The Executive Director of Belmont County Tourism, "Doc" Householder, has officially retired effective April 15, 2017. Belmont County Tourism was established in 1983. Doc was the first President of the Board of Directors. In 1989 Doc resigned from the board to fill the position of Executive Director. Doc's effort to promote events, festivals,and historic landmarks throughout Belmont County is no secret. Needless to say, Doc Householder is a "household" name in Belmont County and the tourism industry.

Householder announced his retirement at the Barnesville Area Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday, April 12.

"I can honestly say that the tourism board and the board of commissioners, and the communities of Belmont County appreciate Doc's 28 year of service as the Executive Director of Belmont County Tourism," Interim Director Barb Ballint said. She said an event to honor Household for his years of service is being planned.

"I just think it's very appropriate for Doc to announce his retirement here in a community that he loves so much, and that I know loves him so much," Ballint said.

Doc has managed the expanding budget of the Tourism Council, which is funded through a 3% lodging tax. These funds have been distributed throughout the county to communities and nonprofit organizations seeking to promote tourism in Belmont County. Doc played an important role in creating the Belmont County Sheriff's Residence Museum which in now opened to the public. He is also active with the Walton Retirement Home, Barnesville Kiwanis, Barnesville and St. Clairsville Chamber of Commerce, and the First Presbyterian Church of Barnesville.

Doc is a resident of Barnesville Ohio, where he once owned and operated the Western Auto Store purchased in 1972, and the Householder Furniture Store, established in 1974. He is also well known for being instrumental in building the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival into one of the major tourist attractions in Belmont County. He was one of the original founders of this festival, first held in 1968, which continues to grow and expand each year.

Ballint said, "Doc will be missed. To many, he is Belmont County Tourism. It's impossible to list everything Doc has contributed to the communities of Belmont County. It's been my pleasure and honor to have worked with Doc over the past several years. His service and dedication as the Executive Director is greatly appreciated by the staff and Board of Directors of Belmont County Tourism Council, Inc. We wish this retirement brings Doc happiness and good health."