MBREDC searching for new president, names interim leader

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The work begins to hire one of Horry County's most important officials. After Brad Lofton's Resignation, The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation (MBREDC) is now in hot pursuit of a new leader.

The MBREDC board called a special meeting Wednesday to officially kick off the search for the next president of the corporation in charge of bringing in more jobs. The meeting will begin the process of finding a replacement for Lofton.

The first order of business is figuring out exactly how that process should move forward. The board will put together a "search committee," which will be a group of less than 10 people in charge of finding the next MBREDC president. The committee will also have to decide whether the corporation should hire a firm to do most of the grunt work, or if they should just put up a job posting and see who applies.

Based on the board chairman's initial research, he is confident this will be a process Horry County shouldn't have to pay for.

"We've gotten a lot of attention in Horry County," said Chairman Fred Richardson. "It's a great place to live. So I'm optimistic we'll be able to recruit a very successful person."

Richardson will serve as MBREDC leader in a limited capacity while the search is ongoing.

"I think the earliest it can be done we be about three months," added Richardson.  "You know we have to go through an advertising process, we have to go through a selection process, and conduct interviews so I'm thinking the earliest would be at the latest five to 6 months."

Once that person is found, the search committee will have to bring the candidate to the board for a final approval.

The MBREDC has brought more than 1,300 jobs to Horry County through recruitment and industry expansion.  Part of recruiting businesses to the Grand Strand revolves around incentive based contracts where a company gets a property tax break in exchange for new jobs.

MBREDC President and CEO Brad Lofton said most companies have met their goals.

"A large majority of the companies we've recruited have hit their numbers of jobs that they committed," added Lofton.  "The remaining companies have a ramp up schedule to get to those amount of jobs."

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