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Search for Downtown Salisbury Inc. leader narrows

SALISBURY — The search for a new executive director for Downtown Salisbury Inc. has come down to nine finalists.
Mark Lewis, president of DSI, said the eight-member search committee led by Teross Young, an executive with Food Lion parent company Delhaize America, has completed four interviews so far. The committee will gather next week to determine how to proceed, Lewis said.
About 100 people applied for the job from as far away as Minnesota. Most applicants were from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, with a few from Salisbury.
The committee hopes to narrow the search to two final candidates to be interviewed by the full DSI board, Lewis said.
Those candidates likely also will interview with board chairmen and executive directors for DSI’s economic development partner agencies, the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Commission and Tourism Development Authority.
Lewis said the chamber had a similar partner interview process when selecting new President Elaine Spalding and found the additional input valuable.
The DSI finalists include men and women, and they hail from North Carolina and Virginia, Lewis said.
Lewis said he had hoped to have someone on board by Dec. 1, but by the end of the year is more realistic.
The new executive director will replace Randy Hemann, who left in May after 16 years to become city manager in Oxford.
The new leader will inherit the Empire Hotel redevelopment project, which stalled during the recession, and face a plan by Rowan County to move an unknown but potentially significant number of county employees from downtown to the Salisbury Mall.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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