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Chamber moves forward with search for president

By Billy Corriher

More than 20 persons have applied to be the next Clayton County Chamber of Commerce president.

The search committee met on Thursday to discuss applicants.

Pete Meadows, chairman of the chamber's board of directors, said the committee received "a number of good candidates."

Meadows did not want to discuss how many applicants the committee wants to keep for interviews.

"We wanted to keep this in-house until we could narrow down the list," he said.

But Meadows said the search committee is looking for a candidate with strong organizational and communication skills among other qualities.

"One of the main things we're looking for are leadership skills," he said.

The chamber stopped receiving applications on Dec. 31, after attracting candidates from around the country as well as local applicants.

The chamber's president position has been vacant since former president Shane Moody left in November to lead the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce in Florida.

Moody said in a phone interview on Thursday the kind of leader a chamber of commerce needs depends on the community where he or she is working.

"(In Clayton County) you need somebody who is a patient person, somebody who understands that Clayton County is just a small piece of a much larger metropolitan pie," he said. "There's a lot of external factors that affect the chamber's performance."

Moody said the county needs a chamber president who is "membership-oriented."

Originally, Meadows wanted the chamber to have a president by March, but now he said it could take longer.

"We're not set on (a March deadline)," he said. "We're set on finding a good candidate."

Meadows said the committee is willing to extend the search through May or June, if that's how long it takes.

"We want to do a thorough job of looking at each and every candidate," he said. "It's still early in our search."