Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins says four finalists emerged in his organizationâ€™s search for a vice president charged with representing Oktibbeha County in economic development efforts.
Candidate interviews, he said, begin after Christmas and will continue a week into the new year. Higgins said he targets Jan. 15 as a hiring date and March 1 as a starting date.
Higgins would not release specific details about the candidates but did say some of the four candidates have Oktibbeha County ties.
Jorgenson Consulting, a recruitment firm with offices in California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland and North Carolina, worked with the LINK to identify candidates for the new position created when Oktibbeha County governing boards and economic development entities contracted with the LINK for future development initiatives in October.
The position, formally listed as vice president of the LINK/Starkville-Oktibbeha on the firmâ€™s website, sought candidates that will solicit industries for the county, develop expansion and retention opportunities, work with state and regional economic development agencies and serve as a project manager to ensure client needs are met during all stages of business attraction. The future vice president will work closely with Higgins and the LINK for the organizationâ€™s tri-county development goals.
In November, the LINK announced Greater Starkville Development Partnership Board President Steve Langston and Coldwell Banker Associate Broker Michelle Amos will represent Oktibbeha County interests on the groupâ€™s executive board. Along with Langston and Amos, Cadence Bank CAO Mark Abernathy and retired businessperson Zelma Talley will serve on the LINKâ€™s Board of Directors.
Prior to the LINK announcement, its bylaws were amended to allow expansion of both boards. The group also approved a $1.64 million operating budget. Of that total, $350,000 was committed from Oktibbeha and Clay counties each, while Lowndes County committed $943,150. Almost $1 million is budgeted for personnel expenses, while almost $700,000 is set aside for programs, overhead and special expenses.