Snook replaces Phoebus in CHIEF position

September 09, 2011|By ANDREW SCHOTZ |
  • Former Washington County commission president is now president of Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

Richard W. Phoebus Sr. expected to leave Hagerstown for Florida by the end of September, but his plans accelerated.

He and his wife, Dale, put their house on the market in the spring and figured it would take from six to 12 months for it to sell. Their luck was better; they sold their home to the first person who looked at it.

With that major piece of business in order, Phoebus was free to step down early from his position as president and chief executive officer of the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation, known as CHIEF.

Gregory I. Snook, a former Washington County commissioner, took over for Phoebus late last month.

Snook had been serving on the CHIEF board. Phoebus called him "a very natural choice" to take over.

CHIEF is a nonprofit business-development organization based in downtown Hagerstown.

Its main focus now is the development of the Mount Aetna Farms land it purchased in June. The plan is to turn that property, near Hagerstown Community College, into a business park for biotechnology and other high-tech companies.

A priority in advancing the Mount Aetna Farms project is extending Yale Drive from Medical Campus Road to HCC's Scholar Drive.

Snook has worked with Phoebus over the last few months to learn the administrative part of the CHIEF position.

"I'm looking forward to the next challenge," Snook said Tuesday.

Phoebus also had to give up his positions with the Hagerstown Neighborhood Development Partnership and the community college board of trustees.

Richard and Dale Phoebus grew up in Baltimore and lived in Hagerstown for 31 years. They consider Hagerstown their home and will miss it, Richard Phoebus said.

He said he and his wife consider retirement "just a new phase of our life."

They will live at The Villages, a large retirement community about an hour north of Orlando.

Richard Phoebus said he knows of at least five couples from Hagerstown living there.

The Phoebuses plan to spend more time on two favorite activities — playing golf and traveling. They visit family in Hong Kong every year.

Phoebus, a pilot, also gave up the six-passenger Piper Lance he used to fly while living in Hagerstown, but has a new plane in mind. He plans to build a two-passenger light sport aircraft from a kit, which he figures will take about three months.

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