The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 5, 2013

Search for new nature center director could take 60 days

From staff reports

JOPLIN, Mo. — The search for a new director of the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center could wrap up in 60 days, but the search committee is in no hurry to fill the post.

Mike Pence, a member of the center’s Board of Directors, said, “The search is ongoing. We have a big list of potential candidates. We are trying to sort through them.

“We are not in a great hurry. We want to make sure we do due diligence. There are a few things we would like to see happen,’’ he said. “And, we have a pretty rigid set of qualifications for this person.’’

The job description, which is posted on online at, seeks someone who is skilled at planning, fundraising, marketing, program development and resource conservation.

“We would like to hire a local person because they would be a step ahead of someone from another part of the country,’’ Pence said. “But we want to make certain that we look as broadly as we can.’’

Pence said the search committee wants to fill the post as soon as possible. He said he hopes the process is completed within 60 days. But getting the right person, he said, is more important than the time table.

Patricia Hagen, vice president of Audubon Missouri, said Audubon does not have a deadline to find a replacement for Robin McAlester, who served five years as the directly before resigning recently to accept a position with the Empire District Electric Co., of Joplin.

“We are interviewing candidates right now,’’ said Hagen. “Once we work through that process, we will do the final interviews and reference checks.’’

The job was advertised nationally by Audubon’s human resources department in New York City, she said.

She would not disclose how many people have applied for the job.

“We’re taking a careful look at people who are familiar with the local area,’’ she said. “We are giving special attention to the candidate who could do a good job and knows the region.’’

The search committee, she said, is comprised of local people and Audubon staff.

“The committee has been working together to conduct interviews. They have had a really good meeting of the minds,’’ she said.