Zach Bankert

Longtime director Glenn Irwin retiring March 31

As longtime Ocean City Development Corporation Executive Director Glenn Irwin prepares for retirement at the end of the month, his replacement has already hit the ground running.

Zach Bankert, a Wicomico County Realtor and real estate investor, made his public debut as head of the downtown organization at a City Council work session Tuesday.

“Through an extensive process through our search committee over the last couple of months, we honed it down and made a hire to replace the irreplaceable Glenn,” Kevin Gibbs, OCDC board president, said of Bankert while introducing him to council members Tuesday.

“As I told Zach, he has an incredible amount of shoes to fill in terms of the 20-plus years that Glenn invested his time, energy into the special events, the development and all the different grant programs across the board,” Gibbs continued. “But we feel as the board we made a great selection in handing over this responsibility to Zach.”

A native of Salisbury, Bankert focused primarily on affordable and student housing, as well as residential property management and remodeling before heading east to oversee OCDC.

According to a news release, members of the OCDC board, who did a nationwide search for a replacement for Irwin, chose Bankert because of his real estate background. They believe the experience will translate smoothly into continuing OCDC’s facade improvement and green building initiative programs and help address the town’s pressing workforce housing shortage.

Bankert has small business experience and is the former owner and operator of a motorcycle and scooter shop and a lead paint inspection business. He also co-owns Bankert Rentals, which invests in residential rentals and flips, primarily in Wicomico County.

Bankert’s background also includes volunteering for community event and public arts organizations in both Wicomico and Worcester counties. The experience will help him organize OCDC events and public art projects.

Bankert graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a degree in English and political science and is a past winner of the Salisbury University Perdue School of Business Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery Contest.

He did not speak publicly during Tuesday’s work session but joined Gibbs and Irwin as they presented OCDC’s annual report.

Irwin’s last day with the organization is March 31, and over the next few weeks he will help Bankert transition into the executive director position.

Gibbs said he would have liked a longer onboarding process, but he pointed out that Irwin is staying around town, thus he will not be far if he is needed for questions and advice during his retirement.

This story appears in the March 17, 2023 print edition of the OC Today.

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