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The Chattanooga Convention Center's board will make the next move to fill the post of longtime Executive Director Tim Riddle, who resigned Wednesday to return to the private sector.

Jimmy Hudson, the Carter Street Corp.'s chairman, said it will be the panel's job to find a new person to run the center that has produced an estimated economic impact of more than $533 million the past two decades.

"There's no plan on what to do next," said Mr. Hudson. "That will need to happen in conversation with the board."

Mr. Riddle, 48, said he will leave at the end of the month after having served at the center for 24 years and as director since 1990.

"It's been a good run," he said. Mr. Riddle, paid $125,000 a year, said he's looking to get back into the auditing business.

Mike Shuford, the center's assistant director, was picked by the board to take Mr. Riddle's post on an interim basis. He wouldn't say if he's interested in the job permanently.

"I imagine there will be a decision over the next several week and we'll go from there," said Mr. Shuford, who came on board when the center opened in early 1985.

Mr. Hudson said Mr. Riddle, a certified public accountant who joined the center in November 1985 from what was then Big 5 firm Arthur Andersen, will be missed but the facility is "in very good hands."

"One of God's greatest gifts to us is to serve. I applaud his past performance," said Mr. Hudson. "We owe you a lot of gratitude and thanks for a job well done. We continue to be a benchmark."

Hicks Armor, the panel's treasurer, said the center is "well positioned." Panel member Donald Mercer called the facility "a place of great success."

Mr. Riddle oversaw the $50 million expansion of the center in 2002, which doubled its exhibit space and added 18 meeting rooms.

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