The search continues for an executive director at Crossroads Downtown Partnership.
Since Barbara Garrow announced her retirement in September, a search has been underway for a successor. Joining in the search with Crossroads are the city of Morristown and the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce.
Crossroads Board of Directors Vice President Shelly Shropshire is leading the search. Amie Whitworth, president of the board of directors, said the search continues for the right candidate – and due diligence must be taken.
Garrow will not be involved in the selection process.
“It’s taken four months, but we’re serious about who we select,” she said. “Crossroads wouldn’t be able to do this without assistance from the city of Morristown and the Chamber of Commerce.”
Crossroads is a 501(c) 3 organization certified by the State of Tennessee that was once a city-sponsored program before it was converted into a community nonprofit in 2013.
The partnerships’ mission statement is to help certified Main Street programs operate on a four-point approach of economic revitalization, organization, design and promotions and use these four points to incrementally accomplish overall goals.
Garrow has been the only executive director during that time, and Whitworth said it will be tough to replace a person who has done so much to help downtown Morristown grow.
“I think downtown Morristown was extremely lucky for its first director to come in with so much experience in the position,” Whitworth said. “(Garrow) has prior knowledge of how to run a farmers’ market, and she’s also run a successful business.
“I don’t think we’ll be that lucky again, but I do think we’ll find someone who will follow her lead and help downtown continue to grow.”
Currently, the board has received eight applicants for the job. While Whitworth said she and the board members are confident a qualified replacement will be found, they are cognizant of any snags that will come with the process.
“Unfortunately, because we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit, we don’t have the funding to pay a competitive salary – and we’re unable to provide benefits at this time,” Whitworth said. “I think that’s what is making the search arduous.”
Garrow will conclude her time as executive director on Jan. 31. Though the board would like a successor to be in place by that time, the realities of the situation make those hopes unlikely.
“I’m not positive if we’ll have a replacement by the time she leaves. I hope so, but I don’t think we will,” Whitworth said.
Crossroads will be accepting applications for the executive director’s job until Jan. 15.