VALDOSTA — The Valdosta Daily Times’ publisher will chair the committee that will select the next president of Valdosta Technical College.

Long-time President James Bridges retired June 1. Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education Commissioner Mike Vollmer announced Wednesday the creation of the 10-member search committee that will find his replacement.

Joining Sandy Sanders on the committee are Sara Coggins, vice president, First State Bank, Lake Park; Deric Crosby, Health, Safety and Environmental manager, Propex Fabrics, Nashville; Lynn Dowdy, accounting program coordinator, Valdosta Tech; Dr. Fred Lamb, director, Brooks County Development Authority, Quitman; Terri Lupo, vice president, Georgia Power Company, Valdosta; Simmie McNeal Jr., manager of Human Resources, BASF Sparks, LLC, Sparks; Dr. Leon Pate, retired school superintendent and VSU Associate professor, Valdosta; Franklin Patten, chief financial officer, FMB Bancshares, Inc., Lakeland; and Sheral Ware, human resources manager, Lowe’s Distribution Center, Valdosta.

“Our committee represents all the six counties in the college’s service area and everyone on this committee knows first hand the needs we have in South Georgia for a well skilled and educated workforce. Those of us in business and industry have a common interest in helping everyone in our community to reach their career goals. We all benefit from an educational institution whose primary goal is to develop our workforce,” Sanders said.

The committee will be responsible for screening a pool of applicants over the next four to six months, down to a final selection of three candidates.

The top three candidates will be referred on to personal interviews with Vollmer at DTAE’s headquarters in Atlanta. The commissioner’s final selection must be approved by the state Board of Technical and Adult Education, whose members are appointed by the governor to oversee the operation of the agency.

“Our goal and the object of this search committee is to find an exceptional leader who not only possesses the right combination of knowledge, skill and ability to continue Valdosta Tech’s record of success, but who can also elevate the college, its faculty and staff, and its students to even higher levels of achievement,” Vollmer said.

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