Saying goodbye is not easy for most people, and this rang true at the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) breakfast for Jason Kester, former executive director.
SOPA held its annual breakfast at Shawnee State University Friday. Kester got a standing ovation as he prepared to say his farewells. He thanked all those attending the breakfast, including his SOPA board of directors. He also thanked a list of those people who he had worked with during his time as director, including the Scioto County Commissioners.
Kester discussed his proudest moments while at SOPA including: Altivia Re-Opening, Rural King Distribution Center, PatterFarm Sauces, Portsmouth-America’s Best Community, AWF Expansion, and Pure Cycle. Kester continued to thank those people who worked with SOPA to help build economic development in the area.
Kester tentatively turned his resignation in Sept. 25.
“I have nothing lined up. I have no jobs lined up. I haven’t even started considering what I am going to do,” Kester said. “The only thing I know right now is that I am going to take some time over Columbus Day Weekend and spend some time with my wife on a little mini vacation. Then I am going to take a nap, decompress for a minute and then start looking at some of the different options I have out there.”
SOPA Chair Bud Sayre had said earlier of Kester, “He will be remembered as a person that truly cared about his community and a person who did his best.”
Kester is a hometown boy, who grew up in Scioto County, but up until he took the position with SOPA four years ago, had lived with his wife and children in Columbus. His family remained in Columbus, while he was in charge at SOPA and that, he felt, was time to return to Columbus to be with his family. He also mentioned that he was leaving Friday afternoon, to take a much needed family vacation. The attendees of the breakfast again gave him a standing ovation, at the end of his heartfelt speech.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928