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When key personnel reach retirement age, many communities find themselves with a critical gap in their operations or management team. MRB Group is helping community leaders to address the succession crisis which has recently escalated as a result of the trending “great resignation.”

Recently, Florence County, SC experienced its own succession crisis. Providing its residents with unmatched quality of life and a thriving economy has always been a county goal.  Joe King, Director at the Florence County Economic Development Partnership (FCEDP), created a robust economic development framework to reinforce the County’s competitiveness and attractiveness.  However, with King’s pending retirement, the FCEDP Board knew they needed a successor to continue his important work.  With a recent $22M bond issued by the County,  the new CEO will have a tremendous opportunity to grow the economic health of Florence.

The FCEDP retained the services of MRB Group, led by the Charleston office and Director of Southeast Operations Heather Simmons Jones.  Her human resources and regional economic development background gave Jones a unique insight and specific skill set to lead the search.

“We understand that the role of Joe’s successor will be cricitally important in supporting the growth of Florence County,” said Jones.

Administrative Coordinator Katie McFarland supported Heather in the recruitment process.  Jones and McFarland met with the search committee to identify and update the job duties, discuss ideal candidate qualities, and establish an aggressive timeline.  With a current job description and information about the Florence region, Jones leveraged her network of practitioners and targeted job postings to cast a wide net for potential candidates.

MRB Group evaluated all applicants against an established rubric, narrowing the field.  They conducted initial screening calls to ease the time burden on the selection committee.  After MRB identified the top candidates, the Committee received resumes and feedback from the initial interviews, participated in second-round discussions, and selected the top finalist to visit Florence for an in-person meeting.

The Committee selected Gregg Robinson, who impressed them from the start.  Gregg served as the Executive Director for the Orangeburg County Development Commission for the last 17 years.  During his time at OCDC, the average manufacturing wage rose to $19.73 from $10.71, and nearly every business in the Orangeburg County/City Industrial Park came under his leadership.  In addition, Gregg and former State Senator John Matthews worked on developing infrastructure over the years, laying the groundwork for future economic development.