The Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce has narrowed its pool of prospective new presidents to one.
The applicant will be in Laurinburg next week.
“After a very long and exhaustive search with a tremendous pool of talented applicants, the search committee has selected a finalist who will be coming to town on the 21st to interview with some key community stakeholders as well as interview with the board,” said Greg Wood, chairman of the committee that evaluated applications. Wood serves as Scotland Health Care System CEO.
The new chamber executive will replace Theresa Pinto, who resigned in April to take the same position with the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce.
Acting Chamber President Brenda Gilbert winnowed the initial pool of some 30 applications to 10, which then went before the search committee.
“The search committee met several times to narrow that down to five, from which we made some initial phone calls and had the applicants respond to some professional and personal questions,” Wood said. “We then interviewed several applicants and now have narrowed it down to one.”
Chamber officials have not released the name of the finalist, but say the person is from North Carolina.
“What we were looking for was someone who could continue to lead a chamber that has done extraordinary things in the last few years, including being Chamber of the Year,” Wood said. “We sought someone to begin to be a leader in the community as the various community groups work together to advance the economic and community development opportunities that we have.”
Tuesday’s visit is expected to give the finalist a chance to see Laurinburg.
“We’ll be showing her around and meeting with various community groups throughout the day and meeting with the board that evening,” Gilbert said.
Wood added that the goal is to determine if the finalist is “a good fit.”
“The goal is to determine if, indeed, the community and the board feel like she’s a good fit for us and just as importantly if she and her husband feel that his community is right for her and her family,” Wood added. “We’re trying to encourage various community leaders representing downtown, tourism and development, the local school system, St. Andrews, and Scotland Health Care system to let her know what they perceive the role of the chamber’s leader to be.”
Following the meetings, Wood said that the chamber could offer the position as early as Aug. 22.