Jamie Stitt to step down rom JE&CD

Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Jamie Stitt

The executive director of Marshall County's Joint Economic and Community Development Board has accepted a job with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in its Three Star Program.

Jamie Stitt's last day at the Marshall County Courthouse Annex is today, she said Monday. She submitted her letter of resignation to the JE&CD board on Nov. 19. Stitt was the first executive director for the board, which was created in 2002.

While the economic and community development board's purpose may seem obvious, its membership includes mayors of the county and its four municipalities, and representatives from utilities, health care agencies, the Chamber of Commerce, the school board, merchants and industrialists. Tennessee's Three Star Program evaluates communities to establish their eligibility for various kinds of state assistance.

One of Stitt's responsibilities here was to help local governments qualify as Three Starr Communities. That was in addition to her duties as a recruiter of new business to the county.

Stitt was hired two years after the board was created, according to Chairman Edmund Roberts. He said he expects the board to move on finding a successor at its Dec. 5 meeting.

"Jamie has done an excellent job for us," Roberts said. "We will miss her abilities. We wish her well in her new position. We think it's a real step up for her."

Andrea Arnold, a spokeswoman for the state's E&CD Department, said Stitt has been hired as a regional economic development specialist.

Her new job, according to Roberts, is "basically one of the jobs that she's been working on here with the state's Three Star program." Stitt is to be serving about half a dozen counties in Middle Tennessee, or more.

Although Stitt's new job won't have her serving Marshall County, Roberts said previous ECD officials in that position "have been helpful to us in cutting through the red tape in getting things done."

"But they change things quite a bit, so there's no telling what will happen," he added.

Since she was hired on Jan. 5, 2004, Stitt has "helped us get organized and put together all the committees required for the Three Star program and has worked diligently to get us qualified for the Three Star program and get restaurants located in our county.

"She has worked with each of the individuals who have brought in restaurants," Roberts said. "She wasn't the point person, but she was able to get those people information to help them come in.

"She's spoken with retailers," he continued. "The one that I was really pleased that we were able to bring in was TSC," the Tractor Supply Co., store located in The Acres Shopping Center where Wal-Mart used to be.

"The people who own The Acres shopping center recruited TSC, but Jamie was the one who provided the information" that was needed by TSC officials to make their corporate decision.

Finding a successor could take three to six months, he said.

Roberts anticipated Stitt's successor could be paid a salary in the mid-to upper 30s, adding, "She started at considerably less than that."

The position is important to the county, Roberts said.

The "bar has been raised" for what qualifies a community for the Three Star Program, according to Melinda Keifer, director of the community relations division in the State's ECD Department.