Thursday, January 17, 2008

01/15 - New Executive Director, Jekyll Island Authority

Date January 15, 2008
Section(s) Letters

As the staff at Jekyll Island, facing the biggest change in the state park's nearly 70-year history, works with out a leader, it just occurred to me that the ideal Executive Direstor of the Jekyll Island Authority is right here in our very midst. He is also very available!

I must preface my recommendation with the admission that this position is embedded in politics, and the man at the helm of making this all-important appointment is Governor Sonny Perdue. Perdue is the consumate politician and his appointment may be sawyed more by political considerations than by what--or who--may be in the best interest of Jekyll Island.

The obvious man for the job is Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson. Thompson spent the last four years as the president and CEO of Blueprint Brunswick. This group set out to draw $150 million in investments to the Brunswick economy. At last count, Blueprint Brunswick has attrated close to $1.5 Billion. That's 10 times what was sought!

What are the stated goals at Jekyll Island? Facility improvements; Infrastructure upgrades; Affordability; Environmetal stability; Attracting more visitors; and Financial Independence. What did Thompson accomplished as the head of Blueprint Brunswick? Exactly what you see listed above.

Some will say that as Brunswick Mayor, he shouldn't hold both posts. Perhaps so, but Jekyll Island Director of Human Resources Cornell Harvey is also a Brunswick City Commissioner, and has handled both jobs very well without any noticeable conflict. I am sure if Thompson were to accept the Jekyll Island position, he would resign as mayor anyway.

Thompson and Jekyll Island seem to me to be a perfect match. He knows how to lead, how to produce and manage growth, and Jekyll needs solid, experienced leadership, not some political hack who just happens to have friends in the "right places."

I hope the Governor and the Jekyll Island Authority Board will give Thompson the serious consideration he deserves. Jekyll Island needs and deserves an executive director of his abilities.

Charles E. McCord
Brunswick, GA

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