MOUNT VERNON — Although it might not look like it from a distance, the search for a new executive director of the Mount Vernon-Knox County Chamber of Commerce is moving along.
Dr. Keith Newman, chairman of the Mount Vernon-Knox County Chamber of Commerce Board, said the board has voted to do a couple of things.
“The first thing is we hired Andrea Hayes full time,” he said. “Andrea was working as a part-time temporary employee. We voted to hire her full time with a new title. Andrea is our member services specialist. We really have put the search for an executive director on hold for now. We really want to operate the next six months with Carol (Blubaugh) and Andrea in some very defined roles.”
Newman said that approach will allow the board several different avenues to explore in its search.
“It allows us to see what happens with the economy,” he explained. “It’s a little bit of a conservative approach on our part. And we did not find who we were looking for when we did the search. I think the committee was very committed to not hiring just to hire. We feel Mount Vernon-Knox County deserves very strong leadership. And we really wanted to honor what Carol and Andrea have done. They’ve done a great job during these six months that we’ve been without a director.”
Newman said, essentially the board will re-evaluate reopening the search this summer. They will also take into account the job being done by Blubaugh and Hayes to that point.
“Perhaps we will even assess the work Carol and Andrea are doing,” he said. “Maybe things will be going so well that we could have a different management model than what is traditional.”
The board had more than 80 applicants for the job. The board narrowed it down to about 12 or 13 with whom they did telephone interviews. Some were from out of the area and others were local applicants.
“I don’t want to disparage anybody who we looked at because many of them were local,” Newman explained. “And there were some great people in the process. But we really didn’t find what we were looking for in the complete package.”
Newman also posed the possibility that there might be a perfect candidate out there who might become available due to the current economic downturn.
“Now I certainly don’t wish for anybody to lose their job,” Newman explained. “But we feel like every day there are quality people that get released and that might open a door for us. But if we can find someone local and loves the area we will look at them. We didn’t find that one person that was a complete package so we decided we were going to be patient.”