By Ashley Graves
After operating roughly a year-and-a-half without a permanent director, the North-central Alabama Regional Council of Governments can now say they have one.
Last week, the 14-member board voted unanimously to hire Jeffrey Pruitt as executive director. Pruitt currently serves as planning director for the Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments (TARCOG) in Huntsville.
“I’m very excited,” Pruitt said. “Im looking forward to working with the people over there. I think there is a lot of opportunity there, we just need to settle down and get going.”
NARCOG has been looking for a permanent executive director since Neal Morrison resigned in September 2011 to accept a cabinet seat under Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. The executive director’s position was offered to Cullman County resident Shane Bailey in January 2012, but he declined to take it after several months due to the uncertainty surrounding the organization. Since then, Lona Johns and Stefanie Franklin have served as interim directors.
“I’m excited for the board,” board chairman Stanley Yarbrough said. “Lately we’ve had a great working relationship in getting a director, everyone was on the same page. It’s taken cooperation from everyone to do this. We’re anticipating great leadership from Mr. Pruitt.”
Pruitt was one of two interviewed for the position. Currently the board is awaiting word back from Auburn’s University Center of Government Services, the group who NARCOG hired to handle the search. Once follow up work is complete, Yarbrough said the organization would hold an executive board meeting to set Pruitt’s salary and start date.