In January of this year, the SBE announced that Executive Director John Poray would retire at the end of 2020. John has been the society’s executive director for 28 years. In March, the process began to find a candidate to fill the position. (That process is detailed below.)
After receiving and reviewing multiple applications, the field was narrowed to three people. From those three, one was recommended to the SBE Board of Directors, which was reviewed at a board meeting held on Sept. 22. The Board approved the appointment of James Ragsdale of Anderson, IN. Mr. Ragsdale will officially begin work on Jan. 1, 2021.
Most recently, Ragsdale was the VP for finance at Anderson University. Ragsdale also completed his undergraduate degree at Anderson. In that role, he managed the operational budget for the private, liberal arts education institution, participated as member of the university president’s leadership team, and oversaw the business office, human resources, physical plant, police and security, and auxiliary services.
Before his position with Anderson University, he was the senior financial analyst at Ascension Technologies, where he managed the operational and capital budgets for Indiana Market and St. Vincent Health system. Other career work includes treasurer and controller at Church of God Ministries and practice administrator at Anderson Family Practice Associates.
Ragsdale earned his bachelor of arts in business management and public affairs at (then) Anderson College, and his masters of business administration in finance from Indiana University.
On the announcement, SBE President Wayne Pecena said, “Following all the extensive work by many people to arrive at the final selection of Jim Ragsdale to be the SBE’s new executive director, I welcome Jim and look forward to working with him to continue furthering the goals of the SBE and providing superior services to our members. I also want to thank SBE Past President Joe Snelson for his work leading the Executive Director Search Committee, and all the efforts of the EDSC and the Executive Director Search Advisory Group members.”
The Selection and Review Process
In March of this year, SBE President Wayne Pecena proposed to the board that a five-person Executive Director Search Committee (EDSC) be formed with the goal of seeking out qualified candidates for the position and presenting a finalist to the board for approval. The tasks of the committee included writing a job description, establishing qualifications, proposing a fair compensation package, posting of the position, interviewing candidates and presenting a finalist to the board for approval.
To provide additional input to the EDSC, President Pecena formed an Executive Director Search Advisory Group to seek input on what should be expected from the SBE executive director in terms of duties and responsibilities, and the qualifications required to meet those objectives. This group of about 20 people consisted of SBE members and headquarters staff. Their input was used by the EDSC to finalize the job description of the executive director.
A field of 28 candidates was narrowed to three finalists, who were all interviewed in person by the committee. The Committee unanimously chose one finalist, James Ragsdale, to recommend to the Board.