Updated: With key openings in higher ed, economic development, the chamber and others, people are asking, ‘Who’s going to fill their shoes?’

Updated: With key openings in higher ed, economic development, the chamber and others, people are asking, ‘Who’s going to fill their shoes?’

In what seems like a quick snap, some top jobs in Northwest Georgia are vacant as we head into the summer. While retirements, advancements and other turnover is standard, we don’t recall a time when so many higher profile positions were open. Consider.

  • Pete McDonald retired as president of Georgia Northwestern Technical College on Tuesday and a successor has not been named (but an interim has; see below).
  • “The Big Switch” with economic development has created two key openings, a newly created economic development director as well as who handles what’s left for the Rome Floyd Chamber. Al Hodge’s “retirement” as president and chief executive officer was effective as of last month.
  • Other openings include some senior-level retirements at Berry College as well as the top marketing spot at Harbin Clinic.

Several other spots that opened earlier this year or in mid 2018  — including the presidency at River City Bank (now Jamie Tallant), the director of the Richard B. Russell Regional Airport/Towers Field (welcome John Carroll) and the director of the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth (an already busy LaDonna Collins) — have been filed. At Heritage First Bank, Greg Wilkes retired as chief executive officer of the parent company with Ryan Earnest adding those duties as well.

But spots still open:

Stuart Phillips

Georgia Northwestern: Stuart Phillips, currently the vice president of student affairs at Georgia Northwestern, is serving as interim president until the selection and appointment of a permanent president is made by Commissioner Arthur and the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia. Phillips has served at GNTC for 22 years. In 2009, he was appointed to his current post.

Rome Floyd Chamber: Jeanne Krueger continues to serve as interim director as Al Hodge’s last day at 1 Riverside Parkway was in mid January. The chamber’s board of directors will make decisions regarding the leadership of the organization. The changes within the chamber were announced in November; the job has not been posted.

Economic Development director: This is one of three positions created in light of the county’s declaration that it wanted economic development spun off from the chamber. Months of uncertainty — mostly over funding and control — concluded with the Rome Floyd Economic Development Authority being given control of the new department and charged with hiring the director, a secondary position and an administrative assistant. Here’s the job description for the top post. The position is expected to pay $130,000 a year in addition to benefits. Plus he/she will have two other spots to fill as well.

  • New this morning: County Manager Jamie McCord says the personnel committee of the development authority meets today (Wednesday) to review 35 applications. The screening process will start over the next few days.


Spring is a high turnover time for local school systems and colleges. Rome City and Floyd County school boards have been busy appointing new principals and administrators amid retirements and other internal changes as well. As of Tuesday, Rome City Schools had 23 positions posted on Teach Georgia vs. 14 openings for county schools. Bartow County has 11 openings posted while Cartersville has seven. In Calhoun, decorated football coach Hal Lamb stepped off the field.

Banking: There has been considerable movement within the local financial community already this year and we expect a media release on another significant change later today.

Restaurants: John Schroeder, who cofounded Schroeder’s New Deli with his brother Charlie, hung up his apron after 38 years.

Nonprofits: A new executive director is sought at the Rome Area Council for the Arts. 


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