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President of local Economic Development Corp steps down

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John Mulcahy, left, president of the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp. until June 1, and Bud Kunkel, president of the group’s board of directors, speak to Chaves County commissioners May 9. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Search committee named to review candidates

The president of a local economic development group has resigned.

John Mulcahy, head of the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp. for more than five years, announced his resignation effective June 1 in an email to EDC members Thursday night.

“It has been a real privilege to serve the community working for the EDC directly on many important projects, some of which include American Airlines service to (Phoenix), NextEra Solar, Spring River Apartments, USA Beef, Red Mountain Arsenal and most importantly the Airport Authority,” Mulcahy wrote. “Hopefully the authority effort will continue forward because the industrial development of the airport area has always been our best economic opportunity and will thrive under a new model.”

EDC worked for two years, succeeding in 2019, to pass legislation to enable the Roswell International Air Center, a former military base, to operate as a special economic district with its own governance and management and eventually its own bond-issuing or fee-assessment abilities. Right now, the air center is owned and managed by the city of Roswell. The city is preparing a report on the financial and logistical issues related to the transition, which is expected to be ready for City Council review by the summer.

Mulcahy indicated in his statement that he will turn his attention to his family and his children, including three school-age boys. He also has a daughter in college. His wife, Tammie, is employed with MISTIC (Matrix Intelligence Security Intelligence Center), which operates in several states and is located in Roswell at the air center.

The president of the EDC board of directors, Bud Kunkel, said he accepted Mulcahy’s resignation with sadness.

“I am personally disappointed that he is leaving the organization. As far as I was concerned, he was the premier economic developer in the state of New Mexico,” Kunkel said. “I absolutely understand his desire to spend more time with his family for the benefit of his family. I don’t begrudge him that opportunity.”

Kunkel said he has named a seven-member selection committee, which will begin as soon as possible to consider resumes of candidates, with the goal of starting interviews in about 30 days.

“As far as making a decision, we are not going to scramble to make the first decision that we can,” he said. “We are going to attempt to make the decision that best services the city and the county and the region.”

The executive committee of the board will make the final selection and the hiring offer, Kunkel said.

After June 1, the executive committee and Project Manager Tawnie Honey will handle day-to-day organizational issues, Kunkel said, and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis whether Mulcahy will work on individual projects.

“Work on specific projects can and will continue, especially if they are critical to economic development in the area,” Kunkel said.

A former mayor of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Mulcahy became the head of the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp. in October 2013. He previously had done economic development and business development for Sierra County and for the international charity Mercy Ships. Earlier in his career, he worked as a business sales manager, according to his online profile.

The Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp. is one of about 49 regional, local and special interest development groups in the state that partner with the New Mexico Department of Economic Development. The EDC receives funding from the city of Roswell, Chaves County, state and federal grants, sponsorships and dues from its 132 business members.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.