One Acadiana’s search for a new president and CEO will continue next week with another round of candidate interviews.
The nine-parish organization is seeking to replace Jason El Koubi, who left One Acadiana’s top leadership position last summer. El Koubi accepted the No. 2 position in the state of Virginia’s economic development organization.
A One Acadiana search committee led by Kathy Bobbs of Women and Children’s Hospital and Don Broussard of The Lemoine Co. hired Jorgenson Consulting of North Carolina to lead the search. The goal: Land a recognized leader for the 1,200-member organization that replaced the former Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, preferably by year’s end.
One Acadiana's timetable included hiring a search firm by late summer, reviewing applications in the autumn and conducting interviews in November and December.
Jorgenson Consulting conducts executive searches for organizations in the nonprofit, economic and community development realms.
From the outset of the search, One Acadiana Chairman Frank Neuner said the organization is seeking not a “change agent,” but someone who can carry out existing plans. One Acadiana is in the midst of a five-year plan and Neuner said the emphasis for the new leader will be to "carry out the plan," which includes a focus on building the region's economy.
The search committee completed one round of candidate interviews in November.
"We're still on schedule to have someone by the end of the year," said Neuner. He said the next round of interviews will include two candidates, but if neither gains clear committee support, other candidates in the pool, which he said was excellent, may be considered.
Candidates were both local and from out of state.
In addition to Bobbs and Broussard and Neuner, who serves the search group in an ex-officio role, members are Julie Dronet, Sue Durand, Rob Eddy, Anita Fontenot, Chris Fox, Natalie Harder, Cecil Hymel, Ken Lazard, Danny Nugier and Ronnie Petree.
Jim Bourgeois, executive director of business development, has been leading the One Acadiana staff on an interim basis.