Thacker retiring as CAO director

By Ryan Ottney

November 16, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

After more than 40 years with the Community Action Organization of Scioto County (CAO), Executive Director Bill Thacker announced this week he will retire in February. The agency has already posted announcements seeking a new executive director.

Thacker started working for CAO in 1970 when he was hired as the temporary director of its head start program.

“That was supposed to have lasted about 12 weeks, and about nine weeks into that process I decided that this was something I wanted to do and I made a request to the board and was hired and directed the program for about a year-and-a-half,” Thacker said.

After that he was hired as the CAO Planning Director, where he stayed until 2006 when he was appointed the interim executive director while the director, Bob Walton Sr., was receiving cancer treatments. Walton passed away in 2012, and Thacker was permanently appointed to the seat.

Thacker announced this week that he will close the book on 43 years to retire in February, but said he will remember fondly his years with Community Action.

“What I’m most proud of is, during that time, the progressive growth of that agency in terms of resources and the number and scope of services we could provide, and the number of employment opportunities we’ve created here. One thing I’m particularly pleased with is, as an institution we are stable. We’ve been able to weather successive rounds of budget cuts and everything with very little loss of employment, and very little reduction of services to the people that need us,” he said.

In his retirement, Thacker said he looks forward to spending more time with his family, reading, and traveling with his wife. He also plans to stay active in the community as a volunteer for several organizations, and as a sitting member of the Portsmouth Inner-City Development Corporation and the Southern Ohio Port Authority.

In the meantime, Thacker said he will assist the agency in its search for a new executive director. According to the job posting, the executive director will provide leadership to the Board of Trustees and staff, develop and implement management systems, provide direct supervision, and serve as the principle liaison to government agencies and to the community. Applicants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and five years progressive administrative and supervisory experience in a social service setting and a working knowledge of federal and state grantee management principles. Must possess excellent verbal and written communication skills.

The new director is expected to begin employment January to work alongside Thacker during the final month of transition.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.