Second retirement ends Lucking’s 40 years in public service

Longtime public servant Mike Lucking is retiring — again.

Lucking stepped down Friday as West Carrollton’s director of economic development, capping a 40-year career in public service.

West Carrollton officials say Lucking’s contributions have left “a significant mark” on the economic landscape of the city and the greater Miami Valley region.

“Mike Lucking’s name and economic development efforts have become evermore associated with the city of West Carrollton’s future,” West Carrollton Mayor Rick Barnhart said in a release. “For over eight years we’ve counted on Mike for not only his skillful touch in the area of economic development, but also for his wisdom and experience in the public sector.”

Lucking, 69, began his public career in Montgomery County, then worked for the U.S. Air Force and the city of Dayton as its acting development manager of economic development. He went on to work for Trotwood for 17 years, 10 as its city manager, before retiring for the first time in 2015.

Later that year, Lucking joined West Carrollton part-time under then-City Manager Brad Townsend, who talked Lucking out of retirement to come to the city.

Townsend said Lucking’s “dedication and strategic foresight have been invaluable to West Carrollton’s economic development.”

“He’s known for his economic development prowess and has been a significant asset to help pave the way for substantial growth in our community,” Townsend said.

Lucking, during his time with the city, was instrumental in several “transformative” projects, West Carrollton officials said.

“His notable achievements include crafting the development package that attracted NuVasive’s $45 million investment in an advanced manufacturing plant, a landmark project that significantly bolstered the local economy,” the city said in a release.

Additionally, Lucking negotiated the establishment of Misumi’s (Dayton Progress) North American warehouse facility, introducing RFID technology to enhance operational efficiency to West Carrollton’s industrial base.

His vision extended to the redevelopment of the Miami Valley Sand site, in which he led the effort to transition the land from a former paper production area to the indoor/outdoor volleyball facility that opened in 2020.

West Carrollton officials also said Lucking played “a crucial role” in laying the groundwork for the upcoming whitewater park and River District development, which they said “promises to redefine the landscape and future of West Carrollton.”

“Mike has done a tremendous job for the city,” West Carrollton City Manager Amber Holloway said in a release. “He has done so much to prepare us for the future, not only as economic development director, but as a relationship steward for the community.”

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