6 interview for Port Arthur EDC CEO; new legal counsel named

Published 12:38 am Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Six candidates for the top role at the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation took part in introductory interviews via Zoom Tuesday.

Each of the interviews was set for a 30-minute time block and was held during the PAEDC board’s executive session.

The six include individuals from Conroe, Port Lavaca, Irving, the Waco area, Beaumont and a former Texas resident now in Georgia, according to information from the PAEDC.

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The next step is for the board to discuss the candidates and choose the top three to be interviewed at a later date, Joanie Collazo, executive secretary, said.

The job posting was posted on several sites, including Texas Municipal League, Texas Economic Development Corporation and International Economic Development Corporation sites.

The posting was made Sept. 15 and extended through Oct. 31, officials said.

The previous CEO, Floyd Batiste resigned after 17 years of heading up the organization. His last day was Sept. 30.

The deputy director, George Davis, was named interim to the position. He did not apply for the CEO spot.

Davis gave a description of what the right candidate would bring to the table.

“Somebody that is going to bring new business into the city, help small businesses expand that are already here locally, job creation, continue good relationships with the local college, refineries and industry and most of all, be a presence in the community,” Davis said.

According to the job posting, job requirements include a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, foundation of 7-10 years of economic development experience that can be leveraged in a collective impact setting, experience with, and a strong commitment to building a more just and inclusive economy for all; a commitment to building power in underestimated communities with an emphasis on communities of color, ability to build and maintain trust and cultivate strong, authentic relationships.

In addition, the criteria seeks a person with strong project management and organizational skills with the ability to turn data into clear, concise, actionable plans with impact, strong leadership business acumen with a high degree of integrity, fairness and negotiation skills in diverse environment and excellent written, verbal and presentation skills.

Salary is dependent on qualifications and experience and ranges from $90,000 to $110,000.

Legal counsel

In other business, the board unanimously approved a contract with Germer PLLC for legal counsel.

The law firm previously served as legal counsel for the PAEDC but resigned July 13 when Batiste announced his intent to resign. Later, the firm of Davidson, Troilo, Ream & Garza PC Attorneys at Law of San Antonio was tapped to serve as interim counsel. The firm provided the PAEDC with the name of nine law firms to submit Requests For Qualifications for the position of attorneys. A tenth firm asked to be considered and was sent an RFQ, according to officials.

The RFQ’s went out Sept. 15 with responses due Oct. 15.

Of the 10, only four responded, Collazo said.

The four firms were scored by a committee consisting of board members and staff and the results tabulated with Germer coming out on top.

The Port Arthur City Council has final say on the decision.