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Muskingum County is losing a key official that others say has worked tirelessly to bring business and prosperity to the area.
Port Authority Executive Director, Jerry Nolder turned in his letter of resignation at a meeting this morning.
WHIZ's Emily Baird has local reaction on this announcement.
Muskingum County Port Authority Executive Director, Jerry Nolder, asked members to hold a meeting this morning just before Christmas.
"I didn't necessarily know what it was for because the only thing that was on the agenda was going into executive session, and i thought it might be for some property that we were either buying or selling, " says Port Authority chairman, Richard McClelland.
Yet, it was to submit his letter of resignation and have the members approve it.
"It's kind of a shock to us on the board, but Jerry has done a fantastic job, " says Muskingum County Commissioner, John Bates.
"I really have enjoyed every day of this and had a lot of fun. I've done a lot of things most people would never had the opportunity to do, " says Nolder.
While on Port Authority, Nolder's biggest accomplishment in the city of Zanesville and Muskingum County, expanding and developing the East Pointe Business Park.
"He was very active in the recruiting of Bilco, Emco, and Avon, " says Zanesville Mayor, Howard Zwelling.
Nolder says he received the opportunity of a lifetime that he couldn't refuse. He will now be the CEO of the Bloomer Candy Company.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the opportunity the Joseph family has given me to lead probably what's one of the oldest privately held company's in Zanesville, " says Nolder.
Nolder's last day will be on the 15th, but he says he plans to remain an active presence at the Port Authority.
"I told the board I would do anything I could to help in this transition and even beyond the 15th, " says Nolder.
Now members will form a committee to fill out a job description and begin the hunt for a new executive director.
"I'm sad for the Port Authority because it's going to be big shoes to fill, " says Zwelling.
"We are going to miss Jerry on the port because he had a positive spin. It's like losing a quarterback, " says Bates.
And members say the Port Authority has a lot in store for the county this year.
"That's really why we hate to see Jerry leave. There's a lot of things on the agenda. We have a widening of the East Pointe interchange is coming up for bid next Wednesday. We have a railroad project we hope to put up to bid this summer, " says McClelland.
Reporting in Zanesville, I'm Emily Baird for WHIZ News.
Nolder has served on the Port Authority for about five years. He was named executive director back in September 2005.