The headline read, “Mayor’s chief of staff Brian Hughes to serve as interim DIA CEO.”
Conflict of interest — first thing I thought. And I was not alone with that thought either. Twitter went crazy and even one of the members of the DIA questioned if it was a good move.
Of course it is a conflict of interest and those who make light of this “interim CEO” decision are foolish.
Brian Hughes has no experience to match the qualifications for even an interim CEO position. He’s a media/communications guy – per his LinkedIn bio:
“With 20 years of professional communication and media production experience, I am ready to help you craft and deliver your message. Whether it’s corporate brand management, political outreach, or media strategy, give me a call and let’s get to work. Specialties: Public relations/Corporate branding/Audio-video-film production and post-production/Strategic social media counsel”
Compare Mr. Hughes’ bio with that of the outgoing DIA CEO, Aundra Wallace:
“Prior to coming to Jacksonville, Mr. Wallace spent three years as Executive Director of the Detroit Land Bank Authority, with previous experience as the Senior Vice President for Commercial Real Estate at the North Carolina Community Development Initiative, as well as holding several positions managing community, economic and housing development initiatives over twelve years with Miami-Dade County Government. Mr. Wallace holds a Masters of Public Administration from Clark Atlanta University and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Georgia Southern University. He is a Certified Housing Development Finance Professional and a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional.”
A man who spins messages compared to a man who is an expert and a professional in the world of real estate initiatives and community development. What the heck?
With all the highly qualified professionals in Jacksonville who could have served in the Interim CEO capacity, why would they choose Brian Hughes, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff? How can Brian Hughes do two jobs and do any of them well? Why would they think this is okay?
This DIA CEO position is nothing to take for granted. The person in that role has a lot of influence on how we spend tax incentives, grants, and taxpayer dollars. When the job description is posted, Brian Hughes would not qualify for that position. So why did he get it?
The excuses are not good enough. This was a poor business decision. This move deserves a STINK Eye and Eye on Jacksonville will keep a close watch on how this develops.
And we are certain the world of Twitter will too.