Coral Gables

August 5, 2014

15 candidates in running for Coral Gables city manager

In the hunt for the Coral Gables’ next city manager, a search firm hired by the city has recommended a mix of 15 locals and outsiders.

In the hunt for the Coral Gables’ next city manager, a search firm hired by the city has recommended a mix of 15 locals and outsiders.

In May, the City Commission chose Colin Baenziger and Associates to lead a national search for a new manager after Pat Salerno resigned in February.

The firm provided 15 candidates to a citizens’ advisory committee for review, and by Aug. 15 the committee will select a shortlist to interview. The committee, made up of community members appointed by the City Commission in April, will hold the interviews Aug. 22, and the committee will then send its recommendations to the City Commission for further interviews.

The 15 candidates are:

• James Beard, chief financial officer of the city of Atlanta.
• Chris Bragg, director of business operations for medical products for the medical-equipment company Welch Allyn. He is based in Miami and lives in Coral Gables.
• Donald Elliott, change facilitator (a high-level personnel position) with Novant Health in Charlotte, N.C.
• Bryan Hill, deputy county administrator of Beaufort County, South Carolina.
• Wazir Ishmael, president and CEO of multidisciplinary consulting firm PlanLogical. He is a former deputy city manager of Miramar.
• Scott Larese, managing director of the Cunningham Center for Leadership and Development at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. He is a retired Army garrison commander (essentially city manager) of Fort Rucker, Alabama.
• Maria Lasday, village manager of Bannockburn, Illinois.
• Thomas Mattis, city manager of Colonial Heights, Virginia.
• Yvone Soler McKinley, executive director of the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba. She is a former city manager of Doral and South Miami.
• Arthur Noriega, CEO of the Miami Parking Authority
• Guillermo Olmedillo, owner of land use/planning and zoning consulting firm Olmedillo X 5. He previously worked for Miami-Dade County and, more recently, coordinated political redistricting for Miami-Dade after the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
• Carlos Puentes, Sr., vice president of operations for tech firm Automated Control Technology Partners.
• Stephen Rasmussen, executive vice president of Interim Solutions LLC, which works on finding short-term municipal executive replacements. He is a retired Army colonel and former city manager of Ottumwa, Iowa, and Jefferson City, Missouri.
• Alex Rey, town manager of Miami Lakes.
• Jane Shang, deputy city manager of El Paso, Texas.

The citizens’ advisory committee’s members are:

• Manuel Kadre, a member of the University of Miami Board of Trustees.
• Wayne “Chip” Withers, former city commissioner.
• José Mas, CEO of Coral Gables-based MasTec.
• Cristina Moreno, local attorney.
• Rudy Fernandez, vice president for government and community relations at UM.

An earlier version of this article omitted Carlos Puentes, Sr.

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