Wheeling Heritage Director Resigns, New Director Appointed

Wheeling Heritage today announced that Jake Dougherty is resigning as executive director of Wheeling Heritage, effective in mid-August. The board has named Arch Riley, board president, as the organization’s next executive director.

Jake Dougherty

Dougherty, who has served as Wheeling Heritage’s executive director for three years, is leaving the organization to pursue his law degree. During his time as executive director, he has grown the organization and expanded its efforts to enable more revitalization in Wheeling. This includes his work with developers and businesses, the creation of Show of Hands, and his work to increase the West Virginia State Historic Tax Credit.

“It’s difficult to articulate how grateful I am to the Wheeling Heritage board of directors and the community for the support I have had for the past few years,” Dougherty said. “Wheeling Heritage is in a great position to continue to grow and impact the community because it has a tremendous staff that is not only adept at responding to the community’s needs but that is leading the nation in preservation and revitalization initiatives.”

Dougherty’s relationship with Wheeling Heritage dates back to 2009, when he interned at the organization. He said he remembers how proud he was to have that internship, and now, looking back on his time with Wheeling Heritage, he has an incredible sense of pride for the organization and community.

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Arch Riley

“Jake’s attitude, work ethic and willingness to take on tough tasks have made a huge difference in the trajectory of Wheeling Heritage,” said Steve Johnston, vice chair of the Wheeling Heritage board of directors. “He has taken the organization in a new direction, and he has surrounded himself with capable, talented staff along the way.”

After learning of Dougherty’s decision, the board of directors deliberated how best to move forward to maintain Wheeling Heritage’s momentum and growth, Johnston said. The board decided it needed to hire someone with an intimate knowledge of its programs, projects and direction. Upon expressing his interest in the job, Riley recused himself from board matters regarding the search, Johnston said.

“Arch and Jake have worked closely together during many challenging projects, and the board of directors feels confident that Arch is the right choice to continue this organization’s important work,” Johnston said. “Arch’s experience and talent will be integral to the organization going forward.”

Riley has served on the Wheeling Heritage board of directors for more than a decade. He has been chair of the board of directors for the last five years.

“I have cared deeply and have been personally devoted to the success of Wheeling Heritage for many years,” Riley said. “I want to see that success continue into the future and look forward to working with its talented staff to continue to be an important catalyst for revitalization and preservation of Wheeling’s assets.”

He noted that this year marks Wheeling Heritage’s 25th anniversary, and that while the organization has seen tremendous achievements in this time, it is still poised for growth, with many exciting projects in its future.

Read more about Wheeling Heritage’s 25th anniversary tomorrow on Weelunk.