Candidate: Tom Kern
Hometown: McLean, Va.; grew up in Royal Oak, Mich.
Occupation: Senior vice president and chief operating officer, Fairfax County (Va.) Chamber of Commerce since 2006.
Past experience: Red Management in Traverse City, Mich., vice president of affordable housing in 2006; executive director of the National Cherry Festival event in Traverse City, 1991-2005; Properties North Inc., CEO, Traverse City, January to December 1990; executive vice president of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, 1986-1989, and president of the Port Authority of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio, 1985-1989; assistant city manager of Blue Ash, Ohio, 1980-1985, and assistant to the city manager, Traverse City, 1977-1980.
Education: Bachelor's degree in public administration and economics, 1976, Eastern Michigan University; master's degree in public administration, 1977, San Diego State University.
Why he wants the job: "The community is highly respected. It's a university town. It's very dynamic. It's got a very dynamic business community, and that's what I was looking for - a place where there are great people to work with."
Possible plans: Meet with community leaders and collaborate to work toward a consensus and "move that vision forward."
Strengths: "Tom's a great organizer. He's a very thorough individual and genuine person. We like the way he interacts with people," said Jim Otten, a Lawrence dentist and chamber chairman.