Search for chamber director escalating

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More than a dozen applicants being evaluated

By Marty Finley

The search for a leader to guide the newly formed Hardin County Chamber of Commerce is heating up.
Tom Hewlett, chairman of the executive search committee charged to lead the search, said applications from a “slew” of candidates have been received and resumes are being evaluated and interviews under way to find the person best suited to lead the unified chamber. The chamber will be one of the largest in Kentucky after its launch.
Hewlett said more than a dozen candidates are being evaluated and many have extensive backgrounds with chambers of commerce.
“We’ve been fortunate that so many of them have been good quality candidates,” he said.
While a few of the candidates hail from out of the state, most are Kentucky residents, Hewlett added.
Interviews were conducted on Monday with several candidates, Hewlett said, and the committee hopes to finish its meetings with candidates next week.
Following formal interviews, the committee will deliberate and provide recommendations to the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, the members of which are still being chosen.
From there, Hewlett said the board could conduct a final round of interviews with the most qualified candidates before it votes on a selection. Hewlett said the committee has been given no firm deadline for the director to be in place.
The salary for the position has not yet been determined, but Interim Executive Director Rik Hawkins has said it will likely fall between $75,000 and $100,000. Hawkins said the experience the person brings to the position will ultimately determine the salary.
Chamber officials were able to unify the Elizabethtown, Radcliff, Vine Grove and West Point chambers quicker than expected. An official launch has been scheduled for 11 a.m. March 10 at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown. Gov. Steve Beshear and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dave Adkisson have been scheduled as the featured speakers for the event.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762.