Hillsborough Children's Board expands search for executive director

Published March 6, 2013

TAMPA — A search firm has narrowed the list of candidates for executive director of the Children's Board of Hillsborough County from several hundred to five, but said it wants another 30 days to find more candidates.

The vacancy was created when Luanne Panacek resigned last year amid questions about how the agency had been handling contracts, spending money and dealing with employees.

"It is our opinion that for a position of this stature, we would have a deeper pool of finalist candidates," executive search consultant Renee Narloch said in an email to interim executive director and former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio. "We do feel the ones we have identified have strengths and are viable candidates, but we feel the process would be better served by taking additional time to reach out again in an effort to increase the pool."

A previously scheduled board meeting to talk about the finalists will take place today, but instead of selecting a new director, Narloch will discuss how best to expand the search.

Iorio agreed in July to serve as interim executive director for six months until a permanent leader is found, but said she will stay on until a new director is chosen. "It just always takes longer than you think it's going to take," she said. "I want them to have the best. I don't want them to feel rushed."