City

Eight people have applied for the city’s new COO position. FILE

There have been eight applicants for the newly-created Chief of Operations position for the City of Hendersonville. Mayor Jamie Clary said he has narrowed down his finalists and would be ready to present his pick to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday, March 9.

According to the job posting on the City website, the COO will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city government and will be under the general supervision of the mayor. There is a lengthy list of essential functions for the position, including coordinating and supervising all day-to-day administrative activities and operations for each department, holding departments accountable for their operations, serving as liaison with other municipal officials, and overseeing preparation of the annual budget.

The qualifications for COO include having a minimum of an accredited bachelor’s degree with a graduate degree preferred and having five years’ leadership experience in the private sector or government leadership. Applicants should hold a Certified Public Manager (CPM) credential or obtain it within the first two years of employment. Membership in the International City Managers Association (ICMA) is also preferred.

The COO’s salary will have a range of $85,000 to $129,000. Clary will be making a recommendation on the salary to the finance committee later this week.

The eight applicants come from a variety of work backgrounds and locations.

Jesse Eckenroth is the public works director and senior manager for the City of Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was also the finance director for Rancho Mirage. He has a bachelor’s degree from Azusa Pacific University.

Thomas M. Gilligan is a Hendersonville police officer, small business owner and United States Army officer. He received his master’s degree in business and organizational risk management from Webster University. Gilligan is already a member of ICMA.

Natalie Hansen is the part-time executive director for the National Utility Contractors Association of Middle Tennessee. She has also worked for the State of Tennessee as an executive director of capital projects. She has an MBA from Grand Canyon University.

David Jenkins is the chairman of the Hendersonville Regional Planning Commission. He was the lead pastor of CrossLife Community Church from 2001-2019 and obtained his master’s degree in education and counseling from the University of Memphis in 1990.

Cheryl Lewis-Smith is the human resources director for the City of La Vergne, Tenn. She has also worked for the City of White House. She has a master’s degree in organizational communication from Western Kentucky University.

Ashley J. McLay graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in medicine, health and society. She currently works in Portland, Ore. for the City of Portland Water Bureau as a right-of-way agent. She has also worked for TDOT.

Antionette V. Richardson is a courtroom deputy for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in Birmingham. She graduated from Jacksonville State University with a master’s degree in public administration in 2003. She is in the process of getting her CPM certification from Auburn University at Montgomery.

Jeffrey S. Woodfin has worked for the United States Chief Marshalls for 24 years. He has been a chief deputy since 2008. He has a master’s degree in liberal studies from Fort Hays State University. He previously worked for Hendersonville as a police officer from 1995-1997.