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Chamber CEO search on pause

It could be until the middle of spring before a full-time CEO is named to the LaGrange-Troup Chamber of Commerce, according to Transition Committee Chairman Dale Jackson.

“We are trying to extremely prudent and not rush the situation,” Jackson said.

A job posting on the chamber’s website was up 30 days and has been removed from the site. Jackson said the committee asked for the posting to be up for that timeframe, which has since expired. He said the committee received more than 70 applications.

Part of the reason for the delay on the executive director position is due to timing. Jackson said the chamber was in the midst of implementing its TRC program, which is a program where the chamber sells its sponsorships for the next year.

“We felt that was going to be too much of distraction to host interviews and make that decision while trying to sell sponsorships for the next year,” Jackson said.

In addition, Jackson said Speer Burdette, who oversees the chamber’s financial situation, has been extra cautious about the financial future of the chamber. Jackson said the chamber doesn’t want to overcommit funds to a new CEO but also wants to offer a competitive salary to entice the best candidates.

“We have a few more questions that we want to iron out as far as personal finances,” Jackson said.

However, the job is not going to be reposted, as Jackson said the chamber has received qualified applicants. Once the chamber figures out how much it can spend on a CEO, the process will move forward. Jackson said he expects progress in about March or April.

Jackson said part of the reason the chamber can afford to wait is because of the job interim CEO Kathy Tilley has done in recent months.

Tilley was named interim CEO for the chamber in July after Page Estes resigned after 10 years on the job.

“Part of what has given us the ability to do this the way we have is because Kathy has done a fantastic job,” Jackson said. “She has done everything we have asked of her.”