The Green River Area Development District has named Joanna Shake as its new executive director.
A selection committee comprised of a handful of members including GRADD Vice Chairman and Henderson County Judge-Executive Brad Schneider voted unanimously during a meeting Wednesday.
“It has been a whirlwind of a day,” Shake said. “I was overwhelmed with gratitude and indebted to Jiten because we have worked together for 25 years.”
Shake replaces Jiten Shah, current executive director, who served 32 years as GRADD’s longest-serving executive director. Shah announced last year he would retire in April.
Shake is the first female executive director at GRADD.
“I’m quite proud of that,” Shake said. “I’m confident in my abilities because I have learned from the best. I know I’ve got this simply because of (Shah’s) mentorship and his coaching. And he has empowered me. I am where I am today because he has empowered me to do that.”
Shake was GRADD’s Community Associate Director of Community and Economic Development. She will start her new role in May.
“I definitely want to continue our tradition of excellence, our dedication to public service,” she said. “Our mission is to improve the quality of life for folks in our seven counties, and I just want to build on that. I want to continue it. I don’t see any sweeping changes because the staff does such an incredible job, and I just want to continue you that.”