GJEP may have new director soon after drawing wide interest for job

The Grand Junction Economic Partnership could have a new executive director by the end of next month, according to the chairman of the partnership’s board of directors.

More than 80 people applied to lead the local economic development entity, GJEP Chairman Steve Gunderson said Tuesday during the organization’s annual meeting. Gunderson said a selection committee will begin interviews next week with the final four candidates.

“We’ll make our decision within a month or so,” said Gunderson, who serves on the selection committee.

Two of the candidates are from out of state and two are local. The selection committee is not revealing those names or where the out-of-town candidates live, but Interim GJEP Executive Director Kelly Flenniken confirmed she is one of the final four. Flenniken said candidates from all over the country with varying levels of economic development experience have shown interest in the job.

“I hope it’s because we’ve done a good job of promoting Grand Junction,” she said.

Gunderson said he has been surprised by some of the credentials of candidates looking to live in Grand Junction. But experience and education won’t matter to the selection committee as much as an ability to work well with community leaders and “command attention” in the community, Gunderson said.

“Education credentials don’t mean they’re good at something. They may have the skill and the knowledge, but they need to have fire in the belly” for the position, Gunderson said.

Flenniken said applications for the job started pouring in shortly after former executive director Ann Driggers resigned in late April. Driggers stayed in the job until mid-June and now works for Garfield County as its assistant director of administrative services.


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