Sky Pettey, Board Chair

Sky Pettey

Board Chair

Sky Pettey is an attorney in private practice with the Athens law firm Lavelle and Associates, which he joined in 2001. He engages in a general practice of law focusing on criminal defense, civil rights, personal injury, and probate matters. Sky earned his B.A. in English from Oberlin College and his J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. After law school he went to work as a Staff Attorney for Ohio Legal Rights Service, an independent state agency that was the State of Ohio’s federally-designated protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities.

Sky volunteers his time as the Chairman of the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Continuing ... Read More

Laurie McKnight, Vice Chair

Laurie McKnight

Vice Chair

Laurie McKnight is the Director of Area 14 Workforce Development Board which includes Athens, Meigs and Perry counties. She has been in this roll since August of 2018. Prior to that, Laurie was a WIOA case manager at the OhioMeansJobs center in Athens County. She has over 25 years in public service agencies including My Sister’s Place for victims of domestic violence, Athens County Children Services, and Athens County Job and Family Services. Laurie is part of the National Family Center Employment Community of Practice initiative through the National Association of Workforce Boards and Innovate and Educate. Area 14 is one of 15 Areas in the United States that is ... Read More

Mollie Fitzgerald, Secretary

Mollie Fitzgerald


Mollie Fitzgerald is the Executive Director at the Athens County Economic Development Council where she works to increase economic opportunities for Athens’ businesses, workforce and residents. Prior to this role she served as the Assistant Director of the ACEDC and the Executive Director of the Athens-based nonprofit Live Healthy Appalachia.

Mollie graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Health Communication Studies and has a Masters of Public Administration also from Ohio University. She is deeply invested in the Athens community and serves on several organizational boards including the Area 14 Workforce Development board, Community Food Initiatives board, and the Athens Community Leadership Council for PPGOH. Mollie resides in Athens with ... Read More

Sean Terrell currently serves as the Dean of Workforce Development and Community Engagement at Hocking College. In his role as Dean, Sean leads a team of dynamic workforce and economic development professionals who are passionate about transforming the Appalachian Ohio economy through short-term, for-credit and non-credit training programs that lead to rewarding careers in high demand, high-wage industries. In addition to sector-led workforce development, the Hocking College Office of Workforce Development supports new business development in Southeast Ohio through a number of entrepreneurship programs including the Hocking Makers Network and EntreEd.

The Hocking College Office of Workforce Development oversees 15 academic programs, including Construction, Manufacturing, Culinary, and Laboratory Sciences. In addition ... Read More

Paul Mass is an “Entrepreneur-in-Residence” in Ohio University’s College of Business and serves as Associate Director of Ohio University’s Center For Entrepreneurship.

Paul has benefited from a diverse career beginning as a corporate attorney and continuing on as a successful entrepreneur and business executive helping to create, fund, manage and lead companies in the cable television, radio, information service, biotech and e-commerce industries. He has served as a Partner, General Counsel, Chief Operating Officer, and President and CEO, respectively, at various times throughout his more than 35 year professional career. Two of the companies he helped start and manage still operate out of San Diego, CA: ClosingCorp, Inc. ( and GovX, ... Read More

Erin Rennich has spent the last 15 years living and working in Athens County, Ohio. In this time, she has provided critical business support to small businesses, early-stage enterprises, and mission-based organizations as a coach, advisor, and key member of the Ohio University entrepreneurial ecosystem. Erin has a deep understanding of and appreciation for the specific challenges that small businesses, social enterprises, and nonprofits in Appalachia face.

Erin holds two key appointments at Ohio University that support the region’s economic development efforts. As a Senior Executive Coach and Strategic Advisor with the Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE), a program supported by Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, ... Read More

Carrie Arnold started at Tri-County Career Center in July, 2021 as the Workforce and Testing Coordinator. Her main focus is working with area businesses and organizations to provide real world work experience, such has job shadowing, internships, and pre-apprenticeship opportunities for the students at Tri-County Career Center. Carrie also works closely with business partners to provide students employment opportunities after high school. This includes making sure students receive the proper industry recognized credentials to make them as employable as possible.

Prior to starting at Tri-County, Carrie worked at Hocking College for sixteen years, spending the first twelve of those years in the Financial Aid Department and the last four years in ... Read More

Cale G. Burke is a Senior Project Manager at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service. As a member of the Social Enterprise Ecosystem Program, Cale is responsible for coaching and supporting entrepreneurs in recovery from Substance Use Disorder. Additionally, he is tasked with providing technical support and assisting expanding the Recovery Community Organization (RCO) network in South East Ohio.  As a self-proclaimed person in long term recovery, as well as the founder of an Athens based RCO, Cale is uniquely positioned to help recovery-based enterprises. He also had a 17-year career in IT sales and founded an IT security general contracting firm in Columbus, Ohio.

Cale’s community volunteerism ... Read More

Dr. Tara Slingerland is a PrOUd Bobcat Alumni turned Athens local. Upon returning from New York, where she completed her continuing education, Tara started Innovative Wellness Solutions: a wellness facility with a whole health focus for achieving optimal wellness. She is a Clinical Nutritionist and the only female Chiropractic Physician practicing in Athens, OH. Tara works with a variety of other providers and offers services for a well rounded and balanced practice. In addition to her wellness practice, Tara started Butcher’s Bites, a nutritionally focused prepared meal service that operates out of ACEnet’s shared use kitchen facility, with her long time partner in both life and business, Dr. Ian Butcher.