The Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District has hired Southern Public Service Commissioner Leonard Bentz as its next executive director.
The board voted Wednesday to hire Bentz at $150,000.
Bentz was one of five finalists interviewed for the position. SMPDD officials said they received hundreds of applications. The field was narrowed down to a pool of 13 applicants. From that pool, a subcommittee selected five people to interview.
The other four finalists were Bill Crawford, a former assistant director with Mississippi Development Authority; Mike Lipski with Ingall’s; and Allison Beasley and Terrell McCovey, both of whom work for SMPDD.