Economic Development

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CCPA Selects Former Board Member, Commissioner

March 3, 2016
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EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – The Columbiana County Port Authority Board of Directors today voted to offer former county commissioner Penny Traina the position of executive director.

Traina, who served three years on the CCPA board and as its fiscal officer, resigning in November, is executive director of CrossRoads at Beaver Creek, a nonprofit based here.

In addition to serving five years as a county commissioner, 2007 to 2011, her resume includes 15 years as chief financial officer for the Wellsville Local school District.

The CCPA board announced its decision after meeting in executive session for about an hour this morning. Negotiations to sign Traina to a one-year contract will begin, board members said, and her hiring is expected to be ratified at their next regularly scheduled meeting March 21.

The port authority conducted a national search to replace its longtime executive director, Tracy Drake, whose contract lapsed Sept. 30. Fourteen people applied for the position, board members said, with three deemed finalists. The other top-two applicants are from California and North Carolina, reporters were told.

“There’s no learning curve with Penny,” said Charles Presley, board chairman.

“She understands the private sector. She understands the business world,” he added.

Board members Keith Chamberlin and Brian Kennedy participated in the meeting by telephone and as such could not vote on Traina’s selection. Thus the vote was 3-0.

Kennedy noted that when Traina resigned from the board in November, there was “no indication she was interested in becoming executive director or that she would have applied. We could have saved ourselves $5,000.”

He was referring to the expense of conducting the national search.

Traina was not present at the meeting and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Diane Ksiazek, who had been serving as interim executive director, will return to her position as manager of administration and finance, board members said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.