy. Being persistent, setting high standards for yourself, remaining accountable to those around you, being creative, being truthful at all times and striving for excellence will help you succeed along the way. Find a role model or mentor who has succeeded in your profession. Work hard, stay focused, be persistent, and enjoy the journey even on the bad days.
What has been your most satisfying accomplishment in your professional life?
One of my most satisfying accomplishments in my professional life has been helping to lead Hillsborough County through the difficult times of the Great Recession and fostering economic recovery while the country navigates the difficulties of COVID. Additionally, I am proud of my work in recruiting and diversifying to higher paying jobs in energy, technology, e-commerce, manufacturing, and arts and culture. Finally, I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to serve on various boards and committees that work to improve the quality of life for all residents of Hillsborough County.
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
The thing I enjoy most about my profession is the opportunity to help make a positive impact on the community. Whether it is helping to lead Hillsborough County through difficult times or working to improve the quality of life for all residents, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve. Additionally, I enjoy the challenge of working in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment and the satisfaction that comes from seeing things through to completion.
What do you believe makes you unique?
I believe that what makes me unique is my ability to maintain a positive attitude and work collaboratively with others in order to get things accomplished. Additionally, I am willing to take risks and am not afraid of change. Finally, I strive to always learn from my experiences and mistakes.
What has been your biggest mistake?
During my first year on the Board of County Commissioners, I wish I would have been more proactive in making changes that were needed to improve transportation safety. In addition, because I was new to politics, it took me a while to get used to navigating through the roles and responsibilities of staff and become an expert at budgeting for all of our county’s needs..
What do you like to do in your time off?
One of my favorite things to do when not working is hanging out with my wife, Susan, and kids, Jake and Elizabeth. We enjoy spending time at home or playing sports. I also love to read books on history and economics which helps improve my knowledge base for work.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by my desire to help others and make a difference in the world. I also believe that it is important to take risks and push boundaries in order to achieve success. Finally, I am motivated by my love for learning and continuous growth.
What is one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One thing I do over and over again is to make sure that I have done my research before making decisions or taking action. I am a firm believer in having all the facts before taking a position or advocating for any specific course of action. I think too often we make emotional choices, and in my opinion, that doesn’t have a place in public office. My job is to do what is best for my constituents based on all the facts available and accurate information.