Jack Moreland, who has led of Southbank Partners for the past 11 years, was recognized at a surprise retirement send-off ceremony Friday afternoon by state and local government officials, business leaders, friends, family, and co-workers in front Southbank’s offices next to the World Peace Bell.
In February, Moreland announced his retirement as president of the community and economic development organization for Northern Kentucky’s river cities. Will Weber, who has led the Campbell County Economic Development Office for the past three years, is replacing Moreland.
At Friday’s ceremony, Newport Mayor Tom Guidugli Jr. read a city proclamation naming March 12, 2021, as “Jack Moreland Day” in the City of Newport and awarded Moreland a key to the city.
Prior to joining Southbank Partners, Moreland spent 38 years as a public-school educator and administrator, including 19 years as superintendent of Dayton Independent Schools, eight years as superintendent of Covington Independent Public Schools, one year as interim president of Northern Kentucky University, and one year as interim chancellor of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
In a brief speech after Mayor Guidugli’s proclamation, Moreland told the crowd: “I cannot tell how tickled I am to be recognized today, but the truth be told, all of the success I’ve encountered at Southbank Partners and in other positions I’ve held over the years had very little to do with me, but instead was the result of hard work and dedication by the people around me, including many who I see here in the crowd today.”
Others government officials in attendance at the event on Friday afternoon were Dennis Keene, director of the Kentucky Department of Local Government, Newport City Manager Tom Fromme and Assistant City Manager Larisa Sims, Highland Heights City Administrator Michael Giffen, and Dayton City Administrator Jay Fossett.
After the proclamation ceremony concluded, a procession of cars paraded past Moreland, their occupants offering congratulations and best wishes in his retirement.
Moreland will continue to serve as president of Southbank Partners until June 30, the end of the nonprofit’s fiscal year, working one day a week during that time to assist Weber transition into the new position. Weber will become Southbank Partners’ new president on July 1.