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An executive search firm is narrowing the list of potential candidates to be interviewed for the Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce's open CEO position, a chamber leader said.

In August, the chamber hired Waverly Partners LLC to work with the chamber's nine-person task force to conduct a national search to fill the position vacated last summer former CEO Tara Barney.  

According to Pat Eikenberry, who chairs the chamber and the independent task force, Waverly Partners advertised the position to more than 750 chamber and economic development leaders across the country. He did not know how many applications were received, but Waverly had narrowed the list to about two dozen candidates who meet the qualifications and "expressed formal interest."

"It's quite an impressive group of candidates," he said, adding "It made me feel good that we had that kind of interest."

Barney had led the chamber since the 2010 merger of Illinois and Iowa Quad-Cities chambers that formed a regional one. She had been in leadership positions since 2002 with the chamber's predecessors, including DavenportOne. She resigned July 21, announcing she was stepping down "to pass the torch to new leadership."

Kristin Glass, the chamber's former vice president of member services, is serving as interim CEO.

Eikenberry said Waverly Partners has vetted the candidate pool down further to about nine candidates and will conduct face-to-face interviews in the next few weeks. He predicts the list will be narrowed again to three or four candidates, who then will be interviewed by the chamber's task force "sometime in January."

"Based on that (process), the candidates will be called back to have some community meetings," he said, estimating those meetings might be as late as February. 

The chamber initially announced a timeline of conducting interviews in November and community meet-and-greets in December or early January.

"I thought from the beginning, the schedule was very aggressive," Eikenberry said, that the process really has not been delayed.

"This was something I didn't want to rush and we want to get the best candidate we can," he said, who applauded Glass for her leadership. "It takes the urgency off from feeling you have to fill the position right away when you have capable people in place, including Kristin. The rest of the staff has certainly stepped up to the plate too."

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