Bonnie Riedesel announced her retirement as Executive Director of the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission. She will retire in March 2024. Bonnie began working as a Regional Planner in 1994 and became Executive Director in 2008.
In her 29 years at the CSPDC, Bonnie was instrumental in creating and collaborating on a number of important regional projects and programs, including Fields of Gold, Virginia’s first farm trail. Working with over 200 farmers and agri-businesses, Fields of Gold marketed the Shenandoah Valley as the premier agritourism destination in the state.
Another program that started during Bonnie’s tenure was Project Impact. For over 20 years, Project Impact worked to educate Valley residents on ways to protect their families, homes, properties and businesses from the impact of severe weather, emergencies, and natural disasters.
In 2014, the CSPDC became the recipient of federal and state transit funds to operate a transit program – the only PDC in the state and one of just a few in the country that owns and operates a public transit system. Under Bonnie’s leadership, the CSPDC branded BRITE Bus creating a robust and well-utilized bus system that helps citizens get to work, school, and medical services. A few years ago, Afton Express was launched, the first commuter bus system that connects residents in the Valley with employers in the Charlottesville area.
Bonnie credits these successful projects and initiatives to her team of professional and dedicated staff, the strong working relationships she has developed with the local governments and support from the CSPDC Commissioners representing the five cities, five counties and 11 towns in the region.
The CSPDC Executive Committee will begin the search for a new Executive Director this month.