By Marisa Patwa
After a summer sabbatical without a director, Historic Newburgh Inc. has finally found the right person for the job.
Troy Wells, 51, is officially taking over the position from acting director, Barbara Zellerino, who stepped in after former director Ashley Nanninga resigned in the spring to focus on her family.
Before Nanninga, Cris Fulford, Helen Zimmerman and Carol Schaefer have all held the position since 2016.
Wells is well-versed in the area, having lived in Newburgh for 19 years, the past 10 of which have been in downtown Newburgh.
"I live in the heart of Newburgh," he said. "I live in a really old home that was built 185 years ago."
Wells said his passion for historic projects led him to become a ten year member of Newburgh's Historic Preservation Commission.
"I've been on the board for the last 10 years," he said. "We're in charge of making sure if you own a property in the historic district that you maintain the property properly."
If anyone with a historic home needs to do any type of remodel, they need to come before the HPC to get approval, although Wells said they are a pretty relaxed commission.
"We just recently expanded the historic district, so it's a lot of education for people to suddenly understand their house is a historic house when they never thought it was a historic house," he said. "It's a way to keep the integrity of this little town."
Before taking the HNI job, Wells worked as a retail district manager for 30 years.
"I traveled all over the United States," he said. "I love the company I worked for."
Wells said he is very personable and already well known in Newburgh, which makes him a great fit for the HNI director role.
0Wells said he wants to dip his feet into his new position before he starts working on future plans for HNI, but said he does have one main goal as director:
"I want HNI to be the first thing you think of when you come to Newburgh," he said.