OKEECHOBEE- Longtime Okeechobee County Capital Improvements Projects Director Donnie Oden will be officially retiring from the position on Sept. 30 of this year.
At their Sept. 9 meeting, Okeechobee County Commissioners recognized Oden for giving his time and expertise to Okeechobee County throughout his career in public service.
“I had a good time with the county,” said Oden at the meeting. “Learned a lot of things. There was always something to learn, always something to do. Commissioners can be a problem sometimes. But I tell them that they can be a problem.”
Donnie was hired to work as director for the county in May of 2000.
“I’m walking away from here with a lot of good friends in the county,” Oden concluded. “Thank you all very much. It’s been nice. Now I’ll go somewhere else and get in trouble.”
“We love you, will miss you and appreciate all you’ve done,” said Commissioner Kelly Owens after Oden spoke. “But behind every good man is an even better woman. I know that what he’s done over the years, as with any position where you’re in leadership, takes a lot of time away from home. So I always like to thank the family.”
Commissioner Terry Burroughs relayed a story of running into one of Donnie’s daughters in town the day before the Sept. 9 meeting where Oden was set to be recognized and asked her if she was going to be there. He was surprised to learn that Donnie hadn’t told anyone in his family about the upcoming recognition. So Commissioner Burroughs took it upon himself to invite the entire Oden family to witness Donnie’s sendoff.
“Donnie didn’t tell his wife, didn’t tell his family,” explained Commissioner Burroughs. “So I did. Anything I can help Mr. Oden on I’ve been more than happy to help him on.”
Oden gave a lot of credit to Sheri Selvey, Capital Improvement Project Coordinator for Okeechobee County, for her work in helping the department succeed during his time as director. Sheri was also recognized at the meeting, retiring after 20 years of service.
The Board of County Commissioners approved the appointment of a new Capital Improvements Project Director later in the meeting, bringing on Justin Nelson to take the position.
Nelson was previously senior project manager at Platinum Performance Group and is a state licensed home inspector for residential and commercial strictures.
Nelson will now spend the next month with Donnie Oden, being brought up to speed on current and future projects happening within the county.
Kathy Pearce was also recognized by commissioners. Kathy has been an administrative assistant with the Okeechobee County Road Maintenance Department since 1993 and is retiring on Sept. 14.