Two considered for Main Street position

COVINGTON — Main Street Covington could have a new leader in place this week as the Covington-Newton Chamber of Commerce prepares hire one of two finalists for the job.

Chamber President Hunter Hall told the Covington City Council it hasn’t been the easiest search process.

After receiving 20 applications, narrowing it down to the top three, and then ultimately making an offer to two people, both of whom declined due to personal reasons, advertising for the position was reopened. This time the Chamber received 15 applications.

Hall said the search committee conducted interviews on Monday and he’s confident this time one of the candidates – Velinda Wheeles or Vicki Davis – will accept.

Wheeles of Alabama spent 12 years as executive director for Opelika Main Street from 2003 to 2011, during which time she worked with various organizations in coordinating programs beneficial to the city as well as maintaining working relationships with the city’s departments, chamber and state departments.

She’s currently the catering and marketing sales manager for Zoe’s Kitchen in Auburn, Ala. Wheeles’ other qualifications include more than 20 years in public relations and customer sales, event planning and social media marketing.

Davis is from Hinesville, and currently serves as the executive director for the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority. Her position requires management of the downtown revitalization program, supporting business and development activity and promoting the downtown as a destination, according to Davis’ resume.

Her past experience includes serving as program director for the East Davenport Development Corporation in Iowa; executive director of Historic Valley Junction Foundation; and program manager for Main Street Osceola.

Davis’ qualifications include public relations, grant writing, strategic planning and budget and fundraising experience.

Main Street Covington, a program dedicated to promoting and developing the downtown area, moved under the umbrella of the Covington-Newton Chamber of Commerce in February. The City Council gave the Chamber 30 days to hire a new director. Main Street consultant Sharlene Cannon has stepped in during the transition.

The full-time director position coordinates downtown revitalization activities using the Main Street Four-Point approach. The job description says, “applicants should have excellent communication, public relations and managerial abilities, with a strong administrative background. Previous Main Street executive director experience desired; experience in special event planning, small business development, and volunteer recruitment/management a plus. Position requires a dynamic, outgoing team player with the proven ability to multi-task, work in an independent environment, and work with both the public and private sectors.”

The position’s salary is between $45,000 to $55,000, based on experience.