EDC Presidential Search Committee votes to recommend Justin Strickland

The lone candidate went through the interview process Tuesday morning

ALBANY — The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission Presidential Search Committee met in executive session Tuesday morning to interview the lone candidate for the EDC president’s job.

The committee obviously liked what it heard.

EDC Chairman Jay Smith said Tuesday afternoon the committee voted to recommend that Justin Strickland, who has served as interim president since former top official Ted Clem left in February, be named as the permanent EDC president.

Smith said he will call a special meeting for the board to vote on the Search Committee’s recommendation.

“We interviewed Justin in detail this morning and heard what we wanted to hear,” Smith said. “After the interview, the committee voted to recommend that Justin be our new president. We’ll present that recommendation to the full board as soon as I can call a special meeting.”

A University of Georgia graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an emphasis in marketing, Strickland is one of a handful of state economic developers who earned Certified Economic Developer designation from the International Economic Development Council. He served as a marketing officer with Community Capital Bancshares from 2003 to 2007 before taking a position with the EDC.

Strickland was promoted to vice president for business development before being named interim president of the EDC.

Consultant Charlie Gatlin had approached 16 economic developers who met the candidate profile sought by the EDC in its presidential search, but he said 13 of them told him “thanks, but no thanks,” with several citing Strickland’s position as a “very strong local candidate.” In the week before candidate interviews were to be scheduled for the remaining three, one candidate dropped out rather than have his name revealed, and the other — David Jenkins — accepted another position.

The Search Committee voted to continue the process with Strickland as the lone candidate.