March 16, 2021 – Executive search firm Waverly Partners has been selected to find a new president and chief executive officer for the Charleston Area Alliance in West Virginia. Board member Matt Bond of United Bank will head a nine-member search committee that will work with Waverly Partners to identify qualified local, regional, and national candidates. Managing directors and principals Eric N. Peterson and B. Harrison Turnbull are leading the assignment. Former CEO Matt Ballard resigned to accept the CEO/executive director role at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park. Steve Rubin, former board chair of the alliance, began serving as interim CEO last fall.
“Our committee has developed a profile with the experience and leadership characteristics of our preferred candidate,” said Mr. Bond. “We are open to executives with backgrounds in economic development, chambers of commerce, business associations, other kinds of non-profits, private sector or related experience with a commitment to our mission in this region.” The CEO is responsible for inspiring and leading a diverse team of economic and civic development professionals, while building sustainable, direct relationships with business executives, local and state economic development offices, federal, state, and local government officials and community leaders. The CEO must inspire trust, build consensus, and meet deadlines. This executive oversees the planning, coordination and implementation of strategic economic development projects, chamber of commerce activities and downtown redevelopment efforts. In addition, the CEO is charged with identifying existing area business and/or industry that can be expanded with appropriate assistance, resources, and planning.
Candidates may come from a variety of professional backgrounds, said Waverly Partners. The Charleston Area Alliance is looking for an experienced, entrepreneurial leader with a background that includes significant engagement with business and community leaders and a keen interest and passion for the alliance’s mission and the Charleston region may be well suited for this role. Prospects with five to 10 years of experience serving as a senior executive of a comparably sized, complex multiconstituency economic development organization, chamber of commerce, or related significant business association, or economic/community development-focused organization may have an advantage in winning the role.
“The CEO position of the Charleston Area Alliance is a challenging but exciting opportunity for an economic development, chamber of commerce, association, or perhaps private sector executive to lead and expand an organization committed to the success and growth of the Charleston region,” Waverly Partners said. “The CEO will inherit an enthusiastic, experienced, and dedicated chamber staff and a committed and influential board of directors.”
The Charleston Area Alliance is a regional economic development, chamber of commerce and community development organization serving the state of West Virginia’s capital city of Charleston and Kanawha County along with the broader regional marketplace. The organization has almost 500 private, public and non-profit investors who support the alliance’s efforts to create a more vibrant community and prosperous economy.
Formed in 2001, Waverly Partners serves Fortune 500 service and manufacturing corporations, chambers of commerce and economic development organizations, non-profit organizations, professional service firms, private equity firms, hospitals and healthcare systems and colleges and universities nationwide.
The firm has a national reputation of serving chambers of commerce and economic development organizations. The American Chamber of Commerce Executives, the national organization for chamber leaders, has designated Waverly Partners as the preferred provider of executive search services. It is the only firm in the country to have earned this distinction.
Mr. Peterson has 25 years of executive search consulting experience with a track record of recruiting top and senior leaders to executive management, finance, information systems, sales and marketing, operations and human resources positions. He has served Fortune 1000 corporations, hospitals and healthcare systems, privately held businesses and non-profit organizations. His clients have included: the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Tucson Metro Chamber, Ohio Hospital Association, Greater Waco Chamber, United Way, Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Greater Raleigh Chamber, among others.
Mr. Turnbull, who has over 30 years of business, legal and executive search experience, has completed major consulting and executive search assignments for Fortune 500 and private companies in general manufacturing, financial services, industrial, energy, commercial service sectors, and professional services. He has also assisted non-profit clients (chambers of commerce, economic development, and academic institutions) recruit new senior leaders. His clients have included: Michelin NA, Nucor Corp., BB&T Capital Markets and the Greenville (SC) Chamber of Commerce, among many others.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media