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25 apply for Harrison County Economic Development Corp. director’s job

by Jim Davis

The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Twenty-five people have applied to become executive director of the Harrison County Economic Development Corp., the agency’s interim board of directors learned Wednesday.

Seven of the applicants are from West Virginia, said Kathy Wagner, the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce president who is providing administrative assistance to the board.

The remaining candidates are from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, New Hampshire, Kansas, Mississippi, Texas and California, Wagner said.

“It was a true nationwide search,” Wagner told the board during its monthly meeting at Clarksburg City Hall.

Board members agreed to meet at 7:30 a.m. June 12 at the Chamber office to review the resumés and whittle down the candidates.

The discussions will take place behind closed doors.

County Economic Development Corp. interim board talks business

The Harrison County Economic Development Corp. interim board of directors discusses organizational matters at Wednesday’s meeting at Clarksburg City Hall.

Phone interviews with the first round of finalists will begin the following week.

The phone interviews need to be completed by June 26, board member Greg Hefner said.

That will give the interim board enough time to compile a list of recommended candidates for new board members to consider when they take office in July, Hefner said.

As for the new board, the annual meeting for appointing the seven permanent members will be July 9.

The meeting will be from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Bridgeport Conference Center, if that can be arranged.

The Economic Development Corp. is taking the place of the Harrison County Development Authority as the county’s primary development engine.

Unlike the Development Authority, the Economic Development Corp. is a private nonprofit that will receive some of its operating budget through contributions from private-sector members.

Businesses and organizations can buy charter memberships at $2,500 per year or regular memberships at $500 per year.

Charter members elect three members on the Economic Development Corp.’s board, while regular members elect two. The Harrison County Commission and Harrison County Mayors’ Association will elect one member each to complete the board’s makeup.

The election process for the board took up much of the discussion at Wednesday’s meeting.

Board members debated whether charter and regular members should elect from their own class or either class.

The bylaws don’t specify that members must select from their own class, board member Randy Light said.

“The most democratic way is for members to vote for anyone, regardless of class,” Light said.

In the end, the board agreed to have one ballot, with charter members electing their three members first. Regular members will then select their two members from the remaining slate of nominees.

The board also:
— Heard an update on membership recruitment from Chairman David Jones.

“As of Friday, we’ve got 14 charter and 15 regular members who have paid $42,500 in cash,” Jones said. “We still have $20,500 committed.

“That gets us really close to $70,000” budgeted for the organization, Jones added. “We’ve still got a bit of work to do there.”

— Agreed to help sponsor the West Virginia Economic Development Authority’s annual fall conference at the Bridgeport Conference Center.

The board voted to contribute $2,500.

The Harrison County Development Authority last week voted to match whatever the Economic Development Corp. contributes.

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