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Putnam Development Director Takes New Post in Huntington

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HUNTINGTON, WV -

By JAMES E. CASTO

For The State Journal

Gary Walton, executive director of the Putnam County Development Authority, has been hired as the new president of the Huntington Area Development Council.

HADCO Chairman Steve Golder said Walton's hiring successfully concluded a nationwide search that began last summer when Marc Sprouse announced his planned retirement as president of the economic development organization.

"Since July of last year, the search committee has been working diligently to identify the next leader of this organization," Golder said.  "We have interviewed many excellent candidates, both from within West Virginia and outside of the state. Early on in the process, our search committee identified a number of ‘must-have' criteria for our next president and we are confident that Gary Walton more than fits all our goals for the position. We're excited to have Gary working with us."

A native of Indiana and graduate of the University of Southern Indiana, Walton, 61, has headed the Putnam County Development Authority since 1999.

In announcing the appointment, Golder described Walton as "an experienced, certified economic developer with a proven track record of development, sales, marketing and transaction completion. Walton has worked with small businesses, enterprise-level corporations and governmental entities."

Walton said his last day on the job in Putnam County will be April 12 and he will start work in Huntington on April 15. His salary in his new post was not revealed.

"I am really looking forward to working with such a professional team and progressive board within the HADCO organization," Walton said. "I have always held HADCO in high regard and look forward to capitalizing on the lucrative opportunities that exist for the region."

Richard Bolen, a former HADCO chairman and a member of the group's presidential search committee, echoed Golder's praise of Walton.

"We were very fortunate to find a highly-credentialed economic development professional, with proven experience in creating jobs, who is also well-connected on the state and local levels," Bolen said. "He will be able to hit the ground running, and Cabell and Wayne Counties should see real dividends in short order."

HADCO was created in 1992 with a mission of attracting new employers to Cabell and Wayne counties, retaining existing employers and helping all employers expand their businesses. A public-private partnership, it receives 80 percent of its funding from companies and individuals in the private sector and 20 percent from local government.

Marc Sprouse, a former banking executive, had been HADCO president since 2009.