Historic Macon announced Thursday that Ethiel Garlington will become the foundations new executive director, effective March 10.
Garlington, 35, will replace Josh Rogers, who was hired in December to become the new president and CEO of NewTown Macon. Rogers is scheduled to assume his new duties in April, so hell have two weeks to help Garlington get acclimated.
Ive known Ethiel for a number of years, and hes certainly one of the most talented preservationists in the country, Rogers said. Ive always wanted him here in Macon, but I never saw an opportunity, so this has worked out perfectly.
Garlington, who lives in Knoxville, Tenn., has served as the director of Preservation Field Services for Knox Heritage since 2008. During that time, he founded the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance to provide preservation and economic development services to a 16-county region.
There were several factors that led Garlington to accept the job in Macon.
The work that Historic Macon does, such as real estate development, is unlike any other organization in the country, he said. I was looking at the partnerships here, and theres a real sense of pride and cooperation (among) the city and public groups working together to improve neighborhoods.
My wife (Michelle) and I were really impressed with Macon. We loved the people and the architecture, and we wanted to be a part of this community.
Garlingtons accomplishments include structuring a partnership involving the Department of Energy, the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation, the Tennessee Historical Commission and local officials to enable private developers to invest $4.5 million to save endangered properties from the Manhattan Project -- the uranium processing plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn. -- to be turned into an assisted living facility.
Garlington was hired after a national search. Rogers, who wasnt involved in the search process, said Garlington would have been his top choice, and that he found it interesting that the committee made the same pick.
Garlington is a graduate of Presbyterian College and has a masters degree in historic preservation from the University of Georgia.
Heather Moore, chairwoman-elect of Historic Macon, led the search committee.
We needed the top talent in the historic preservation movement to keep our momentum, and we found it in Ethiel Garlington, she said in a statement. I could not be more confident about the future of preservation in Macon.
Garlington said hell have a better idea of what new projects he wants to tackle once he gets settled into his new job.
Im going to wait to determine my next steps, he said. Because (Historic Macon) is so successful, I have no immediate plans. I want to take a little time to see what my growth plans are.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.