CFPUA CEO accepts job in Florida

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The CEO of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has accepted a job offer in Tampa Bay, Fla., that region’s water utility announced this week.

Matt Jordan

Matt Jordan, who has led the CFPUA since its inception in 2008, has accepted the position of general manager with Tampa Bay Water, the utility said in a release issued Monday.

“Tampa Bay Water’s Chairman and General Counsel have successfully completed contract negotiations with Matthew W. Jordan, P.E., and he has accepted the position as Tampa Bay Water’s new general manager,” the release states.

“The contract will go before the Board of Directors for consideration at its June 17 regular board meeting. Pending board approval, Mr. Jordan will start work on July 8, 2013.”

Jordan was offered the job over a field of 180 applicants, 52 of which met the minimum requirements and were reviewed by a screening committee. The board for Tampa Bay Water interviewed the top five candidates April 29 before beginning negotiations with Jordan, the release states.

Jordan was unavailable for comment late Tuesday afternoon. In a statement, CFPUA spokesman Mike McGill offered the following:

“We at CFPUA have seen the report in the Tampa Times and can acknowledge that Mr. Jordan is in line for the General Manager’s position with Tampa Bay Water. Mr. Jordan is still the Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority until further notice.

“It is the nature of the water and wastewater industry for top managers to be considered for leadership positions with larger utilities and Mr. Jordan informed Board Chairman Jim Quinn of his intention to interview for the Tampa Bay Water position earlier this year.”

Reached Tuesday, Quinn noted the Tampa Bay board has yet to approve the hire, but said he wishes Jordan well if it does.

“Hate to see him go. I think he’s done a good job,” said Quinn, who oversaw Jordan’s hire when the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County merged their respective utility departments to form the CFPUA five years ago.

Asked if he was aware Jordan was seeking other opportunities, Quinn said Jordan told him he was one of the five finalists for the job.

“He has not given his notice,” Quinn said, reiterating that the Tampa Bay board still needs to approve the hire. Should that occur and Jordan moves on, Quinn said his board would proceed with a search for a new chief executive officer.

“I’ve been through searches before, and we’ve done them through the authority,” he said. “We’re well-staffed. The staff that Matt has established will do fine.”

Asked what Jordan has brought to the CFPUA, Quinn said he led the authority through the challenges and sometimes controversies that come with merging departments and starting a new utility.

“He’s taken us through some really rough times. And he’s done a fine job,” Quinn said. “We’re in way better shape than we were five years ago, just getting going.”

Jonathan Spiers is a reporter for Port City Daily. He can be reached at (910) 772-6313 or jonathan.s@portcitydaily.com. On Twitter: @jrspiers