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LEDCO answers call for diversity, plans to appoint Longview ISD official to board

By Sherry Koonce skoonce@news-journal.com
Oct. 9, 2012 at 11 p.m.


Reacting to a call for diversity on the Longview Economic Development Corp. board of directors, city officials Tuesday agreed to recommend a change in the makeup of the board filled with middle-aged white men.

Longview's Council Appointments Committee will recommend that former Good Shepherd Medical Center CEO Ed Banos be replaced by Andrea Mayo, a black woman who serves as deputy superintendent for Longview ISD.

Mayo served two previous terms on the LEDCO board.

Banos' employment at Good Shepherd was terminated Sept. 26. He had held the position since 2008.

"We had a situation about diversity brought up, and because Mr. Banos is out of the hospital now, this would be a chance to do the diversity thing with somebody who is qualified," District 4 City Councilman Wayne Frost said.

Banos declined to comment on the Council Appointments Committee's action, but said he was satisfied with his service on the LEDCO board.

"I think I served well on the LEDCO board. I think I did a good job and provided a lot of insight to the LEDCO board," Banos said Tuesday.

Frost and District 3 City Councilwoman Kasha Williams comprise the city's Council Appointments Committee board.

"(Banos) is going to be looking for another job; it is nothing against Mr. Banos, or his qualifications. It had more to do with putting a person on the board qualified and to show some diversity on the board," Frost said.

According to LISD's website, Mayo began her career in Longview ISD in 1979. She has served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, supervisor and director. She is a native of Louisiana, holds a B.A. in education from Louisiana Tech University and a masters degree in secondary educational administration from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Branden Johnson, Longview chapter of the NAACP president, urged council members at their meeting Sept. 27 to bring more diversity to the LEDCO board. Of the five voting board members and five ex-officio non-voting members, all are Anglo men, Johnson said.

"The people of the current and previous boards are quite possibly nice folks; they appear to be generous with personal giving and some have a rich history in Longview. These individuals are not in question, rather principals are," Johnson said. "We need a wake-up call to encourage all who do business in Longview to create a climate of inclusivity and multiculturalism through cultural responsiveness."

At the City Council meeting, Johnson questioned why, with growing minority populations in Longview and many in the business community, there are no Muslim, Asian or Latino representation on the LEDCO board.

Williams expressed a similar concern at the Council Appointments Committee meeting Tuesday and agreed to recommend Mayo to the council in place of Banos.

"We need stability on the board, and we've had people from our community who have expressed a level of concern about the need for diversity," Williams said.

There are eight slots on LEDCO's board to be filled. LEDCO recommended to the Council Appointments Committee re-appoint for Keith Honey, Steve Metcalf, Joe Bob Joyce, Phillip Ford and Dan Droege. LEDCO also proposed adding Mayo, Julie Fowler and Paul Stephenson.

Fowler is an executive dean at the Kilgore College Longview campus and has served on the LEDCO board before.

Stephenson, according to the J.W. Operating Manufacturing website, is president of company's Longview branch. He has no prior service on the LEDCO board.

James Wilcox, interim LISD superintendent, resigned his position on the LEDCO board in September because of time constraints and will not be returning to the LEDCO board, said Susan Gill, LEDCO executive director.

Longtime board member Bob Metzler termed out after serving 10 consecutive terms.

With the exception of Banos, the returning and new appointee recommendations will be presented to City Council for approval Thursday by the Council Appointments Committee.

Gill said the LEDCO board had recommended Banos be reappointed to the board because he had been such an asset. The board, she said, had planned to replace him should he leave the city.

Incoming LEDCO board President Keith Honey and current board President Dan Droege did not return calls for comment Tuesday.

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