WATERTOWN, NY — James W. Wright, Executive Director of the Development Authority of North Country, today announced he will retire, effective May 15, after 11 years at the helm of the Authority.
Wright remains healthy, but said the COVID-19 pandemic caused him to reevaluate his retirement plans.
“This pandemic has given many of us the opportunity to think about our priorities,” Wright said. “It was a difficult decision but, after 48 years in public service, I decided to move up my retirement date. The fact is, I’m an at-risk individual and COVID-19 is not going away any time soon. This is not the way I planned to end my career, but no one anticipates a global pandemic and its impacts, and this decision is in the best interest of myself and my family.”
Frederick Carter, chairman of the Development Authority’s Board of Directors, has appointed a search committee to hire the next executive director. Meanwhile, Deputy Executive Director/Chief Fiscal Officer Carl Farone will serve as Interim Executive Director until Wright’s replacement is named. Farone has been with the Authority for more than 20 years.
“On behalf of the Development Authority I would like to thank Jim for his 11 years of dedication to the Authority,” Carter said. “Under his direction we have made great strides as an organization. I have been in discussions with Jim and I understand his concerns and support his decision. We have an excellent team at the Development Authority and I’m confident in their ability to move forward until a new director is in place.”
“Together as a team, the Development Authority has accomplished a goal that I set when I first started,” Wright said. “And that was to establish the Authority as a primary municipal partner and a truly regional organization committed to improving the north country.”