By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
A quasi-governmental agency instrumental in obtaining federal and state money for small towns in the region has lost its executive director for the third time in as many years.
Mareta Woodard has told Northern Oklahoma Development Authority Board of Directors that she would resign effective next week. A private company, she said, made her an offer she couldn’t turn down.
“I’m going to be able to get back into community and economic development, and I’m looking forward to that,” she said.
Woodard spent about 15 years working in economic development and community planning before being thrust into the executive director’s chair. The position was open because the previous executive director was asked to resign following questions about how he spent the agency’s money. An earlier executive director retired in 2012.
For the past year, Woodard has helmed the agency through troubled waters. An investigation continues into the expenditures and their legality, and a senior services department within NODA was handed off to another organization because of its drain on the budget.
Overall, though, Woodard’s happy to get back to a job more like her old one at NODA.
“I’ve been wearing a lot of hats. I haven’t been able to work as much as I wanted to with communities, and with the grants,” she said. “That’s where my heart’s at.”
One of NODA’s primary goals is to obtain grant money for towns and public sector organizations in an eight-county area — entities that often don’t have the resources to apply themselves.
Woodard’s last day at NODA is officially Friday, but she will be out of the office all week. She declined to name her new employer.
NODA Board President Dea Mandevill said it likely would be several months before the agency begins a costly search for an executive director.
“We still need to get some of the finances on track at NODA,” Mandevill said.