David E. Rotenizer has been named by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History as the new site manager at the Grave Creek Mound Archeological Complex in Moundsville.
He replaces Susan Yoho, who retired last December.
Rotenizer comes from Hillsville, Va., having served as a field archaeologist with a civil and environmental engineering firm in Leesburg and Fairfax, Va. Prior to that, he managed the revitalization projects and several community development projects. In addition, he was involved with several regional and statewide cultural heritage tourism programs and historical museums in southwestern Virginia.
He has been involved with archaeology for more than 30 years and has nearly 15 years of full-time archaeology and historic preservation experience in Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. He has a bachelor's degree with a concentration in Appalachian heritage resources from Radford University and has completed additional coursework at the University of Kentucky in Appalachian studies and anthropology.
Division of Culture and History Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, in making the announcement, said, "David's background in archaeological public outreach, historic preservation, tourism and years of study for national tourism certification will serve the Division of Culture and History and Grave Creek Mound well as he moves into his new role. I'm very pleased to have someone with David's focus and confidence as our new site manager."
Rotenizer has been in his new position for the past two weeks, getting familiar with the facility.
"I'm very impressed with the area. I've found the staff here to be incredible. They are very dedicated professionals. I really enjoy watching the people going up and down the mound," he said.
"When I first applied for the job it sounded like a dream job. When I saw the job description, it was like all my loves in one. I'm proud to be here," Rotenizer added.
He also expressed his desire to use the facility to expand tourism and economic development.
"It's a facility to be proud of, and it's free. We want people to visit and keep coming back," he said. "I'm a real strong advocate of using tourism as a form of economic development. We're just part of the mix to bring people here. I want to get the word out what we're doing here and what we have available."