CAO names new director

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2003

They chose to fill from within.

The 15-member Board of Directors of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization has promoted Chief Financial Officer D.R. Gossett to the executive director's position.

Gossett will replace Keith Molihan, who announced his retirement earlier this month.

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"Our retiring director, Keith Molihan, has placed a great deal of emphasis on recruiting and developing a talented staff to ensure the agency's future," CAO board president Kenneth Howell said. "The board feels that D. R. Gossett is the ideal candidate to position the company for the challenges and opportunities ahead. D.R. has proven himself an effective manager and an enthusiastic advocate for Lawrence County. We are confident the CAO's legacy of leadership, progress and excellence will be in good hands with D.R."

That opinion was seconded by Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bill Dingus, who serves on the CAO board.

"We have always had the philosophy that if you have quality people, you move from within. D.R. is a quality person, a good solid person who, when he was brought in, we felt could be a backup if anything were to happen. If you have an $18-20 million operation, it is important to have someone as a backup person."

Dingus said Gossett's greatest strengths lie in his fiscal and management ability. Dingus pointed out that Gossett's work experience is very broad, as he has served as auditor for a number of government and other entities.

Dingus said Gossett has for years been part of a leadership team that has allowed the CAO to make fundamental improvements in the quality of life in Lawrence County. "I feel good about D.R.," Dingus said. "I feel good about the CAO's overall leadership and this is going to be very important over the next few years. It will be important to keep on a solid financial footing as our nation commits more and more resources to international disturbances and it may be difficult to do things at home. You can only split the pie so many ways."

A native of Coal Grove, Gossett has been the CFO since 1998. A graduate of Berea College in Berea, Ky.,

he worked as an internal auditor for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, then later as an independent C.P.A. for Reynolds and Co. of Portsmouth, with a specialization in the administration of federal grants.

Gossett said the step-up is a great honor and he looks forward to the challenges ahead of him.

"I appreciate the board's confidence in me. We have a very knowledgeable group of people and to have the confidence of that group, I'm pleased and grateful," Gossett said. "It's an honor for me."

Molihan's retirement is effective early next year. He plans to remain in the area and open a consulting firm. Molihan, 61, has been with the CAO for 33 years.