The Paris Economic Development Corp. board heard a presentation by the president of an executive search team Wednesday afternoon but tabled further consideration until directors meet again to consider exactly what they are looking for in their next executive director.

Directors terminated former executive director Michael Paris at a Jan. 30 meeting by a unanimous vote. They have not publicly discussed the reasons for his termination.

Anthony Michelle, president of Dallas-based The Pace Group, spoke briefly as he explained his firm would use a 120-day timeline to interview board members to determine qualities expected in the next director, go to its database of more than 50,000 executives, evaluate possible candidates and then present three to five people to the board for interviews.

The City of Paris has used the group in the past, shortly after it was formed in the early 1990s. Since its founding, the group has worked in 42 states and made more than 425 placements in more than 400 communities, according to the firm’s website at

After the Pace presentation, Dr. A.J. Hashmi presented several agenda items including renovation work at The Depot offices, the possible purchase of iPads for directors and a procedure for adding items to meeting agendas.

With regard to renovation, Hashmi discussed the need for a more inviting lobby, which currently is void of furniture for seating, the conversion of upstairs office space for an office for the board chairman and a conference room, the construction of restrooms inside the office area, and the installation of new furniture and audio equipment in the community room.

After explaining the need for renovation, Hashmi asked that the item be tabled, and then said he has another option — a new building in the Paris Industrial Park off NW Loop 286 — which he would like to present at a future meeting.

Along with the renovation item, directors also tabled the purchase of iPads as recommended by Hashmi until staff could research pricing and maintenance costs.

The board approved a Hashmi recommendation that would allow directors to place items on the agenda with a requirement that background information be included.

Chairman Timothy Hernandez reported both the transfer of Brownfield property and the planned construction of rail to the American SpiralWeld Pipe Co. facility are on target to meet construction deadlines.

After spending roughly 25 minutes in executive session reviewing an employment contract, directors took no action.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at

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