Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Candidate for Kids Hope Post Withdraws; by Tessa Duvall

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Candidate for Kids Hope Post Withdraws; by Tessa Duvall

Article excerpt

Byline: tduvall@jacksonville.com

One of five finalists for the CEO position at the new Kids Hope Alliance has removed herself from consideration, citing unfairness in the selection process.

Afira DeVries, who leads the United Way of Roanoke Valley in Virginia, told Diane Moser, director of employee services, that the CEO search appears to be more about relationships than qualifications.

"After carefully reviewing the qualifications for the position in contrast to the current scoring and ranking outcomes, it seems that inherent relational advantages enjoyed by other candidates impair my chances of being awarded the position," she wrote in an email. "Although I remain confident that my talents, skills and experience align perfectly to this exciting role, continuing at this point appears to be more of an exercise than a progressive action toward a viable opportunity."

DeVries declined to comment. Her email was obtained through a public records request.

Asked for a response to DeVries' allegations

of favoritism, city Public Information Officer Tia Ford wrote in an email: "With the assistance of Employee Services, the selection committee is leading the process to review and evaluate Kids Hope Alliance CEO candidates in an effort to select the candidate with qualifications they believe are the best fit for the role."

The rankings DeVries refers to are the scoresheets filled out by each of the five board members on the Kids Hope Alliance search committee. …

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