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Economic Development Commission approves presidential search committee, consultant

Group to begin work immediately to find replacement for former EDC President Ted Clem

The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission held a special called meeting Friday morning to decide on a plan to fill the EDC’s vacant president’s position. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission held a special called meeting Friday morning to decide on a plan to fill the EDC’s vacant president’s position. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

ALBANY — The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission approved a process, search committee and consultant to conduct a search for the EDC’s new president during a special called meeting Friday morning.

EDC Board Chairman Jay Smith had headed a committee formed to determine the best procedure for finding former EDC President Ted Clem’s replacement after Clem resigned at the end of January to take a position with the Alabama state government. EDC Vice President Justin Strickland is serving as interim president while the search is conducted.

“We don’t want to draw this out,” Smith said. “We don’t want to make a career of finding our next president.”

Smith offered no time frame for the search committee to complete its work, but there was optimistic buzz that the job could be completed as early as May or June.

“We will proceed with haste but with caution,” Smith said after the EDC approved the process.

Smith said the procedure committee, which comprised himself, City Manager James Taylor, outgoing Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Cynthia George and County Administrator Richard Crowdis, had suggested a smaller search committee with guidance from an outside consultant. The EDC board overwhelmingly applauded the proposal by former Albany resident Charles Gatlin of Gatlin Economic Development Services LLC and unanimously voted to hire him to lead the search.

In addition to his knowledge of the community, Gatlin submitted a fee proposal of $4,000 plus search-related expenses approved by the selection committee, considerably less than five other proposals submitted to the EDC.

“The other fees generally ran at about $30,000 and above,” Crowdis said.

The board initially voted to limit the size of the search committee to seven members, then approved the procedure committee’s recommendation for membership: Taylor, Crowdis, Smith and George, as well as Anthony Parker from the education community, the Rev. Daniel Simmons from the faith-based community and banker Len Dorminey from the financial community.

Smith said after the meeting the search committee would begin its work with Gatlin as soon as possible.