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PDS Board hires new executive director

Sharmili Reddy left Planning and Development Services of Kenton County five years ago to become City Administrator for Fort Mitchell. On Friday, she accepted an offer from the organization’s Management Board to become its fifth executive director. Current executive director Dennis Gordon will retire this summer after almost 18 years of service to Kenton County.

“Dennis gave us plenty of notice so we could find the best possible candidate,” said County Commissioner Joe Nienaber who serves as the Board’s chairman. “We advertised nationally and received resumes from quite a few exceptional people. In the end, we decided Sharmili’s previous PDS experience and her five years in Fort Mitchell made her the best candidate to move the organization forward.”

Reddy has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore, India, and a Master of Community Planning degree from the University of Cincinnati. Her professional planning experience includes two years with the Center Regional Planning Agency in State College, Pennsylvania, and ten years with PDS before leaving for the post in Fort Mitchell.

“PDS has a long history of community impact in Kenton County and I am excited for the opportunity to come back and lead this organization,” said Reddy.

“Sharmili was a great contributor to our mission during her ten years on staff,” said Dennis Gordon, PDS executive director. “She provided great people skills and played a key role in developing Kenton County’s online comprehensive plan, Direction 2030. We hated to lose her when she left for Fort Mitchell.”

Direction 2030 received several state and national awards since its adoption in 2014 by the Kenton County Planning Commission.

PDS, formerly known as the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission, was created in 1961 following action in 1960 by the Kentucky General Assembly. Through the early 1980s it served as staff for the multiple citizen planning commissions that existed in Campbell and Kenton Counties. It has served as staff for the Kenton County Planning Commission and its 20 local governments since 1983. Interestingly, today marks the 59th anniversary of the organization’s first meeting held at the Covington City Building—a date the organization refers to as Founder’s Day.

“We’re talking with Sharmili now regarding her start date,” stated Nienaber. “I believe we can work things out so she can spend some time with Dennis before he leaves on the first of August.”