Valdosta man named most qualified for Civic Center Director

Will a third time be a charm for the city's search for a Civic Center Director?

It's been an eight-month long search.

First there was Joseph McCullough from Athens who turned down the job. Then there was State Theater Co-owner Lane Rosen whom city officials say negotiations fell through with.

On Monday, City Manager Al Lott named Timothy Mabe from Valdosta as the most recent best qualified candidate for the Albany Civic Center Director.

"I am very pleased to have been selected as best candidate and am looking forward to the chance of working with the great staff at the center as well as area stakeholders who desire the success of the Albany Civic Center Complex including WFXL Fox 31," says Mabe in an email statement.

So will the third time a charm?

"We go through a process. It's arduous. It's not easy to get people to come off the beaten path to Albany," says Lott.

But this long process isn't unusual. Lott says he has seen selection processes for jobs similar to this take one year. He also says with the state's open records law requiring all top candidates be publically announced, it can seem like the process is more difficult and long to the public.

After serving as Interim Civic Center Director for eight months, Asst. City Manager Wes Smith says he hopes Mabe will be the candidate to end the search.

"It's been his life work and I think he's got all of the certifications and trainings that we really would hope for from a top of the line candidate," says Smith.

Timothy Mabe has 30 years of experience in managing civic centers, most recently as the Executive Director for the Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center & Tourism Authority . Prior to that, he was General Manager of the Garland ISD Special Events Center for five years in Garland Texas.

It isn't his first time in the Peach State. He served as Executive Director for seven years at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center Authority in Dalton.

Mabe has interviewed for the Albany Civic Center Director position previously: He was the second choice in the most recent pool of candidates.

"We've since reinterviewed him, spoken with him, and therefore redesignated him as a candidate," says Lott.

Since his second interview, new attributes came to light that stood out to city officials.

"Mr. Mabe has actually gotten an MBA later in his career and felt like that his analysis and ability within doing the numbers and crunching the numbers was much better," says Asst. City Manager Wes Smith.

Smith says this will help with deciding where to spend money when it comes to the Civic Center.

He may not be a technician but Smith says Mabe also has extensive knowledge of equipment already being used at the Civic Center.

"That's something we need to improve upon with a 30 year old building so that was important to me," says Smith.

At least 14 days must now pass before final action is taken on selecting and hiring the Civic Center Director.