Columbia Association’s (CA) Board of Directors has selected five finalists for the organization’s President/CEO position.

“CA is thrilled to invite these five impressive individuals to the next phase of this process,” Human Resources Director Monica McMellon-Ajayi said. “We are confident that any of these finalists would provide the guidance, leadership and energy to expand on this organization’s tradition of enhancing the quality of life for the Columbia community.”

This process has been conducted with the assistance of Baker Tilly US, LLP. The search firm conducted a months-long nationwide recruitment effort. That effort included a comprehensive stakeholder survey to identify the community’s priorities for a new leader. This recruitment effort resulted in approximately 80 applications for the position.

Baker Tilly recently presented a list of the top 15 candidates and one-way video interviews to the Board of Directors for their individual consideration. Board members have spent the last few weeks evaluating those responses.

This week, the Board collectively came to a consensus on the top five candidates who will move on in the process. This group of finalists represent a wide range of backgrounds, skill sets and experiences.

“The Board understands the gravity of its role in this process and has treated this selection with great care and consideration,” CA Board of Directors Chair Andy Stack said. “We are confident that we are moving forward with a group of candidates that represents our dynamic and diverse community, and we are excited for the opportunity to get to know them further.”

In the coming weeks, the five finalists will be interviewed by CA senior leadership and Board members via video conference. After careful consideration, the Board will extend an employment offer to one of those candidates. CA expects a contract will be signed by March 31 with the new President/CEO starting his or her term with the organization on May 1.

Current CA President/CEO Milton W. Matthews will end his term in April 2021.

“It has been an honor to be a part of this organization and a resident of this community,” Matthews said. “I have grown professionally and personally from the challenges we have endured and awed by the resilience of CA team members and the people of the Columbia community. I look forward to welcoming the new President/CEO and assisting with the transition.”

Timeline for the remaining President/CEO hiring process: