Drive-by parade surprises retiring economic developer

Don Alexander's surprise retirement parade

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It was a surprise weeks in the making. The Jefferson County Economic Development Agency hosted a drive-by retirement parade Thursday for departing CEO Don Alexander.

When Alexander saw the line of cars outside the Hilton Garden Inn, his first reaction was:

“I was blown away. It’s been a lot of years and the one thing you learn is this is such a wonderful community,”

Alexander is set to retire after 40 years of working in Jefferson County. Before taking over at Economic Development 16 years ago, Alexander worked in the radio industry for several years.

What do the two have in common? Alexander says it’s the people he has worked alongside.

“I just want to maintain the relationships that I’ve had in my career,” he said. “It’s been more than I can ever have hoped for, more than I could ever have dreamed.”

Well-wishers had signs posted on their cars and handed over gifts to congratulate Alexander on a great career, something he attributes to the community.

It’s a great place,” he said. “We owe it a lot. All of us owe this community a lot. I hope everyone continues to give it as much as they have given to me.”

Alexander still has two weeks left, but he says he is going to stay here in Jefferson County to enjoy more of the place that is near and dear to his heart.

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