Changes for port authority

Some changes are in the works for the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority, including a new logo, website and new executive director.

Terry Tamburini took the helm of the port authority in 2010 after former executive director Mike Jacoby left to take a similar post in the Zanesville area. Now Tamburini, 67, has announced plans to retire on Dec. 31.

“I believe it’s just time for other people to come in,” he said Monday. “I think we’ve put together a strong foundation that the port authority can continue to build upon.”

Tamburini began his term as the authority’s interim director in April 2010 and was appointed to the executive director post in October of that year.

Janet Nelson, executive assistant for the SEOPA, said a search is in the works for Tamburini’s replacement.

“We’ve already had about 10 inquiries and several resumes for the job,” she said. “We’re doing a national search over the Internet, and have also advertised in the local newspapers.”

Tamburini has agreed to continue serving in a consulting capacity until a new executive director is hired.

Nelson said in addition to looking for a new executive director, the SEOPA has developed a new website,, replacing the former site.

“It’s a more professional-looking website that also allows prospective businesses to look at available sites and other locations as well as obtain additional information about the local area,” she said. “It’s a much better tool for economic development, and we’ll be able to update the site in-house rather than have to contract with an outside entity to do that work.”

A new logo is also part of the SEOPA’s new look which includes an icon of the state of Ohio with interconnected bands criss-crossing the southeastern portion of the state.

One of the authority’s biggest accomplishments during Tamburini’s tenure has been the securing of a location and funding for the 35,000-square-foot, $2.2 million Ingenuity Center being constructed at the Seven North Business Park along Ohio 7 in Reno. The center is designed to be an incubator facility providing start-up space for small businesses.

“The Good River water plant project at the Riverview Complex is another successful endeavor for the authority as we acted as a conduit so the industrial partners could work on that project together,” Tamburini said.

That project will provide water for a group of industrial sites located within the Riverview corridor along Ohio 7 between Marietta and Belpre.

“And the Good River project was an ultimate retention effort to keep local businesses in this area,” Tamburini said.

He credits much the SEOPA’s progress over the last three years to authority board members like Jack Haessly who helped facilitate the sale of the former Ohio Department of Natural

Resources Tree Farm in Reno.

“That project consumed a lot of time, but Jack worked hard on it to preserve the integrity of the surrounding Reno community,” Tamburini said.

The 90-plus-acre site was sold to Stacy Farm LLC for $1 million in January of this year.

Looking to the SEOPA’s future, Tamburini said there is still some important work to be done toward improving economic development throughout this area of Southeast Ohio.

“We need to be more competitive in marketing and providing facilities for businesses, and not just for the oil and gas industry,” he said. “We also need rail and river access available to all area businesses. The former AMP Ohio site along Ohio 7 (south of Marietta) could be a good location.”

Tamburini said development of a workforce that’s ready to take on the new job opportunities coming to the area from the shale oil and gas industries and other businesses is also critical.

“In economic development you never say no, you just do what has to be done for the betterment of the community,” he said.

Since 1990 Tamburini has taught government and economics classes part time at Washington State Community College and West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

“I plan to continue teaching until they kick me out,” he said. “There’s a real joy in dealing with young people as well as dislocated workers returning to school. It’s so much fun to see them get excited about learning. And I try to teach them how to think, not what to think.”