County planner tapped as first Outdoor Recreation Council director

September 8, 2020

CHAUNCEY — The Outdoor Recreation Council of Appalachia, a council of governments formed to oversee funding and management of the Baileys Trail System, has finally received its first executive director — current Athens County Planner Jessie Powers.

She will begin her time at ORCA Tuesday, Sept. 8. Powers has been with the county since Feb. 27, 2017, when she took over the position from Miranda Kridler, who resigned after holding the position for about 20 months. County planners are not elected, and previously the county has opened up applications for the position to find a suitable replacement.

According to Athens County Commissioner Chris Chmiel, Powers has relinquished her position as Planner. The Board of Commissioners is exploring options on what will come next for that position, he said. Chmiel also noted that since he has started as a Commissioner for Athens County in 2013, there have been several county planners.

“We’ve had a lot of planners,” he noted. “It’s challenging to lose her, but I’m very happy for her. She’s a competent, qualified person and I look forward to working with her in her new role.”

He noted that ORCA has a lot of potential, and said Powers would be a good leader for the organization.

Powers has been a major proponent of the Baileys Trail System since it’s inception, and her appointment as ORCA executive director will build on that knowledge. According to job postings for the executive director position, Powers will earn about $65,000 annually and will be tasked with:

  • Researching emerging recreation trends and applying it to the local region
  • Developing concepts for new projects that fit the region and enhance overall arts, culture and recreation experience
  • Be a communication liaison for regional outdoor recreation for member entities
  • Spearhead volunteer outreach and management
  • Work with higher education institutions to identify research gaps and develop data
  • Increase community awareness of ORCA’s work and program value

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