A search firm has been hired to help Tarrant County hire a new county administrator.

During the July 18 Commissioners Court meeting, a contract was awarded to Mackenzie Eason & Associates of Fort Worth to conduct a national search to fill a void that will be left by G.K. Maenius’ retirement Sept. 30. Maenius was hired in 1988 as the county’s first administrator, overseeing all the county departments and budgets.

Zooming In

The commissioners approved the motion 4-1 with commissioner Alisa Simmons voting no on the matter. Mackenzie Eason and Mecca provided presentations during the meeting. The total cost for the contract wasn’t provided.

The context

According to the presentation, the firm helped the city of Fort Worth hire a new chief financial officer and aided in Texas Christian University hiring an associate vice president of student affairs. Nationally, it has helped hire financial directors and chief operation officers for the city of Denver and Miami-Dade County in Florida. The report stated a candidate hired by the firm has been with a company for at least five years 92% of the time, and diverse candidates are hired 68% of the time. Mackenize Eason gave a 10-week timetable to find a candidate during the meeting.

A closer look

Mecca Management Group in Arlington was the other search firm finalist. The presentation showed it has helped fill executive positions for Arlington, Visit Dallas, Cigna and the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce.

The business was opened in 2017 by CEO Marnese Barksdale Elder, according to the presentation.

The company said if a candidate leaves within a year after they were placed, Mecca would conduct a second search without any added consultation fees. Mecca projected a 10- to 12-week window to select a candidate.