Lashonda Fitch is slated to become the new executive director of Oak Ridge Cemetery when Michael Lelys retires in October. Her appointment by Mayor Jim Langfelder is still subject to approval by the city council, but she started work on Sept. 3, training under the current director.

Fitch said she already worked closely with the city’s Office of Planning and Economic Development through her role as a small business counselor for Justine Peterson, which provides micro-loans to businesses and individuals. Fitch is also currently a licensed realtor with Keller Williams Capital.

“Mayor Langfelder approached me about the opening,” she said. “He really valued my outreach and being involved in the community; every time he’s at an event, he’s seeing me there as well.”

Fitch explained that she was initially surprised when the mayor brought up the idea, but after giving it some thought, she said, “I decided to move forward. I do have a sense of compassion and working with others who have been in hard times.”

She also felt that her background in both business development and banking would serve her well in managing the cemetery’s business matters.

“I’m open to new things, and I feel comfortable taking on a challenge.”