Greenville Area Development Corp. interim CEO Kevin Landmesser said he would not take the permanent CEO position because he prefers working more closely with projects.
“I really didn’t want to give up practicing economic development, which I love most,” Landmesser said. He said he gets the most pleasure from the hands-on aspects of touring a plant floor to learn how a company works and then piecing together a deal, for instance.
Board Chairman Bob Howard said he was “disappointed” about Landmesser’s decision because Landmesser was the best candidate for the job.
“We’ve loved the job that he’s doing and we hoped he would want to make it permanent,” Howard said.
Howard said he had appointed a search committee that he felt would bring a good mix of perspectives from the community. Vice Chairman Dick Wilkerson will head the committee, which also includes Jo Hackl with the Wyche law firm; Ray Lattimore of Marketplace Staffing; County Councilman H.G. “Butch” Kirven; and Scott Case, county auditor.
The committee is not limiting the search to economic development professionals, Howard said, but is instead focusing on executive ability regardless of professional background. Marketing efforts will begin in January and Landmesser estimated the search process would take four to six months.
Landmesser took over the interim position when president and CEO Jerry Howard resigned from his position in May in order to pursue personal interests. Landmesser had been vice president at GADC since the organization was formed in 2001.
Jerry Howard was GADC’s inaugural president, serving for 12 years. At the time of his resignation Butch Kirven, who serves on the GADC board of directors, said there was no specific timeline set for replacing Landmesser if he would be replaced at all.
GADC operates with a staff of seven people and a budget of about $1.1 million, about $150,000 of which comes from private investors. Greenville County provides the rest. Among area economic development agencies, its work in recruiting and project management for large manufacturing enterprises is most notable.