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NETWORKS proceeds with recruitment of unidentified top choice to succeed Venable

December 6th, 2013 12:06 am by Rick Wagner

NETWORKS proceeds with recruitment of unidentified top choice to succeed Venable

BLOUNTVILLE — The identity of the top choice for the new chief executive officer of the NETWORKS — Sullivan Partnership remains a mystery but the preferred candidate is a step closer to getting the job.

The NETWORKS board Thursday unanimously approved contract negotiations and presentation of an offer to an unidentified person who was the first choice of the board’s Executive Committee.

Board Chairman Charlie Floyd, who heads the Domtar paper mill in Kingsport, said the identity of the top choice was being kept secret because making the name public could make things difficult with the person’s current employer and he didn’t want a public debate about the compensation package offered to the candidate or the candidate’s experience and fit for NETWORKS, a joint economic development program of Sullivan County, Kingsport, Bristol, Tenn., and Bluff City.

However, when asked by Kingsport Times-News publisher and NETWORKS board member Keith Wilson if the candidate’s current employment would be jeopardized if it became publicly known he was seeking another job, Floyd said he didn’t know.

The almost six-month search process began in July when Richard Venable said he would resign/retire from the position he’s held since 2006.

The Executive Committee appointed a Search Committee of Floyd, board Vice Chairman Jim Street, a Blountville area builder to become chairman in January, Bristol auto dealer Mitch Walters, Carolyn Ferrell of the Robinette Co. in Piney Flats and County Commissioner Eddie Williams of Sullivan Gardens.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Friday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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