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VOL. 112 | NO. 231 | Thursday, December 17, 1998

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It's almost over CCC narrows president search to two Jeffs By KATHLEEN BURT The Daily News Its almost over. The search for a new president and chief executive officer for the Center City Commission has been narrowed to two candidates. A decision could be made by years end on who will lead the CCC in 1999. The full board of directors will meet Dec. 29 to hold final candidate interviews. Either way, the new president will most likely be called Jeff. Jeff Sanford, who was named interim president after the removal of Ed Armentrout, and D. Jeffrey "Jeff" Noel of Benton Harbor, Mich., were named finalists for the post during the CCC meeting Thursday. The pair surfaced after a lengthy process conducted by a search committee composed of members of the public and private sector. The search began in July and was conducted mostly by a private firm. The Centre Group, a Memphis-based management consulting firm, and Sockwell and Associates of Charlotte, N.C., made about 150 contacts during the course of the search. That list was narrowed to four candidates who were recommended to the search committee, which pared the list to two. Though most of the work is done, Henry Evans, a principal in the Centre Group, said Thursday the organizations will work with the CCC through the remainder of the selection process. Noel, a 1980 graduate of the University of Kentucky, has spent the past five years as the president of Cornerstone Alliance in Benton Harbor. The Alliance serves as an umbrella for six separate entities, which include a chamber of commerce, business education partnership, revolving loan fund, a not-for-profit development corporation, a for-profit development corporation and a work force consortium. He oversees a staff of 18, and the Alliance has an annual budget of $2.1 million. Prior to that, Noel served as executive vice president for the Greater Louisville (Ky.) Economic Development Partnership and was a commissioner and executive director for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. Sanford was appointed as CCC interim president in June. During his tenure, he has developed a fiscal year budget for 1999 and a program-based budgeting process that gave divisional vice presidents budget responsibilities. He also oversaw the hiring of a new chief financial officer, developed an operating policies and procedures manual and a new personnel manual, and created a Clean and Safe Task Force, which tackled the problem of panhandling and vagrancy in the Central Business Improvement District. Since 1988, he has served as president of the Jeff Sanford Co., which provides a range of management, marketing and public relations consulting services to the public and private sector. He served on the Memphis City Council from 1977 to 1983 and was chairman in 1980. The other candidates recommended by the search committee were Stephen Dragos of Basking Ridge, N.J., and Veronica Ann Lang of Denver. "The four candidates the search committee provided were very excellent," said CCC chairman Michael Lewis. The top candidates for the post had to have experience in one of the top two positions in an agency serving an area comparable to Memphis. A new president could be in place by the first meeting of 1999, scheduled for Jan. 28. In other business, state Rep. Larry Miller was introduced as the newest member of the CCC. He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board that had existed for several months. He joins City Council member Rickey Peete and state Sen. Steve Cohen as elected officials serving on the board.
PROPERTY SALES 51 223 1,152
MORTGAGES 55 189 861
BUILDING PERMITS 149 541 2,593