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Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce and acting director for the Barren County Economic Authority, center, delivers his report during Friday's regular BCEA meeting. Continuing clockwise are Melissa Jessup, administrative assistant from the Bowling Green area chamber (partially blocked), authority members Jim Lee and Gary Hartell, authority attorney Rich Alexander, and authority members Carl Dickerson and David Peterson, the latter of which is chairman.

GLASGOW – The search for a new executive director for the Barren County Economic Authority may wrap up by the end of next month. That's the goal, at least.

Larry D. Glass, chair of the search committee for a new director, which is working with an independent search firm, The Pace Group, provided a progress report on that effort at the BCEA's regular meeting Friday morning.

“A lot is starting to take place in a hurry now,” he said. “They have talked to many, many different potential candidates. I have been discussing it with them all along. They communicate really well. I'm probably having three or four discussions a week with them, emails, text messages …. I asked them originally to, instead of sending us eight-10 candidates, to bring it down to three. 'OK, when you get it down to your top three, then we would like to start the interview process.' Long story short, they can only get it down to four. They feel like they have four at this point that we really need to interview. As of today, we are scheduled to start those interviews a week from today, on the 18th.”

Glass added later that he had learned late Thursday afternoon that two of the candidates couldn't be available on the 18th, so they are working on scheduling an alternative date for them.

He said he expects confirmation on the plan by Tuesday, and he also expects that day to receive the resumes and other information, like personality test results and stakeholder questionnaire answers, compiled for those finalists.

“I will send that out to all of the search committee as as soon as I receive that so everyone can start reviewing that,” he said.

Glass said he has also asked the new chairman, David Peterson, and vice-chairman, Gary Hartell, to be involved with the search committee through the rest of its process.

“I think that would include everybody that needs to be included. You have a city of Cave City representative, a city of Glasgow representative and, of course, Carl [Dickerson]'s on the search committee already, and he would representing the county,” he said. “As far as a timeline from this point moving forward, I have told them all along that we really would like to wrap this up sometime between the first of November and the middle of November, and at this point I see no reason why we can't do that.”

He said one thing that could push that back, though, is if the committee decides it wants to bring the candidates back for additional interviews.

Hartell asked whether relocation would be necessary with all four, because that could affect the timeline, and Glass said he wouldn't know that until he gets the information on the finalists Tuesday, but he added that he has told The Pace Group, believing the committee members agree, that “we expect that whoever we hire to be living in Barren County [once hired].”

Meanwhile, Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, has been acting as director, as he and his team have been contracted to handle the work of the authority and provide some additional consultation and marketing work in the interim.

Other business at the meeting included:

• Jeff Carter, a certified public accountant with Taylor, Polson & Co., provided an overview of an audit report performed for the authority. He said the financial statement presented fairly, in all material aspects, the respective financial positions of the authority, adding that is an “unqualified, clean opinion” on that. He said the net position and total assets decreased by about $30,000.

• Bunch said the request for proposals for auditing services yielded one qualified bidder, which was Taylor, Polson & Co., and it proposed the same price as the previous year. With six of the seven members present, the authority voted unanimously to rehire the company.

• The authority had also done a request for proposals on which bank to use as its depository, and Bunch said four had been received.

“Of the top two proposals, essentially, South Central Bank when you looked at it overall …, the current bank [SCB] ended up being the recommendation. The only different was the interest-rate offer was slightly less, but in reality, the other rate that was offered by the other bank was a variable rate.”

Peterson asked who the others were; Bunch listed Edmonton State, German-Amercian and Limestone banks.

• For the executive director's report, Bunch began by relaying a report Judge-Executive Micheal Hale had sent because he couldn't be there, mostly listing some upcoming workforce development activities, such as high school seniors' tours of 10 local industries on Oct. 17-18. Bunch also reported on progress with the effort to renew funding for the regional Small Business Development Center and some general housekeeping-type items.

• Bunch reported that he and Zach Cook, a project manager for the Bowling Green Area chamber, have been continuing to meet with existing companies here to assess needs, and those are going well. They have also been compiling real property listings here to have an updated and more accurate picture of what's available, including two that Cook noted in particular, in their database.

“In our business, when you're talking about attraction …,” Bunch said. “Seven of 10 clients are typically looking for a building, so the fact you have a few available buildings here is great.”

• Peterson said there had been some question before about whether they wanted to keep the same committee structure, and he decided to go ahead and appoint people to the three standing committees – personnel, property and finance – and ask them to evaluate what should happen to them.

• The authority's board of directors also went in closed session for discussion property matters, proposed or pending litigation and specific proposal(s).

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