Port director could be hired soon

Published 6:45 pm Saturday, December 17, 2016

A new port/economic director for the Port of Vicksburg could be hired sometime between the end of January and mid-February, the Warren County Port Commission’s president said.

“That’s what we’re hoping for,” Margaret Gilmer said.

She said Charles Webb, managing director for Jorgenson Consulting of Greensboro, N.C., the consultants hired by the county to help in the search for a new director, told her recently the company had narrowed the initial list of candidates down to six people and has already held second interviews with them.

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“They expect to recommend six people to us by mid-January, and they will meet with our interview committee,” Gilmer said. “We will interview them and anyone else Jorgenson will recommend.”

The Warren County Board of Supervisors in October approved a $40,000 contract between the port commission and Jorgenson to assist in the search for a new director. The supervisors’ approval was required because the board is a co-signer with the commission, county administrator John Smith said.

Under the agreement, the company will assist the port commission in finding a replacement for former director Wayne Mansfield resigned in July to take an economic development agency job in Longview, Texas.

The port commission in September voted to hire Jorgenson to help with the search for a new director. Gilmer said at the time Jorgenson would do the initial screening and background checks of prospective candidates, and the commission will be involved with the interviews.

The contract caps communication costs for the consultants at $1,050 and background checks on potential candidates at two for a maximum of $350 each.

The new director’s duties will be different from Mansfield’s, and focus more on economic development than running the port.

Gilmer said in September the emphasis on an economic development director was influenced by the results from an asset mapping by the Mississippi Development Authority that looked at the area’s strengths and weaknesses and indicated economic development should be the new director’s primary duty.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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