Cape area economic development agency postpones director search

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The search for a new executive director for the area's economic development agency, Cape Girardeau Area Magnet, has been postponed.

After an extensive search, the Magnet board of directors and the search committee it appointed determined that neither of the two finalist candidates meet the qualifications for the position.

"We chose not to hire anybody rather than hire somebody that wasn't suitable," said Danny Essner, vice president at Capaha Bank, who was appointed chairman of the executive director search effort.

Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO John Mehner will continue to serve as interim director.

Essner said that while he is disappointed, the committee felt like it had the "luxury of time" to delay the search because Mehner and Janice Voss, Magnet's executive assistant, were handling the daily operations of the not-for-profit organization.

"During this time, we will examine our mission, direction and budget," said Magnet board chairman and Cape Girardeau Mayor Harry Rediger.

Rediger said the board will take the next six months to do some strategic planning, including looking at how the organization is structured. Current financial supporters of Magnet are Cape Girardeau County government, the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce and the municipal governments of Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Scott City.

After advertising the position both locally and nationally, phone interviews were conducted with five candidates and two finalists were interviewed in person in Cape Girardeau, Essner said.

According to the advertisement, ideal candidates will have been involved in strategic planning, actively marketing the area they work in to new businesses, involved in seeking prospects, and have a track record of collaborating with regional and state agencies.

Former Magnet executive director Mitch Robinson left in April to become executive director of the Hopkinsville-Christian County Economic Development Council in Hopkinsville, Ky.

The Magnet board voted at its December meeting not to renew Robinson's annual contract.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

1267 N Mount Auburn Road, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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