Friday, January 8, 2010

CDC director Morrow resigns

Organization loses 3rd leader in 4 years


By TREVON MILLIARD
Express Staff Writer

Neil Morrow

The Ketchum Community Development Corp. announced Tuesday that Executive Director Neil Morrow has resigned after less than a year on the job.

Even though Morrow was director for only 11 months, he stayed longer than the two previous directors, who worked nine months and two months before resigning.

Morrow said in a phone interview that he had "no comment" about the reason he stepped down. However, he did say he will be staying in the area. He moved here from Pittsburgh, Pa., to take the job on Jan. 20, 2009.

CDC Board President Neil Bradshaw said he's unaware of Morrow's motivations for resigning, and the 10-member board of directors will meet in a couple of weeks to fill the position as soon as possible, giving top bidding to a local.

The CDC is a private nonprofit organization started in July 2006 with seed money from the city of Ketchum. It consists of more than 50 volunteers with the only paid staff member being the executive director. Its focus has been affordable community housing and capital improvement projects for the betterment of the community.

Bradshaw said he's uncertain if the CDC will stick to its practice of hiring an executive search firm to find the next director. He said that will be for the board to decide. The CDC hired Seattle-based executive search firm Prothman Co. in finding Morrow.

All three executive directors to date have been hired from out of state. All three have also unexpectedly resigned.

In its three-and-half-year lifetime, the CDC has spent almost half the time without an executive director. The three directors have totaled 22 months on the job with the CDC spending 19 months searching for a leader.

Gary Rapport, the previous director, resigned on July 8, 2008, after only two months due to a felony burglary charge in California, for which he was arrested later that day on a California warrant. The charge dated back to 1997 when Rapport allegedly stole money from Leisure World Market, a grocery store in Seal Beach.

Rapport eventually pled guilty to the charge, as part of an agreement that it could be reduced to a misdemeanor if he met certain conditions.

Allegations also surfaced of an aggravated assault charge in Bozeman, Mont., where Rapport lived prior to moving to Ketchum.

Preceding Rapport was Tom Hudson, who left in April 2007 about five months before his contract with the city expired. In his resignation letter to the CDC board, Hudson pointed to several reasons for his departure, including his concern that payment of his $200,000-per-year contract salary might be delayed a year.

Trevon Milliard: tmilliard@mtexpress.com




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