For Immediate Release, October 19th, 2015
North Platte Chamber & Economic Development CEO Hired, VP of Economic Development Added
North Platte, NE - The search committee for a new CEO of the North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce & Development Corporation announced today that they have hired Gary Person. Person is from Sidney, Nebraska where he was the City Manager for the City of Sidney for over 15 years. During his employment as City Manager, Person was active in Economic Development efforts for the Sidney area. Prior to City Manager, Person held the position of Economic Development Director in Sidney and Cheyenne County for 23 years. Person has a long history of volunteerism as well, including involvement in various Sidney area, statewide, and national organizations. He is credited with many accomplishments as a Sidney Jaycee and for his long tenure on the board of the Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m excited and confident about accepting the position with the North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce & Development Corporation. After meeting with the executive search team, the board of directors and the City Administrator, I could sense how totally committed everyone is to the future of the North Platte area with such a sincere emphasis on teamwork and support. I know from firsthand experience it takes the business community, the City, the County, the Schools and the citizens to work together to make good things happen and embrace the challenges ahead. What I’ve experienced in conversations and meetings over the past several days with the good people of the North Platte area just feels so right. There is an instant trust factor. Together I believe we are a winning combination,” remarks Person.
Staff members John Hales, Kathy Swain, and Gayla Cox, will remain on staff in their current roles. Additionally, the Board of Directors of the North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce & Development Corporation has expanded personnel resources to bring in an Economic Development Vice-President / Director of Communications and Marketing person to the team. Person has officially hired Megan McGown to the position.
“Megan McGown and I worked together in Sidney and she has extensive community and economic development experience. She is a proven and effective winner with outstanding talent. We worked together for over 10 years in the Sidney / Cheyenne County area and helped lead that community and county to significant economic growth during the past decade and approximately $300 million of new development projects were added through our team efforts,” Person said.
Both Person and McGown have statewide leadership experience. Person served as state president of the Nebraska Economic Developer's Association and the Nebraska Jaycees, as well as serving four years on Gov. Kay Orr's staff. McGown is a past state president of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce Executives and served on the prestigious Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry board of directors as well as getting her Master’s Degree in Organizational Management with emphasis in Economic Development.
McGown recently relocated to the North Platte area when her husband, James, accepted the position of superintendent of Brady Public Schools. “I am very excited at the possibilities that this position brings. Not only the opportunity to work with Gary again in a field that I am truly passionate about, but also to be able to work in a county that is on the cusp of great things. It speaks very highly of the organization, the members, and the stakeholders for them to be this committed to furthering the area's economic development efforts and I very much appreciate the opportunity to be a part of it,” McGown said.
Both Person and McGown will begin their positions on November 1st. A press conference will be held on Tuesday, Oct 27th at 1:00pm at the Chamber/Devco board room where both Person and McGown will be available for comments. Dan Mauk, current CEO, and Ty Lucas, board chair, will also be present for remarks. The board formed a search committee in September to find Mauk’s replacement shortly after Mauk notified the board of his plans to move to the Eastern part of the state to be closer to family. Mauk has led the Chamber since 2009. Mauk will assist Person with the CEO transition.
“We are very anxious to have this experienced team of leaders joining our organization and community. We expect high energy and focus in the area of Economic Development and Community Development initiatives and the board is committed to investing in these efforts,” states Lucas. “Timing is perfect. Our membership and community will have an opportunity to meet Gary and Megan at the Annual Chamber Banquet on November 5th and Dan Mauk will also be there to join us in celebrating his accomplishments and service to our community. The hiring process went very well, with applications from many qualified candidates. We expect a smooth transition for the staff and members,” added Lucas.
Questions regarding this Press Release please contact Ty Lucas, Board Chair, at NebraskaLand National Bank, 308-534-2875 or TLucas@nlnb.com.