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Executive Director Bill Seigel announces his retirement from SEDA-COG after a career of nearly 40 years with the organization. Source: SEDA-COG

After almost 40 years at SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG), Executive Director Bill Seigel is announcing his retirement.

Seigel became assistant executive director of the organization, a community and economic development agency in Lewisburg, in July 2017. When then-Executive Director Dennis Robinson retired that September, Seigel transitioned into the latter role.

Seigel plans to retire next March with the goal of hiring the new executive director by January 2020 with time for the new hire to transition.

Those interested in applying are required to submit a formal letter of interest requesting the specific requirements of the position by contacting SEDA-COG’s Human Resources Manager Amanda Owens at aowens@seda-cog.org or 570-524-4491.

SEDA-COG is one of seven Local Development Districts in Pennsylvania with a mission to enhance the quality of life and economic advantage for residents and businesses in 11 central Pennsylvania counties through its vital partnerships and initiatives.

As SEDA-COG’s executive director, Seigel’s forward-thinking leadership style has encouraged entrepreneurial thinking and has further met the ever-evolving needs of the region.

He initiated and oversaw SEDA-COG’s strategic planning efforts that sets the stage for the next several years which includes business development support, high-speed internet (broadband) in rural areas, affordable housing, and relationship building.

Under Seigel’s leadership, the agency is targeting the broadband need with multiple projects. SEDA-COG is piloting a high-speed internet project to address the lack of rural broadband infrastructure in Juniata, Mifflin, and Perry counties. The agency will partner with Internet Service Providers through a low-interest-rate loan to make quality, affordable broadband available to businesses and residents in those counties.

SEDA-COG, with Design Nine Inc., also is conducting a broadband study for Clinton, Lycoming, Northumberland and Union counties. The study will analyze the types of broadband services available, broadband use patterns and gaps in coverage, and make recommendations to the counties as to how to improve coverage. It sets the stage to fund and implement service.

To further highlight SEDA-COG’s value in the region through relationship building, Seigel created the position of community relations director, which was filled early this year by current staffer Kristen Moyer. She has met with the region’s state and federal legislators, along with attending many community functions, increasing SEDA-COG’s visibility and enhancing relationships.

Seigel’s service to the region at SEDA-COG dates to March 1981 when he was hired as the emergency medical service training coordinator. In 1983, he created the Furnace Retrofit Program. In July of that year, he began his longtime service in the Community Development Program as project coordinator. In September 2007, he became chief of that program.

At the helm of SEDA-COG’s Community Development Program for 35 years, Seigel had helped local communities realize over 1,000 public infrastructure and community facility projects. He had led the administration of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for 10 counties and 31 municipalities involving construction, oversight and grant administration for public works projects.

Defining moments in Seigel’s SEDA-COG career as head of the Community Development program include the Columbia County Flood Risk Management project, a mile-long flood wall that protects over 700 jobs at Autoneum North America Inc. and preserves the former Windsor Foods property for future use.

He also led the development of a self-help assessment tool for riverine communities to define and design flood resiliency strategies and better implement those strategies.

SEDA-COG Board President Jeff Snyder thanked Seigel for his leadership for 38 years and guiding the agency for the past two.

“You’ve made your mark on this region, even where people can’t see it – from sidewalks to sewers, and now to steering SEDA-COG to even further success – you can be proud of your legacy,” Snyder said.

Seigel said he is grateful for the opportunity to have served the region through SEDA-COG.

“What an honor it has been to wake up every day for most of my working life knowing I get to help make this region a better place alongside my coworkers. That’s why we do what we do – to make life even better for our neighbors. Because of this, I am satisfied and feel confident the board’s personnel committee will find the next servant leader to guide the agency,” Seigel said.