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East End Main Street seeks new president

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Three months after choosing their first new president in eight years, East End Main Street directors are once again looking for a leader.

Board members were caught off guard just before Christmas by the announcement by their president, Andy Milovich, that he was leaving his job as executive vice president of the West Virginia Power to take a similar job in Myrtle Beach.

"It's a big loss for Charleston, a big loss for East End Main Street," said Ric Cavender, executive director of East End Main Street.

"He and I spoke at length [on Dec. 22] about that," Cavender said. "I think he's leaving pretty soon, the 15th [of January.] We wish him the best."

Milovich joined the group's board about three years ago, served on several committees and was unanimously elected president in September. He replaced longtime president Mary Anne Crickard, who decided to step down after leading the board for eight years.

"He not only got the West Virginia Power involved with East End Main Street, but he's been really engaged from the get-go," Cavender said. "He's helped with HallowEast."

The organization will follow its written protocols for finding a new president, he said. "Our nominating committee will meet in the next week or so and discuss a replacement -- someone on the board for at least a year -- to be president.

"I think Andy will make a recommendation, although that won't be binding."

Milovich's departure coincides with a restructuring within East End Main Street, as the group seeks to add a business arm, Cavender said.

Within the last year, the group broke its ties with the Charleston Area Alliance and obtained nonprofit status -- 501(c)(3) designation -- through the Internal Revenue Service. Now it's seeking the 501(c)(6) designation shared by chambers of commerce and business leagues.

"The board has authorized me to research and apply for designation under 501(c)(6) of the IRS code," Cavender said.

"You have to be careful as a 501(c)(3) when you're involved in economic development. If you want to take it to the next level -- buy a piece of property, or build our base of business members and identify them as business members -- 501(c)(6) allows you the form a business organization and have businesses as members.

"We want to follow the proper protocol. That's why we've held off recruiting our business recruitment. We're already recruiting individual members."

West Side Main Street recently took the same step, Cavender said. "Their main purpose was to buy the Staats building. That's what we want to put on our agenda."

In addition to naming a possible replacement for Milovich, the nominating committee will be asked to replace another board member who resigned and to name a 501(c)(6) advisory board, he said.

The committee should complete its work and have its slate approved by the executive committee in time for a vote by the full board on Jan. 23, he said.

"My plan is to send an email out to the nominating committee in the next day," Cavender said Sunday.

Reach Jim Balow at balow@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.


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