Jack Moreland Retires at Southbank, Will Weber to Take Over
Jack Moreland is stepping down from his role as president at Southbank Partners, the community and economic development organization serving Northern Kentucky's river cities.
Moreland will retire on March 15. He will be replaced by current Campbell County Economic Development Director Will Weber, who also serves as president of the Campbell County Economic Progress Authority.
Southbank serves the cities of Covington, Fort Thomas, Newport, Bellevue, Dayton, Ludlow, and Silver Grove.
“Adding new blood is a healthy and normal occurrence for organizations like ours and the time is right to do just that at Southbank Partners,” Moreland said in a news release. “Will Weber has the personality, experience, and the aggressiveness to do some really great things for Southbank. Our board is looking forward to watching him continue the long record of successes we’ve achieved on behalf of our partner cities over the past 24 years.
Moreland will assist Weber in the transition one day a week starting in mid-March before formally retiring on June 30, the end of the current fiscal year.
Weber will formally become president of the organization on July 1.
Moreland will also finish his term as chairman of the Newport Southbank Bridge Company, which owns and operates the Purple People Bridge, until June 30.
Before taking the helm at Southbank, Moreland spent 38 years in education, serving as superintendent at Dayton Independent Schools for 19 years, superintendent at Covington Independent Public Schools for eight years, and as interim president at Northern Kentucky University for a year. He also spent a year as interim chancellor of the Kentucky Community & Technical College System.
While he may be slowing down, Moreland said he’s not going away.
“I will still be involved with these organizations and there’s two projects in particular that I plan to continue working on – raising funds for repainting and future maintenance of the Purple People Bridge and construction of the next phase of Riverfront Commons along Ky. 8 from Dayton through Fort Thomas and into Silver Grove," he said.
Weber is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University where he served as student government association president and earned degrees in entrepreneurship and economics. He also holds economic development certificates from the University of Kentucky and the University of Oklahoma.
“It’s been a pleasure to serve the Campbell County Fiscal Court and lead the Campbell County Economic Progress Authority over the past three years,” Weber said in a news release. “I’m proud of the work we accomplished and grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community I call home. I firmly believe Campbell County is well positioned for continued economic growth and the best years are only ahead.”
“I look forward to leveraging our community assets and collaborating with our regional partners to innovate and embrace the future of our urban core and continue the amazing renaissance that has been happening in our river cities in Kenton and Campbell Counties,” Weber said.
Weber served as an intern at Southbank Partners while attending NKU and he worked with Moreland then and as an economic development professional in Campbell County.
“I’ve had the privilege to work with and learn much from Jack Moreland and it is an honor to succeed him as president of Southbank Partners,” Weber said. “I plan to continue his work on the many important projects and initiatives Southbank has undertaken and he nurtured in our community over the past eleven years.”
One of Weber’s first tasks will be leading Southbank’s new strategic plan for all of its partner cities, which will build upon the organization’s previous strategic plan, Imagination 2020.
“It’s exciting to be working with our partner cities on a new strategic plan and building on the remarkable economic development and community development that has taken place in our river cities in recent years,” Weber said.
Weber also will continue working on Riverfront Commons, Southbank’s signature project, the 11.5-mile walking, running, and biking trail along the Ohio River that travels through the river cities. More than half of this project has been completed in several sections in four of the cities, with the ultimate goal of connecting these sections into one continuous trail that runs from Ludlow to Dayton.
In May, the City of Covington is expected to finish work on a trail section between Greenup Street and Madison Avenue, which will include a 1,350-seat amphitheater, a cobblestone “pier” jutting into the river that will serve as a kayak and canoe launch and fishing spot, and two new concrete paths that run along both the water’s edge and floodwall murals.
The city also plans to start work soon on another trail section that will adjacent to Highway Avenue from Western Avenue to Swain Court in the western part of the city. In Dayton, the next phase of the water’s edge portion of that city’s trail is expected to start construction this summer.
-Michael Monks, editor & publisher