GRAFTON -- For about six months this year, the Tygart Valley Development Authority had been looking for a new executive director. This summer, the group decided to dissolve.
Now, the newly reformed Taylor County Development Authority is picking up where the disbanded group left off and a Meadville, Pa. native has been tapped to lead the group into the new century.
"Right now I'm just trying to figure out what needs to be done," said Colleen Stewart, who began her tenure as development director Nov. 1
"I'm working on a survey for local business people, trying to find out what some of the issues are in the community that we need to work on and hopefully we'll be able to make some plans for the future."
Stewart graduated from West Virginia University in August with a graduate degree in public administration. She also has worked as a social worker.
Heading up the development office is Stewart's first foray into public administration, and she said she's looking forward to the challenge.
The Pennsylvania native said being able to look at the area with an outsider's critical eye will help her develop plans and strategies for growth and progress.
"That's one of the best things; I'm kind of an objective outsider and can look at things as a whole," she said.
Stewart came to North Central West Virginia in 1994 to attend WVU, and one of her former professors mentioned that the county was looking for a development director. In addition to her duties as director, Stewart also will act as the county administrator.
Regional writer James Fisher can be reached at 626-1446 or by e-mail at email@example.com