Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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Final Stages Of Finding Chamber Leader

The Cookeville Putnam County Chamber Of Commerce appears closer to naming a new CEO.

Search Committee Chairman Phillip Baker said the committee has been hard at work to find the best nominee.

“The committee is in the process of meeting with our finalists,” Baker said. “Through that process, we will identify final candidates who will meet with our board of directors at the chamber, and also meet with our community’s stakeholders.”

The search process has been disrupted by COVID-19 concerns but not postponed. Baker said the committee has taken safety precautions by conducting phone and video interviews.

“Based on the situation as it currently stands today, it’s difficult,” Baker said. “Our posture is we want to be respectful of public health and of everyone’s awareness of the coronavirus issue.”

The new CEO will replace George Halford, who announced his retirement last February. The Chamber re-started its process after not being able to come together on a finalist in its first search last year.

Key factors Baker and the committee have considered include someone who can build on the success the community has experienced, maintaining the economic partnership between surrounding counties, and someone with a regional view.

“We’re looking for someone who can lead us and has the leadership experience to take us to the next level to leverage those key partnerships for future success for our community and for our region,” Baker said.

Baker said he and the committee hope to publicly complete the final stages in the next few weeks.

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