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Search on for new High Point Market Authority president

Agency hopes to replace Brian Casey by late April or early May

The High Point Market Authority hopes to have a replacement for outgoing president Brian Casey hired by late April or early May, the chairman of the group's board of  directors said this week.

Chairman Kevin O'Connor said the board's four-person executive committee will oversee the search, and that group will recommend a candidate to the full 12-member board.

"Brian has a very strong staff, and I'm confident they can keep things running smoothly in the short-term," O'Connor said.

Casey, who is leaving April 30 to become general manager of the Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center, has been Market Authority president since 2006.

O'Connor said the new president's role will be somewhat different because Casey was hired when the Las Vegas Market presented a competitive threat to High Point.

Although that competitive threat essentially has dissipated, he said it will be important for the new leader to maintain good relations with showroom building owners, buyers and the High Point community, as well as North Carolina state lawmakers in Raleigh, who have provided more than $2 million annually in recent years to promote the market and operate its shuttle system.

"Under Brian's leadership, the Market Authority has established itself as a strong independent entity that serves all constituencies," said O'Connor. "And we want to continue to do that, while providing a place for exhibitors and retailers to do business."

He said the possible sale of High Point's largest showroom buildings will have little or no bearing on who ultimately gets the job.

"The exhibitors are the ones who make it important to come to market," he said. "It is not the responsibility of the building owners to create a market."

In addition to O'Connor, the board's executive committee consists of High Point Mayor Becky Smothers, International Home Furnishings Center President Tom Mitchell, and Doug Bassett, executive vice president of Vaughn-Bassett.

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