By Liz Skoczylas
MAYVILLE - County Executive Greg Edwards is looking forward to transitioning into his new role as CEO of the Gebbie Foundation.
The Gebbie Foundation Board of Directors announced Thursday that Edwards would be appointed chief executive officer as of Nov. 15.
"Greg brings a diverse set of experiences to the Gebbie Foundation," said Kristy Zabrodski, Gebbie board president. "His knowledge of both the public and private sectors will help us further our strategic focus and will enhance our collaborations with community and regional partners. We are extremely excited to welcome Greg to the foundation team."
Edwards said he was "thrilled" the Gebbie Foundation found him to be the right fit for CEO.
"The last three executive directors have all left a stronger Chautauqua County, a stronger Jamestown from their efforts with the board," Edwards said. "It really enables me to stay here, working in a region that I love. It enables my children to remain in the school district they are in, to finish their careers there, and enables my wife to continue to develop her great career in interior design."
Edwards said he is passionate about economic development, and is eager to help create opportunities for people in the greater Jamestown area.
"I'm thrilled about that opportunity to keep doing what motivates me, and that's helping people succeed," Edwards said.
Edwards anticipates learning more about the goals and objectives of the board during its first board retreat.
"As the executive director, I'm the implementor of their directions," Edwards said. "I look forward to that first opportunity to really sit down with them and roll up my sleeves, and learn about where it is they want to see the Gebbie Foundation invest in."
Because his new position begins before his term as county executive is complete, Edwards said the Chautauqua County Charter allows for him to step down and name an interim county executive, which is what he plans to do.
"That will mean that for 45 days, there will be an interim county executive," Edwards said. "There are any number of people I work with in leadership areas already in Chautauqua County government that have the capacity to serve in that interim roll. I am very excited that it's a 45-day window. It will be after the county budget is completed. It will be a great opportunity for another very talented person to manage operations for 45 days, because on Jan. 1 we will have a new county executive."
However, Edwards did not divulge who he has in mind, if anyone, for the interim position. When asked if he would consider naming the winner of the county executive seat in the November election as the interim, Edwards said he looked forward to meeting with County Attorney Steve Abdella to determine the perimeters of the situation.
"Once that's completed, and once Nov. 15 approaches, we'll know who that will be," Edwards said.