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Monday, July 28, 2014, 10:14 p.m.
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Fifteen people vying for Morrilton chamber job

By Tammy Keith

This article was published July 6, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

MORRILTON — Fifteen applications have been received for the Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce job.

Morgan Zimmerman, a member of the search committee, said the list is impressive.

“We had some really good candidates, too,” she said. “We were really, really pleased with the number and quality of applications.”

The position to be filled is president and CEO of the chamber and Conway County Economic Development Corp. Former CEO Brandon Baker left in May to take a position as health safety and environmental coordinator with Southwestern Energy.

He had been at the helm for 2 1/2 years.

Zimmerman said the search committee met Tuesday to look over the applications and start narrowing the list for interviews.

“We’ve all been reviewing them as they came in, and we sat down and separated them into piles — yes, no, maybe kinds of piles,” she said.

Zimmerman said applicants who made the cut will be contacted beginning this week, and interviews will be conducted the third and fourth weeks of this month.

“The search committee will be doing the first round,” she said of the interviews.

They will be conducted in the conference room at Johnson & Ruff CPAs, Zimmerman said. Jennifer Johnson is a member of the search committee.

Cody Hill, 29, interim executive director, is one of the applicants. He has been director of membership and events for the chamber since 2012.

“Obviously, we don’t want to rush anything, and we want to make sure we get the best candidate, but we are trying to get that resolved. That’s a lot on his plate, I know,” Zimmerman said.

Hill said he decided to apply, “being local, loving Morrilton and Conway County, just wanting to continue to see our community grow and develop.”

He said Morrilton’s population is about 6,700.

Zimmerman, development officer for the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton, said this is her first year to serve on the chamber board of directors.

She said she volunteered to be on the search committee.

“I thought it would be interesting to be part of the process because I work for the college. We’re really involved in community and economic development, so I thought the college’s perspective might be beneficial through the process,” she said. “It’s going smoothly — knock on wood.”

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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