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JEDCO restarts executive search

METAIRIE — It’s back to the drawing board for Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission’s executive search committee.

The same panel of political appointees that chose Brian Freese to be JEDCO’s executive director last November will be responsible for selecting his replacement starting next month. Freese resigned his post after only six months on the job, saying the position was not a good fit.

The Jupiter-Fla.-based headhunting firm of Joan Jorgenson Consulting that recommended Freese will once again advise the committee on candidates. The firm was paid $50,000 for the initial search. Under the language of the original contract, the company is responsible for aiding in additional searches if the original choice for whatever reason did not work out, said search committee chairman and JEDCO board member Ric Smith. Jorgenson’s firm is not being paid any additional money for the new search, he said, though JEDCO will have to pay to bring finalist candidates to the area for in-person interviews.

Smith said, as of today, the agency has received 31 applications for the position. Those applications are being forwarded to Jorgenson’s firm. There is a tentative application deadline of Aug. 31, but he said applications will likely still be considered beyond that point. The 23-member search committee will formally reconvene to discuss the candidates sometime in mid-September, he said.

Freese was selected from a field of more than 80 candidates as JEDCO’s new chief last year and formally took over on Jan. 3. He replaced Scott Adams who served as executive director for six years. Adams resigned in 2004 to accept an economic development post in Las Vegas.

By A.J. Mistretta
The Biz Network

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