Dear Editor:

In a recent article on Mr. Gary Chandler leaving his position as Director of the Jackson County Economic Development Authority (EDA), it was stated in the Daily Sentinel that I did not return comment by press time about Mr. Chandler leaving.  (I serve as chair of the EDA Board.) 

Due to a communication problem totally on my end, I was unaware of the request for comment.  If I may, my comment is the following: 

 After some hard thought and prayer, Gary has decided to take a job in his native state of Mississippi.  The reasons he gave me for his decisions are; 1) he missed his family and wanted to return to be with them; 2) his new job is a homecoming of sorts in that he will be working in his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi, and this will give him the opportunity to work in the town where he grew up.  He told me that there were no other reasons for his departure and that he had enjoyed being in our area and that people here had been very gracious to him. 

When hired at EDA, Mr. Chandler originally  planned for his family to move to Jackson County this coming summer. However, since his hiring, Gary’s son has become a Division 1 soccer prospect and he did not want to move his family his son’s senior year of high school with the possibility of the scholarship ahead.   

Although regretting him leaving, the EDA Board accepted Mr. Chandler’s resignation and wished him well and good fortune for he and his family in the future. The Board appointed Assistant EDA Director Mrs. Shelia Shepherd to serve as Interim Director.  Mrs. Shepherd is very experienced and knowledgeable of the duties of the job.  While the position currently is not open, a decision will be made at a later date about a hiring process to permanently replace Mr. Chandler.  Thanks and I believe we have some very bright days ahead of us for economic development in Jackson County.

—Dr. David Campbell

Chair, Jackson County Economic Development Board

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