2019 | Business

Economic Development Agency Hires Outside Firm To Aid in CEO Search

Process expected to take up to four months

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The county’s public-private economic development office has hired an outside recruiter help find its next CEO.

The Montgomery County Economic Development Corp. is using Greensboro, North Carolina-based Jorgenson Consulting Inc. to conduct a national search to replace David Petr, who is leaving in September.

Todd Jorgenson, the firm’s owner, said the search process is “in the early stages,” which means they have begun to receive applicants and have also begun recruitment efforts.

“We utilize our network of contacts throughout the country who could also be good candidates,” he said. “You have to be really proactive when you recruit today.”

The MCEDC CEO is responsible for developing a strategy for business recruitment, helping craft the county’s business brand and fostering relationships with government officials, among other duties. MCEDC officials would not give the specific salary for the position, saying it is based on experience.

Six members of the MCEDC advisory board will be on a screening committee, which will assist in the search.

Jorgenson’s firm recently was involved in the hiring of Stephen Moret, the president and CEO of the Richmond-based Virginia Economic Development Partnership, an agency created by the commonwealth’s legislature 24 years ago to increase business development.

Jorgenson said he expects the search to last between three and four months, with multiple rounds of interviews with the firm, and then two rounds of interviews between the finalists and the MCEDC search committee.

“We would like someone identified ideally by September,” said MCEDC Chief Operating Officer Bill Tompkins. “Whether the person is identified and is on board is another question.”

Neither Tompkins nor Jorgenson would discuss the cost or the terms of the contract.

The MCDEC, formed in 2015 to replace the county government’s economic development department, has an annual budget of $5.4 million, more than 90% of which comes from the county. The agency has 18 employees.

 Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com