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The Hardin County Commissioners were invited to take part in the selection of the new executive president of the Chamber and Business Alliance, but declined the offer.
“We have never gotten into the operations side of the Alliance,” said Commissioner Ed Elliott.
Because the Alliance receives revenue from the county conveyance tax, said Matt Jennings, board member, the board was extending the offer to the commissioners.
He gave an update on the process underway to replace Barb Wingfield as the executive president. Wingfield announced her resignation earlier this year, said board member Tom Myers.
There were 12 to 15 applicants for the job, said Jennings, and those candidates have been narrowed to two. The Alliance expects to make an offer to one of those individuals yet this week, said Jennings.
“They are two very strong candidates,” he told the commissioners. “They are similar in vision, but two completely different individuals.”
Both candidates are long-term residents of the county, said Jennings.
“Both have been here for the long haul,” he said.
The new president will be hired as a full-time employee, continued Jennings. Wingfield had served in the office for five years at no charge to the Alliance, he said.
“Mrs. Wingfield saved us a lot of money over the past five years,” said Jennings.
With Wingfield’s announcement, said Jennings, Economic Development Director John Hohn also announced he would be stepping down to spend more time with his family in the near future, said Jennings. The new president will be trained to cover that portion of the agency’s services in the future, he said.
“There is going to be a tremendous learning curve,” said Jennings, “but we are positive the transition will go smoothly. This will be a longer-term strategy than what we have now … Now we have to roll up our sleeves and do all the things we need to do to make this work. With a full-time person, we expect things to maintain and grow if they can.”
An offer is expected to be made and the process could be completed yet this week, said Jennings.
By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer