DMC Looks for New CEO

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The Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) kicked off its search for a new president and CEO Thursday issuing a long list of personal and professional qualifications.

Jennifer Oswalt, the DMC’s chief financial officer, was asked to fill the president/CEO role on an interim basis after Terrence Patterson quickly vacated the position in July.

When a permanent replacement is found at the DMC, Oswalt will begin a new job as CEO of Contemporary Media, Inc., parent company of the Memphis Flyer.
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The DMC’s application for the role bullet-points dozens of expectations for the potential hire. The DMC wants the right person to have skills and expertise in management, urban real estate, urban planning and design, government, public relations, and marketing.

As for personal traits, the DMC listed nearly two dozen traits that seem, in one way or another, to be a blend of Patterson and his predecessor, Paul Morris, who left the DMC in 2015 to join his family’s business.

The new DMC CEO should keep the bigger picture in mind at all time, reads the application. The right person will be an innovative thinker, and “treat others as they would expect to be treated.” They should be carefully spontaneous and flexible enough to to react to emerging situations and be flexible in their personal style.

As for the nitty-gritty: the new DMC chief will have at least a bachelor’s degree in urban planning, urban design, real estate development, finance, business administration, public administration, government, legal, or other professional expertise.

Also, the DMC asks applicants to have at least 10 years of experience in a position related to urban real estate development, public/private partnerships, civic or non-profit development, and have at least five years experience in a management position.

The position’s salary will be matched with their experience and qualifications.

DMC officials expect to have a new CEO by January.


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