Wheeling Heritage Announces Riley’s Retirement; Appoints Weld as Next Executive Director

Wheeling Heritage announced today that Arch W. Riley Jr. is set to leave his position as the executive director on June 30. The board has named Alex Weld as the organization’s next executive director.

Weld joined Wheeling Heritage in 2017 to lead its marketing and downtown development initiatives. In September 2019, she became the organization’s first director of operations, overseeing Wheeling Heritage’s programmatic work.

Alex Weld

Since joining the organization, Weld has created a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem by developing the Wheeling CO.STARTERS and expanding Show of Hands — programs that provide knowledge, resources and support to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Additionally, she has facilitated activities in public space development, small business promotion and building preservation. Her marketing efforts have had impressive results and have garnered national media attention for Wheeling Heritage.

“Wheeling Heritage has been providing innovative, impactful programming to the Wheeling community for over 25 years, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead this important work,” Weld said. “As we look ahead, I’m excited to work with our talented staff and board of directors to ensure Wheeling Heritage continues to benefit our community into the future.”

Weld plans to continue to carry out Wheeling Heritage’s mission as a catalyst for the revitalization of Wheeling, “through continuing our innovative programming, which means understanding and responding to the community’s needs. Our work encompasses three types of programming — arts and culture, community development, and historic preservation and interpretation. We have a wonderful staff who are skilled in their fields, and I am excited to continue working with them to carry out this work,” she said.

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Arch Riley Jr.

“I have enjoyed my time serving as interim director at Wheeling Heritage,” said Riley. “As former chairman of Wheeling Heritage’s board, I was happy to step in and guide the organization during the last year.”

“When Jake Dougherty left Wheeling Heritage last summer to attend law school, we were pleased that Arch could step into the executive director position during the subsequent transition period,” said Jeanne Finstein, board chair.

“Arch had served on the Wheeling Heritage board of directors for many years, most recently as board chair, and was very familiar with the organization and its staff and goals. As he hands off the reins, we find that Wheeling Heritage is a strong organization that is perfectly positioned to move forward. We know that Arch will continue his efforts to preserve Wheeling’s rich heritage, given his knowledge and expertise.”

Finstein added that the board of directors is very pleased with the selection of Weld as the executive director.

“Alex knows the organization better than anyone through her current position as director of operations. In her three years with Wheeling Heritage, she has met and interacted with directors of other heritage areas around the country, with state and local legislators, and with other leaders in the Wheeling community. We are confident that she will lead the organization to its full potential,” Finstein said.


Wheeling Heritage is a catalyst for the revitalization of Wheeling. Through historic preservation, community development, and the arts, Wheeling Heritage helps to tell Wheeling’s story and shape its future. Wheeling Heritage seeks to improve the quality of life in Wheeling by preserving and investing in the city, collaborating with others and engaging the citizens of Wheeling in its work. Wheeling Heritage also is the owner of Weelunk.