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WDI Establishes CEO Search Committee

By J. Elias O'Neal, posted Jul 24, 2013

A number of local economic and business officials will lead a nationwide search to find Wilmington Downtown Inc.’s next president and CEO, according to a news release.

Cathey Luna, owner of Wilmington-based Luna Ad and former Wilmington Downtown Inc. (WDI) board chairwoman, will lead the group during its search, the news release stated. Other WDI board members joining the search committee include Ed Murray, PPD chief human resources officer; Hank Estep, an insurance broker with GriffinEstep Benefit group; and attorney Edward “Trip” Coyne III, with the law firm Williams Mullen.  

Ted Spring, president of Cape Fear Community College; Emily Longley, former Wilmington Chamber of Commerce board chairwoman and owner of Longley Supply Company; and Jim Bitto, president of the Downtown Business Alliance and a Realtor with Network Real Estate, will also join the search committee, the news release stated.

Current WDI president and CEO John Hinnant announced in late June plans to vacate the post to pursue private commercial real estate interests throughout the greater Wilmington region.

Hinnant’s last day with WDI is Aug. 30 or earlier if a replacement is hired before then.

Committee members are looking to find an applicant who will be responsible for the overall operation, management and direction of WDI, including continued economic development efforts to attract jobs and development, according to a job posting on the group’s website. The president and CEO will also work with the group’s board of directors and staff to manage and lead revitalization and economic development.

Compensation and benefits will be based on experience and will be competitive for a nonprofit leadership position, the website stated.

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