August 3, 2021 – Macon, GA-based Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting has been selected to find a new executive director for the Macon Water Authority (MWA), a comprehensive water, sewer and stormwater utility in Georgia. Emily Parker Myers, CEO, and Kenny Daugherty, president, are leading the assignment along with Jennifer Barfield, senior vice president
“The executive director is the chief executive officer of the authority and has charge of the administration of all authority business under the direction of the authority board,” said Myers McRae. “The executive director provides the day-to-day leadership for the executive team to work in partnership across operational groups, to lead and implement continuous improvements in business processes, to leverage digital transformation where appropriate, and to ensure delivery of customer-centric services.”
The executive director serves at the appointment of the MWA board and is responsible for the overall strategic and operational performance of the authority. Essential accountabilities of the role include leadership and culture, financial leadership, employee and staff relations, quality and safety, strategic and operational development, board relations, and leadership team relations and development.
In regard to leadership, said the search firm, the executive director must lead by supporting and encouraging the authority’s organizational core values that include service, professionalism, integrity, innovation, stewardship, and safety and wellness. The individual must also lead by example, which includes having courageous conversations when needed, and modeling positive leadership, integrity, respect, agility and sound judgment in all activities and interactions both internally and externally.
A Positive Agent for Change
Personal attributes and leadership qualities that the role demands include serving as a positive agent of change, problem solving abilities, continuous leadership improvement, systems thinking, communication and ethics. The MWA’s new executive director should demonstrate an understanding of relevant changes in the organization, said Myers McRae. Demonstrating innovative thinking and promoting the same in others is essential. The leader must also exhibit a high level of emotional intelligence. Encouraging, fostering, seeking and valuing the opinions of others is vital.
Annually, the executive director will be expected to establish a series of key goals, work-place behaviors and initiatives and present these initiatives to the board for approval. These will serve as the leader’s primary focus items and establish set strategic direction and tactical execution priorities for the year.
Founded in 1880. the Macon Water Authority is located in Macon-Bibb County, GA, and provides water, sewer and stormwater services to more than 153,000 people through 51,000 metered accounts. MWA’s operations are divided into three primary divisions: field operations, consisting of water distribution, sewer conveyance systems and stormwater management; water operations; and wastewater operations. Additional divisions of MWA operations include administration, business operations, customer care, engineering, human resources, maintenance and metered services. The authority also manages a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, the Macon Water Alliance.
Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting serves colleges, universities, independent schools, and other not-for-profit institutions. Nearly all of its search professionals have a minimum of 20 years of experience in higher education. The majority of the firm’s searches have been for presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice presidents, deans and other senior academic and administrative leaders. Myers McRae recently placed the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Rhode Island College, provost of Methodist University and president of West Virginia Northern Community College, among others.
Ms. Myers has led Myers McRae since 2008. As the firm’s executive officer, she has broadened the firm’s scope and modernized processes, emphasizing responsiveness, timeliness, effectiveness and affordability. While utilizing new technology in the executive search process, Ms. Myers said she remains committed to the firm having person-to-person connections with candidates and that clients stay at the center of every search.
Known for her leadership expertise and commitment to excellence, Ms. Myers brings to the firm’s searches her extensive firsthand knowledge and experience in higher education administration. For most of her career, she served as senior vice president of university advancement and external affairs at Mercer University.
Myers McRae Seeks Provost for Middle Georgia State University
Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting has been enlisted by Middle Georgia State University to lead in its search for a provost and VP of academic affairs. Myers McRae said that candidates must have an earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution and evidence of successive academic administrative and supervisory experiences with qualifications meriting appointment at the rank of full professor in a discipline offered by the university. The search firm is looking for candidates with extensive expertise in program and curriculum development, program review and enhancement, continuous quality improvement processes, and budget and fiscal management is required.
Mr. Daugherty has an extensive background in higher education administration, having served 28 years in public and independent institutions. Throughout his career in higher education, he had personnel responsibilities and served on numerous search committees for professional staff and administrators for the institution. Mr. Daugherty has conducted hundreds of searches for schools across the nation, including presidential searches for the University of Montana Western, Northwest Missouri State University, McDaniel College, Oakwood University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Pasco-Hernando State College, Pierpont Community and Technical College, Wichita Area Technical College and the Georgia Independent College Association.
Ms. Barfield works directly with colleges and universities on the recruitment and evaluation of candidates to fulfill their search needs. She brings more than 20 years of experience in education in fundraising, public relations, program development, strategic planning, and alumni and donor relations to our clients. Her career ranges from a private college-preparatory school, First Presbyterian School; a private university, Mercer University; and a state university, Middle Georgia State University.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media