Agency to seek new leader

GLOVERSVILLE – The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth plans to go national in its search for the county’s new economic development leader.

“We’ll certainly do a national search,” CRG board Chairman Dustin Swanger said Thursday.

The CRG will replace President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Reese, who announced in March he plans to leave his position by September.

“I’ve drafted a job description,” Swanger said. “I shared it with the board and it will be finalized at the next meeting.”

The CRG Board of Directors will meet again at 8:30 a.m. April 25 at the Crossroads Business Park.

Swanger said the CRG may advertise soon for the new agency president and CEO.

“I’ve got a couple folks that I should network with,” Swanger said, including economic development officials on the state level.

He declined at this time to say what the salary would be for the position.

Perth Supervisor Greg Fagan – one of the public-sector members who sits on the CRG board – said the agency has a job description to follow. He said the hope is to find someone with “experience, ability, tools” to do the job.

“We’re after someone to sell Fulton County to the world because we’re in a global economy,” Fagan said.

He said the next CRG president-CEO will be especially important from a marketing standpoint with the county involved in many economic development initiatives. They include the county and Fulton County Industrial Development Agency’s project to build a new Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center in Perth. Other efforts include a SMART Waters water and sewer consolidation proposal, a search for new shovel-ready industrial sites, and branding and regional business park projects with Montgomery County.

Reese has spent about 35 years in economic development. He came to the CRG in September 2008 after spending 22 years as the executive director of the Herkimer-based Mohawk Valley Economic Development District.

He was elevated to his current position – the day-to-day administrative head of the CRG – after a scandal involving two former executives. The executives were longtime local economic developers Jeff Bray and Peter A. Sciocchetti. The two were accused by the CIC and EDC of taking millions of dollars in bonuses not approved by the agencies’ boards of directors.

Reese has said part of the reason he is leaving is because some of the stress associated with the scandal.

Michael Anich can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.