NewTown Macon hires Josh Rogers as organization’s next CEO

Telegraph staffDecember 6, 2013 

NewTown Macon selected Josh Rogers on Friday as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer, replacing its longtime leader Mike Ford, who announced his resignation last month.

Rogers, who will begin his new job April 1, is currently the executive director of the Historic Macon Foundation.

NewTown Macon, the nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing downtown Macon, first partnered with Rogers when he was a Mercer University student in 2002. Rogers worked with the organization to get a downtown trolley system working for student transportation.

After graduating from Mercer, Rogers worked as a NewTown intern in the mornings and waited tables in the afternoons.

“This is definitely where I fell in love with historic preservation and urban revitalization,” Rogers said after a Friday news conference to announce his new job.

A NewTown Macon search committee made up of the three board of directors officers -- Bill Underwood, Juanita Jordan and Dan Forrester -- selected Rogers for the position.

“In searching for a successor to continue the momentum we have achieved under Mike Ford’s leadership, we looked for a candidate who had a strong record of success in producing positive and quantifiable results in prior positions of leadership, as well as expertise in the field of community revitalization and experience developing and leveraging public and private resources to promote revitalization and economic growth,” Underwood, Mercer University president and chairman of NewTown’s board of directors, said in a news release.

The board wanted a leader with experience promoting community revitalization and management ability to work with other organizations such as the various economic development authorities, the College Hill Alliance, the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce and the Macon-Bibb County government, Underwood said.

“We believe Josh Rogers possesses all of these characteristics,” he said. “Our community has been cultivating him for this responsibility for the past decade.”

Ford said in the release that the person who leads NewTown Macon “should be someone who cooperates with others, someone who likes people, and someone who builds alliances with other organizations. ... It should be someone who has the education and work experience to hit the ground running. Josh is all of these things and a lot more. I am confident that he will move NewTown to the next level.”

“I’m very excited and proud,” Rogers said. “I’ve had a lot of training and mentorship from Mike Ford so I’m excited. I think we’ll be able to do a lot of good things over the next few years downtown.”

A Waycross native, Rogers is a 2005 summa cum laude graduate of Mercer. He earned a master’s degree in conservation studies at the University of York in England. Before beginning his graduate work, Rogers served as NewTown Macon’s director of preservation and special projects.

Rogers has resigned from his post at Historic Macon, effective March 28. His resignation comes just weeks after the organization announced Macon took the lead in historic preservation efforts in Georgia over the past year.

“It is bittersweet to leave such a talented and competent group of staff and volunteers behind,” Rogers said, ”but it also gives me confidence in Historic Macon’s future success.”

To contact writer Andres David Lopez, call 744-4382. To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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