0

Justin Strickland clears final hurdle to become EDC president

Economic developer set to remove ‘interim’ tag from his presidential title once the 14-day waiting period is over

Justin Strickland received the “enthusiastic” support of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission board Wednesday to become the EDC’s new president. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

Justin Strickland received the “enthusiastic” support of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission board Wednesday to become the EDC’s new president. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

ALBANY — The process continues — there’s still a 14-day wait period during which inquiries may be made about his qualifications — but Justin Strickland cleared the final hurdle Wednesday that will allow him to remove the “interim” tag from his official title.

The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission board held a special called meeting Wednesday and “enthusiastically” accepted an EDC Presidential Search Committee’s recommendation that Strickland be named the Economic Development Commission’s new president.

“I’m looking forward to continuing my work with the Economic Development Commission in this new role,” Strickland said immediately after the meeting. “I’m excited about the groundswell of momentum in our community, and I hope that the enthusiasm we’re seeing now continues.

“We have a great, engaged board and an incredible staff. I’m looking forward to continuing the work we’re doing.”

EDC Board Chairman Jay Smith presented the recommendation of the Presidential Search Committee to the entire board.

“As a member of that committee, I’d like to — if I may — say that the recommendation that Justin be accepted is a strong recommendation,” Dougherty County Administrator and board member Richard Crowdis said. “The interview with Justin reinforced for me personally that he is the best-qualified candidate for the position.”

Smith said he’s been impressed with the enthusiasm Strickland’s candidacy has generated within the community.

“It’s been amazing, through this entire process I have not heard one negative thing about Justin,” the EDC board chairman said. “All I’ve heard is that we were making a great choice. I feel very good about the way this process has progressed, and I’m looking forward now to going to work with Justin.”

Board member B.J. Fletcher, an Albany city commissioner, offered her personal endorsement of Strickland.

“I watched him at the (recent) Industry Awards, and I don’t believe anyone who was a part of that event can deny the pride Justin has in our community,” Fletcher said.