RED BANK – The board of the Red Bank RiverCenter didn’t have to go far to find its new executive director.
James Scavone, an 11-year borough resident and the organization’s director of operations for the last 2½ years, was appointed to the post this week following a two-month search by board members.
“It’s very exciting,” Scavone said shortly after getting the nod.
As the new executive director he sees his course of action “to work with the board to devise long-term goals for the town and organization and then work to implement those goals.
“Red Bank has an extraordinary downtown,” he said. “We have to look at that and make it even better while getting the word out to people about what we have and how they can enjoy that.”
The board had been looking for an executive director since April.
“We chose 10 candidates to interview after reviewing over 60 resumes,” said Dorothy Whitehouse, chairperson of the executive director search committee. “Narrowing it down to four, we decided that second interviews were not needed. James stood out as the spark among them all.”
Whitehouse stressed the great amount of time the search committee spent making sure they hired the right person for the job.
“The committee took their job very seriously. We spent many hours looking at the role of the executive director, reviewing resumes and conducting interviews. In the end, our candidate was standing right in front of us,” she said.
“When James started as director of operations for RiverCenter over two years ago, he hit the ground running and we saw the same thing when he took over as acting executive director. He filled the role with grace and class and made the job look easy,” Whitehouse said.
Scavone came to RiverCenter in 2011. With more than 25 years of nonprofit management experience, he spent his time at RiverCenter implementing new policies and procedures, instituting new programs, updating technology and developing relationships with property owners, business owners, government officials and volunteers, as well as overseeing day-to-day operations.
“I’m thrilled with the decision of the board and appreciate their confidence in my abilities to lead the organization. I look forward to working with the board, the borough and all of our stakeholders to further RiverCenter’s mission and the goals of the board, and promoting Red Bank’s extraordinary downtown,” he said. “When you’re as passionate about Red Bank as I am, it’s an easy job to take on.”
Leo Zeik, president of RiverCenter’s board and owner of Leonardo Jewelers on Front Street said, “James has been the acting executive director since April and we all felt that the office has run smoothly and efficiently under his command.
“When the search committee made their recommendation to the executive board, we unanimously agreed that James was the right person for the job,” Zeik said. “We also had an outpouring of references and support in favor of James from the Red Bank business community, property owners and government officials.”
Zeik thanked search committee members for their efforts. “They were meticulous in the process and had RiverCenter’s best interest at hand at all times,” he said.
“We are looking forward to a successful and lasting tenure with James.”
Red Bank RiverCenter is a not-for-profit alliance of downtown businesses, property owners, and residents working toward the economic vitality of downtown Red Bank.