The Forward McDuffie steering committee on Jan. 12 appointed Riley Stamey as interim director. Stamey said he is not a candidate for the position on a long-term basis.
The position became available upon the Jan. 7 death of Mike Carrington, who had held that post since 2007.
The board did not set a time frame for hiring a permanent director.
Stamey, who retired from SunTrust Bank in 2007, has served as chairman of the Thomson-McDuffie Economic Development Authority since 1997 and has served on that board since 1986.
Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce President Bonnie McCorkle said Stamey’s work with economic development will be useful in his new role. “It will move us forward as we go on with our work after the passing of Mike,” she said.
Thomson Mayor Ken Usry said he welcomes Stamey’s knowledge of the development initiatives. He said Stamey’s involvement will bring stability to the agency.
McCorkle and Usry, by virtue of their offices, are among the five members of the Forward McDuffie board. County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton is chairman. Thomson-McDuffie Convention & Visitors Bureau Chairman Jason Smith also sits on the board. Stamey, as development commission chairman, also sits on that board. Bob Keith, who will accept the chamber gavel from McCorkle on Jan. 31, also attended today’s meeting.
Stamey said he has continued his many professional associations since retiring from Sun-Trust. He is chairman of the McDuffie County United Way Inc., which also serves Warren County.
Stamey said the economic downturn has stalled many economic development efforts and industrial park demand, but that some industries are preparing their recovery strategies. The development authority has many properties available, he said. Some acreage remains available in the I-20 Business Park, home to two tenants. The authority has 72 acres in the adjacent Stone Business Park, and more land available adjacent to that park.
The West Thomson Business Park is at capacity with three tenants. Two tenants occupy the Mount Pleasant Business Park, which has an additional 30 to 45 acres available.
“I’m here to see us through this process for a short-term period, but I’m not a candidate for the long-term position,” Stamey said.
He will work from the 149 Main St. address that is shared by the development authority, chamber of commerce and tourism agency. The number is (706) 597-1000. Kim Thomas is the office manager. Tish Chase is the executive director of the chamber. Elizabeth Vance is the executive director of the tourism agency.
Forward McDuffie oversees those agencies, as well as the Downtown Thomson Development Authority.