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(COLUMBIA, MO) - The City of Columbia has narrowed the search for the next fire chief to three highly qualified candidates.

The City selected Strategic Government Resources (SGR) to assist in conducting the extensive search that resulted in an impressive candidate pool. SGR is an executive recruitment firm based in Texas, specializing in recruiting, assessing and developing innovative, collaborative and authentic leaders for local governments. SGR's proprietary recruitment and vetting process produced an incredibly strong field of candidates. The City received 29 applications from candidates in 15 states.

The following are the three finalists:

Brian Dunn has served as Fire Chief for San Angelo, Texas for the past 21 years. Prior to this, he held other positions in the San Angelo Fire Department, including captain-safety officer, lieutenant, driver and firefighter, totaling more than 32 years of public fire service experience.

Brian holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, and a master's degree in management, also from Angelo State. He earned a Certified Public Manager designation from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, and is credentialed as a chief fire officer from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

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Christopher (Chris) Riley has more than 40 years of experience in fire services, including serving on the Branch Council/Board of Directors for the Institute of Fire Engineers (USA Branch) and working as a consultant to FirstNet, a broadband public safety network. He served as fire chief in two Colorado municipalities - Pueblo and Colorado Springs.

Chris holds a master's degree in emergency services administration and a bachelor's degree in vocational education, both from California State University in Long Beach, California, and completed the Public Safety Leadership Program at the University of Denver.

Clayton Farr, Jr. has 27 years of experience in fire services. He has served the Columbia Fire Department in numerous capacities since 1998, including as a firefighter, assistant fire marshal, lieutenant, battalion chief, division chief/shift commander and currently as assistant fire chief, and is the public information officer for the department. He has also worked as a fire investigator for the Columbia Police Department, Boone County Sheriff's Office and the Southern Boone County Fire Protection District.

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The Fire Chief Search Committee, led by City Manager De'Carlon Seewood, reviewed the applicants and ultimately selected these three finalists.

"The search committee and I welcome Mr. Brian Dunn, Mr. Chris Riley and Mr. Clayton Farr, Jr. to our community to meet members of the public and be interviewed by City department heads and stakeholders," City Manager De'Carlon Seewood said. "All of our final candidates will have a tour of our great City and time to socialize with community members. I know they will be warmly welcomed to Columbia, and we are thrilled to have these excellent candidates here."

Members of the public will have the opportunity to meet these candidates during a meet and greet on Monday, Aug. 22 at City Hall, 701 E. Broadway from 5 to 6 p.m. Light appetizers will be provided.

Filed Under: Government, City

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