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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Manager front-runner emerges

By G.E. Lawrence, Special to

Note: Story has been posted to The Phoenix Files for your feedback.

PHOENIXVILLE — E. Jean Krack, currently Executive Director of the Institute for Economic Development of Crozer Keystone Health System in Chester and former Coatesville city manager, has emerged as the presumptive nominee for appointment as Phoenixville Borough Manager.

Council’s three-member search committee — Mike Speck (D-East), Richard Mark Kirkner (D-North) and chair Kendrick Buckwalter (R-West) — will formally recommend Krack as its unanimous choice to the full Borough Council at Council’s business meeting Monday, June 23.

“I’m excited about this,” Buckwalter said Tuesday. “Jean Krack would come aboard with a vast amount of redevelopment experience, municipal experience, and transferable experience. His familiarity with Chester County also added a push to his candidacy.”

Krack has served for the last two years as coordinator for the Delaware County Keystone Innovation Zone, and as the Crozer Keystone Institute’s executive director since 2007. In both capacities he has held responsibility for programs accelerating the commercialization of university technologies

by start-up companies, in conjunction with Villanova and Widener Universities.

From 1999 to 2006, Krack held successive, sometimes concurrent, responsibilities with the City of Coatesville. From 1999 to 2005, he served as Director for Economic and Community Development; from 2000 to 2005 he added responsibilities as Director of Development for the Redevelopment Authority, and became the Authority’s executive director in 2005.

He served as Coatesville’s assistant city manager from 2002 to 2005, and city manager from 2005-2006.

Earlier in his career Krack was Vice President and Acting President of the Solano Economic Development Corporation, Solano County, California, and President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Vacaville, California.

The Collegeville resident is a twenty-year Navy veteran. His last assignment was as a human resource program director for 1500 personnel. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University.

“I have a wonderful job now,” Krack said in an interview, “with two wonderful institutions of higher education, working with entrepreneurs in high technology. But there is a side of me that has missed the Chamber of Commerce and municipal experiences.

“I’ve watched Phoenixville closely for 10 years,” he said. “In Coatesville, I saw Phoenixville as a competitor. I wanted to do there what you have successfully done here. You’ve been going gangbusters. Not just downtown, but throughout the borough. I said [sometime ago] that if the opportunity came, Phoenixville is one of just two places where I’d be especially interested in working.”

Buckwalter said that his committee had first reviewed a list of “eight or ten” resumes suggested by Keystone Municipal Services, Inc., of Mechanicsburg, the executive search firm consulting with the Borough. Three candidates were selected for further review; one was lost to the process by appointment to a competing position. The remaining two candidates went through full interviews with the Committee.

All members of Council had had the opportunity to interview Krack in person or by phone, Buckwalter added.

If his appointment is approved by Council Monday, Krack said that he could begin work as early as July 7.


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