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Fayetteville PWC hopes to have new CEO hired by sometime in April

Utility working with executive recruiting firm to find candidates


Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the Alumni Community Advisory Group.

The board of Fayetteville’s public utility hopes to have a new CEO in place by April.

Ronna Garrett, chairwoman of the Fayetteville Public Works Commission, said during the board’s monthly meeting on Wednesday that the utility has been working with Polyhire, an executive recruitment firm.

Former CEO and general manager Elaina Ball left PWC in early September to take a job in her home state of Texas. Mick Noland, PWC’s chief operations officer for water resources, was named interim CEO until a permanent replacement is hired.

Garrett said Polyhire posted an announcement about the vacancy.

“It’s been out, and we’re starting to see candidates — not in a formal way, but certainly (their) interest and availability,” Garrett said.

She said PWC officials will work with Polyhire this month to get feedback from focus groups and build out the final candidate profile.

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Focus groups, she said, will include PWC employees, staff officers, the Alumni Community Advisory Group, and possibly representatives of the City Council and Cumberland County Board of Commissioners.

“We’re going to do that quickly,” said Garrett. “It’s important to us — the board — a as we move to final selection that we understand what all the stakeholders are looking for in the next CEO.”

She said final candidates should be identified in February.

Customer satisfaction survey

In other business PWC members heard a presentation on the results of a customer satisfaction survey, which are conducted twice a year.

The results are compared to similar surveys done by high-satisfaction municipal- and investor-owned utilities across the nation.

“Our customer satisfaction scores are high, and we are gradually moving the needle in overall satisfaction since we conducted our first survey in 2021,” PWC spokeswoman Carolyn Justice-Hinson said after the meeting.

Residential customers rated PWC “very high” in 21 of 35 areas that are benchmarked, Justice-Hinson said.

“PWC ranks No.1 in 11 benchmark areas, including customer service, working with customers who have a problem, ‘easy to do business with,’ and avoiding lengthy service interruptions and preparing for emergencies and major service interruptions.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com

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