PARKERSBURG - Parkersburg city officials bid a fond farewell Tuesday to Development Director Ann Conageski.
Conageski officially stepped down from her position today, handing the reins to former city planner Rickie Yeager, who was approved as the new development director in September.
Conageski announced her intention to retire in early September after her husband retired and she found out she would be a grandmother. Conageski said she and her husband will be moving to Florida to be closer to family.
Photo by Michael Erb
Parkersburg Development Director Ann Conageski, left, speaks with Mayor Bob Newell during a farewell party Tuesday at the Parkersburg Municipal Building. Conageski retired from her position Tuesday, with former city planner Rickie Yeager stepping into the development director position.
"This job has kind of defined me in recent years, so I will have to reinvent myself," she said Tuesday. "I don't know what I'll do with an extra 70-80 hours a week."
Yeager "will have to put a lot of hours in to match what Ann has accomplished," said Mayor Bob Newell. "Ann has been an integral part of my administration. We've accomplished a lot together."
Conageski was hired in 2001 as the city's federal projects administrator and shortly before the end of then-Mayor Jimmy Columbo's last term in 2005, she took the development director position, succeeding Steve Brodsky.
Conageski has helped guide some of the city's largest development projects in recent years, including the Point Park project, Blue Cross Blue Shield's downtown offices and West Virginia University at Parkersburg's downtown campus.
"All of those are things she helped guide," Newell said. "She worked well with council and I think they respected her. We hate to see her leave, but we certainly understand the timing."
"Ann will be missed," said Yeager. "She's done a lot for the city and for me in particular. She has been a great mentor in helping me get ready for my new role in the city.
"She always had Parkersburg's best interests at heart."