By Wayne Allen
September 18, 2013
Common Staff Writer
The position of director of the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) has netted nine applications of people seeking the position.
The Daily Times has obtained the names of the applicants via a public records request to Todd Book, Chairman of SOPA.
“Per your public records request, here is the list of the eight that applied. Bud Sayre and his Projects committee will be reviewing them shortly,” Book said. “I expect the next step will involve winnowing the field to the final two or three candidates for interviews.”
Among the applicants is Jason Kester of Grove City, Ohio. He has attended, Capital University Law School, Miami University and Shawnee State University. He is a member of the Ohio Army National Guard and is working as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney at Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney.
Also applying is Michael Messerly, former Daily Times General Manager. Previous work experience is listed as Digital Marketing Manager at Digital Technology International and Digital Media Sales Director at Morris Communications. He has a degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Michele Throckmorton of Lucasville also applied. She is currently Grants Administrator and Assistant Director of Economic Development for Scioto County. She has a degree from Shawnee State University with past work experience as the Economic Development Director for the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission for 20 years.
Lisa Wilson-Plajer, of Burlington, Ky., a Wheelersburg High School graduate who attended Oklahoma University’s Economic Development Institute applied as well.
Doug McClure also applied. He is a resident of Wheelersburg and is an adjunct professor at Ohio University Southern and has a master’s degree in business administration from Morehead State University.
Tammie Thacker, of Lucasville applied as well. She has a bachelor’s degree of Science From Shawnee State University and currently works at Scioto County Department of Job and Family Services as an intake specialist.
Another applicant, Kimberly Reynolds, is employed at the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission as Community Development Coordinator and she has a degree from Shawnee State University. She is also a resident of West Portsmouth.
Dusty Hackworth of Mcdermott submitted his application for the director position as well. He has a degree from Shawnee State University. No further information was available on Hackworth.
Sandy Davis-DePuy, former marketing director at Glockners, applied and has a degree from Shawnee State University.
Book said the responsibilities of the executive director would include being responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Port Authority, being the liaison with business interests in the community and also outside of the community.
“Previously it (economic development) was a one person show, now were trying to make it more of a community responsibility with the members of the Port Authority,” Book was quoted as saying.
According to the Rules and Regulations of the Southern Ohio Port Authority of Scioto County adopted at SOPA’s April meeting, the executive director shall, “Submit plan and programs for the board economic development activities. Develop a program for promotion and public relations of the Southern Ohio Port Authority. Develop and carry out a program to promote and publicize the advantages of the Southern Ohio Port Authority to the rail, barge shippers, trucking companies, importers and exporters and other agencies using the shipping capabilities of Southern Ohio. Seek, obtain and supervise the administration of grants, loans and other financial assistance from Federal, State and local sources to enhance Southern Ohio Port Authority programs, facilities and services.”
Based on the official job description for the position, the candidate must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, economics, finance, public administration or a related field. Experience with state, regional or local economic development is desired.
The candidate must have excellent communication and public relations skills with the ability to influence others in a positive manner.
According to the description the salary is commensurate with qualification and job performance with a salary range from $45,000-$70,000.
Book said the Port Authority is looking at a number of different avenues to fund the position including a public, private partnership.
“Some of the places we’re looking towards include government sources. Right now the county has an Economic Development Department, the city has a sparse economic development and the village of New Boston does as well. We’re talking with those groups to focus one operation to make this (economic development) happen, as opposed to three different groups going in different directions,” Book said. “To be honest, no one is being that effective because they don’t have the time or the funds to make it work so, why not consolidate, and make that make sense.”
When asked if the person filling the role of executive director for SOPA would take his role with the county, Book said, “That’s correct. The county and most of the governmental entities in our community have an executive director-type person along with other duties. The commissioners realize the need this, for this to be effective, we (Scioto County) need(s) someone who’s main purpose is economic development.”
For more information about SOPA visit them on Facebook.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or email@example.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.