November 20, 2017 – Economic and community development organizations continue to turn to executive search firms to find new leaders. Executive search firm The Chason Group recently placed Leonard Sledge as the new executive director of the Henry County Development Authority. He replaces Charlie Moseley who resigned in May. Tim Chason, the search firm’s president, led the assignment.
During the search process, a total of 77 candidates indicated interest in the position. Those individuals were from 17 states and Canada. The search committee was seeking candidates with both commercial and industrial economic development experience, marketing and communication skills, and proven leadership abilities.
The Right Fit
Mr. Sledge, who assumes the role in December, fit the bill. He currently serves as director of the economic development department for the city of Hampton, VA, a position he has held since 2013. He has been responsible for the development and implementation of the city’s economic development and strategic marketing plans to increase economic vibrancy, general fund revenue, capital investments and job creation.
Other positions Mr. Sledge has held include director of the office of economic development for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA; director of the institutes of excellence, workforce development services at Virginia Community College System; and economic development specialist, center for workforce development, for the Maricopa Community College District in Tempe, AZ.
“Leonard has the tenacity, experience and creativity to move our community forward in our quest to maintain the existing employment base of Henry County while at the same time working to diversify our economy,” said Geoff Cauble, chair of the Henry County Development Authority. “Our goal is to build a stronger partnership in the next year with our county commission, municipalities, developers and existing businesses. We asked for their input prior to our search because they are key stakeholders for the Authority. Their ideas for growing Henry County in terms of new businesses, both commercial and industrial, was invaluable as we interviewed candidates.”
Mr. Sledge said that he and his family have been hoping to move to Georgia for the past several years. “While I am a native of Virginia, I consider Georgia to be my second home in part because my wife of 21 years is a native of Atlanta,” he said. “We met as undergraduate students, and now our daughter is a college student in Atlanta. My family and I desire to make Georgia, specifically Henry County, our new home and become a part of the fabric of the community.”
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The Henry County Development Authority was created in 1967 by a local amendment to the Georgia constitution. As the cornerstone of Atlanta’s New South, Henry County’s employers, modern industrial and office parks and sites, and exceptional quality of life offers a world-class workforce and a welcoming and diverse community, with 21st century infrastructure and extensive educational and career opportunities, said the Chason Group.
The recruitment firm, which is based in Cartersville, GA, specializes in executive-level searches for companies and non-profit organizations, strategic visioning plans, coordinating relationship building strategies, and building operating structures. Mr. Chason, who has over 30 years of experience in the business and non-profit world, is a former executive with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
Some of the firm’s past executive searches include: president of North Georgia Community Foundation, president of Brunswick & Glynn County Development Authority and vice president of economic development for the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media