The deputy director for ODOT District 1 is leaving Lima and heading for Columbus.
Kirk Slusher has been appointed as the new assistant director for the Ohio Department of Transportation statewide. Slusher will oversee the deputy directors for all 12 ODOT, as well as, the operations of the Columbus office. Slusher has served as deputy director of District 1 for the past eight years.
Chris Hughes from Van Wert County will take over as the new deputy director at the Lima office on April 15th.
Press Release from the Ohio Department of Transportation
LIMA (April 5, 2019) – A change in leadership is occurring at the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) both in Columbus and at the local District 1 headquarters in Lima.
Kirk Slusher of Lima has accepted the position as Assistant Director of Field Operations for ODOT in Columbus. As an assistant director, Slusher will oversee the district deputy directors in each of the state’s 12 transportation districts, and will oversee the central office divisions of operations, information technology, facilities and equipment management.
Slusher has served as deputy director for ODOT District 1 since 2011. His new appointment becomes effective April 15.
He will serve under ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks, Ph.D., and alongside assistant directors Lloyd Macadam and Pamela Vest-Boratyn.
“I’ve been honored over the past eight years to lead a group of employees that is so dedicated to serving the citizens of our eight-county region,” said Slusher. “I’m ready to take what I’ve learned over my 33 years and lead at the statewide level.”
Replacing Slusher as deputy director at the Lima office is Chris Hughes of Van Wert. He will officially assume the role on April 15.
As deputy director, Hughes will direct all aspects of the district which is responsible for the maintenance of 3,300 lane miles of state and federal highways and over 800 bridges. The district encompasses an eight-county region in northwest Ohio with 320 full-time employees, a $39 million annual operating budget and a $40 million capital program budget.
ODOT District 1 serves the northwest Ohio counties of Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot.
“This is an exciting and challenging time for ODOT and I look forward to facing those challenges and being part of the solution. I will give my best to the position, our employees and to the public we serve,” said Hughes.
Slusher, who is originally from Antwerp, graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1986 with a bachelor of science in civil engineering. Immediately following graduation, Slusher began working for ODOT in District 1 as a design engineer. He worked in design, planning and construction and served as planning administrator prior to being named deputy director.
As deputy director, Slusher created and executed a plan which consolidated several district work units at the Lima district headquarters into one campus setting. The result was greater efficiency, improved facilities and increased convenience for employees and equipment access.
He expanded a job shadowing program which allows employees to experience other careers within ODOT. The program provides a good basis for opportunity and succession planning as employees leave the agency.
The diversity of the workforce was increased in the district during Slusher’s tenure. He established an apprenticeship program, designed to reach an audience which otherwise may not have considered highway work as a career. Since 2014, more than 60 individuals have been hired into the program and of those, over 20 became full-time employees.
He currently serves as co-chair of funding council, a statewide body which guides major funding decisions for the agency, and served as a founding member of technology council, a statewide body which receives and prioritizes technology projects.
Hughes graduated from The Ohio State University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and began working for ODOT the same year as an engineer in training. He then worked as a field engineer in construction overseeing a portion of the Fort to Port projects, which realigned and expanded U.S. 24 between Fort Wayne, Ind., and Toledo, Ohio. More recently, he served as project engineer during the first year of the current $114 million widening and reconstruction project on Interstate 75 through Hancock County and the city of Findlay.
Prior to being appointed deputy director, Hughes served as the district’s capital programs administrator overseeing a program of approximately $40 million and a staff of 64 employees in the construction, and planning and engineering areas.