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Kent Names New Development Director

Bridget Susel transitions from interim to full-time Kent Community Development Department Director

She's been doing the job unofficially for more than a year, but Wednesday Bridget Susel officially became Kent's Community Development Department Director.

Susel was named as the new director during Kent City Council's regular meeting Wednesday evening by Kent City Manager Dave Ruller.

She had been serving as interim director since August 2011 following late director Gary Locke's diagnosis with leukemia. after a 13-month battle with the illness.

"Certainly Gary is irreplaceable, but I’m pleased to say after offering Bridget the job she accepted” Wednesday afternoon, Ruller said. "I can’t think of someone any better to carry on what Gary started. She’s already part of the team, but now she’s even more officially part of the team."

Susel, a former intern of Locke's and longtime friend, had been serving as Kent's grants and neighborhood programs administrator since 2009.

The Franklin Township resident told council members that she will continue to handle grant writing for the department, which oversees city building, zoning and planning issues.

"(Locke) knew I was able to do this because it was his old job is what I've always done," Susel said. "I can write. I can get funds. If you're successful at getting grants, it's something you should continue doing because government needs the money. I've been fortunate to get a lot of grant funds in the organizations I've worked for, so I'll continue doing that."

Before returning to Kent, Susel worked as grants administrator for Coleman Professional Service from 2006 to 2008. The University of Akron grad served as executive director of the University Park Development Corporation from 2000 to 2001.

She also worked as support services administrator writing grants in the Summit County Department of Development.

Wednesday council took final vote to rename a downtown street after Locke.

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